The podcast that takes us beyond the pages of a book and into the mind of the author.
Available wherever you listen to your podcasts.
In this unconventional (for me) episode, I chat with five o the six poets behind the Espresso Poetry Collective. Over the course of our conversation, these wonderful women school me on what it means to be a poet, how to read poetry, and where we can see poetry in our everyday lives. Where poetry once once relegated to a small section at the back of the bookstore, the art form has exploded into mainstream over the last few years (Rupi Kaur, anyone?).
The poets of the collective started as a course and finished as a close group whose friendship goes beyond the bindings of their book.
Julie Van Rosendaal has built a brilliant career as a cookbook author, food blogger, chef, and teacher. She is an icon in Calgary’s food community and an ardent advocate for food access. In this episode, not only do we talk about Dirty Food (her 11th cookbook), we discuss the publishing industry, diet culture, #buttergate and food security. In an extremely bold move, Julie decided to make her 12th cookbook, Cookies I Have Loved available only through her purchase and independent bookstores. A portion of direct sales through her website —$1 per book— will directly support food-related community initiatives (school and community pantries and kitchens, sending meals to ICU staff).
See your Phil Booth horoscope here.
Read the Globe & Mail article that became #buttergate.
For this special episode, I asked the authors I’ve interviewed to share their most memorable book. I wanted to know what book stuck with them or made them want to be an author or that they turn to for inspiration. I’m not sorry if this adds more to your To Be Read pile.
I want to add one more to this list that I did not mention in this episode. I’ve been a huge Stephen King fan since I was a teenager and I recently read On Writing, a book that is part memoir, part instruction. It’s the perfect read for anyone who has tried to put words on a page.
This debut novel from Katherine Walker is a crazy ride. From the very first page, I was hooked, wanting to know why a priest murdered a parishioner with a candlestick. If that feels reminiscent of a game of Clue (Colonel Mustard, in the library, with a knife), you’re not wrong. There are enough twists and turns and unexpected, laugh out loud moments in All is Well to give you literary whiplash.
To learn more about the Beringia Land Mass:https://phys.org/news/2021-05-ancient-horse-dna-reveals-gene.htmlhttps://www.beringia.com/exhibit/ice-age-animals/giant-beaver
My Sister the Serial Killer: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38819868-my-sister-the-serial-killer
There is nothing about P.L. Stuart that I found intimidating. He is friendly, kind and generous with his time. A law enforcement employee by day (and night, because shift work), he has been in some harrowing situations. His calm demeanour would diffuse any tense situation, a handy trait when it comes to managing the seven children he and wife Debbie share. He is quite the opposite of the protagonist he created in A Drowned Kingdom. Othrun is entitled, spoiled, racist, bigoted – not entirely likeable at the start. But over the course of 400+ pages, you’ll feel connected to the prince without a kingdom. I have not read much high fantasy. It’s not my typical genre. But the fact that I am eagerly awaiting book 2 (coming in 2022), tells you a great deal a bout P.L.’s skill as a writer.
Rebecca Eckler has spent most of her writing career sharing her life and her opinions. She was a columnist for the Globe and Mail and the National Post, sharing stories of motherhood and her view of the world. As the executive editor for SavvyMom.ca, Rebecca writes about her parenting style, opening her up to criticism and hateful comments. Her writing style is candid and open. She is brutally honest about her own experiences and shares freely in her memoirs. As the founder of the weekly newsletter, Re:Books, Rebecca champions Canadian women authors, from the obscure to the mainstream. Once you dive into her books, you’ll feel you know her and that you’ve been friends for years. In this episode we talk about everything from pregnancy to menopause, from publishing to promotion.
Dana Church’s new middle grade non-fiction, The Beekeepers, isn’t just for kids. Her research is sound and the information shared within its pages is valuable for readers of any age. If you didn’t know our bees were in trouble, this book will help you understand why and give you tools to do something about it. The Beekeepers changed my relationship with the chonky buzzers in my own backyard and I now watch them with interest rather than run squealing into the house.
To learn about Dr. Shiela Colla and the bee nest sniffer dogs: https://wildlifepreservation.ca/blog/nosing-out-nests-can-detection-dogs-be-used-to-find-bumble-bee-nests/
Research Article here: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0249248
Learn more about Working Dogs for Conservation: https://wd4c.org/
In this episode, you’re going to meet Elise Russel, author of Behave Boldly, a memoir of her entrepreneurial journey so far. The book chronicles the details of her struggles and successes as she built her company, Pony Friday. Her story is not complete however, and during the conversation Elise is candid about what it’s really like to build and run your own business.
Full disclosure here – I’ve known Elise for more than half of her entrepreneurial life. I’m proud to call her my friend and have supported her through many walks in the park, chats about clients and coffee dates in the before times. I was a fan before she had even written the first paragraph of Behave Boldly.
Link to the #WhatPublishingPaidMe spreadsheet, where you can browse the list of authors who voluntarily shared how much their advances were (or weren’t). [live at time of this episode’s release]
Waubgeshing Rice, Waub to all those who know him, has been crafting stories from the age of 17. He started reporting when he was an exchange student in Germany, went to journalism school and worked for CBC Television as a reporter before his latest novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, enabled him to focus on writing full time. Anyone who remembers the blackout of 2003 will find parallels to that eastern seaboard chaos in Waub’s novel. In this episode, Waub talks about his early experience as an exchange student, how his culture influences his writing, and how his grandmother is a voice he paid tribute to in the novel.
Judith Clark absolutely set out to write a novel about a gay boy living in rural Alberta. The controversy in the province over GSA’s – Gay Straight Alliances – inspired her to tell the story of a high schooler who choses to keep his sexuality a secret until he graduates. Gunnar has a lot at stake: his space on the wrestling team, his friendships and his plans to stay under the radar until his final day. Life gets in the way, and Gunnar is set on a path he never intended to take so soon.In this episode, we talk about how Judith was able to get inside a teenager’s head and her path to writing the novel.To learn more about Judith and to purchase Under the Radar, visit her website.
Brittney Morris performed what most writers would consider an impossible feat: she wrote an entire novel in 12 days. After being inspired by the Black Panther movie, Brittney decided to write a story about a 17-year-old high schooler who developed a game played by the global black community. Brittney wanted to participate in Pitch Wars, a mentoring program where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions on how to make the manuscript shine for an agent showcase.She had 14 days to produce an entire manuscript. So she did. In this episode, Brittney shares how she feels the pressure to represent her race, how she overcame more than 200 rejections and what the full-time writing life means to her. Learn more about Brittney on her website or follow her on Twitter. Check our her author profile on Amazon.
When Canadian Karen Patterson moved to China, she fully intended to spend the rest of her life there. While there, she built businesses, learned the language, got married and gave birth to her daughter. She never imagined her life would be completely upturned when her husband, Chinese artist Wu Yuren, disappeared. For years, Karen struggled to find him, and when she did, the fight to free him from the clutches of the Chinese government began. As a foreigner in a foreign land, Karen was the only one who could help. Taking on China is a riveting look behind the red wall – at the people, the art world, and the obstacles one woman faces in her search for freedom.
From the very first lines of Walking Through Needles, you’ll know you’re in for a ride. This debut novel, by Heather Levy, is rich with characters that will run you through the spectrum of emotion and will make you squirm. Yet still, you won’t be able to stop turning the pages.In this conversation, Heather talks about BDSM, Pitch Wars and the challenges of writing about sexual assault. WARNING: We talk about some very adult topics: masturbation, assault, bondage, sadism and masochism.
Tammy Plunkett started writing Clinical Trial to quell the boredom of being a stay-at-home-mom to four children. Ten years after she first completed the book, she took it out of the drawer to revisit the romantic thriller, updated it, edited it and hit publish. It was perfect timing for this ex-ICU nurse to launch a book that reads like a string of Grey’s Anatomy episodes. In the midst of a pandemic, there was something medical we could get into without feeling scared or overwhelmed. Learn more about Tammy: https://www.tammyplunkett.com/about/ To inquire about being a guest, contact Dana.
Michelle Good took 9 years to write Five Little Indians. As a member of the Cree nation, she had first-hand knowledge of the experiences of those who had been sent to Canada’s residential schools. She wanted her novel to answer two questions: what happens when the children are released and how do they function in the world. She answers both of those with an emotional, thought provoking novel. Buy Five Little Indians here. To inquire about being a guest, contact Dana.
When Christina Sweeney-Baird started writing The End of Men, she was exploring the idea of a world without men. She gave serious thought to how the world would function without men filling typically male jobs: electricians, garbage disposal and infrastructure. When she was creating this dystopian world, a pandemic seemed a reasonable way to eliminate 50 percent of the world’s population. What she didn’t count on, was seeing the plague in her pages come to life in the real world. Buy The End of Men here. To inquire about being a guest, contact Dana.