Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

shughes's blog

What, Me? Write Historical Fiction? -- Part 2

Today I’m continuing my conversation with PAT BOURKE, who has just published her first book for children, a historical novel, and MARGARET BUFFIE, a celebrated writer of ten children’s books, including four historical fiction novels.

ME: Pat, how would you describe the main challenges of writing historical fiction for children?

PAT BOURKE: My biggest challenge is giving an accurate picture of the details of life in that time period, because kids are very keen observers and details are so important in bringing a story alive. This means I’m always coming up with questions that need answering.

What, Me? Write Historical Fiction? -- Part 1

Care to dip into the past? Dare to write about it?

Ah, historical fiction! Writing in this genre can be demanding, that's for certain, but it offers unique opportunities for writers willing to venture into the past -- and sometimes, well, you don't choose it, it just chooses you!

I wrote the juvenile novel ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN (Doubleday, 1992) after I’d just returned from my second trip to India. Longing to share some of my love for the vast continent, I was compelled to write a time travel novel. Through contact with a Rajasthani puppet passed down to him from his Indian father, a young Canadian boy is transported back to India of the 1600s and the court of the great Shah Jahan. Researching the time period and the setting allowed me to return to a place I loved.

Looking for the Lightbulb - Part 2

In today's part 2 of Looking for the Lightbulb, I'm introducing you to three more talented authors of non-fiction children's books: Monica Kulling, Adrienne Mason, and Natalie Hyde.

Note: When I asked them to share their methods of finding ideas for non-fiction books, not one of them said they expected the lightbulb to appear above their head and light up!

MONICA KULLING is a full-time writer of biographies and fiction for young readers. In 2011, her book In THE BAG! MARGARET KNIGHT WRAPS IT UP, the third in Tundra Books “Great Idea” series, was chosen by the Smithsonian as one of the Ten Great Science Books of that year. GOING UP! ELISHA OTIS'S TRIP TO THE TOP will be out in October 2012. She lives in Toronto with her partner, two dogs, and four cats.

MONICA writes:

Tips from Karen Li, Children's Book Editor Extraordinaire

Ever asked an author with a children’s book manuscript undergoing the editing process how he likes his or her editor?

• “I adore my editor!” = editor has just championed author’s manuscript through the acquisition stage

• “(grumble, grumble) My editor is ruthless!” = author has received mark-up of first draft manuscript

• “I just sent my editor a box of chocolates” = author has received positive initial feedback on second draft before receiving mark-up

• “(mutter, mutter) I used to think my editor liked my manuscript” = author has received mark-up of second draft manuscript

• “My editor is absolutely amazing!” = author has just learned substantial edit of third draft manuscript is complete and is headed to copy edit

Scott Robins Chats about Comics with Susan Hughes

I'll never forget reading Chester Brown's graphic novel LOUIS RIEL: A COMIC-STRIP BIOGRAPHY shortly after it was published in 2003. The words and images combined to bring alive the dramatic real-life story of Louis Riel. Since then, I've been convinced that graphic novels provide a unique form of storytelling.

The Toronto Comics Art Festival is being held this Saturday, May 5, and Sunday, May 6, at the Toronto Reference Library. To highlight this event, I thought I'd speak with a guy who is totally in the know when it comes to comics and graphic novels.

Looking for the Lightbulb - Part 1

I write children's articles and books in many genres but one of my favourites is non-fiction. Over the years I've written about topics on everything from the Megalodon shark, the environment, the Titanic, Canadian inventors, kid volunteers, newcomers to Canada, how to draw comics and cartoons, and rats in urban centres to why mozzarella cheese is stretchy, early settlers in North America, holidays and celebrations, common Canadian birds, Myers-Briggs testing, medicinal plants, First Nations' treaties, heavy vs light materials, the search for various vanished people, ... Well, you get the picture...

Here We Go

It's May 1, Tues morning, and I'm settling down to write my first blog ever.

I've been a little nervous about the prospect of writing to a "live" audience several times a week over a period of a month, I admit. I write books for children -- from non-fiction to novels to picture books to graphic novels -- and it can be months but is usually years before they are published and only after many, many editorial revisions. When I write magazine articles, although compacted, the process is the same. It is reassuring to have another pair of eyes on a manuscript, another thoughtful mind reviewing, suggesting alterations, making corrections before the words hit the newsstand in their final form several months later.

Now this, this blogging ...

Syndicate content