A little while ago, I posted about my favourite novels featuring alternative versions of London (other than mine). I promised a follow-up post on alternative film and TV versions of London.
It’s a slightly shorter list, I’m afraid. I’m more a reader more than a filmgoer. So I’ll start with films and TV shows that are books too. Continue reading
I don’t believe that anyone is a write-off as a human. Especially not thousands of people. Yet, in the recent Hugo Awards, around 1,800 people voted for the slate of the Sad/Rabid Puppies. A group that most media outlets have tagged as sexist at least, and are frequently called racist, misogynistic and trans/homophobic. Continue reading
I’m going to be on a panel at the Word on the Street Toronto festival on Sunday September 27th. It’s being held at Harbourfront.
I love Word on the Street. It’s a festival I’ve attended regularly for years. I’ve gone on my own, brought my daughter and mother, and brought my Little Sister (with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto). I’ve had a Margaret Atwood book signed there, listened to some of my favourite authors talk, discovered all kinds of good books and supported friends at their readings and panels. So it’s extremely exciting to be on stage there myself.
Especially because of who I’ve been programmed with.
I’m going to be on the This is Not the Shakespeare Stage at 1.30pm-2.30pm along with Erin Bow and Eve Silver. We will be discussing the ‘Politics of a Parallel World’. Continue reading
Over the last couple of months, I’ve been taking a stand-up course. I did my first ever set in a small club on Monday, and I’ll be doing my grad show on Sunday (and then I’ll stop – it’s been fun but I don’t the time to pursue comedy seriously). Throughout the course it has struck me how much learning stand-up is like learning to write. Here are seven things that both comics and authors must do. Continue reading
In Transferral, I’ve used the real locations of The Old Bailey and St. Bartholomew’s Hospital because, historically and geographically, they embody the connection between sickness and crime that is central to the book. Continue reading
Why work hard on a well-rounded character, when you can use Empathix? Rub a generous amount of Empathix over your character’s main features to make them more attractive to readers. Covers up inconsistencies in personality while giving the illusion of intriguing contradictions. Continue reading
I’ve seen a lot of blogs posts lately on how ‘creatives’ simply can’t be punctual, pay attention to practical details or meet deadlines. Because their creativity makes it impossible to show consideration for the needs of the people they are working with. (It’s not their fault. Creatives apparently feel things more than those dull, numb ordinary people.)
The thing is, I know a lot of people doing well in creative fields – including writers, film-makers, actors, and comedians. And they don’t behave the way those blog posts describe ‘creatives’ behaving.
There are exceptions, but here these five things I find separate the professionals from the hobbyists. Continue reading
I’ve always loved alternate versions of familiar places. Books that add the strange, the horrific or the magical to the everyday. It’s one of the reasons I set Transferral in a London that’s recognizably ours, but with one major difference.
There are more versions of London than I can count, in films, television and books. Here I’ve listed a few of my favourite alt London novels. I’ll follow up with films and TV in a later post. Continue reading
I love to read widely, but keep coming back to speculative fiction for children and teens. That’s no big surprise, since it’s also what I write. I adore the more literary end of the spectrum, and am amazed at the quality in Canada alone.
Below are six recent fantasy novels that represent the tiniest tip of a spectacular Canadian iceberg. There are so many more I could add here (and probably will, in later posts), but I’ve gone with six that have stuck with me, mostly due to the breath of their imaginative scope and the quality of the writing. Continue reading
Anyone who has tried to write has been deluged with writing advice. Books to read, structures to follow and oft-quoted ‘truths’. Many of these are just plain wrong, but a few have some truth at their core. Below are five common ‘rules’ of writing that you should mostly ignore – and the situations when you should heed them. Continue reading