Fan mail!

Dear Author … thank you for writing!

I receive a monthly newsletter from the website Order of Books that is currated by Graeme McGaw. The newsletters, and the website itself for that matter, are filled with a great deal of information about authors, their books, and reading in general. (I strongly recommend that interested readers begin following the website and sign up for this monthly newsletter.)

But this suggestion of Graeme’s in his April newsletter particularly stood out for me. He says:

One thing I also wanted to suggest during this period of time – take a minute to write to your favourite authors and thank them. Thank them for the books they have written, the adventures they have taken you on, and the worlds they have allowed you to escape into.

That’s something we should all be doing in general. I know when I enjoy a book, I take a minute to write to an author and just thank them. Thanks for pouring months and months of your life into this story. Authors have it rough. Not only is it a lot of work, but they’re also putting themselves out there. Think of all those negative reviews an author receives on a book. That sort of thing can be crushing to an author. I know I personally have always wanted to write a book, but don’t think I could deal with the negative reviews.

I also find I have a 100% response ratio from authors too which is really cool. They’ve always taken the time to reply and let me know they appreciate the e-mails etc. and I love that. So yeah, take the time to write to your authors. It will make their day.

This is an idea I’ve always considered advocating because, as an author myself, I know how much a few lines of recognition and thanks can mean when received from an unknown reader who has been touched in some way by something I’ve written. Yes, it’s terrific to hear from friends and family or people I’ve met during my career in books, but it’s quite different when a stranger makes the time and effort to reach out and compliment me. I’m not talking posted reviews here or public messages on social media or even comments on blog posts, but actual private messages, whether they be sent by email or snail mail, something that is meant for the author’s eyes only. That is very special indeed!

In a way, I’ve kind of been complimenting many authors I admire myself in public for these past 5 months through my current Authors-Readers International series on this blog. But even I am now considering writing to a few other authors whose work has really meant a lot to me, just to let them know they have a reader who appreciates what they do.

So during this time of self-isolation, when I know that so many readers are consoling themselves with, and whiling away their time reading a lot of books – as am I! – why not consider sending the authors of those books a message to let them know how much you are enjoying what they write?

It can even be a message as short as the title of this post: Dear Author … thank you for writing! Whatever you write, I can assure you that any author who receives such a message will be thoroughly grateful for your having taken that time to contact them.

Perhaps this is an idea you can share with any younger readers around your house! It’s never too early for readers to learn to appreciate the work favourite authors put into the books they love to read!

And if you can’t find a particular author’s direct contact information online, you can either write to them via their publisher, or check with me. I might have ideas on how to find them.

If you want to do more than just write a letter to help out an author whose work you appreciate, this earlier blog post of mine, How You Can Invest in Authors and Books, gives you 9 other ways you may show your appreciation!

Self-Isolated Blogging: An offer

From beetleypete …

beetleypete

With doom and gloom all over the news, and a lot of very worried people unable to get out even to go to work and socialise, I am trying to think of something positive to offer via the platform of blogging. Facebook and Twitter can be a diversion, but they are also sadly also packed with negatives, scams, and sometimes downright meanness and offensive remarks.

So, back to blogging. Here is my offer, which is of course completely free, and has no catches.

(To contact me for any of these, use petejohnson50@yahoo.com )

Guest Posts.
If you are writing more than usual and hoping to reach a new community or a wider audience, send me a guest post to be published here.
Under 2000 words please, with a short personal bio, and a link to your site.

Book Promotions.
Many people may now have more time to read, so if…

View original post 249 more words

Give me a break!

Yesterday, I published the last promotion in the current round of postings for the Authors-Readers International series that I’ve been running on this blog since Dec. 1, 2019. During that time, I have promoted 50 Authors who have lived in, or been associated with, 26 different countries around the world!

Here’s the complete list of authors so far: Authors-Readers International

I have now amended this list to include information that I had for each Author on the countries in which they were born and/or had spent a significant time during their lives. So Readers will have a good selection indeed of a very INTERNATIONAL and diverse list of Authors! Although, I do admit that the majority of Authors in this first round of promotions come from or live in Canada, but then that’s where I come from, so it’s kind of a given that I would know more Canadian Authors …

What has really pleased me though is the response this series has received, and internationally! Here’s a list of all the countries from which my blog has received hits during this time:

Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Cayman Islands, Columbia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Granada, Greece, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Laos, Lithuania, Malaysia, Martinique, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Eremites, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam.

That’s 83 countries! Quite a good response, I would say!

I wish I had a better way of tracking specific Readers’ locations, those who have responded to this series. Many have liked, shared, followed the blog, commented upon, and generally made their presence known to me that way. Otherwise, I’ve been depending upon the daily WordPress stats to be able to come up with the list of countries above.

So, a word to Readers … If you have been following this series and you do not see your country listed above, please leave a comment below with the name of the country and I will add that to this list.

And all of the above is to tell you that I am taking a break from posting promotions to this series. I had already planned on stepping back for a month or so anyway, just because this has been a lot of work to organize and execute, and I needed some time away from my computer and blogging so I could get on with my own writing, and to read more of the fabulous books written by these authors already promoted! But then world events had a way of creeping into everyday life, and I fear the focus and attention have moved elsewhere for the time being. So, for now, I ask that you please GIVE ME A BREAK!

I hope to begin posting promotions again on June 1st. I still have 31 Authors on my list who I will be contacting in mid-May, so hold tight and stay tuned, Everyone!

And, in the meantime, I hope you will take this time to read over the list of Authors already promoted, read the posts for them that you might have missed, and read their great books!

A-R International: Tricia Drammeh

Tricia Drammeh
Authors-Readers International


Hello, I’m Tricia Drammeh, author of multicultural fantasy, young adult paranormal, and contemporary fiction. I live in beautiful New Hampshire with my husband, children, and adorable animals. When I’m not writing, I can usually be found with a book in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love reading. Books have always been my life. I read a wide variety of genres, which probably explains why the books I write vary so greatly. My favorites include J.K. Rowling, Anne Rice, Maeve Binchy, Joleene Naylor, Maegan Provan, Amy Metz, Jodi Picoult, and many, many more!

In lieu of more personal information, I decided instead to include this recent post from Tricia Drammeh’s blog:

My husband and I took a walk along a local wooded trail on Saturday. A windstorm earlier in the week had stripped most of the fading autumn leaves from the branches, giving us an almost unencumbered view of the river.

I love walking alongside the river, particularly the portions where the water seems to rush toward clusters of smooth boulders. In various spots along the riverbank, cement benches face areas where the water is smooth and peaceful. Here, couples hold hands
and enjoy and placid scenery.

I prefer the rushing water. There’s something invigorating and exciting about the noise and the motion. How just a few rocks thrown in the path of peaceful waters can create such temporary chaos, before the water inevitably settles down so easily, so calmly once
those obstacles are removed.

So much has been written about rivers and streams, how meandering and rushing waters compare to our moods and our trials and tribulations in life. There’s probably not much more that I could say about the topic that hasn’t been said. Still, I can’t help but contemplate how, in my own life, I long for stillness and peace, yet when it comes to the river, I’m drawn to the motion, the activity – the part when everything that has settled to the bottom of the riverbed is churned about and forced into the flow. Nothing stays at peace for long.

It’s a great metaphor for life, isn’t it? Nothing stays at peace for long. That’s what life is. A series of events and changes. It’s motion, activity, noise, and that isn’t always a bad thing. At some point during my particular journey, I began to associate any type of change with negativity. I wanted everything to stay the same. Anything that wasn’t
static or peaceful was terrifying.

I think I’m ready to start enjoying life a little more. Maybe start making a few small changes, or at least recognizing that change doesn’t have to be bad. Already I’m starting to
put things into perspective.

~

I have only ever met Tricia Drammeh online, but since we’ve known each other there’s been a mutual respect for our work and an equal effort to promote that work! Tricia is one of those indie authors I’ve been able to count on for advice, information, and help with getting the word out about my own books and blogs, as well as author promotions. And she’s also a very accomplished writer herself. I have enjoyed reading several of her novels, and I own paperback copies of her two most-recent publications. The Novelist definitely spoke to me, as I know it will do for many other writers.

No one ever said being married to a writer was easy…

Jacque has always struggled to get his business ideas off the ground. From photography to catering to publishing, his poorly-planned endeavors have put a serious strain on his finances—and his marriage. Despite his difficulties in turning his passions into a paycheck, Jacque has always considered himself to be an intellectual, an artist, and above all, a writer.

Ever-reliable Cindy is always there to pick up the pieces when Jacque’s ventures go awry, but it’s getting harder and harder to keep things afloat. She wants nothing more than for her husband to find his way in the world, and she believes writing is his true path in life—until she reads his novel.

Every marriage has its problems, but when a shocking betrayal leads to vengeance, will their marriage survive?

A very good book! And, also for writers who are considering self-publishing, Tricia Drammeh wrote and published this non-fiction collection of essays – in which she cites ME, and specifically this blog of mine, in her list of resources! Thanks for the shout-out, Tricia!

~

The Essential Self-Publishing Guide

Are you an aspiring writer who has always dreamt of publishing a book? Or have you already written your book and are confused about your next step? The Essential Self-Publishing Guide will help you explore your publishing options, walk you through the steps of publishing your book, and help you realize your dream of becoming an independent author. If you are a writer on a tight budget, this guide will not only help you determine where to cut costs, but will teach you how to perform many self-publishing tasks on your own. With creativity, determination, and a little bit of patience, you can become a published author!

Here’s what Tricia Drammeh is doing now: “Nowadays, I do more editing than writing, but most of my time is spent being a grandmother. I work part-time in the morning and then babysit my grandson in the afternoons. It is wonderful and I love it! My days are long and between work, editing projects, and my grandson, I don’t have much time for writing; however, I do belong to a local writing group that encourages me to regularly stretch my writing muscles. I’ve written some short stories lately, so who knows where those might end up?”

For more information about Tricia Drammeh, her books and writing, and her editing services, please see her website.

And you may follow Tricia Drammeh’s blog here.

Previously, Tricia Drammeh has been promoted on my blog, Reading Recommendations: Oct. 2014, April 2015, Feb. 2016.

A-R International: Mike Robbins

Mike Robbins
Authors-Readers International


Mike was born in London in 1957, and brought up in Oxford. He was educated expensively up to the age of 14, at which point he was thrown out of boarding school; this was, he says, a good move from everyone’s point of view. He passed through a number of schools and colleges and became a journalist of sorts, and worked in rock music publishing and as a traffic broadcaster. In 1987 he signed on with VSO, the British equivalent of the Peace Corps, and spent two years in the east of Sudan in the wake of the 1984-85 famine. This led to a book, Even the Dead are Coming, which was eventually published in 2009.

He stayed on the road for many years, living in such diverse countries as Ecuador, Bhutan and Syria. His travels inspired another autobiographical book, The Nine Horizons (2014), and a novel, The Lost Baggage of Silvia Guzmán (2014). He is also the author of Crops and Carbon (2011), a scholarly work on climate change, and a book of novellas, Three Seasons. For the last few years he has been working as an editor in New York.

~

If memory serves, I first learned of Mike Robbins and his books through a listing on Goodreads. I was interested enough to contact him and ask if he’d like to be promoted on Reading Recommendations. Since then I have read most of what Mike has published and have really enjoyed his writing.

When I contacted Mike by email earlier in the week about this promotion, he told me he was reading my novella, That Last Summer, which made me very happy! I explained that the story was based on my own childhood of spending summers at the family cottage, and he said he’d experienced an Ontario cottage with his family who had travelled to Canada together for his father’s work: “We arrived in Canada in August 1968 and the next weekend a colleague’s son drove us out to their family cottage on a lake west of Ottawa. I remember it very clearly; a “cottage” doesn’t mean quite what it does in England, being made of wood, with the insect screens and the canoe drawn up at the water’s edge. I remember hot summer days but also cooler ones at the end of the season, when the sky was grey and a cold breeze rippled the surface of the water. The lakes always seemed huge; it was my introduction to the sheer size of Ontario. Later we took the train to Winnipeg and it took two days, across endless forests and lakes.” So that was another, and kind of cool!, connection that I now have with Mike Robbins. (Mike directed me to this blog post he wrote of his experience travelling to Canada for that year. Very interesting, and great travel writing!)

And I especially enjoyed this novella by Mike Robbins, his most recent publication …

~

Dog!

In the summer of 1976 a young Mike Robbins was startled, as was everyone in
Britain, by a TV programme in which a Welsh hypnotist, Arnall Bloxham, regressed three subjects to their past lives. One had served on a ship of the line in the Napoleonic Wars; another remembered being a hunter-gatherer in the prehistoric Balkans; and another recounted fleeing from a pogrom in medieval York. The programme, The Bloxham Tapes, generated some debate in later years as to what it did and did not prove.

No-one under 50 would remember watching The Bloxham Tapes, and it may not now exist. (An Australian university has a VHS tape, apparently; but those tapes do not always survive so well.) However, Robbins never quite forgot the programme. What happened after death? If you were reborn, would it be as a human again, and if not, why not? Forty years later, stuck on a book that was going too slowly, he broke off to write the novella Dog!, the story of an elderly rescue dog who is not quite what
he seems.

Dog! isn’t religious. It was the dramatic possibilities that Robbins wanted to explore. What if that pug you saw in the park was actually Henry VIII? It’s actually not a new idea, according to Robbins; he cites Rumer Godden’s first book, Chinese Puzzle, which revolved around a similar idea, and the late James Herbert’s Fluke. But Robbins wanted to have a bit of fun with the concept. The dog’s owner is a cheerful slob called Bazza (the English often abbreviate names into Baz, Caz, etc.), a university lecturer in a provincial English city. When not teaching logical positivism or medieval ontology, Bazza chills with a spliff and a beer or browses porn sites. He’s also adopted an old dog, but finds it dour and unaffectionate. Still, the two of them live together happily enough, despite the dog’s contempt for humans and its habit of licking itself in front of guests. Then a Himalayan monk comes to stay for a few
weeks while teaching courses in the city. He senses at once that there is something strange about the dog. He is right. As the book’s blurb says: “Dog! is a powerful story of love and loss, sin, redemption and dog mess. You’ll never see your pet the same way again.”

What Mike Robbins is working on now: “Since 2011 I have been working on a novel set in postwar Britain, but the research and the writing have both been tough. But it’s half-written now, and I hope I’ll finish it in the next year. I have also nearly completed a collection of “think pieces” and book reviews. Also slated for this year is a Spanish translation of The Lost Baggage of Silvia Guzmán (there is already one of Dog!).

Mike has also offered up to readers a few of his own reading recommendations:
Mike says there’s too much to mention! His best-loved novel of all time is J. B. Priestley’s Bright Day. But he also recommends Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain; a long slow read but the ideas in it are more important than ever. He is also a fan of Rumer Godden and recently wrote on his blog about her life in India. Of more recent books, he’s strongly enjoyed a couple of books by Kevin Brennan, who’s also been featured on Reading Recommendations (and is part of this Authors-Readers International series), and also recommends Alison Layland’s new thriller Riverflow. Finally it’s well worth checking out Rebecca Gransden’s strange and compelling novel anemogram. (sic), and her short-story collection, Rusticles.

For more information about Mike Robbins, his writing, books, book reviews, and travels, please see his website.

Mike Robbins was previously featured three times on Reading Recommendations: Feb. 2015, Nov. 2015, May 2017.

From one woman’s island to another …

Carin Makuz and I “met” when we both enrolled in the online Humber School for Writers Creative Writing Programme, offered by Humber College in Toronto. That was 2006 and I was living on Bequia at the time, so I was able to study online from a great distance. Carin was living just outside of Toronto. We kept in touch with each other, as many students did, and have since continued to do, in that particular class, and I eventually met Carin in person, a number of times, in fact, and even made a “whistle stop” once while taking the train back from Kingston to Toronto. Carin met me at the train station and waited with me for the connecting GO Train to arrive so I could then continue on my way. What fun that visit was! Carin also made the trip north to Minden when we held a literary salon at the home of Michael Fay. At that salon, there were several other authors in attendance: Bruce Hunter, Frank Beltrano, Timothy Phillips. I’ve promoted all of them, and Michael, as part of the Authors-Readers International series on my blog. And Carin accompanied me (drove me there, actually, after dining together in a local restaurant) to a talk and reading that was being given at the local library by none other than Gail Bowen! (Also promoted on A-RI!)

Carin as well had the absolutely brilliant idea of beginning The Litter I See Project, which I promoted on my Reading Recommendations blog. She had invited me to take part in this project and I was very pleased to be included, especially since it was all in aid of Frontier College and literacy instruction.

So we continue to chat (by email) every now and again, although we haven’t seen one another in person in a few years now. (I’m too ensconced in the trailer while in Canada during the summer months!) But what started out as a quick email conversation at the beginning of the new year – Carin had finished reading my second novel and sent me a link to the “not-a-review” she posted to her blog – turned into a discussion about island life. Then … the back and forth questions and answers began, and comparisons of our both having lived on small Caribbean islands, and comparisons of my story to other books, and, and, and … we ended up with the following piece that Carin offered to write up for me to post here; not so much a review of the novel as an explanation of what struck her as significant about her reading of my book, and why my experiences on Bequia resonated with her own living on a different small Caribbean island. (And yes, Carin, that was definitely you I was thinking about when, in the story, Tex talks about a Canadian woman whose name is spelled the same way as yours!)

Carin’s view from her Caribbean island …

I so enjoyed the book, Susan, not the least for how it tapped into my own memories of living in the Caribbean in ’91/’92. I don’t recall too much of the expat lifestyle when we were there, but I may have missed it, or maybe it wasn’t as ‘rife’ yet. P was working with one of the hotels so we got to know many of the locals (most of whom came to our wedding). We didn’t make friends with many of the other ‘imports’… I remember thinking how odd most of them seemed, like they were just there for the money and the privileged Jimmy Buffet lifestyle; they seemed to be missing the point that this opportunity could give them, to understand local customs, rather than impose their own. But no one seemed very interested in island culture, food, or getting to know the local residents. Given that, it’s easy to see how divisions would be created. Not to mention the residents resenting the fact that the best jobs were often given to (white) ‘imports’. That was one of the difficulties for me when we lived there… being seen as ‘one of those’. Once we got to know the local residents, it was better, and that stigma fell away, but not with everyone. Still a certain amount of animosity from locals, for which I don’t blame them.

You captured so well that attitude of newbies trying to change the very thing that brought them to the island in the first place. Can imagine it’s even worse now with gentrification and displacement of people’s culture as if it’s just another commodity. How can this create anything but animosity? How wonderful that you’ve been there long enough to be known for who you are, as someone who respects the island way of life.

We went back to the island a few years ago for our anniversary. I was reluctant because I had a feeling it would have changed due to gentrification, etc., and I didn’t want to see it. Turns out much was still charming and familiar, but there was a lot different too … more villas where there were none before and a totally different vibe ‘in town’, ie. the harbour shops (selling very different items than before; before being mostly basic necessities for locals and only a very few things like postcards or souvenirs). Restaurants that were casual had been renovated and were now upscale … that was a big change. Very different feeling. Can imagine there was a lot more behind the scenes that I didn’t notice, given that I was there only a week and seeing with the eyes of a visitor.

One memory from when we lived there … P was working late on xmas eve and I was sitting outside on our patio in the pitch dark, under the stars when, from the valley below, came the sound of a single trumpet playing “Silent Night” and then a few other carols. A simple strain of music, not from a party, but likely just someone sitting outside (who would have a trumpet?). Then they stopped. Not another sound all night. I thought of that when we were there a few years ago and couldn’t imagine it happening now. Too many other sounds have taken over. The energy feels different.

Anyway, all of that to say One Woman’s Island was an absolutely lovely trip back to the Caribbean in the 90’s and to how I remember it. The story is compelling on many levels, but that was certainly an added dimension for me.

I think it’s brilliant that you’re writing about all this in your novels, Susan. As you say, for people who think it’s all paradise … an eye-opener. And so much more respectful to fully embrace reality while still finding the charm within, which of course I know you do.

Thank you again, Carin! Both for understanding what I’m trying to do with this Bequia Perspectives series and for the effect that I now know my writing has had on at least one reader! This is, after all, the main reason we write … to have an effect on readers and possibly even elicit a response.

My view of Bequia from The View

There’s something for every writer in this little volume

Here’s more information about a new book by Kevin Brennan just released that will be an asset to all writers, both beginner and published.

WHAT THE HELL

Of course he says that, you might say. He’s trying to sell some books.

But it’s actually true. My two writer pals and I get deep into the weeds on the process of writing and publishing novels today, but the nice thing about this book is that it’s not like the typical writing manual most of us have binged on. It’s a conversation. And much of the time it’s funny and entertaining as it dishes out the how-to bon mots.

So even if you don’t think you’ll learn anything new, trust me, you’ll feel like you’re right there in the middle of the three-way chat. You’ll agree with us sometimes, disagree sometimes. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry.

And it’ll cost you just 99 cents.

Grab the ebook today. It’s always worthwhile to hear from other writers who are going through the same meat grinder you are!

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A-R International: Katherine Govier

Katherine Govier
Authors-Readers International


Katherine Govier was born in Edmonton, Alberta, and was educated at the University of Alberta and York University. She has been made a Distinguished Alumna of the University of Alberta and is one of York University‘s “Famous Fifty” graduates. She has been Chair of the Writers’ Trust of Canada and President of PEN Canada. Govier has published essays in major newspapers and magazines, including Macleans, Saturday Night, The Globe and Mail, Harper’s, Queen, and The Toronto Star.

Govier was shortlisted for the Trillium Award in 1994, and won the City of Toronto Book Award in 1992. In 1997, she was awarded the Marian Engel Award for a woman writer in mid-career. Her novel Creation was a New York Times Notable Book of 2003. Her 2010 novel, The Ghost Brush, focusing on the life of Katsushika Oi, has been published in translation in French as La Femme Hokusai, in Japanese as Hokusai Tu Oi, in Spanish as La Hija del Dibujante, in Romanian as Fiica Lui Hokusai, and in the United States under the title The Printmaker’s Daughter. In 2014, Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagne were nominated for the Governor General’s award for translation 2014 for their translation of The Ghost Brush into French as La Femme Hokusai, published by Quebec-Amerique.

In 2011, Katherine Govier founded The Shoe Project, a writing workshop for immigrant women, with sponsorship from Heather Gardiner and hosting by The Bata Shoe Museum. The group publishes stories on the web, creates ‘snapshot’ exhibits for The Bata Shoe Museum, and offers public performances. It has been the subject of two one-hour documentaries on CBC Ideas: In Their Shoes I (February 27, 2012), and In Their Shoes II (June 10, 2013), and a Toronto Star article.

Katherine Govier has been made a member of the Order of Canada, one of Canada’s highest honours “for contributing to Canada’s literary scene as an acclaimed author, and for supporting refugee and immigrant women.”

~

I actually met Katherine Govier’s mother before I knew about Katherine and her writing. And I’m not sure now whether I’ve ever met Katherine in person … The reason I knew Doris Govier was that she organized and ran reading groups in Calgary, and she purchased all copies of each book from Sandpiper Books, where I was working at the time. This was before the advent of book clubs, so what Doris Govier was running was unique at the time, as far as we knew. By that time in the late 80s, Katherine was living in Toronto and had already published several books. One of these, Between Men, we promoted in the store, because her mother was such a good friend and customer and … the book was set in Calgary!

It wasn’t until much later when Katherine Govier was publishing Half for You and Half for Me that I reconnected with her – the book was a tribute to her mother, Doris. “When she was small, Katherine Govier tucked in close to her mother’s side to listen to nursery rhymes. Later she read them to her own children, and now she has returned to reading them with her mother, who can no longer see well enough to read the pages of their nearly hundred-year-old Mother Goose book. Still, her mother can recite the words. What is the magic and what is the meaning of these rhymes that stay in our heads for a lifetime?” Truly a beautiful book, and one that I enjoy reading myself! I also enjoyed the following novel Katherine published in 2016, the story set in a fictional Canmore, Alberta, with the Three Sisters mountains looming in the background …

~

The Three Sisters Bar and Hotel

Gateway, Alberta, 1911. The coming of the railroad to the Canadian Rockies has brought a parade of newcomers to the heavenly Bow Valley—climbers, coal miners, artists, scientists, runaway aristocrats and remittance men. Among the latter is the poacher Herbie Wishart, who arrived on a one-way ticket and has reinvented himself as a trail guide and teller of tall tales.

Herbie becomes outfitter for a fossil-hunting expedition headed by a prominent Washington, D.C., archaeologist. Rumours say that the findings of the secrecy-shrouded Hodgson expedition, as it comes to be known, could overturn all previous knowledge about early life forms. Brought along to help in the quarry for the summer are Hodgson’s adult children, mopey Humphrey and the captivating Isabel, with whom Herbie strikes up a campside alliance. But when an early snowstorm hits and trailside grudges come to a head, the expedition mysteriously disappears. The tragedy threatens to stain the Rocky Mountain park’s reputation just as its newly elected government overseers begin to sell the pristine Canadian wilderness to the world. Despite all efforts from that year on to solve, or bury, the mystery, the disappearance will haunt Gateway, and define the futures of Herbie Wishart and his stubbornly female descendants.

Katherine Govier has been busy with The Shoe Project, which she founded in 2011. “The Shoe Project recruits women with the desire to lead and coaches them to tell their stories – through a pair of shoes. TSP partners with museums, theatres and arts centres across Canada to create public performances where these brave and moving stories are presented to the public. Led by senior Canadian writers and theatre artists, TSP’s workshops, performances and publications lift the voices of women and refugees into Canada’s national.” Three other Canadian authors I have promoted in this Authors-Readers International series are also involved in The Shoe Project: Barb Howard, Marina Endicott, and Sheree Fitch.

And here’s what Katherine Govier is working on now: “I am in the final rewrites for a new novel about the ghost of Katsushika Oi, The Ghost Brush or The Printmaker’s Daughter, as the book is known in the US and UK, Hokusai tu Oi as it is in Japan.She comes back to try to find out what happened to her work and to be acknowledged for it.”

For more information about Katherine Govier, her books and writing, please see her website.

Katherine Govier has been a guest on my Reading Recommendations blog three times: Jan. 2014, May 2014, Mar. 2016.

Hey Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

Here’s a follow-up blog post from Tim Baker (who I have promoted on my Authors-Readers International series here on this blog) to his earlier post with exciting news about his novel “Unfinished Buriness”!

blindoggbooks

Have you ever wished you had gotten involved with something big while it was still small?

If so – this is your chance…

First – some background;

My novel Unfinished Business (released in June, 2013) has long been praised as the perfect story line for a TV series, and while I didn’t write it with that in mind – I’ve always known it.

Unfortunately, I’ve never had the time, resources or know-how to get it to that next level.

Until now.

I was recently asked by a friend, who works in the movie business, why none of my books have been made into movies yet.

The answer, I told her, is simple…in order for somebody to make a movie from a book – they first have to know the book exists. I went on to tell her about Unfinished Business and its potential as a great TV series. I explained…

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