Tag Archives: Darlene Foster

A-R International … Self-Isolating Authors Edition: Part 2

This is the second part of a series in which Authors who I’ve promoted in the Authors-Readers International series tell Readers what they’ve been doing during these past few months of self-isolating … See the introduction to Part 1 for a further explanation. (All links on the authors’ names will take you to their A-RI promotion.)

Fred Stenson

Pincher Creek, Alberta, is my home since last summer, as I believe you know. The advantage is that Pincher in Iso is quite a bit like Pincher not in Iso. Have to watch my step only at the post office and Co-op. And strictly avoid Walmart. Two hour walks are frequent—to offset my beer consumption.

Working on a film with Tom Radford. Great fun.

 

Marcello Di Cintio

I’ve been reasonably busy during the pandemic. My book about the secret lives of taxi drivers has been delayed due to all of this chaos, but this has given me a chance to add pandemic-related material to the manuscript. I also taught an online class on travel writing at Pandemic University, and one on nonfiction for the Alexandra Writers Centre. I landed a short piece about COVID brides-to-be on the CBC Calgary website and had a personal essay published on May 18th in the CBC Books’ “Transmission” series. All the while, I’ve been pitching COVID-related stories to various magazines. I am also working on a profile for a US-based medical cannabis journal, and a feature story about sex work in Calgary.

 

Lori Hahnel

I have a new short story collection coming out this fall with Enfield & Wizenty. The book is called Vermin: Stories, and expected pub date at this point is Oct. 22. Here’s a link to the publisher’s page.

I also finally got a new headshot! (credit Jodi O Photography)

Lori Hahnel continues to add posts to her blog and is going to be offering a webinar on writing in June. See her blog for details. 

 

Don Gillmor

I wish I could say I’ve been spending my covid time learning a new language, or taking piano lessons, or bullfighting classes online. I have finished a draft of a novel though, and am adapting to online yoga classes. Though I was self-isolating more before the pandemic, when everyone left the house in the morning. Now all four of us are here all day, every day. So an adjustment. Playing my monthly poker game via Zoom has been an adjustment as well. And perhaps it’s a good thing that this is the coldest spring in memory (it snowed yesterday) as fewer people are tempted to go out. But it would be nice to at least have the back yard as an option. And the snow may be keeping the murder hornets at bay.

 

Felicity Harley

Again thanks for doing this for us – it is so incredibly generous of you.  As for me I’m editing the next two books in my series – Rebirth and Tesla’s Dream, as you know, and hoping to get that done by the fall. The coronavirus has slowed down the process since I have my daughters and granddaughters at home, and there are lots of interruptions. However I’m finding bits and pieces of time to do my work and am also okay with giving some of it up since this is a unique and precious time to be with my granddaughters (note: granddaughters) that I won’t have again. (One of Felicity’s granddaughters even wrote me a fan letter!)

I haven’t written anything on the virus but in my books I predict pandemics as part of the effects of climate change. There is a typical tension between the needs of businesses to make money and the working poor who facilitate that.  It’s never been very different; those with less resources have always been sacrificed on the altars of the rich.

 

Bob Stallworthy

Again, thank you for all you are doing to promote Canadian/Alberta authors. It is a huge amount of work. I do appreciate all you’ve done to promote my books.

What have I been doing during the pandemic?

My book, Impact Statement, has been published and is now available from Alpine Book Peddlers in Canmore as well as the independent bookstores, Pages, ShelfLife and Owl’s Nest in Calgary. I believe it will be available through Amazon and Indigo as well, but I haven’t any idea just when that will happen.

Frontenac House and I are talking about having some kind of internet launch. No date or time as yet. It may be a ZOOM event, but that hasn’t been settled yet either. Will let you know when all is sorted out. Here’s a link to the book on the publisher’s site.

Of course, I am still a full-time care giver for my wife, Marilyn. Things are going as well as they can, but some of the work has to be done carefully.

As well, I am now into the gardening season. Trying to get my yards and flowerbeds into shape.

 

Darlene Foster

Like me, Canadian author Darlene Foster was in her winter home (Spain) when the pandemic disrupted the world, and she has also not been able to travel home to Canada for the summer months.

During the very strict lockdown in Spain, I have kept busy reading, writing, blogging, reviewing, critiquing, editing, and supporting other writers on-line. I’ve finally had time to reduce my towering TBR pile and have read some classics I’ve wanted to read for a long time. One of the best books I´ve read during lockdown was The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron. Here is my review on Goodreads.

I’m helping other writers with short stories and novels they’re working on and helping promote others who are already published. It’s always important as a writing community to support each other, but especially now during the global pandemic and resulting isolation. Thankfully, technology has kept me in touch with my family, friends and writing community. I hosted a ZOOM meeting for 14 English-speaking writers here in Spain last week and meet via ZOOM with my Canadian critique group on a regular basis. I individually chat with writers on Skype and FaceTime so I have not felt lonely at all. In fact, I´m busier than ever and working on Amanda in France, the ninth book in my Amanda Travels series, writing short stories, and even tried my hand at writing poetry. I was delighted to learn that some parents have been using my books as part of homeschooling. Life is whatever we make it and mine is good!

You can see what I´m up to by following my blog or checking out my website. Follow me on Facebook or Twitter. I would love to hear from you.

Stay safe and well. We´ve got this!

 

Darcie Friesen Hossack

A bear sat on my deck. No photographic proof of that other than the calling card she left. I wrote a haiku, but it had one too many syllables. So it’s not a haiku at all. I also adopted my 21 year old nephew, who had a liver transplant when he was 16. He’s much safer here than he would be in Calgary, and he wants to apprentice with Dean as a cook. When it’s safe to go back into the kitchen.

I think of you on Bequia so often, knowing you’ve made the best decision for yourself. Traveling home, when you have a home … and a moat, and cats and all your books. I’m glad you’re there, just like I’m glad we’re pocketed away here in Jasper National Park, in the Canadian Rockies. Although, restaurants are re-opening, and guests will be returning soon. To a different experience, but they’re coming, and I’m worried. Of course.

I was worried, at first, that the gravity of a pandemic would pull all creativity to itself and leave me sitting in the dark. About a week in, however, Betty Jane Hegerat (an A-RI-promoted Author), one of my favourite writers and people, posted an offer of Blue Pencil Sessions: up to eight pages, for a handful of writers who might need a fresh look at a work in progress. I gratefully put up my hand and sent her the synopsis of the novel I’m working on. Anyone who knows Betty Jane knows she is the kind of person, writer, teacher who brings out the best in others. She asked for the first chapter after that, and now that she’s reading the sixth, I find myself not only picking up my pace to keep ahead of her (or is it that she’s generating a wave?), but learning to trust myself and the characters I’ve known, now, for so long. I’ve also taken on some web and business writing for a local mountain cabin resort, helping them to communicate with their staff and guests in these far too interesting times.

As well as the bear, I also have four squirrels and a chipmunk who visit my deck, and have been visited by a pair of bluejays (I thought these parts, like where I’ve lived in BC, would only have the blue-black Stellar’s Jays), assorted woodpeckers, thrush, cheeky little nuthatches and chickadees, and a flock of Juncos. Now that the snow is finally gone, my hiking boots have replaced my winter boots, and my camera and I are going out into the park, looking for and finding spring colours. Spring comes later here than I’m used to, but it’s so ridiculously beautiful that it doesn’t really matter.

 

A-R International: Darlene Foster

Darlene Foster
Authors-Readers International

Brought up on a ranch in southern Alberta, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing stories, travelling the world and meeting interesting people. She also believes everyone is capable of making their dreams come true. It’s no surprise that she’s now an award-winning author. Her exciting Amanda Travels series features spunky 12 year-old Amanda Ross who loves to travel to unique places. Readers from seven-to-seventy-plus enjoy travelling with Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. Darlene, her husband and their dog, Dot, divide their time between the west coast of Canada and Orihuela Costa, Spain.

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I have never met Darlene Foster in person, even though we were both living in Alberta at the same time. I first discovered Darlene’s books, in fact, because of that shared Alberta experience. I was scanning the Goodreads book lists for new releases and happened upon her book, Amanda in Alberta. I thought it would be a great addition to my Reading Recommendations blog to promote a new-to-me Alberta author who was writing books for children about the province, so I contacted Darlene, and she has since appeared twice on my blog. Darlene Foster has also been an avid promoter of my books and blogs as well as the writing of many other authors we’ve both met online over the years. She continues to share and like and comment upon just about every author’s promotions I’ve posted to this A-RI series. As well, like me, Darlene now spends half of each year outside of Canada – in her case, living in Spain. Plus, the main character of her books travels to many other countries. (Arabia, Spain, England, Alberta Canada, the Danube Germany, New Mexico USA, Holland) So Darlene Foster has truly become an “international” author herself!

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Amanda In Holland – Missing in Action

Amanda is in Holland to see the tulips with her best friend, Leah. She travels the canals of Amsterdam, visits Anne Frank House, checks out windmills and a wooden shoe factory, and takes pictures of the flowers of Keukenhof Gardens. While she’s there, she is keen to find out what happened to her great uncle who never returned from WWII and was declared missing in action. What she doesn’t expect to find and fall in love with is Joey, an abandoned puppy. While trying to find a home for him, she meets Jan, a Dutch boy who offers to help, a suspicious gardener, a strange woman on a bicycle, and an overprotective goose named Gerald.

Follow Amanda around the charming country of Holland, filled with colourful tulips, windmills, and more bicycles than she could have imagined. Once again, intrepid traveller Amanda encounters danger and intrigue as she tries to solve more than one mystery in a foreign country.


What Darlene Foster is working on now: I published book #7 in the Amanda Travels series, Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action in September 2019 and returned to Canada to do a successful book tour. I´m currently putting the finishing touches on Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady which is scheduled for release Spring, 2021. Amanda will continue to travel and have adventures. I have just started Amanda in France (no subtitle yet) I also have a collection of short stories about growing up in the prairies I plan to publish. Hubby and I are enjoying life in Spain and love being able to explore other wonderful European locations. We will be visiting Venice next.

For more information about Darlene Foster and her books, please see her website.

Darlene Foster has been a guest on my Reading Recommendations blog twice over the years: Oct. 2014 and Jan. 2017.