Category Archives: author visit

Radio Interview, Culture Days, and a Free Book!

At noon today I’m doing a reading on a pop-up radio station called Leave Your Mark FM outside the Richmond Cultural Centre. In honour of the event, you can get the Kindle version of Rise of the One-Eyed King FREE.

9780993748653

For more information on the pop up radio station, follow this link!

 

James in His Jeep Getting Java-the Cloverdale Edition

20160617_144729June 17, I was invited to present a workshop at the Cloverdale branch of the Surrey Public Library on writing action scenes. Writing action is what I’m known for with paranormal fiction involving wars between werewolves and vampires (mine was out before Twilight before your mind goes there) and secret martial arts clubs in Flying Feet.

There’s a lot of violence happening in the world right now, and it may seem irresponsible for authors to write about it in fiction–especially in books where impressionable youth are involved. However, those who believe that don’t give enough credit to just how sophisticated a tale youth desire these days, nor to the power of a story to guide youth (and grown adults) through questions and concerns they may have of living in such a violent world. My main talking points were:

  • Write responsibly.
  • Violence should move the story forward, not be a plot device nor be gratuitious.
  • If you can cut the violent scene out without changing the flow or meaning of the story–cut it.

Ten teens showed up (the entire creative writing group) and they were friendly, kind, and intelligent writers. They asked questions, they supported each other, and they made me feel welcome. I have no doubt that we are in for some incredible literature from the next generation and I left feeling encouraged.

The Cloverdale library is set in a city of just over 71 thousand people close to the City of Langley. Historic Cloverdale was settled circa 1870, and is a very cute spot to get a lunch and spend an afternoon. If you remember the TV series Smallville, you will recognize this area as the spot where the show was filmed. The theme song for this post is the intro song to the TV series.

Below is the area where the library is found. There is a museum, an old clock, plus a log cabin in this square. I arrived several hours early to explore (and grab some java) and was glad that I had. Unfortunately, I found the museum too late but will certainly make my way there another day.

What I loved most about exploring this small section of a few blocks was old signage. While the buildings had that rustic “old village” feel, the signage on the side of buildings and the shingles were what really made this place worth seeing. Below are a few of my favourites.

For you Smallville fans, you may recognize the theatre (now closed) as the Talon from the TV series.

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I wound up at the Rustic Rooster for coffee, and had their blended iced coffee which hit the spot on such a hot day. They have a small patio for nice days, and a rather spacious interior with several places to sit and enjoy their food. As well, if you are interested in crafts, they sell quite a few knick knacks worth looking at.

Unfortunately, none of my photos turned out of the cafe so you’ll have to check out their website before heading down there.

Final Day of C&C Rocky Mountain Road Tour

This was the final day in the Chocolate and Chat Rocky Mountain Road Tour. Whew! After seven days we did nine venues – seven bookstores and two libraries. Sometimes we had great turnouts, and sometimes we had modest turnouts. (Yes, at one stop we even outnumbered the audience.) Yet, no matter what the outcome, this was a tour worth taking. We met some great people along the way, were introduced to some very nice bookstore staff, had a fun lunch with the children’s librarians in Red Deer, got to meet Terrence in Cochrane (one of the nicest fellows I’ve ever met!) and, best of all, kc and I had a chance to get to know one another even better.

Big thanks to Comic Life for sponsoring us with awesome giveaways that everyone was so excited to receive. Just so everyone knows, that’s the program I’ve been using to blog our trip. Head on over to their website and check it out!

Rather than recap what kc has already blogged, I’m leaving my farewell with the comics. For a more in depth read of our travels over the last few days head on over to kc dyer’s blog.



Chocolate and Chat Tour – Day Four

So far, this has been a whirlwind tour where every stop is different than the last. I must admit that last night when kc and I arrived at our “home,” (kc’s sister was nice enough to give us a roof over our heads,) I was so exhausted that I just went to sleep.

So, what was our day like yesterday that I was so tired?

The day began with a drive from Calgary to Red Deer on the #2 Highway. To say the drivers on this highway are CRAZY would be an understatement of the extreme. Most of the trip was stormy with hail seen on the side of the road. There were even sightings of tornadoes in the area (of which kc and I were both unaware). The speed limit was 110 kms/hr, and I was driving pretty close to it.

Other drivers, even giant semis hauling cement cylinders that could crush two or three cars with a single slip, were doing about 140. My favourite was the guy on the cell phone who, when driving in front of me, insisted on doing 10-20 kms slower than I was going, but, whenever I attempted to pass, sped up to 150.

Thankfully, we made it to the Red Deer Public Library alive! Jen Waters was there to greet us, as well as to take us out to lunch with the other children’s librarians. Jen is a very special librarian to me, because she and I met seven years ago while working at Vancouver Kidsbooks. We bonded over the International Film Festival, and have been great friends ever since. To do an event in a library where she works, for me, is a dream come true. To have such a great turnout and see such wonderful enthusiasm with those kids is a testament to Jen’s ability as a librarian to inspire young readers/writers!

After Red Deer, we immediately left for Cochrane, where we were to speak at the Nan Booth Memorial Library. We were greeted there by Terrance who runs the events at the library. He had advertised the program well, though we had but a modest turnout. Truthfully, kc and I were beat tired by this point and were grateful for the chance to sit by a fireplace with a few writers and chat about publishing. This group had some great questions, and, as always with these events, I got to learn a little more about kc. We left that library feeling very positive about our Chocolate and Chat Tour!