The premise: a parody of the Battle of Thermopylae (480 BCE), the novel is a paintball war between two groups of tweens over a tree house.
Above, we have (left to right): Zeke, George, Lea, and Art.
Above, we have the beginnings of the tree house.
I’m currently using the printers at Richmond Public Library. If you’re interested in trying something like this, check if your local library has access to 3D printing!
See that toothy grin? That’s the look an author gets when a new contract has been offered and signed. Crwth Press will be publishing my fifth novel…more details to come as they are made available.
What I can say for now, is that this will be my first middle grade novel–and my first adventure/comedy.
A hint of what the book is about is in the two photos above.
This past spring break, I had the opportunity to do six workshops for the Surrey Public Library system. Working with this library as an author is always a huge pleasure, as the librarians and library techs work so hard to make their programs a success. Plus, they are incredibly knowledgeable and interesting to chat with.
My first stop was Ocean Park Library, and a handful of teens all prepared to write showed up to learn how to come up with story ideas by making their own maps.
I showed them all sorts of maps, including the 3D printed map I use in my Dungeons and Dragons game.
Second, I went to the Semiahmoo branch and met with a handful of teens ready to pen their own tales.
Next, I was at Strawberry Hill where I was met by Orlando Bloom (in a photo) and we each did our thing to encourage teens to read and write.
Him, holding a book so tightly as if to say “You can never have this book,” obviously to make you want it even more since you can’t have it. Me, teaching the one teen who woke at 11am during spring break to come learn how to create stories with maps and cartography.
Before going to the Cloverdale Library, I stopped in at the Rustic Rooster for some food.
And I took a selfie by the dinosaur outside the museum next door!
And then I went to work, talking story writing with the creative writing club. Librarian Carmen, who runs the club, came on her day off to participate in the workshop. Thanks, Carmen!
My penultimate stop was at the City Centre library, where we chatted about how Dungeons and Dragons inspires writing. We also wrote some stories, and drew some maps. One of the teens expressed disappointment that there wasn’t enough time to actually play a game of D&D!
My final stop was at the Guildford branch, where I taught the teens how to create multi-ended stories as a computer game using a program called Inkle. They picked it up fast and wrote some interesting tales!
Again, a big thanks goes out to the Surrey Public Library for hosting my workshops. All of you at the library who were so kind to me were absolutely amazing, and you do an incredible service to your community. Keep up the amazing work!
For you local folks, I’ll be doing an author event at the Richmond Public Library on October 3, from 4-5:00PM. Topic: Writing Dungeons and Dragons-style.
If you have the time, it would be great to see you there. Please consider registering!
You’ll have a chance to try out some of the techniques I use for crafting a story. And here are a few of the things I’ll be discussing:
I was cleaning up my workspace when I came across an old notebook where I wrote the first draft of Children of Ruin. My working title was, “Zombieapocalypse.”
And then this happened:
Ever wonder what authors would do in the case of a zombie apocalypse? For the next several weeks, I’ll be posting the answers to that question on my blog…
This week, author Arthur Slade weighs in on his zombie apocalypse survival plan.
What is your best skill in a zombie apocalypse?
Headbanging. Now some people perhaps laugh at my joyful love of 80s heavy metal. Perhaps they even look down their collective noses at me. Well, they won’t be doing so during the zombie apocalypse.
I have well over thirty years of headbanging in my system. My neck muscles are like steel bands. My ability to shake my head at great speed (the true skill of headbanging) will come in handy when those hands and fingers of the rotting dead reach for me. Twist head to the left. Twist head to the right. Escape their grip! And if they corner me in a room with no escape I will just begin to shake and dance and play air guitar channelling Angus Young of AC/DC (look him up on YouTube you young ‘uns).
The zombies will all shake apart from the pure “metalness” of my performance. And finally, if an army of the dead approach, I will hit the high notes of Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) and Rob Halford (Judas Priest) combined and the zombies will be incinerated.
Plus, I can run pretty fast for a middle-aged man.
Arthur Slade was raised on a ranch in the Cypress Hills of Saskatchewan. He is the author of eighteen novels for young readers including The Hunchback Assignments, which won the prestigious TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and Dust, winner of the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature. He also co-created the graphic novel Modo: Ember’s End. He lives in Saskatoon, Canada.
P.S. He does all of his writing on a treadmill desk. And he listens to heavy metal. At the same time.