Tag Archives: Writing

Author Interviews


If you would like to be interviewed as part of this blog, please follow the submission guidelines below. Then e-mail me at treewithroots@gmail.com with answers to the questions below.

Submission Guidelines:

1) Provide a link to your book(s)

2) Provide a very brief author bio

3) Note any other links that you want included

4) The subject line of the e-mail should say “Author interview”  followed by your name and book title.

These answers may be embedded in the bio:
1) Where are you from?
2) When and why did you begin writing?
3) Is there a message in your work that you want readers to grasp?
4) What books have most influenced your life?
5) Are there any life experiences that influence your storytelling?
6) What are your current projects?
7) What is the hardest part of writing?
8) What are some of the most interesting things you’ve learned while writing?
9) What do you do in your spare time?
10) How can your readers get in touch with you?

I look forward to posting an interview with my fellow writers each Friday.


Yet Another Challenge


This isn’t a writing challenge.  It’s a reading challenge: “BookChickCity’s Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge 2012.”

Can you believe a challenge that invites you to read mystery books and review them?  I can’t believe how lucky I was t o find this.  I read mysteries and crime books anyway, with a little feeling of guilt, of course, since they aren’t really “literature.”  I tend to shrug them off as a something I do between reading “real” novels.  But let’s face it.  I read them AND write them.  I love them.  I love page-turners, where the detective finds a new clue at the end of the chapter or is kidnapped or roughed up and you wonder what adventure is coming next.

Therefore, I was delighted to find this challenge.  All I have to do is link to that website and review the books I read.  And all I have to do is read and review from twelve to twenty-four mysteries this year.

Next time you see me reading I’ll be happy to boast that I’m reading a mystery book.  No more guilty pleasure; it will be number blank on my list of books I’m reviewing.

Want to join me?

Go to  http://www.bookchickcity.com/2011/12/sign-up-mystery-suspense-reading.html

Its Over: I’m a NaNoWriMo Winner


I submitted my 50,001-word novel today.

I started writing on November 1, with a setting and a character.  The setting was Montreal in 1967.  The character was a twenty-two -year-old woman, who becomes a private investigator. I decided two other things about her.  She would be driven by a need for Justice and she would have an overdeveloped sense of smell.

With just this to start with, I dove in and wrote the first chapter.  I decided to write in the third person, but in a few places I would write in the first person.  That was when she was a woman in her sixties, writing in the present time.  I liked her right away.  She had spunk.

I found myself doing research every day.  I needed to check out fashion, music, vehicles, police uniforms, Expo 67, Metro, names, geography, even firearms, and much, much more.  I learned a lot.

My most challenging part was writing the felons.  I had to force myself to make them more violent and unscrupulous than I was comfortable with.

I write books for pre-teens, my Magda of Mayne Island Mystery Series  http://www.treewithroots.ca/ so this novel, written for adults, was challenging for me.

I’ll let some time pass before I go back and rewrite this book, I think.  Idon’t know if I’ll be interested in writing for the adult market in the future.  I’ll have to wait and see.

“Yarning” – Hats and Books


“Yarn” has a funny sound to my ears.  Say it: “Yarn.”  Doesn’t it sound funny?  There’s a twang, a drawl, a kind of “hillbilly” sound to it.

So when I use “yarn” to crochet my hats, or tell “yarns,” as some people refer to them, when I write my books, I find myself chuckling at this word with its two meanings.  How odd, that both of my daily pastimes, crocheting and writing, are both connected with this odd-sounding word, “yarn.”

Another odd coincidence is that two of my Mayne Island friends, Leanne Dyck  and Celia Leaman, have the same  combination of interests.  Both these women knit and write.  Like me, they spend a good part of their lives involved in using yarn and telling yarns.

I wonder if there are a lot of people who write and use yarn in their daily lives.  Perhaps this is a combination unique to Mayne Island.

If you use yarn and tell yarns, I’d love to hear from you.  Or if you know others with these two passions, please let me know.

Okay.  Back to my novel.  I’ll take a break from it later and continue working on the beret I’m designing.  I have some beautiful yarn I want to work into it.

More Writing Fun


Every day a big chunk of my writing time is taken up with research.  I knew I was going to be writing about  life in 1967, so I could have done some of this before hand, but I didn’t.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy the research .  It’s really a lot of fun, but it does mean I’m spending more time at my computer than it takes to write 1600 or 1700 words .

Today I looked up the 1967 calendar and cigarettes.  Yesterday I researched guns and cars.  (Can you tell it’s going to be a murder mystery?)  The day before it was mostly maps, names and fashions.

I would recommend NaNoWriMo to anyone who loves writing and wants to give novel-writing a whirl.  It’s only one month.  And it’s only a couple or three hours a day.  It isn’t really a huge commitment.    (But then, this IS only Day 4.)

3rd NaNoWriMo


I love this.  It’s so freeing!  I just let my imagination and research take me where they will.  I’ve got my heroine in a shooting range in Greenfield Park near Montreal.

Here’s a short excerpt from today’s writing.

“I guess so, Mr. McTavish.  But I wish you’d empty the ashtrays once in while.  The smell is overpowering.”

Again he laughed his loud belly laugh.  “I’ll do it for you,” he said, after coughing.  “And please call me Mac.  All my friends do, and since you’ve told me off, I consider you to be a friend.”

“Okay, Mac,” she said, smiling. The man certainly had a disarming way about him.

They took the Jacques Cartier Bridge, crossing the St. Lawrence River to the South Shore.  Expo 67, with the huge dome of the US Pavilion shining in the sun, reminded * of the happy times she’d had there this past summer.  I’ll go back before it closes, she promised herself.  They were headed for Greenfield Park, where the gun club and shooting range Mac belonged to was located.

Just started NaNoWriMo


I started it.  It’s taking off in an unknown direction already.  Will she go to Europe with her friend?  What will she do? And hey, I even worked an owl into the first Page!

So, here’s a excerpt from the first chapter.

All that decided, I felt free.  A squirrel danced at the end of an oak tree branch.  I looked at it and grinned.  I’m just as free as you are, I told it, and turned a cartwheel on the freshly-mown grass. 

          An elderly couple riding in a caleche passed me and I could see that they were discussing my behaviour.  They probably thought I was high.  Well, I was, but it was a natural high.  I didn’t need drugs.  I was free.  I was twenty-two.  I had a passport, a bank account and birth control pills.  I could go where I wanted, do what I wanted, with whoever I wanted.

          Now I wanted to follow my decisions with actions, so I headed down the way I had come, along the tree-lined path, past the big houses on Mount Royal Avenue, along McGregor to the lower campus of McGill, to the Administration Office.  After filling out a form and talking with the registrar’s secretary, I wandered over to The Main and had a salad and a glass of beer, not my usual lunch.  Then with a determined step I returned to Place Ville Marie and rode the elevator up to the fiftieth floor, where I confronted my legal colleagues.