2019

Red Oblivion Blog

Four years ago, my husband, Chris Wong, and I were awoken by a phone call in the wee hours of the morning. It was his father’s housekeeper calling from Hong Kong, in a panic, to say Chris’s father had keeled over and been rushed to hospital and into surgery. Chris, his sister, and I caught the first flight from Toronto to Hong Kong. So began a very stressful period, as we watched this formidable, self-made man — still intimidating at age ninety-four — fight to hang on while in a state of protracted decline.

 

As a writer of memoir, I’ve experienced the dominoes of fear; fear of starting, fear of failure, fear of telling the whole truth, fear of hurting others. In the big picture of life, I am no stranger to feeling fear and taking action anyhow. I had reached the jumping off point where telling my story felt more important than avoiding my fear of the dark places that could lead.

 

Andre Babyn Nanowrimo Blog

For me the hardest part about writing literary fiction is having something to work with. Once you have a full draft it’s only a matter of time before it becomes what it is. But building out that first draft, in the face of everything that it could be, that it will not be, that you want it to be—that’s difficult.

 

Daughters of Light Blog Tour

Daughters of Light

Posted on November 5 by Mary Jennifer Payne in Teens

Smith shakes her head sadly. “Your resistance defies logic, Jasmine. A population of only a few

hundred thousand will ensure that the Earth’s remaining resources are protected. Think of the

animals, the birds, the insects that will be saved by our reducing the destruction that

overpopulation has wrought.”

 

 

A very strange thing happened between the time I began writing the opening pages of Finding

Weird Stories Gone Wrong Blog

It seems like a few months ago I began writing the Weird Stories Gone Wrong middle-grade series, but here I am five years later introducing Quinn and the Quiet, Quiet, the sixth and final book!

 

In a moment of quiet (quiet) reflection, here are my top 5 take-aways from the experience:

 

1. What’s my favourite book in the series?

Halloween Blog Post

I wasn’t expecting ghosts. I took the train to Stratford from Toronto to launch my book, The Man with the Black Valise, and everything was lining up nicely. The next day would be the 125th anniversary of the murder of Jessie Keith, a girl who lived north of Stratford in Listowel. Her killer had stood trial at the Perth County Court House, then been hanged at Stratford Jail, both a few blocks from where I was to speak.

Cullen and Cobb Blog Post

Cullen and Cobb and Me

Posted on October 24 by David A. Poulsen in Mystery

I’m sure the question that mystery writers are most often asked is:  How much like you is your main character? I’m betting Gail Bowen has heard it dozens, maybe hundreds of times about her wonderful Joanne Kilbourne, that Ian Rankin gets it all the time with respect to Rebus, and that Bill Deverell is often asked how similar he is to the brilliantly created Arthur Beauchamp; in fact, it was one of the questions I posed to him during a recent interview.

A Trail Called Home Blog

A Trail Called Home: Tree Stories from the Golden Horseshoe is a love letter to the land, written by a Gen X hoser who has been observing trees and their habitats for over twenty-five years.

 

I knew I didn’t want to write a field guide to trees. Field guides don’t really inspire, unless you’ve already been bitten by the botany bug. Besides, the best field guide on the trees of southwestern Ontario has already been written by my friend and colleague Gerry Waldron (Trees of the Carolinian Forest).

 

Sadia and Stowaway Award and Nomination

An Award Win and Nomination for Two YA Titles!

Posted on October 18 by Dundurn Guest in Awards, Fiction, Kids, Teens

Dundurn Press is excited to announce that Sadia by Colleen Nelson has won the High Plains Book Award in the YA category!

Sadia follows 15-year-old Sadia Ahmed as she struggles to navigate high school, her passion for basketball, and her Muslim faith, as well as finding the courage to stand up for herself in the face of discrimination. Booklist called Sadia “compelling and relevant,” and in 2019 the book was both nominated for the Forest of Reading’s 2019 Red Maple Award and won the 2019 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award.

My fascination with coyotes and inspiration for the book Street Shadows all began late one night when I was biking home from a friend’s house.  I was almost home, passing through a dark cemetery with my dog Baker running easily by my side.  I had done this route many times and was pedaling on autopilot, lost in thought.

 

New Hires at Dundurn Press!

Posted on October 11 by Dundurn Guest in News

Dundurn Press has hired Whitney French, Julie Mannell, and Russell Smith as Acquisitions Editors. 

Whitney French is a writer and editor based in Toronto. She has received a B.A. in Creative Writing from Concordia University and is the editor of Black Lives Matter, a creative nonfiction anthology (University of Regina Press, 2019). She is passionate about grassroots community building and capturing unlikely stories. In her spare time, Whitney enjoys tree climbing, growing her own food, and spending time with her loud and rambunctious family. 

Petra's Ghost Book Trailer

Posted on August 28 by Dundurn Guest in Fiction, News, Recent Releases

Have you seen the book trailer for debut author C.S. O'Cinneide's new thriller, Petra's Ghost!

For more, or to order you copy click here.

A man's pilgrimage becomes something from his darkest nightmares when secrets arise and ghosts haunt his path.

Petra's Ghost, available now.

If you’ve already read Rockets Versus Gravity (and if you haven’t, consider this a teaser), you know that its theme is the interconnected nature of seemingly different lives, and that the independent storylines in the book eventually all come together, like the threads of a spider’s web joining in the centre.

The transformation of a single storyline from the book into the short film Royal Blood happened in a similar, interconnected way.

Growing up, I never imagined myself as a writer, but I’ve had a life-long love affair with crafts, particularly appliqué. It started when I was seven years old. My aunt, Kathy, gave me this small wall hanging that she had made with scraps of material and bits of embroidery floss. I’ve always cherished that little cloth picture. Something about its colours and its simplicity, is just so beautiful. And it has emotion. It’s a little work of art.

Nobody goes into a marriage expecting it not to work, but, as we know, about half of marriages unfortunately do end. During the past few years, I went through my own experience of family breakup, which was, like every other such situation, extremely challenging both practically and emotionally. A family split has a profound effect on everyone involved, none more, of course, than the children. What helped me through the most wrenching days — and there were many — was the support of friends, family, and others who had gone through the process.

Gargoyle In My Yard Blog Post

Somehow, April 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of the publication of my first book, The Gargoyle in My Yard (April 2009). Even more astonishing to me, this year I’ll publish my twelfth book! That was a fast decade, and what a fun ride.

 

What have I learned since 2009? Here are my “10 Writing Truths” from ten years of writing:

April 15, 2019 – Dundurn Press is thrilled to announce that Kristine Scarrow’s If This Is Home, is a finalist for the 2019 Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice Snow Willow Award!

If This Is Home is a story of love and family that follows young Jayce, who helps her single mother and cares for her four-year-old sister while her mother works two jobs. When her mother is diagnosed with cancer, Jayce decides to seek out her estranged father in the hopes that he will return to their family and make everything better.

Wasted Time Blog

I began writing this work upon nearing eleven full years in Federal custody. A good friend, who was also a lawyer from my past, perplexed by my continued incarceration, volunteered to represent me pro bono at a future parole hearing. It had been suggested many times by a few lawyers (including this one) that I write a biography, and since I was currently without finances to reward this offer, I secretly set about putting pen to paper.

 

Deep Water Dream Blog

Having just completed my second book, Deep Water Dream, as well as a second edition of my first book, A Doctor’s Quest, I am reflecting on the process of creating a book. It feels a bit like the Indigenous carvers, who take a piece of wood or soapstone, and listen to it to slowly understand what they are to create. Writing is a craft like that, the ongoing refinement, reordering, restructuring, and adding of sudden new insights that change the shape of what you are writing.

Soar Adam Soar Blog

Adam, my late son, the boy who started life as Rebecca, inspired Soar, Adam, Soar – his fierce yet funny quest to be who he is and love who he loves. Coming out, coming in and coming home to the “boy in the mirror”.

Hearing of my book, a Toronto Star journalist told me, “Writing is brave”.  Indeed!

Flights and Falls Blog

I'm so proud to introduce Flights and Falls, the fourth book in my B.C. Blues crime series.

This one takes place in North Vancouver and out past Horseshoe Bay along the Sea-to-Sky Highway, and the challenge for my team begins with a crash. From the cliffs overlooking the Burrard Inlet, someone with a vile sense of humour is systematically scaring drivers to death, and the game is fishtailing out of control.

March 8, 2019 — Dundurn Press is thrilled to announce that the fifth book in Jeffrey Round’s Dan Sharp Mystery series, The God Game, is a finalist for the 31st Lambda Literary Awards in the Gay Mystery category! Private investigator Dan Sharp finds himself caught up in a political murder when he sets out to find the missing husband of a political aide, and a body turns up on his doorstep. Suddenly, Dan realizes he’s being punished for sticking his nose into dirty politics and must rush to catch the killer and prove his own innocence.

Swimming with Horses Blog

How did you research your book?

They say that you should write what you know, and I think that this is either good advice or bad, depending on the circumstances. If writers wrote only what they knew, we’d have no Lord of the Rings, no Chronicles of Narnia, and precious little science fiction. (We might not even have the Bible.)

On the other hand, the things you know best are apt to contain the most powerful forces in your life. Why not harness them?

Writing is a lonely effort. While the raw material for Blamed and Broken came from countless hours spent talking to other people, translating their words into a coherent and undeniable narrative fell solely to me. It was difficult. Not just because the scope of the book spans more than a decade in the lives of so many people. Not because it required a fresh look at thousands of pages of documents that had either been hidden or carted off to archives.

Let’s get this straight – I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day.

I never really liked how it was declared a Hallmark holiday and the singular day of the year that forces people to show the measure of affection towards their partner – or in my case, partners.

So on Feb. 14, we – as a polyamorous V – have something else to celebrate – my husband’s birthday.

My grandmother told a lot of stories. In her 84 years, she’d experienced a lot, and felt a duty of sorts to impart her knowledge learned on anyone who would listen. Luckily, she was a very engaging storyteller, and had the sort of perspective that was always worth considering, even if you ultimately disagreed with it. It’s been 12 years since she passed away after a long battle with cancer.

Afghanistan loomed large in my imagination long before I ever set foot there. I grew up listening to my Grandfather tell tales of serving in British India, hanging on his every word. In my mind, Afghanistan was a wild place on the border of civilization. It was a place for adventure.

February 1, 2019 (Toronto, ON) - One of the largest independent book publishers in Canada now has new owners and a renewed commitment to the nation’s publishing and content industry.

Dundurn Press, a celebrated success story in Canadian literature since 1972, was recently acquired by a group of experienced technology entrepreneurs, including Randall Howard, Lorne Wallace, and Jason Martin. The three have a track record of supporting the arts in Canada and have been involved in several notable projects across the country.

I didn’t tell anyone at my job that I had been committed to a psychiatric ward until two years after the fact. I’ve worked for small teams and startups for most of my career – mostly focused in tech and education, and now supporting parents at Toronto co-working space The Workaround. I didn’t want others to judge whether I was equipped to do my job based on what happened while I was away.

Tim Ferriss, one of my favourite authors and podcast hosts, has been known to joke that the only people who should write books are those who feel they only have two options: type or explode.

I am not sure if I completely agree with him — I think I might enjoy the writing process slightly more than he does — but I am familiar with that “must express … going to explode” feeling.

A great deal has happened since the 2014 publication of Food Junkies: The Truth about Food Addiction.

Initially, I wrote the book to draw public attention to the issue of food addiction. The press was already talking about the addictive nature of sugar:  Remember the study of the rats that preferred Oreo-chow over cocaine? The pictures of people eating Nutella by the bottle and the medical statistics documenting how soda pop brought on diabetes?

We often think of the new year as a fresh start – the ideal time to take a close look at your investments and financial situation. When it comes to investments, many pore over their portfolio – likely flat after crummy returns for almost everyone in 2018 – and ask the key question: “How can I do better this year?”

At the end of 1993, I was travelling in Kenya with my girlfriend. During a stopover in Mombasa, we walked to an industrial section of the city overlooking the port. Because it was Sunday, everything was quiet, but we noticed an old dhow anchored away from the docks. From our position, we could distinguish a large group of people crammed on the deck, trying to protect themselves from the hot midday sun. Adults, children… Somalis, we learned.

Kirk Howard named to the Order of Canada

Posted on January 2 by AliciaE in Awards, News

(December 27, 2018) Dundurn Press is thrilled to congratulate our founder and publisher John Kirk Howard on being named a member of the Order of Canada.

Howard founded Dundurn Press in 1972 in order to promote “Canadian authors telling Canadian stories” — a commitment that the company has maintained in its over 45-year history and during its expansion from a small non-fiction press to one of Canada’s largest independent publishers.