Here are 12 things you should never say to a writer:
How much money do you make?
I get it — you want to be a published writer, too — and are naturally curious about the rewards. But most book advances are now paid out over as long as four years — minus 15 percent to our agent — and the average book advance is pitifully small to start with, far less than $50,000. Do the math, and weep.
Winter was really, really, really long this year, so it was a treat when some friends and I recently visited the Montreal Botanical Gardens. I’d never been there so early in the season when the flower beds were being prepared and the magnolia trees were in bloom.
If you have always wanted to try dim sum but never got around to it, then here’s a good reason to go: May is designated as Asian Heritage Month. The Canadian Government’s web site (where you can download the poster above) says “Asian Heritage Month is an ideal occasion for all to celebrate the beauty and wisdom of various Asian cultures.” Of course, you can celebrate anytime of the year, but what better excuse to order Chinese take-out and indulge in a marathon of Bruce Lee or Ang Lee films?
Need some more ideas? Here are a few from my shelf of Canadian books and film:
I’m currently reading A Cowherd in Paradise – From China to Canada by May Q. Wong and am loving it. It’s the story of Wong’s parents who were forced to live apart for 25 years because of Canada’s exclusionary immigration laws. It is a well-written account with family photos and it brings to life the price the Chinese paid when Canada enacted the Chinese Immigration Act. I met Wong when she came to Montreal to do a reading of her book. You can read about it here.
The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son and a Suit by J.J. Lee was a finalist for the Governor General’s literary award for non-fiction in 2012. This book deserved all the accolades it received. This memoir about a son who decides to become an apprentice to one of the last great tailors in Vancouver’s Chinatown in order to alter his father’s suit learns invaluable lessons about life instead.
The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy is, in my opinion, a classic. It’s the story of the children of an immigrant family living and growing up in Vancouver’s Chinatown in the 1930s and 1940s. Continue reading →
I’m pleased to announce that GUITAR HERO is named one of the Best Books for Kids and Teens for 2014 in the category of Junior and Intermediate Fiction for tweens ages 8-14. The annual award given out by The Canadian Children’s Book Centre is announced in the Spring Edition of their magazine.
Guitar Hero named Best Book for Kids and Teens 2014
I want to thank Stella Papadopoulos for inviting me to take part in this blog tour. We met at YES OUI CANSCAIP, a writers’ group for writers and illustrators of children’s and young adult books. She is an artist who is adding writing to her list of talents. Read her post on her writing process at http://inspirationsbystella.blogspot.ca
And now, on to the blog tour…
My Writing Process
What are you working on?
I have a few things on the go. I’m putting together a collection of previously published short stories called The Red Pagoda and Other Stories and will publish them as an e-book. I also have to revise a play which is based on the title story in the collection, The Red Pagoda, and revise a rough first draft of my next young adult novel.
How does your work differ from others of its genre?
I don’t know if it does. I’ve been inspired by so many authors and have read a wide variety of books. I don’t think about being different and just work on telling a story the best way I can.