Doctor by Day, Mystery Writer at Night – Meet Melissa Yi

May is Asian Heritage Month!

I thought I’d kick it off by introducing an author I met last summer in Ottawa at a book festival called Prose in the Park (read the post here.) Melissa Yuan-Innes, a.k.a. Melissa Yi, is an emergency doctor and the author of a doctor-detective series that is set right here in Montreal. I purchased the first book Code Blues and enjoyed it so much I bought the second, Notorious D.O.C. I’m officially hooked. It’s no surprise to me Continue reading

Being an Author is Just Another Day in the Park

One of the things I enjoy about being an author is that I get to take part in some fun events. Saturday, I was at Prose in the Park, an annual outdoor literary festival which was held at Parkdale Park in Ottawa. It was an opportunity to meet local authors, to listen to them talk about their books, their views on writing and the publishing industry, and of course, to buy new books. Continue reading

Best Books for Kids and Teens for 2014

 

Best Books for Kids and Teens 2014

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

Guitar Hero named Best Book for Kids and Teens 2014

My Writing Process Blog Tour

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.

Why do you write what you do?

Continue reading

Give A Book Lover A Little Something Extra

Guitar Hero by Day's Lee

Is Santa bringing an e-reader to someone who loves young adult books? Add to their excitement by downloading a copy of GUITAR HERO on sale at the Kindle Store today until Dec. 23 for only 99 cents.  It’s just a little something extra that will help them enjoy the holiday. Click here to read a review. DOWNLOAD IT NOW from Amazon.

Monique Polak reading from her new book "So Much It Hurts"

What to read after The Hunger Games

Maybe the title of this post should be “What to Read after Re-reading The Hunger Games in Preparation for the Second Movie,” but I thought it would be too long.

But seriously, there are some new books just out that are worth a look. Montreal’s Young Adult authors have had a lot to celebrate in the past few weeks. The TD Children’s Book Awards were at the end of October, and besides myself, a few other authors also held book launches in the past week.

Monique Polak (pictured above) launched So Much It Hurts, a novel about violence in teen relationships. It’s a story drawn from her experience as a teenager. The children’s bookstore, Babar en Ville, was crowded as the writing community, family and friends got together to congratulate Monique on her 14th novel. If you read my post about my book launch, you’ll remember that Monique encouraged me to turn a short story into a novel that became Guitar Hero. I’m a fan of this award-winning author and can’t wait to read her latest.

So Much It Hurts

Becoming a statistic was never part of Iris’s plan. Iris is sorry. Sorry that she no longer hangs out with her BFF. Sorry that she’s not closer to her mother. But most of all, she’s sorry she makes Mick angry.

If all the world’s a stage, then Iris’s life has become a violent drama, starring a man whose fists are at odds with the eloquence of his words.

Karen Avivi and Alexa Nazzaro held a joint book launch for their respective books, Shredded and The Pool Theory at Chapters. The description on the back cover makes these books a must read for me.

 

Shredded by Karen Avivi

Shredded

Josie Peters thinks she’ll do anything to qualify for the Ultimate BMX freestyle event the summer before her senior year. She can handle road trips and back flips, but when flashy rider R.T. Torres tempts her with an easy “in,” the sacrifices required threaten to send Josie spinning out of control.

The Pool Theory by Alexa Nazzaro

The Pool Theory

The thing is, I’m still having trouble believing it’s mine. And when you can’t own something, it’s pretty hard to do anything else with it. That’s what Dr. Jacobi says, and she’s the only reason I even made it to grade ten, which I guess is where this “story” starts; with an honest-to-god real social life. Hell, I was even a tad less obsessed with avoiding Damian Schofield, who made me hate school to begin with.

Sometimes I can almost convince myself that I’m still there, at the beginning. But that’s before I remember that Annie Cooper is pregnant, and she claims it’s mine.

On November 19th, the Quebec Writers’ Federation is holding its annual QWF awards.  Paul Blackwell (pictured above) is nominated for his YA book Undercurrent.

FYI, there is one notable book that won a QWF award long before it won the Man Booker Prize, and that’s Yan Martel’s Life of Pi.

Stayed tuned for the winners!

Win a free copy of GUITAR HERO (U.S. and Canada only)

When my picture book, The Fragrant Garden, was published in 2005, the publisher asked me to handle publicity in Montreal while they took care of the rest of Canada. It was an opportunity for me to learn about marketing. I created an interactive press release on a DVD which was pretty impressive back then, and mailed it to all the English newspapers, radio and TV stations in the city. I managed to score interviews with a local news show, a morning show (I battled my way through an ice storm in December to get to the studio. A little bad weather wasn’t going to stop me from promoting my book), a Chinese talk show (the interview was conducted in English for my benefit) and The Gazette. It’s tough trying to get noticed with so many good books being published every year, but the whole experience was fun and educational.

Guitar HeroNow I get to do it again for my young adult novel GUITAR HERO and it’s a whole new internet world. A book launch is in the works for November and review copies have been sent out. I’m also giving away two copies on Goodreads in the United States and Canada. The deadline to enter is Sunday, November 10, 2013.

Join me on my new adventure and enter the Goodreads Giveaway. 🙂