Author & Teacher

Blog Tour

I was recently tagged by Angie Abdou in the blog hop making its way around. Here is the link back to Angie’s answers. Be sure to check out Angie’s latest novel, Between. I was lucky enough to read an advance copy (review forthcoming) and I think it’s her best novel yet.

For the blog tour, I’m tagging Diana Davidson and Michelle Barker. Vist their websites over the next few weeks to check out their work and see what they have to say.
My own responses are below.

What am I working on?

I  have a few projects on the go, now that I’m done school. One is a novel that is loosely connected to my novel Clearwater. It’s set in the late 1960’s and is about the mother of one of my characters in Clearwater.

I have a YA novel in progress. It’s set in Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan during World War 2. It’s about sixteen-year old Josephine, who has to quit school to help her father in his garage while her brother is away at war.

Also: a jumble of poems and non-fiction and text messages and thank you cards and grocery lists. I’m all over the place right now.

How does my work differ from other work in its genre?

I think to answer this question, I’d need to have a better grip on my own voice and style. I feel like I’m still searching for those things, so it’s hard to quantify what makes me different. I’m also trying different genres, and my style changes in each, so I’m reluctant to commit to an answer.

It’s nice to go back through the blog hops and see that this is the most difficult question for most people.

Why do I write what I do?

Sometimes it seems that my themes are quite scattered, but I know that my obsessions tend to circle back around to include family and landscape. I enjoy writing about the relationships between women in families – mothers, daughters, sisters. I like writing from the point of view of teenaged boys.

Place is important and writing setting is one of the most enjoyable parts of writing for me. I love the way setting can be so representative of the work as a whole.

The ‘why’ is hard to nail down. I’m sure it comes back to experiences I had when I was younger — relationships and places that meant a lot to me. I like to explore. Writing is my way of figuring out why people do what they do.

How does my writing process work?

My writing process has changed over time. While I was working on Clearwater, I was able to write on my days off until I had a complete draft. I substitute-taught for a year while I revised and redrafted, which made it easy to occupy the characters, that place and time for long stretches.

The first draft of my new novel was a little different. My teaching schedule changed and I was also juggling university classes, so I had to dig for spare time. My family is really supportive and did everything they could to ensure I had as much free time as possible to work on the novel and my university assignments.

In terms of actual writing, I write long and ugly first drafts, then cut and revise them into something (hopefully) worth reading.

Read: I Know Who You Remind Of by Naomi K. Lewis

Listen: Chill in the Air by Amos Lee

Run: Riverfront Park, Spokane, WA





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