Chapter Titles and Stuff – Sebastian’s Poet

I don’t normally give my chapters titles. In fact, I have eight or nine trunk novels and I never once went with chapter titles. Some of those novels were written before Sebastian’s Poet and some were written after Sebastian’s Poet. I have no idea why I decided to give it chapter titles. I was at my first Muskoka Novel Marathon and I went in with a vague idea and nothing more (Each writer is allowed to bring a one-page outline into the marathon…but I’m not an outliner. My brain just won’t work that way). It was 2007. My first marathon. I was anxious as hell to begin it…could not wait for the horn signifying the starting gate to blow. I had a story percolating in my head. I needed to get it down on paper.

I wrote—distractedly—for 48 hours. Others stayed for the 3rd day of the marathon, but I had decided to only do the 48 hrs…skip the last 24hrs. I just couldn’t justify giving myself the luxury of a day off—just to write. I already felt guilty devoting an entire weekend to writing, even though it was for a great cause (Muskoka Literacy Council).

I got so into my story, I would have to stop at times because of the emotional turmoil I was experiencing. Sebastian was real. His father was real. His brother was real. And the man who one day simply just appeared in his living room—Teal Landen—my God, was he real! I wrote for no other reason than to find out what would happen to these people. And just before beginning every chapter, the hand of God would come down and hand me the next chapter’s title. That hand would say, ‘THIS is what you write about next!’

I don’t know where those chapter titles came from. Each one was a blessing that kept guiding me through that tumultuous story. I was so grateful to look on the fresh blank page of my MSWord document and see the chapter title appearing. It was as though my fingers were working independently of my brain. SO, I can honestly say today that I have no idea why I used chapter titles for this book. I know only that writing it drained me completely. I was literally crying while I typed the last chapter. Out of the blue, Gordon Lightfoot appeared to help celebrate the end of the novel and the next stage of Sebastian and Teal’s life. It was something else…to be at the helm of the story and still not know what was going on until the words appeared on the screen. It’s amazing what happens to a person when they sit and write for 48hrs…this thing takes over. They become WRITING. Writer is gone.

It was such a wonderful surprise to find out later that September that the marathon judges chose Sebastian’s Poet as the Best Adult Novel of that year’s marathon. Such an incredible honour…and honour I probably never got over. See, unlike other novels I had written before Sebastian…I had a sense that this one was special. Well, it was special to me. It hit a chord in me. It delivered me to that magical place where only athletes and those completely and inescapably lost in their passion get to go. It delivered me to that blurred reality where you are not there and there at the same time. You are just DOING the thing that you are doing…being the thing.

The story? It will have to speak for itself. Only those who read it will be able to judge it for what it is. It’s not my call to make. The writing of the story? Now that was something. The best writing experience I have ever had. In July, 2007, I escaped to a magical land…I found myself suddenly transported to the 1970s. And I had fun there. Lots of fun!

Here are the chapter titles I used for Sebastian’s Poet.

  • The Poet
  • A Prayer for a Fading Mother
  • An Ongoing Argument and Getting Used to Teal
  • Eaton’s at Christmas
  • Thelma Leaves
  • OnPaudashLake
  • Teal’s Accident
  • Sebby Takes a Fall
  • Songs for Sebby
  • A Summer inParis?
  • A Secret Revealed
  • A Late Night Meeting and Another Secret Revealed
  • Lost and Found
  • Lightfoot and Revelations

Musa Publishing will be releasing Sebby and the guys on July 6th. If you happen to pick it up, I’d love to know what you think of it. It’s the first story I ever wrote that seemed to actually write itself.

Sebastian’s Poet at Musa Publishing 

If you happen to see Sebby next Friday, tell him I say, “Hey!” (-:

The Summer Reading Series – Marcel

Next up to be interviewed for the Summer Reading Series is Marcel. Marcel lives in Toronto, Ontario, and you can Twitter follow him here: TORONTOHABSFAN One of my personal favourite Twitter handles! (-:

KC: Where do you read? Do you have any favourite places? Everywhere? Only in bed? On the subway? Favourite coffee shop?

MARCEL: Primarily, all my reading is done on transit. It’s my little distraction from everything else going on, but if I’m into the book I’ll read everywhere I can. Some books cannot be put down for that long.

KC: What book are you reading right now? And what are your thoughts on it so far?

MARCEL: I just started reading a book called Changing Tides by Michael Thomas Ford. I’m literally 4 pages in. So still getting into it. However I just wrapped the Hunger Games Trilogy. Such a heartbreaking, exhausting read. I really got into the books and just lost myself in them. I couldn’t put books 2 and 3 down.

KC: If you find you’re not really liking a book, do you still commit to reading it through to the end? If not, how far into it are you willing to go before putting it aside? If you DO commit, have you ever seen one through to the end to realize you were happy to have stuck it out?

MARCEL: I give every book 100 pages. If the story can’t draw me, away it goes. I have read a few books where I felt like it was going to be a chore to read only to get through and find myself liking it. Others I’ve stuck with and thought what a waste of my time. 

KC: Top 5 Favourite Novels?

MARCEL:

In no order:

KC: Who were your favourite authors as a child? Your favourite books?

MARCEL: I read every single Eric Wilson Mystery book I could get my hands on. Also read the Little House on the Prairie series; the Beverly Cleary books about Ralph. S. Mouse. And the geek in me read Shakespeare a lot too (13 year old).

KC: Your favourite authors as an adult?

MARCEL: As an adult I’ve read all of John Grisham, Michael Thomas Ford, Christopher Rice, Timothy James Beck, J.K. Rowling; Michael Connolly books. (I’m a complete-ist. If I find an author I like I read everything I can get my hands on.)

KC: Favourite book cover ever?

MARCEL: I’m a big fan of the covers of Michael Thomas Ford’s books. They are all done by a gay artist I like named Stephen Walker (and not for the obvious reasons).

However my all-time favourite “book” cover is a comic book – issue 276 of THE AVENGERS:

 

KC: I SWEAR I had that issue of The Avengers when it first came out! Thor was my favourite. Definitely a great cover! Fess up – Are you an adult who reads YA? YA is one of the biggest growing markets out there right now…and a LOT of adults are consuming YA books in large quantities. Are you one of them?

MARCEL: I hate classification. Too me a story is a story, is a story. If I’m into it, I don’t care about the target market. So yes, I do read YA novels (I’ve read the entire Harry Potter Series 4 times; Just did the Hunger Games), but I was also reading Shakespeare at 12-15; Stephen King, V.C. Andrews and Anne Rice all before I hit 16. I think we need to stop pigeonholing ourselves with classifications. Let the masses decide what they want to read.

KC: I SO love your answer to that question. My thoughts exactly! Any books you’ve read recently that you won’t tell your friends you’ve read? Guilty little pleasures?

MARCEL: Lately – no. But I’m tempted to check out 50 Shades of Grey. I have no shame when it comes to books. I love the fact that I read books and show off that I do. If I can read a book called Sluts in public, I have no shame.

KC: Do you read fiction or non-fiction? Or a mix?

MARCEL: I do tend to aim for fiction. I like the escape a story give me. I don’t need to read real-life stuff, it’s too depressing.

KC: Do you recall any book-to-movie adaptations where you enjoyed the movie more than the book?

MARCEL: More than the book – nothing jumps to mind. There are a few adaptations where I’m ok with the changes made (most of the Harry Potter series for example).

KC: Do you have favourite genres? Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, etc?

MARCEL: I lean to crime mystery/legal thrillers

KC: Your 3 desert island books?

MARCEL:

Wow, just 3. This is hard.

KC: Do you have favourite quotes from books? Any passages you felt compelled to highlight or call/text a friend at 3 in the morning to share it with them?

MARCEL: Nothing that really comes to mind. I was a fan of that first sentence from A Million Little Pieces, but I read it long after everyone else and took it for a work of fiction. I still maintain it’s a great story.

KC: “I wake from the drone of an airplane engine and the feeling of something warm dripping down my chin.” ~ First Sentence from A Million Little Pieces by James Frey.

That is quite a compelling sentence! Thanks so much for your time, Marcel. It’s been great reading your responses. We have some new titles to check out, and reminders of old favourites. Thank you!

What Do Readers Have to Tell Us?

I’m about to start a series of blog posts that I will probably share both here and at my book review blog. This is a series I’ve been thinking about covering for a while, and one I’m excited about.

Some Random Books from My Own Bookshelf!

Book talk is probably one of the hottest conversational topics in the world. EVERYBODY who reads loves to talk about the books they are reading. Readers are passionate about sharing book love. And in today’s internet age, it’s never been easier to talk books. I thought I would take advantage of this fact and interview a few readers!

When I asked for interviewees on Twitter, I was surprised to see how quickly the replies came in. But not really. (-: It just proves that people love to talk books. So, over the course of the coming weeks…I hope to have this be a fairly regular series. Readers really seem to kick it up a notch over the summer months. I’m going to pick a few brains and let you know where you can find these readers on the internet. They’ll be book bloggers, writers who read and just people who are passionate about reading.

The first interview should be posted within the next couple of days. Hope you enjoy!

 

Some More Random Books from My Own Bookshelf!

FLIPBOOK Movie – The Muskoka Novel Marathon Movie!

Every year around this time I like to share this amazing flipbook movie! This is a movie in pictures of the Muskoka Novel Marathon. It actually made it to national TV…it’s a wonderful tribute to the marathon that I try to take part in every year. Check it out! You can learn about the marathon and meet an amazing person who was helped by the Muskoka Literacy Council. The writing marathon collects donations for literacy every year. We are WRITERS HELPING READERS.

Enjoy the movie…

This year, the 72 hour Muskoka Novel Marathon begins Friday July 13th. I’ll be there. My goal for the weekend is 60,000 words…a completed novel.

Check out this link to find out how you can sponsor me and help the fight against illiteracy. Our collected goal this year is $10,000.00. This will have a huge impact on the fight against illiteracy. Every dollar goes to the cause…every dollar. Please consider making a donation. Thank you!

 

 

NOW 3 Reasons to Visit Blue Heron Books on June 16th!!

#SaveBookStores is coming! June 16th is the date this year. Go to your local independent bookstore on this day and buy a book (or 4)! This event is the brainchild of agent KELLY SONNACK of ANDREA BROWN LITERARY AGENCY. You can read my previous post on the event HERE. That’s the 1st reason to head to Blue Heron Books on June 16th (OR, if you’re not in the area, just head to your own favourite independent bookseller…after all, that’s what it’s all about. Supporting your local).

Bookswarm is from 10AM-1PM—but early or latecomers will also be celebrated! PLACE: Blue Heron Bookstore – 62 Brock Street W. Uxbridge, Ontario (905) 852-4282

The 2nd reason to get yourself to Blue Heron on the 16th? To congratulate them for being awarded CANADIAN BOOKSELLER OF THE YEAR at the CBA LIBRIS AWARDS! (Check out the nomination story HERE!) (Photo is from Blue Heron Books’ website)

What is the 3rd reason to get yourself to Blue Heron in Uxbridge, Ontario on June 16th?

One of Canada’s funniest people will be on hand at 1:00PM on Saturday June 16th to sign copies of his new book, WHO FARTED! (I am so compelled to change the title to WHO TOOTED.) The F word was a bad word in our house. (-:

Neil is a Canadian staple. He’s a screen star, a stage star, a columnist, comedian, Emcee extraordinaire! You need to get to Blue Heron on Saturday to meet him and get a copy of his book. (Read more about Neil Crone at his website HERE.)

With all these things happening at Blue Heron this coming Saturday, it kind of feels like Uxbridge is the new mecca of the arts in Ontario…not that those of us in the know didn’t already know this. (-:

See you SATURDAY!

 

In Which Someone Dies…And I’m So Embarrassed

I recently reflected on the novels I have written to date. And there is one common thread throughout ALL of them (9 full and complete manuscripts to date). Someone dies. When I realized this, I considered novels in general. Does someone die in a great majority of novels, or is this common thread found only in mine–or people like me? I panicked as I thought of the novels I’ve read recently. I quickly went through the titles: Book 1-nobody dies, Book 2-nobody dies, Book 3-nobody dies. I thought I was on to something. I thought I might be this weird sadistic person who kills all his characters. Then, I thought of more of my current reads: Book 4-someone dies! Book 5-somone dies! Book 6-someone dies Book 7-lots of someones die! Book 8-two someones die! Book 9-apocolypse–almost everyone dies! Book10-super colossal volcano–almost everyone dies!

I came to a conclusion. Though I kill off at least one character in each of my novels, I’m no more cruel–and at times, I’m extremely less cruel–than other authors! I can breathe easy!

Still, that’s a lot of bodies to pile up behind me. One of my goals for this summer’s Muskoka Novel Marathon will be to keep all of my characters alive. We’ll see how that goes! I’m not going to promise anything, though. If the need arises, I will waste no time taking a life!

Now…something I am incredibly embarrassed about. I’ve been repeatedly announcing that my upcoming novel release is June 7th. SEBASTIAN’S POET actually comes out JULY 6th! I’ve been so busy with so many things…I don’t know where I got the original date from, but I was so wrong! Sorry about that. JULY 6TH – Please save THAT date.

There we go!

The contest to win 1 of 3 signed print copies of SEBASTIAN’S POET is still in place. You can go to THIS POST and leave a comment. This is all you have to do to enter the contest.

An Interview with Nyrae Dawn – YA Author!

 

I did my first author interview on my book review site today. Who better to take the first plunge with than Nyrae Dawn! Her self-published debut YA novel, WHAT A BOY WANTS, was a bit of a surprise hit this past April. (Man, if I were an agent…I would SNAP her up!) Her companion novel, WHAT A BOY NEEDS will hit the e-shelves next Tuesday, June 12th!

Take a jump over to TRY THIS BOOK ON FOR SIZE to read my interview with Nyrae. And remember her name!