Blog Archives

Feverish dreams

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I’ve been sick with a norovirus that swept through my household recently like, well, like a plague. I tried to avoid it by wearing a medical face mask and gloves while I tended to sick children and a spouse but eventually it claimed me. The unexpected bonus to lying in bed alternating between fever and chills and other such delights was that I had some crazy visions of new Cross adventures that would make awesome short stories. Very strange, very hallucinatory Cross short stories. So I’ve been working on those. I’ve written a story and a half so far, with notes for two other short stories. So there may be a Cross story collection at some point in the future.

Or maybe I’m still sick and just imagining all this writing stuff.

CanLit’s $100,000 controversy

The CanLit community recently went crazy over a publishing exec’s comment that he wasn’t interested in publishing books that earned less than $100,000. Of course, it’s a little more complicated than a publisher just being about the money. I talked to a number of writers and publishing professionals about their reaction to the controversy over at The Province.

“A blasphemously good time”

I am thrilled to be included on this list of awesome reads by Corey Redekop. Clive Barker and Nick Cutter for neighbours? Well, let’s just say if I go missing you know who to question first.

Tell me again how piracy isn’t a problem

Author Silvia Moreno-Garcia woke up this morning to find someone has pirated one of her stories and is selling it on Chapters online — under Silvia’s own name. It’s a pretty devious act of piracy, as it looks like a legit book from the writer, but I’m pretty sure Silvia will never see any of the money from the sales of her own pirated work. And people wonder why most writers can’t quit their day job….

Tales from the Beermat

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Hey, I’m one of the judges in the Storm Crow Tavern’s Tales from the Beermat contest. Write a microfiction story (250 words or less), and it could wind up on a coaster in the Storm Crow Tavern, to be soaked in beer and sacrificial blood by thousands of victims, err… patrons! Plus, there are prizes of cash and gift cards to the Storm Crow!

If I wasn’t a judge, I would totally enter this myself.

The other judges include Kristi Charish and Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

The only catch is you have to be a Canadian citizen, although they may waive that if you write your story in blood. I don’t think it matters whose blood it is, but you may want to check the rules.

Where do the monsters come from?

Earlier today a reader asked me how I choose which monsters to include in my Cross books. It’s a good question, and I don’t think I’ve been asked that before. So I thought I’d answer it here.

First off, I had to decide whether I was going to include monsters at all. When I first dreamed up the character of Cross, I was obviously thinking of Christian mythology, so it was a natural to include angels and the like in the books. In fact, the first book, The Mona Lisa Sacrifice, kind of began with my idea to have Cross hunting and killing an angel at the Gaudi church in Barcelona.

But the Cross books obviously have a lot more than angels running around in their world. You can blame Alice for that. I’d been thinking about the character of Alice for years — a supernatural, eerie real-life Alice in Wonderland who lives outside of the Lewis Carroll books. I’d originally been considering writing a book about a professor with magical powers who was friends with Alice, but that book never happened. When I started thinking about Cross, however, I immediately knew Alice had to be his friend.

Read the rest of this entry

“Hamlet and swords, for fuck’s sake”

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I’ve posted here before about how much I love Shakespeare’s Rebel, the literary historical adventure thriller by C.C. Humphreys. I recently had the chance to talk to Chris about adapting the novel to stage for Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach, as well as the challenges of playing Hamlet and the fear factor of writing Shakespeare in your novel. Bonus feature: I even convinced Chris to recite his favourite lines of Shakespeare! Check it out at my Book Rogues podcast.

Not posting but writing

I haven’t been posting much here lately because, well, summer. Also, I’ve been busy writing while I’m waiting for the edits of the third Cross book, The Apocalypse Ark. I’ve written the first drafts of three new stories, and I’m working on a fourth right now that I’m really excited about. So you will be seeing new words from me in a bit!

If you’re at all interested in my writing process when it comes to stories, I usually write a first draft of something, let it sit for a month or two, then come back to it. Sometimes that time gives me ideas of how to refine or develop things, other times it gives me ideas how to completely rework the story. I think it’s really necessary to look at things with a fresh eye, when you’re not exhausted from the writing process itself, to see the strengths and weaknesses.

And, of course, sometimes those breaks give you time to see how you can turn a story into a novel….

The Mona Lisa Sacrifice is an Amazon Top 100 bestseller!

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I woke up this morning to discover my first Cross book, The Mona Lisa Sacrifice, had become an Amazon.ca Top 100 bestseller overnight — in both the Kindle and the overall Books category. The book is doing better now than when it first came out two years ago! Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to read it and recommend it. #thingsIamgratefulfor

“Everybody has a secret”

I talk to Toronto writer Russell Smith about sex, drugs and parenting in the 21st century. Check out the full podcast!

“One doctor told me that, because I had occasionally been doing cocaine, it could have been coke that caused my retina to fail,” Smith says. “I knew as soon as I heard that, I knew I had caused it. All my years of decadence had caused me to go blind.”