Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do: An Author’s Explanation

book magic

Most people who don’t write think they have a basic understanding of what it is to be a writer. A writer writes books. A writer toils over her manuscript. A writer tells stories. A writer uses her imagination. Though these things are true of writers, it hardly scrapes the surface of what being a writer really means. Given the long hours, possible misery, minimal praise, and general neurosis that comes of living the writing life, maybe it’s time we talk a little about what’s so fantastic about being a writer, and why we crazies are so intent on following this crooked and meandering path. We are Explorers As writers, we get to explore parts of the world others only dream about. From the safety of our desks we wander dripping jungle paths, sail around the world, fight in battles long … [Read more...]

Your Mission Should You Choose to Accept It

Chris Mandeville

by Chris Mandeville Welcome to “Tools for Writers,” a new semi-regular feature of Kobo Writing Life. I begin this series by sharing a tool that can help in any stage of fiction writing. I’d like to say it’s my best-kept writing secret, but that would be a lie. The “secret” is a basic pattern found over centuries in narratives around the world that’s come to be known as “The Hero’s Journey.” It’s a structure so fundamental to fiction, it was embedded in my subconscious before I could read, when my dad told me bedtime stories. This structure was then cemented by the books I grew up on: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, A Wrinkle in Time, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games. (Okay, you caught me — I was already grown up for Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.) When … [Read more...]

My Writing Life: Kristen James

Stranger+in+my+Bed

Kristen James has written over twenty books and ranked in the top 100 Bestsellers in Kindle US, UK and Canada, #1 in ten different categories, #1 in Movers & Shakers, and #1 free rankings. And now, the fun stuff–  I was born in a tiny town in western Oregon and lived there until after my high school graduation. (I guess that’s where I get my love of small town settings!) I discovered writing in the 4th grade. My school published one of my short stories, and I realized other people might like to read what I wrote. I saved up and bought my own typewriter, and soon I was tapping out books over summer break. I wrote several “practice” novels and I continued writing though the next ten years. I got married, started a family, moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, back to Portland, Oregon and … [Read more...]

One Fictitious Moment: Writing Historical Fiction

As a huge fan of historical fiction, Angela Misri thoroughly enjoys writing about her detective Portia Adams as she strolls the streets of 1930s London. But there are some tricks to writing in a time period that are not your own. Check out this video for a few timely ideas: Watch for more writing videos on this blog, or you can subscribe to Angela's Youtube channel One Fictitious Moment. Angela Misri is a Toronto journalist, writer and mom who has spent most of her working life making CBC Radio extraterrestrial through podcasts, live streams and websites. The latest book in her A Portia Adams Adventure series releases on March 24th, 2015. Check out Angela's website to learn more about the Portia Adams series. … [Read more...]

Can This Be Over Already?: Confronting the Truth about Endings

Panic

By Shayna Krishnasamy You’ve done it. You’re embarking on the final chapter of your book. You’ve reached the denouement. You type out the word “Epilogue” with shaking fingers. You can’t really believe it. You’ve reached the end. This is the end. Terrifying, isn’t it? Well, terrifying might be a strong word, but many authors have mixed emotions when they come to the end of their book. Maybe the novel isn’t what they hoped it would be. Or maybe they don’t have their next writing project lined up, and the idea of all that free time is alarming. Maybe they enjoyed writing the book so much they’re sad to see it go. Or maybe they’re relieved to finally be done with a book they lost interest in writing a month ago. Whatever the author’s feelings about the ending of her book might … [Read more...]

Kobo Launches Emerging Writer Prize to Celebrate Debut Works by Canadian Authors

emerging writer prize

Monetary prize and marketing support awarded for books in three categories: Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction, and Non-Fiction Did you publish your first book in 2014? Do you have a Canadian passport? If so, you may want to consider entering Kobo’s first annual Emerging Writer Award of Excellence. Created for debut authors in three categories: Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction (beginning with Mystery, with a different genre showcased each year), and Non-Fiction, each winning author will be awarded a $10,000 CAD cash prize and promotional, marketing, and communications support; winners will be announced in June. … [Read more...]

My Writing Life: David Ebsworth

David Ebsworth

When did you first discover a love of writing? Is there a particular book that made you want to become a writer? I've dabbled with writing for most of my life but never had the confidence to attempt a full novel until I was coming up to retirement, back in 2008. It seemed like a great chance to challenge myself and fulfil a long-term ambition at the same time. Since then I haven't been able to stop! What's your favourite book? What was your favourite book as a child? My favourite book of all time is Great Expectations and, as a child, it was definitely Rosemary Sutcliff's Sword at Sunset. Where do you get your story ideas? I like to write stories that I wish somebody else had already written—but which don't yet currently exist. So I look for angles on more familiar tales … [Read more...]

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