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...]

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: Pauline Baird Jones

PaulineBairdJones

When did you first discover a love of writing? Is there a particular book that made you want to become a writer? I fell in love with books first, of course, but I think it was Georgette Heyer's books that caused me to pick up a pen (back in the olden days when that's all I had to write with) and write what I now know was fan-fiction. Then it was just a case of: "I don't want this book to end, so I'll write more so it won't end." Where do you get your story ideas? My ideas seem to happen in this weird part of my brain. Sometimes it is a jungle I must pass through. Others a locked room with a combination I have to figure out. And always it is an adventure I pass through with my characters. I can see external triggers every now and again, but the story that results doesn't usually … [Read more...]

My Writing Life: James Calbraith

JamesCalbraith (2)

When did you first discover a love of writing? Is there a particular book that made you want to become a writer? I'd have to find my old notebooks to tell for sure, but I think I was about 10 when I started writing short stories. I never really stopped. I’ve wanted to be many things since then—a theoretical physicist, an archaeologist, a programmer, a lazy layabout—but it always comes back to writing stories. I read whatever I could get my hands on, and most of the names are now obscure to all but the most devoted fans: Robert Sheckley, Harry Harrison, Gordon Dickson. I didn't try to write a proper novel until I was much older, and the transition from short to long form took me ages. Where do you get your story ideas? For the past few years, almost all of my ideas come from … [Read more...]

Reader Reviews

TheBestWayToGiveAnAuthorYourThanks

Reader reviews are BACK at Kobo! As authors know, reviews definitely help readers decide whether or not they are going to buy a book or download one of your free titles. Reviews add credibility because it means not only that someone actually read the book, but that they took the time to comment on it. Reviews appear below the Title and Series Title fields (as seen in the image below) And then, the details for the ratings and reviews appear below the Synopsis and the "People who read this also enjoyed" carousel. Reviews can be sorted by the following criteria: Most Helpful, Newest, Oldest, Highest Rated, Lowest Rated. Customers also have the option of denoting a review as helpful or not as well as reporting reviews that need to be double-checked.   TIPS FOR GETTING … [Read more...]

Star Reporter Kevin Donovan Publishes Murder Mystery

The+Dead+Times

Two murder cases I covered for the Toronto Star quite early in my career were the inspiration for the plot of The Dead Times, my new mystery thriller. There was heartbreak and mystery in both killings and I wondered: what if these crimes were linked? What would be a reason to commit these seemingly random murders? This is the mystery I charged my creation, Jack Temple, with solving. Temple is a homicide cop turned reporter, struggling to live a life on the other side of the yellow police tape. In my thirty years as an investigative reporter I have had my share of scrapes, failures and victories. I have been shot at, punched, yelled at and threatened with death. I have dined with killers and royalty, tracked an axe murderer and stray wolves through the bush. I have been woken up in the … [Read more...]

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 751 other followers