Ann-Marie MacDonald On Writing Aspects Of Yourself Into Your Novel


By Jenn Shenouda It’s hard to be a writer and not come across that old cliché “write what you know” at least once in your career. If you are strapped for time or looking for inspiration however, there may just be a bit of gold left to mine in that overused piece of advice. Look at it this way: your life history is already at your fingertips.  You are probably the most fleshed-out character that you’ll ever meet.  And because your research is mostly in your head, All you have to do to access it is to remember—to do a bit of snooping into your own psyche and see what’s there for the taking. Just ask, Ann-Marie MacDonald—author of the widely acclaimed new novel Adult Onset. More than a decade removed since her last novel The Way the Crow Flies, Adult Onset is just as much a … [Read more...]

How to Turn “Real Life” into Bestselling Fiction: 7 Do’s and Don’ts


by Ruth Harris  As I would find out when I wrote Decades, creating a novel based on “real life” is much more than simply recounting the story. Having no guidelines at the time I wrote Decades, I stumbled through the process, made many mistakes along the way, and, through trial and error, figured out some do’s and don'ts. Do be a good listener—and don’t gossip Decades is a story of a passionate triangle. Coincidentally, I knew all three people involved, two much better than the third. The three were:  a restless husband, the insecure rich girl he marries on his way up, and an attractive fashion editor, the younger "other woman.” Two of them told me “their” versions. Because they knew they could trust me not to gossip, they felt free to confide their innermost thoughts and … [Read more...]

2014 Frankfurt Book Fair

Joanna FBF

The Frankfurt Book Fair is the biggest of its kind in the world. Authors, agents, publishers, and industry professionals from all over the globe come together in Germany for talks, workshops, networking, and the celebration of books. Camille Mofidi, European Manager for Kobo Writing Life, spent time at the Kobo booth chairing talks with bestselling authors, meeting with aspiring writers or confirmed hybrid authors, and many more events. Here’s an overview of the busy days in Frankfurt: Self-Publishing in Germany: How To Get Started? Two of the most famous self-published authors in Germany, Emily Bold and Nika Lubitsch, shared views about the German market for independent authors: Digital publishing and self-publishing have grown a lot recently in Germany, but it might … [Read more...]

7 Tips for Making the Most of Your Book Series (Part 2 – Troubleshooting)


By Julianne MacLean Continued from 7 Tips for Making the Most of Your Book Series (Part 1) In the previous post, I listed the 7 Tips for Making the Most of Your Book Series. And, as I concluded, as an independent author, there are no rules or limits around what you can do with a series. But sometimes you are not always in full control and things don't always work according to plan. For that reason, I thought it would be good to look at how you can troubleshoot issues that I have had to deal with. What if your series was left unfinished by a traditional publisher? Should you continue it independently? There are a few different schools of thought on this. Some authors believe it’s too difficult to effectively manage a series when half the books are controlled by a publisher. … [Read more...]

National Novel Writing Month


November 1st marks the start of the exciting National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo. Kobo Writing Life is sponsoring this epic race for writers, and we have put together our own team who will be participating.   Introducing the Kobo Writing Life KoboWriMo Team: Mark Lefebvre, Director, Kobo Writing Life Kobo HQ: Toronto, Canada Preparation so far: I re-read Evasion, making notes about specific details that I need to ensure are consistent in the sequel. I wrote up about three pages of ideas and concepts that I’ll use to move the plot forward and also fill in details of questions and mysteries that are raised in the first book. But I also made a few notes to ensure that the book could stand alone as a self-contained thriller without having to rely on the reader … [Read more...]

Fright for your Write: Part 4 (Characterization)

By Craig Dilouie Good characters are absolutely vital in horror fiction. They're the key to empathy, which is vital to project the experience of horror. Characters stand in for the reader. What they feel, the reader should feel. If a good character feels genuine terror, so will the reader. First, we have to make sure the reader cares about what happens to him or her. How do we do that? Author Talia Vance says, "Make your characters relatable, likable and give them a personal stake in the outcome." Author/Story consultant Michael Hauge identifies five ways to make a character relatable for the reader. The character should be sympathetic, funny, likable and/or powerful, and/or put in jeopardy. He says you don't need your character to be all of these, but they should be at least … [Read more...]

I’d Rather Not Be Talking to You but I’m Writing This Book: How a Shy Writer Tackles Research


By Shayna Krishnasamy When I first started writing in high school I would often find myself restricting my stories to the only subjects I understood: family life, adolescent girl cliques, suburbia. I did this because the idea of pretending knowledge of a subject I didn’t understand inside and out—like, say, the police force, or scuba diving, or ballet school—made me terribly nervous, and the things I would have to do to research such topics seemed impossible. I was the girl who would never raise her hand in class, who was too shy to call the pizza place, who would go on to switch programs in college because of the number of required oral presentations second term. How could I possibly cold call a hospital and ask if I could talk to someone about what it’s like to be a patient on a … [Read more...]


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