My insatiable curiosity about people and culture developed at an early age, and was likely the result of many European misadventures and my experiences living in England, Denmark, and Canada. There is nothing like playing among the columns of a Bronze Age palace surrounded by the sapphire waters of the Mediterranean to pique an eight year old's interest and imagination.
I focused my University studies in Classical Archeology and Literature, Physical Anthropology, Social Work, and Criminology. For those of you questioning my use of the word 'focused' ...well, you'll just have to trust me when I say that I couldn't file my interests down to any sharper a point. I tried. The yearly course lists crammed with intriguing possibilities made me feel like a kid in a candy store - one of those really big stores with colorful jars lining the walls from floor to ceiling.
My career path has continued in the same vein. I was my grandmother's caregiver for two years; an opportunity for which I am ever grateful as spending that time with such a remarkable woman shaped me in ways I am still discovering. Among other things, I've been a vet assistant, worked at a halfway house for high-risk offenders, sat on many kids as a mascot, been the operations manager for a private investigation firm, and spent several months in Ontario with the Red Cross helping refugees from Kosovo acclimatize to Canada. I've also volunteered within maximum-security prisons and the community to help people serving life sentences transition from the regimented bubble of prison back to a very changed outside world.
Why I Write
Simply put - I write to explore, express, and connect. I delve into the web of relationships linking humans, animals, and the environment. I peer into my characters inner worlds and explore the inherent violence and compassion bound together in the human spirit. My guiding principle is that the human mosaic is beautiful because of the unique nature of each piece and I do my best to celebrate this diversity in my work.
I grew up in Calgary, Alberta on the divide between the prairie and Mountains. Calgary is a city that's surrounded by wide empty spaces. I think there's something about the pressing wilderness that makes one appreciate the inherent fragility of human society.
I've always been a bit of a dreamer with one foot in a world of make-believe. I learned to read very young and it's been my addiction ever since. Speculative 'what if' style stories (James and the Giant Peach) or stories that take you entirely out of the human frame of reference (Watership Down) quickly lead me into harder stuff (Tolkien, Heinlein)
My urge to see the world took me to Kingston, Ontario for university, then to Berkshire, England for a few years, though I'm generally drawn back to Calgary by ties of blood and friendship. Though we're often fooled by distance. You don't need to move half-way around the world to gain a new perspective, sometimes moving a few miles can make just as much of a difference.
I studied Engineering at university, though while there I was drawn in to the online community on the old IBM mainframe and then into this new and fascinating idea out of CERN called the 'World Wide Web'. This led me into tinkering with computer programming which became a bit of an obsession that luckily people like to pay me for.
I remember being told that the made-up worlds I loved were a childish thing that I would need to grow out of if I wanted to succeed in life. The older I get, the more I realise how wrong this is. In just the past few millennia, humans have moved from chipping tools out of stones to space exploration and heart transplants. Every step on that path was driven by someone who dreamed up something impossible.
Some of the writers that inspire me today are Lois Bujold, David Drake and C.J. Cherryh. These authors take on tough questions about what it means to be moral and the destiny of humanity without flinching. They inspire me to be a better person, as well as a better writer.
As an avid reader I'll never lose sight of the fact that the Author's first duty is to entertain but beyond that my goal is to bring back a sense of optimism about human achievement. The dark side of our natures will always be with us but I'm convinced that humanity has an amazing future ahead and prefer to dream big.
Rebecca Brae is a freelance writer, artist, and fog enthusiast, with a background in sociology and weird pets. Adriaan Brae is a software developer and tech-geek, with a passion for languages and martial arts. Their divergent interests can be challenging at times but their love of new ideas, storytelling, and Lego always brings them together.
BOOK 1: CHAOS BOUND (2014)
When the going gets weird, the tough are useless. You need a geek.
Jessica is no superhero, and though she believes being smart, curious, and compassionate should be considered qualifications, society has yet to agree.
Her life in Coldwater is low-key and predictable, just the way she likes it. Her biggest worries are staying at the top of her classes and avoiding the popular crowd, but a change that will shake the world is already taking hold in her small town.
The death of a classmate kicks her out of her safe routine. Stalked by the supernatural killer, she’ll need to embrace the chaos in order to survive: Lying, stealing, invoking barely understood magic, and even crashing a house party.
Abandoned by her friends and labelled a troublemaker, she’s determined to find a way to stop the killer. But at what cost?
BOOK 2: CURSE BOUND (2016)
When the world goes crazy, it helps to have a head start.
Mutant science projects, a troubled werewolf, and other magic-related dangers are Jessica’s new normal, but someone has started targeting the students of Coldwater High with powerful curses, and she’s a suspect. A serious mistake forces her to question whether she deserves Drew and Michiru’s loyalty, and with the gatekeeper’s alien influence in her head, she’s not even sure she can trust herself.
Just as Jessica realizes she has also been hit with a lethal curse, a disastrously magical Valentine’s Day leaves her cut off from friends and forces her to put her life in the hands of her worst enemy.
MIST WARDEN SERIES BLURB (YA Urban Fantasy)
The town of Coldwater is a quiet, in-between kind of place on the outskirts of Calgary at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Nestled up against the edge of a First Nation reserve, the town is a classic mix of big-city commuters and rural residents. But there are more secrets lost to history than anyone could imagine and now Coldwater is set to return to a more central role in the workings of the universe.
Three teens just entering high school are caught up in the transformation:
Jessica has lived in Coldwater all her life and loves the quiet. A proud geek, she's far happier lost in a book or an equation than dealing with the so-called ‘real world’. When dangerous forces are set loose in her town and start maiming and killing her classmates, she’s compelled to investigate. She never could leave a mystery alone.
Drew is one of the new First Nation students at Coldwater High and his goal is to be anywhere else as soon as possible. Armed with his trusty laptop and an extensive knowledge of tech and random facts, he becomes Jessica’s reluctant ally. His curiosity drives him to get involved and help out against his better judgement, but he does it all with his trademark wit and wicked snark.
Michiru is a force of nature and exceptional athlete who has lived all over the world, with most of her time spent in big cities like London, Amsterdam, Paris, New York, and Toronto. She confidently expects her stay in Coldwater to be every kind of dull, except for the camping and skiing, but is pleasantly surprised to find all the excitement she could want and more.
In this episode I interview YA author Kristy Acevedo. We talk about teaching high school English, teaching seniors and juniors as opposed to teaching freshmen. We discuss finding time to write when you teach all day, releasing her first novel, "Consider", and the follow up novel later this year. We talk about #pitmad twitter pitch festival that happens four times each year, and about using twitter.
Kristy Acevedo is a YA author, high school English teacher, and huge Star Trek, Doctor Who, and Harry Potter fan. When she was a child, her "big sister" from the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program fostered her love of books by bringing her to the public library every Wednesday.
A member of SCBWI, her debut novel, CONSIDER, won the 2015 PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Children's Book Discovery Award. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two daughters, and two cats (Milo and Khaleesi). She believes coffee and dark chocolate were put on this planet for the good of humankind.
Jolly Fish Press
As if 17-year-old Alexandra Lucas’ anxiety disorder isn’t enough, mysterious holograms suddenly appear, heralding the end of the world. They bring an ultimatum: heed the warning and step through a portal-like vertex to safety, or stay and be destroyed by a comet that is on a collision course with Earth. The holograms,claiming to be humans from the future, bring the promise of safety. But without the ability to verify their story, Alex is forced to consider what is best for her friends, her family, and herself.
To stay or to go. A decision must be made.
With the deadline of the holograms’ prophecy fast approaching, Alex feels as though she is living on a ticking time bomb, until she discovers it is much, much worse.
In this episode I talk with author Cameron Dayton about living in the Bay Area of California, video game development and story writing for video games, working with fascinating authors, and his book, "Etherwalker".
Best selling author, screenwriter, and developer for Blizzard Entertainment, EA Games, and Chair Entertainment -- Cameron Dayton has charted flights through the worlds of Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft, Undertow, Advent Rising, Minions Paradise and beyond.
And my Amazon book page is here:
In this episode I interview Ryan Dalton about his about-to-be-released novel, "The Year of Lightning".
Here's a link to the book on Amazon:
Ryan Dalton is author of the young adult Time Shift Trilogy. His debut novel THE YEAR OF LIGHTNING will be released on December 8, 2015. Ryan splits his time between writing books during the day, fighting crime at night, and hanging out in his awesome underground lair. Please do not tell anyone he's Batman. It's a secret.
Welcome, People of Earth!
I’m Ryan Dalton, author of the young adult Time Shift Trilogy. My debut novel THE YEAR OF LIGHTNING is a sci-fi mystery, and it will be released through Jolly Fish Press on December 8, 2015. The sequel THE BLACK TEMPEST will be released in Fall 2016.
I write things, and I’m a geek. Yes, both at the same time. I also have thoughts about writing, geek culture, and other random things that may or may not be relevant (Spoiler Alert: they’re not). Welcome to my corner of the Interwebz, and when the fancy strikes I will post anything like tips on writing believable dialogue, the current state of comic books, and who would win in a fight between Abe Lincoln and an ill-tempered ham sandwich.
So buckle up, Jack! (that’s right, I’ve renamed you all Jack)
Want to reach out to me? Find me on social media (links are on the front page, at the bottom) or email me at RyanDaltonWrites@gmail.com
In this episode I interview YA Author Robison Wells.
We talk about Marketing
Understanding your readers, characters, and their motivations.
A squishy MBA
Mental Illness- Obsession and compulsion and writing.
Robison Wells is also the author of Blackout, Variant, and Feedback. Variant was a Publishers Weekly Best Book and a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Robison lives in the Rocky Mountains in a house not too far from elk pastures. His wife, Erin, is a better person than he will ever be, and their three kids cause mischief and/or joy.
Robison suffers from five mental illnesses (panic disorder, OCD, agoraphobia, depression and dermatillomania) and is an outspoken advocate for those with mental illnesses.
His books have been published in nine different languages, and he is the winner of many awards both in and out of the United States.
In this episode I interview Robert Rayner
We talk about performing and teaching music, school presentations, being a journalist, and his many books, among which as stories written in a publisher's imprint, Lorimer Sports, Lorimer Side Streets, and Lorimer Street Lights.
And his newest release through the publisher Speaking Volumnes, Colorland.
The intro and outro music for this episode was written and performed by Robert and is the theme for his book, Colorland. The entire piece is available on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJuLBRX8rxw
I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.
In addition to a few go-nowhere jobs, I've been a journalist (in Cambridge, England), a teacher (in Colchester, England; Glovertown, Newfoundland; and Charlotte County, New Brunswick), and an elementary school principal (in St. George, New Brunswick).
I've been writing for as long as I can remember - news and feature articles as a journalist, tracts and diatribes on education as a teacher, stories to read in assembly as a principal, and, all the time, stories for their own sake. I now have nine young adult novels, two teen novels, and three adult novels in print. My stories have been shortlisted for the Ann Connor Brimer Children's Literature Prize and (three times) for the Hackmatack Children's Choice Award, and five of them have been included in the Canadian Children's Book Centre annual 'Best Books' list.
Although I forsook being a school principal in order to teach music at home, and to have more time for writing, I still love the world of school, and often talk to students about writing, and read to them from my books, and present writing workshops. Many of my books have grown out of, and continue to grow out of, my experiences working with children of all ages.
Usually I write in the morning, starting early, and save afternoons for playing and teaching music. If I'm under pressure to finish something, or I'm obsessed with a story (which I regard as a good sign), I resume writing in the evening, or go over what I wrote earlier.
When I'm not writing, or playing and teaching music, I'm usually walking, reading, skiing, feeding and watching the birds, taking photographs, or listening to music. I play keyboard, saxophone and clarinet with Stepping Out, a band that performs standards, blues, and old rock and roll for dances and other social events, and use the guitar to accompany songs I've written to introduce some of the characters in the stories.
I live in St. George, New Brunswick, on the Magaguadavic River (the one that flooded so disastrously just before Christmas 2011), where I like to drive Nancy, my wife, to distraction by watching soccer on TV and playing loud music.
And while I write, and teach, and play music, I'm still wondering what I want to be when I grow up.
He said slowly, “You know how sometimes something happens, and afterwards you think what you could have – should have – done, if only you had the nerve and the confidence to do it, but of course by the time you think that, it’s too late.”
Wenden mumbled, “Only, like, all the time.”
“Well – it’s like having the nerve and the confidence to do it straight off, at the moment you need to do it,” said Ridge.
Life changes quickly from carefree, innocent fun to desperate survival when teen friends Ridge, Isolde and Wenden inadvertently transgress their city state’s strict rules of conduct and morality. They are sent to a remote institution for ‘retraining’, from which they escape, only to find themselves wandering an empty wilderness as they are hunted by the ruthless guards of the state. In order to survive, they draw on abilities they didn’t know they possessed. They call it Going to Colorland. They’re happy to go there. But afraid of not coming back.
Among other things, we talk about the release of her YA trilogy, "Never Let Me", the first book being released for Kindle on October 13th. Check the link below.
We also talk about being a female gamer, writing game reviews and tie in fiction. Jennifer has been involved in all aspects of the writing business and was a fascinating guest for the show.
Jennifer reccomends Neal Shusterman, and specifically his book, "Unwind".
Other authors she reccomends are Scott Westerfeld, Claudia Gray, Richelle Mead, and Lili St. Crow.
Contact her on:
@jenniferbrozek on Twitter
Jared and I talk about his recently released YA Science Fiction Novel, "Beat", working for Amazon in Seattle, writing on the train, pulse rates, and what to look forward to.
If your heart rate goes over 140 beats per minute, you die.
Fifteen-year-old Nik Granjer hates the Bug. It was the Bug that destroyed the world when it wiped out over ninety percent of humanity a hundred years ago. Even now, the Bug kills anyone whose heart rate goes over 140 beats per minute. That’s why the Prime Administrator gave everyone the Papas – digital wrist monitors that put people to sleep when their heart rate gets too high. The Papas saved humankind.
But one night on the border of New Frisko, when Nik tampers with his Papa and discovers there is more to the Bug than he thought, a brutal enforcement squad from the city suddenly forces Nik into hiding.
On the run and searching for allies, Nik’s only hope is to escape with his life and discover the truth about the Prime Administrator’s regime and the origins of the Bug. But can Nik and his friends keep their heart rates under 140 when it matters most?
Beat is a post-apocalyptic dystopian science fiction thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Michell Plested, author of several YA books talks about his inspiration for his novel, "Scouts of the Apocalypse".
We discuss: Canada, Scouting, Zombies, Short Story Anthologies, Five Rivers Press, Agents, and education
To find out more about him, check out these locations:
@mplested on Twitter
His website: www.michellplested.com
and his author page on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Michell-Plested/e/B009RYGC6G/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_6?qid=1443565807&sr=8-6