Thursday, May 31, 2007

Caution: Busy Summer Ahead...

It was a gorgeous day in my part of the world today -- sorta looked like this: A day to remember how lucky we are to live here and now. Important to remember these things once in a while.

Two great meetings tonight. The first was over my first Korean dinner (vegetarian, too!) with Joon Park and the teachers of CWC -- Creative Writing for Children, a creative writing program that has been developing over the past five years in Vancouver. I will be teaching at their summer school this year, with my CWILL BC buddies James McCann, Lee Edward Fodi, Kari-Lynn Winters and two other wonderful instructors -- Lori Sherritt (who is Kari's partner with the Tickle Trunk Players) and Shelley MacDonald, another amazing drama teacher.

We'll be teaching somewhere around 50 kids at the Summit Pacific College in Abbotsford for three days in July, and it sounds like it's going to be a great time. More details as they become available, but I think it's safe to say we'll be running away to the circus this summer.

After dinner, James and I went for coffee to sort out the details of our upcoming book launches. We have big plans in the works as soon as some of the finer details are confirmed -- like book completion dates!

My DEADLINE deadline is this weekend. DEADLINE or bust.You read it here first.

Finally, I had two conversations today with amazing writers -- Jay Clarke known to the world as Michael Slade, ( Jack Whyte, ( writer and raconteur extraordinaire. They will both be a part of the Surrey International Writers' Conference this year, which is rapidly evolving into the Go-To Event of the fall season.

I'm done for the day. Time only for a few words of The Chamber of Secrets to take me away...


Monday, May 28, 2007

Refilling the Well

Had a chance to see two incredible movies this weekend, so I grabbed it. BABEL was the first. The performances were stunning and I really loved the story. The interconnectedness of the diverse cultures was lovely and the layers of the story captivated me. I loved the scenes in Morocco and Japan -- and Cheiko on the balcony was a revelation. However, I felt the ending pandered to the American audience, and that spoiled it the tiniest bit for me.

Yesterday I watched THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND. Stunning movie. Every time I see Forest Whitaker I am gobsmacked by his ability to inhabit the skin of his character. I kept having to remind myself that the story is based on a novel -- merely inspired by true events. The truth was in all likelihood much worse. Brilliant movie.

I highly recommend them both. And now -- I need to grab a few minutes to write.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Flickr Test

By George...

I think I've got it!

This posting of the cover of my last novel is brought to you courtesy of my new flickr account.

Nice castle, eh?

It is, of course, the Bloody Tower from the Tower of London. Site of Anne Boleyn's final demise and setting of a couple of scenes near the turbulent finale of this novel.
Have had a few very interesting discoveries recently, on the subject (of all things) of clocks. Will post more, later.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Busy Day

SiWC board meeting day, which meant lots of driving, lots of talking. But much was accomplished, so all is well.

Signed up today to take the Robert McKee STORY seminar this November in Vancouver. My good buddy Michael will be going too, so I plan to have a great time. I've read McKee's book and have always had a hankering to see him in action, so it's a fun thing to look forward to in what will likely be a Very Busy November.

Finished reading LINCOLN'S DREAMS by Connie Willis the other night. I am a huge fan of Willis, but this is my least favourite of any of her books. I adored THE DOOMSDAY BOOK and TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG, and was completely thrilled with BELLWETHER. Any of these would get my highest recommendation. But everyone deserves to have an off day, so I'll just put LD down as Connie's. I still consider Connie Willis as a goddess among writers.

Started Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone last night, in preparation for the final book's emergence in July. Every time a new one has come out, I've had to read the entire set again. My chief delight in Rowling's collection is her sheer love of language. Anyone who can invent the words quiddich and pensieve is okay by me.

Hopefully tomorrow will bring confirmation that MS ZEPHYR'S NOTEBOOK will indeed be emerging in time for all her planned launches. If that is the case, I will put plans for my shared launch with James McCann's novel PYRE into high gear.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Long Weekend

And so it has been, most of it spent with my assets stuck in this chair, working on SiWC workshop planning. However, the end is in sight, the board meeting is Wednesday and after that, the material should be making its way to the website.

Thanks to advice from illustrator extraordinaire Kirsti Wakelin, I've just established a flickr account, to better manage my photographs in this blog, so here is a little test...

...which, in fact, did not work. I tried loading from Flickr, but instead had to load the picture from my archive. (Puppy Seamus, almost two years ago.)
So much to learn, so little time...
In the meantime, watch this space for launch details regarding the imminent arrival of MS. ZEPHYR'S NOTEBOOK.
Plans are in the works for a co-launch with James McCann, who will be launching his latest novel, PYRE.
Tomorrow, James and I and a bunch of other CWILLites will descend on the Vancouver Public Library to scope out the Alice McKay room, prior to our Spring Book Hatching.
Much is unfolding -- hope it all means I can soon remove my now more substantial assets from this chair...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Spring Book Hatching

...a bit of an update for those interested in new books and the authors that write them.

Saturday, June 9th, between 1 and 3, hie yourself off to the Alice McKay room in the downtown branch of the Vancouver Public Library.
There you will find all the new material you need for a summer of wonderful reading. More than 30 authors and illustrators will be presenting their latest works. Blackberry books will be on site, so you can pick up a new book or six from your favourite BC authors and illustrators.
These will include: Alison Acheson, Dan Bar-El, Diana Bonder, Vivien Bowers, Della Burford, Kristen Butcher, Linda DeMeulemeester, Maggie deVries, kc dyer, Lee Edward Fodi, Dennis Foon, Diane Haynes, James Heneghan, Melanie Jackson, Heather Kellerhals-Stewart, Cora Lee, Shar Levine, Ainslie Manson, Adrienne Mason, James McCann, Victoria Miles, Max Newhouse, Cynthia Nugent, Jacquie Pearce, Louise Phillips, Ellen Schwartz, Sima Elizabeth Shefrin, Shannon Stewart, Tiffany Stone, Joan Betty Stuchner, Diane Tullson, Kari-Lynn Winters & Pam Withers.

This event is sponsored by CWILL BC, Blackberry Books, The Vancouver Public Library and Pandora's Collective, with support from ING and Purdy's Chocolate.

Each author or illustrator will have a table -- so come out and meet your favourites! There will be treats and activities galore.
There will also be a PASSPORT table, where all attendees can collect a passport. If collect autographs from ten or more presenters around the room, you can tear off a tab at the bottom of the passport and be eligible for a PRIZE! (Plus you get to keep the autographs...)

Bonnie Nish and Sita Carboni of Pandora's Collective have graciously offered to help by emceeing this event. Each author and illustrator will get a brief chance to showcase his or her latest books.

There will be three presentation 'sets' – one for each age group: Picture Books, Middle Grade/Chapter books, Young Adult/Teen books. In between sets, activity will take place at the tables, books can be bought, autographs can be obtained. Activities around the room will resume between the presentations, giving the authors a chance to sign their books etc.
Come and join us for a couple of hours of great book collecting fun -- June 9th at the Vancouver Public Library.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Can it be true...?

Has she hung up her gin pail at last?

Mr. Clooney is stunned at the thought of a blogsphere without his favourite scribe...

Stars Shine in Surrey...

...this October.

This list is not complete as yet, but it's looking pretty good so far, I think!

Kelley Armstrong, John Brady, Jan Burke, Anthony Dalton, Michael DeFreitas, Maggie deVries, Diane Duane, Hallie Ephron, Lee Edward Fodi, Dennis Foon, Diana Gabaldon, Stephen Galloway, Bruce Hale, Cecelia Holland, Bernice Lever Paul Lima, Phillip Margolin, Don McQuinn, George McWhirter, Jacqueline Mitchard, Peter Morwood, Anne Perry, Lois Peterson,Vicki Pettersson, Karen Robards, Wendy Roberts, Barbara Rogan, Michael Slade, Patricia Smiley, Timothy Taylor, Meg Tilly, Nancy Warren, Eric Walters, Jack Whyte, Daniel Wood.

Donald Maass, Cricket Pechstein-Freeman, Jeffery McGraw, Kristen Nelson, Rachel Vater, Doris Booth, Janet Reid ,Nephele Tempest, Sorche Fairbank, Dan Conaway, Jenoyne Adams, Lauren Abramo, Michael Bourret, Jenny Rappaport.

Elizabeth Lyon, Lisa Rector-Maass, Barry Jowett, Kaylan Adair, Jesse Finkelstein, Bob Tyrrell, Tonya Martin and Maggie de Vries

Registration opens in July. Watch the website at

Or better still, sign up for the on-line newsletter on the site. It's ONLY used to send SiWC news -- and it will keep you up to date with the latest.


Friday, May 18, 2007

Twigg Book

Hey -- just remembered I promised to load an image pertaining to the new Shadbolt fellow ...
Here's my favourite book by Alan Twigg, as chronicled a day or two ago:

(Cheesy image quality thanks to the rotters at the Anvil Press site.)

A better image is this one, of the masthead of BC Bookworld. Twigg is a friend to all authors in British Columbia, having gathered an on-line compendium of some 8000 names of writers from this province. BC Bookworld is known to riders of ferries and denizens of bookstores throughout the province as a leading journal chronicling the chaotic existence of people who make their living in the realm of words. It's a great read.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Spring Book Hatching Approacheth

Met today with CWILL BC president James McCann and the most wonderful ladies of Pandora's Collective. Bonnie and Sita will be helping us with the Spring Book Hatching as the star emcees for the event AND I think I may have sold them on the wonders of blogging, as well!

Here's a copy of the poster for the event -- designed from the artwork of Kari-Lynn Winters and Jacqueline Pearce by Kirsti-Anne Wakelin, artist extraordinaire!

James and I may end up launching our books together. We both write for young adults and our books should be arriving within a few weeks of each other. Stay tuned for more information!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

50th Post!

Hey -- just realized this is my 50th blog posting. I guess it's become a habit, eh?

News today about author, BC Book world editor and all round nice guy Alan Twigg...

He's not only the most recent recipient of the Shadbolt Fellowship for the Humanities from SFU, he's been named writer in residence at the George Price Centre for Peace in Belize city. Twigg has written a dozen books on Belize and Cuba and is now working on a book about the relationship between founder of Belize George Price and former PM Pierre Trudeau. It's an interesting story, but I'm not going to tell you more -- you have to go check it out at Alan's website:

As appealing as his books about far away and warm places may be, my favourite Twigg title is INTENSIVE CARE and it tells the story of Alan's dual with a brain tumour. Guess who won?

My computer is driving me crazy tonight, but I will try to post a picture of Alan and or one of his books tomorrow.

Currently reading MISS WYOMING by Douglas Coupland, interspersed with pithy quips from George Carlin's WHEN WILL JESUS BRING THE PORK CHOPS?.

~kc, a reader of eclectic tastes...


Sunday, May 13, 2007


So, I just had an idea, but I have to go hunt down some old photos to realize it. I think it'll have to wait until tomorrow.

In the meantime, I can give you a picture that I promised a week ago or so -- from the Orca Book Launch held at Kidsbooks. I was there to support CWILL BC authors Kari-Lynn Winters and Diane Tullson as they launched their new books. This picture is of CWILL BC Prez James McCann and a fan congratulating Kari, with her new book JEFFREY AND SLOTH close at hand.
I think more pix will be posted at the CWILL BC blog, address appended in the side bar. Check it out to see!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

BC Book Prizes

A bit late with this news, but nonetheless...

BC Book Prize Winners Announced

Vancouver, BC - The West Coast Book Prize Society is pleased to announce the winners of the 23rd Annual BC Book Prizes. They are as follows:

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize Sponsored by Friesens, Webcom and Transcontinental
Carol Windley, Home Schooling (Cormorant Books)

Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize Sponsored by the BC Teachers’ Federation
Don McKay, Strike / Slip (McClelland & Stewart)

Hubert Evans Non-fiction Prize Sponsored by Abebooks
Heather Pringle, The Master Plan: Himmler’s Scholars and the Holocaust (Viking Canada)

Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize Sponsored by Sandhill Book Marketing
Katherine Gordon, Made to Measure: A History of Land Surveying in British Columbia (Sono Nis Press)

Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize Sponsored by the BC Library Association
Sarah Ellis, Odd Man Out (Groundwood Books)

Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize Sponsored by Kate Walker and Company, Michael Reynolds and Associates and Craig Siddall and Associates
Maggie de Vries and Renne Benoit,Tale of a Great White Fish: A Sturgeon Story (Greystone Books)

BC Booksellers’ Choice Award In Honour of Bill Duthie Sponsored by BC Booksellers' Association and Duthie Books
David Suzuki and Greystone Books, David Suzuki: The Autobiography

Patrick Lane is the recipient of this award, established in 2003 by the Honourable Iona Campagnolo, to recognize British Columbia writers who have contributed to the development of literary excellence in the province.

This year’s gala, emceed by William Deverell and attended by the Honourable Lieutenant Governor Iona Campagnolo, took place at Government House in Victoria on April 28, 2007. The BC Book Prizes were established in 1985 to celebrate the achievements of British Columbia writers and publishers. The prizes are administered and awarded by members of a non-profit society who represent all facets of the publishing and writing community. The West Coast Book Prize Society congratulates all of the winners!

The 2007 BC Book Prizes On Tour has just wrapped up too and more than 2,900 people around the province have had the opportunity to meet and hear some of the finalists for the BC Book Prizes. This year, BC Book Prizes On Tour visited a record 15 communities with readings in schools as well as public venues like libraries and book stores. Check out photos of the authors on tour at our website.

For further details, visit


Not Ready to Make Nice...

Spent the morning poolside, alternately watching my girl get a best time in 100 m breast stroke (who knew?) and continuing my quest to sort programming, invitations and vast quantities of Surrey Conference email .

Paused this afternoon to watch the boy's team get trounced in lacrosse [sigh -- but I think he had fun, anyway] and have a quick peek at SHUT UP AND SING, the documentary about the Dixie Chicks travails over the past few years.
Interesting viewing.
In spite of being born and reared a red-neck Albertan, I grew up in the age of anthemic rock, so country music was a closed book to me. However, today I enjoyed watching these women find their way through the morass created as a result of something that was originally meant as a bit of an attention-getting noise. It's fun to watch people stand up for their own convictions, particularly if they have to do a little soul searching along the way.

Good flick.

Back to work!


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Migraine Haiku

afternoon totalled

black spots, nausea intense

migraine, goddammit

...a twisted homage to my wrecked day and Miss Snark's Pynchon haikus, with apologies to Edvard Munch

~kc, recovering, thank you

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Hot Fuzz

The boys are back.

Went to see Hot Fuzz tonight with Petey. It was everything I had hoped it would be. I was a bit worried that Simon and his gang wouldn't be able to maintain the standard they set with Shaun of the Dead, but they did just fine.

The cast (and casting) is brilliant, though for the life of my I can't understand why Steve Coogan (and Cate Blanchett, for that matter) would want to perform uncredited. Peter Jackson also shows up in a cameo as an uncredited (but murderous) Santa.

Much gore in the last half hour, but nothing less than one would come to expect from this particular gang of miscreants.

Lovely respite from my labours, but back to programming tomorrow. My goal is to have the SiWC program roughed in and ready for approval by the end of the week. Still working out invites, though, which makes this tougher...

My _secret_ goal is to find three days on the weekend and thereafter to finish DEADLINE once and for all -- for now. For this I may need to run away from my responsibilities, if I can. We'll see.


Monday, May 07, 2007

Pyre Launch Postponed

Just got a note from James McCann --

The launches for Pyre have been postponed due to the book not being physically available until late May/early June...More to follow. DO still come to 80s at 8 on Wednesday May 16th, and do enjoy a fun time of 80s music and trivia! (Even if Pyre can't make it.)
Cottage Bistro, 29th@Main. (in Vancouver, BC...)

When the new launch info goes up, I'll post it here, too.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Facebook and SiWC and My Man Jan

I acquiesced to coercion and opened a page on Facebook today. (You can find me under kc dyer, though they insisted on capitalizing my k and d.)

I'm not sure what the value of this endeavour will be, but we'll see. My daughter suggested I use the page to publicize my books, but I have my blog and website for that... I guess we'll see what develops.

Spent the bulk of the day gathering up the last of the invitees for SiWC this year. There will likely be a few more over the next couple of months, as all things settle out, but the line-up is looking pretty darned stellar already. Since the author list in the public domain already, I'll post it here:

General Fiction: Don McQuinn, Stephen Galloway, Cecelia Holland, Jacqueline Mitchard, Timothy Taylor,

Historical Fiction: Jack Whyte, Diana Gabaldon, Anne Perry

Mystery: John Brady, Jan Burke, Hallie Ephron, Phillip Margolin, Patricia Smiley, Barbara Rogan

Urban Fantasy-Horror: Kelley Armstrong, Vicki Pettersson, Michael Slade

Romance: Karen Robards, Wendy Roberts, Nancy Warren

Children / Young Adult: Maggie deVries, Lee Edward Fodi, Dennis Foon, Bruce Hale, Eric Walters.

Speculative Fiction: Diane Duane

Non-fiction: Michael DeFreitis, Elizabeth Lyon, Anthony Dalton, Paul Lima, Lois Peterson, Daniel Wood.

Poetry: Bernice Lever, George McWhirter

The categories are almost useless, because virtually everyone of these authors writes out of genre now and again. Anne Perry belongs in mystery, and Bernice Lever belongs in non-fiction and Diane Duane writes for kids and so on.

But isn't this an amazing list? There are one or two surprises still to come. And when we add the incredible selection of agents, publishers and editors -- well, it's possible that Surrey might be the place to be for aspiring writers in October.

I'm just saying.

One other note. Today after school, being Friday, my children and I were in pursuit of DVDs (for them) and chocolate (for me, but of course they managed to score a bit as well). Whilst managing to meet our weekend quota of both items, we ran into a friend of mine -- Jan Hurst. I was thrilled to introduce him to my children. Such a cool guy.

It is a point of great delight to me that Jan's first foray into writing was a book about building kayaks , published circa 1931. He's written a couple of books recently; Thorfinn Thorhallson's Saga, published in 2001, and more recently a speculative fiction story called Ultimate Downsizing.

When I saw him today, he was on his way to a 'three-day' birthday party for his daughter-in-law, he said, with celebrating set for this evening and Sunday, and apparently a day off for the hang-over in between. He shook hands with my son, and remembered meeting my daughter at Word On the Street last September.

"You remember me," he said to her. "I'm the old guy from Bowen Island." He waved us good-bye and headed off to meet his daughter-in-law and go to the party.

On his next birthday, he'll be 95.

Here's his website if you'd like to check out his books. (Or if you need your kayak tuned up, he's your man.)


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Orca Launch

Tonight I drove through the deserted streets of Vancouver (via the deserted streets of Richmond -- evidence of how the threat of playoff elimination for the Canucks can make traffic seem like some other city's problem) to attend the Kidsbooks launch of a number of new Orca books titles.

Two CWILLers were presenting their books: Kari Winters (JEFFREY AND SLOTH) and Diane Tullson (THE DARWIN CHRONICLES).

Congrats to both of them on beautiful books! When CWILL president James McCann, also in attendance, shoots me the picture I took of he and Kari, I'll be sure to post it here.

I was looking for a copy of THE NUMBER DEVIL for my daughter, but the store was sold out, so will pick one up when I go to one of James's upcoming launches. I did buy a copy of 'GOOD DOG, FERGUS' by David Shannon (whose books I adore) to send to my sister and her old dog.

And in that spirit, here is a picture of a good dog I know, named Fergus.
(Two dog pictures in two days...a record!)

Ran into author/editor Maggie deVries at the launch, who will be coming as a presenter to SiWC this fall. Also ran into another editor whom I am hoping will be able to make it. Watch the mailing list for updates!

(If you're not on the mailing list for SiWC -- why not? Check out the website for details and get yourself all signed up. You won't be inundated with email -- just when we have good news about the conference to share. And this is a newsy time of year. I'm just saying.)



Short post tonight, as it is past midnight and I have once again run out of day. Cleared 760+ emails off my machine today-- the system has been threatening to crash for days now. This reduction should improve things a little.

In other news, I have been invited to participate in a podcast interview this summer with Book Bites for Kids, a division of The National Writing for Children Centre.

More info closer to the event.
Progress on the SiWC front now includes having contacted all confirmed speakers for their bio and picture. This information will soon appear on the website:

Next big steps are to fill the roster and get the workshops scheduled. It's slowly happening!

Will send out a teaser mailout with more presenter names this weekend.
The picture of Seamus is to make up for the fact that I left him out on the deck tonight as a storm rolled in. He was not spooked, but I felt terrible. He'll pay me back by taking up all the bed.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

James McCann launches PYRE

CWILL BC president (and my buddy!) James McCann announces a triumverate of events to launch his newest novel:

This is the story of the events that lead up to the story as it plays out in James's first book RANCOUR.

May 16th, May 26th and 27th -- so no excuses -- check out one of these fine events, and buy a book or two!

May 16th -- 80s @8 pm, 4468 Main Street (29th Ave.)

May 26th -- Kidsbooks in Kits @ 6:30 pm, 3083 West Broadway

May 27th -- Kidsbooks in North Van @ 2 pm, 3040 Edgemont Blvd