Friday, August 31, 2007

Chocolate and Chat

I LOVE this picture.

Meaghan took this shot, on a beautiful summer day, of James McCann discussing his books (RANCOUR & PYRE) with fellow author Meg Tilly and her partner Don.

This shot was taken at the second of our Chocolate & Chat Teacher Appreciation Travelling Road Show events. The Road Show found us at Edgemont Kidsbooks in North Vancouver for this particular event, and because the day was so beautiful, we set up our books outside. Meaghan was sitting behind the book display table when she took this shot. We had a great time talking with people who dropped by, and everyone (teacher or not) got their share of chocolate and chatting.

We have four more teacher appreciation events coming up on September 30 and October 1 in the Chapters stores in Surrey, Langley; the Park Royal Indigo in West Vancouver and the Chapters at Granville and West Broadway in Vancouver.

Please come to see us! We're launching our new books, but we are also sharing ideas with teachers as to how to get authors into the classroom. (And don't forget the chocolate!)


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Travel..., organizing, liaising...
for the Surrey International Writers' Conference right now.
The SiWC will be bringing in writers, editors, agents, publishers and more from all around North America for the conference in October.
But before that happens, flights have to be lined up, tickets have to be organized and many MANY emails must be sent.
This is my life at present. Starting tomorrow, I will do up a small feature on some of the presenters that will be gracing our conference here in this blog.
Will also try to get some pix up from the first two stops on the Terrific Teacher Appreciation Travelling Roadshow that happened over the course of last week. James McCann and I will be doing it all again on September 30 and October 1 in Surrey, Langley, Vancouver and West Vancouver.
Stay tuned for more details. (I can tell you this...the chocolate was luscious.)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Blueberry Season?

The interview I had with Suzanne Lieurance late last week for Book Bites for Kids showed up on the podcast site today. It's a cool site -- I hadn't seen it before and had a bit of fun poking around.

MS.ZEPHYR'S NOTEBOOK and PYRE got off to a quiet but fun start tonight at our first Terrific Teacher Appreciation Event, held at Vancouver Kidsbooks on Broadway. Chocolate hearts courtesy of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory -- made the event complete. Anybody who is anyone in the Vancouver literary community was there, so you'll not want to miss the next event, this Sunday at Kidsbooks in Edgemont Village, North Vancouver. See you there!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Podcast of Interview now Available

I was recently interviewed by Suzanne Lieurance of The National Writing for Children Centre for one of their 'Book Bytes for Kids' segments. You can listen to a podcast of the interview here:

The Centre is a very cool on-line resource for readers and writers. Their stated goal is to "help educate and connect aspiring and successful children’s writers, elementary school teachers and/or librarians to provide books, stories, and opportunities for literacy development for children everywhere."

You can find the home page for the site at


Rocky Mountain on Board...

Just a quick note tonight (as I am still writing, writing) that Chris from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory contacted me today -- and they are on board as a sponsor for our 'Chocolate & Chat' Teacher appreciation book launch events!

This is thrilling news, both because we are now guaranteed to have a great selection of chocolates at our first launch on Thursday night, AND because I am typing this with a bite of dark chocolate cashew cluster melting in my mouth. (Technique tip -- let the chocolate dissolve before crunching up cashew...).

A good chocolate omen, wouldn't you say?


Monday, August 20, 2007

Meetings, Launches, Chocolate...

Great meeting yesterday with CWILL exec, planning for a fun year. We're going to raise the profile of this organization and have a good time doing it. Or that's the plan, anyway. Had another fun little get-together with some CWILLers today, celebrating the return of Julie Burtinshaw from the wilds of the North. Sounds like she had a terrific experience in Dawson City and other hotspots in the coolest place on earth.

James McCann and I are gathering our forces for the first of our book launches this Thursday night. If you are in the vicinity of Vancouver Kidsbooks on West Broadway around 7:30 pm, make sure you drop by. We'll do it again on Sunday in North Van. Lots of books to be had and chocolate for all.

Now I am off to finish my critique of The Jesus Booktour -- a little piece by my buddy Michael Hiebert. This one has breakout novel written all over it.


Friday, August 17, 2007

This and That

Got a lovely review of Ms. Z this week, courtesy of Marsha Skrypuch. Marsha, who founded and is currently in the throes of running the Brantford Writers' Camp, submitted a series of book reviews to her local paper, The Brantford Expositor. They did a beautiful job of laying out the page. I wish more Canadian papers would devote this kind of space to great books for kids by local authors. Go Brantford Expositor! Go Marsha!
In other news, I've got two new blogs to add to my regular reads, both by excellent writers for young people. Mahtab Narsimham is a new Dundurn author and her blog can be found at
And the Most Excellent (and prolific!) author Shelley Hrdlitschka is now blogging too, at
Be sure to check both these new sites out!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ms. Z. Blasts Off!

Launching at last.

It's been a busy summer, but Ms. Z. is finally going to get a chance to formally make her way out into the world.

She will be joining hands with PYRE, James McCann's new novel for teens in a series of launches around the Lower Mainland.

James and I have decided to celebrate teachers as a theme for our launch, and so are welcoming all our colleagues, friends and relatives to grab their favourite teacher and bring 'em along for the celebration.

Here's our press release:

Teen Authors Launch Books with Teachers in Mind

Authors James McCann and kc dyer love teachers.

“Teachers and librarians spend a lot of time directing young readers to our books,” says McCann. “As authors of books for teens, we appreciate how important they are in getting our books into kids’ hands.”

McCann is the author of a new book for teens called PYRE, a prequel to his hugely successful debut novel RANCOUR, both published by Simply Read Books. He has teamed with fellow author kc dyer, who is launching her fourth novel for teens, MS. ZEPHYR’S NOTEBOOK, published by The Dundurn Group.

“We want to let teachers know that Canadian authors appreciate the work they do in getting our books out there for kids to read,” says dyer. “So instead of a conventional book launch with just families and friends present, James and I have created the Terrific Teacher Travelling Road Show. Our goal is to bring good chocolate and good books to the teachers out there who deserve a little appreciation for all they do.”

With books from her earlier Eagle Glen Trilogy nominated for The Chocolate Lily Award and a Canadian Children’s Book Centre Our Choice designation, dyer is no novice to the world of the book launch. “I’m looking at this Travelling Road Show as a warm up for the Children’s Book Week Tour this fall,” she says. “This is our chance to thank teachers in the Lower Mainland for sharing our books with their students.”

McCann and dyer were a part of a cross-Canada Mock Protest earlier this summer, urging readers to pick up a book by a Canadian author after closing the cover on the last Harry Potter novel.

The Chocolate & Chat – Terrific Teacher Appreciation Travelling Road Show will be making stops at both Vancouver Kidsbooks locations in August, and will move to Chapters bookstores in Vancouver, Langley, Surrey and West Vancouver in September and October.

Who: kc dyer, author of "Ms. Zephyr's Notebook" (the Dundurn Group) James McCann, author of "Pyre" (Simply Read Books)
Vancouver Kidsbooks, 3083 West Broadway, Vancouver, Thursday, August 23, 7:30 pm
Vancouver Kidsbooks, 3040 Edgemont Blvd, North Van, Sunday, August 26, 2:00 pm
Chapters Strawberry Hill, 12101 72 Ave., Surrey, Sunday, September 30, 1:00 pm
Chapters, Langley, 20015 Langley Bypass, Sunday, September 30, 3:00 pm
Chapters, Broadway & Granville, Vancouver, Monday, October 1, time TBA
Chapters, Park Royal South, West Vancouver, Monday, October 1, time TBA


James put together an awesome melded graphic of our two new novels, and we've turned it into a poster to celebrate the events. This particular version is aimed at our Kidsbooks launches, as they are coming up first.
Everyone is welcome -- we'd love to see you there!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Back From a Brief Hiatus...

Happy summertime to all!

Here's some news courtesy of Marsha Skrypuch, who is currently busy as a bee running her Brantford Book Camp.

Check out this new publishing resource for young writers...

Launch Pad: Where Young Authors and Illustrators Take Off! is a new print magazine devoted to publishing fiction, nonfiction, poetry, book reviews, and artwork by children ages 6-12. We do not charge teachers, children, or their parents any sort of publication fee.

The magazine offers children a wonderful opportunity to get published!

Children do not have to pay to submit, and we do not charge any sort of publication fee for works that get accepted. Successful contributors receive a free one-year subscription, three additional copies of the issue containing their work (also free) to share with family and friends, a free T-shirt, and a free bookmark. We also send a letter (free of charge, of course) of commendation to their school principal, favorite teacher, or other individual. At present, we do not pay successful contributors.For more information, go here:

More soon.