Friday, July 15, 2016

CARAVAGGIO: SIGNED IN BLOOD now available as ebook

Caravaggio: Signed in Blood, my historical fiction novel for 12- to 14-year olds published by Tradewind Books, has recently been released as an ebook for all you 21st-century types out there!

It is available wherever you buys books or order ebooks. The trade paperback, I also recently learned, is coming back to bookshelves at Chapters following its Starred Review in Kirkus.

If you've read the book already, consider writing a short review on any of your favourite book sites: Goodreads, Amazon, Chapters, or Barnes & Noble. And don't forget to spread the word to your friends. Personal recommendations are always the most valuable.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Summer Writing Opportunities for Young People

Know a budding young writer, aged, say, 11-16? They may want to take advantage of two different programs put on by our local libraries.

On July 6, 2016, I'll be kicking off a workshop series for the Burnaby Public Library's Julia's Studio, teaching young writers how to use interesting facts in their research to build a story. There are three other writers also giving workshops on different topics, each on a successive Wednesday. The best part, registration is free! For more information on the various workshops being offered visit the Burnaby Public Library's website.

From August 8-12, 2016, I'll be joining 8 other writers for the Vancouver Public Library's annual Bookcamp. This week-long day camp rotates young writers through five different workshops put on by published children's and YA writers, along with daily keynotes, writing times, and critique sessions. To find out more, check out the VPL's website.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Fringe Benefits

This is one of the perks of school visits.

So thank you, too, Morgan, Jack, Joshua, Katie, Eva, Kylee, Naomi, Kasey, Clare, Jonathan, Henry, Thea, Joel, Chelsea, Serena, Liam, Wen, Jacob, Maddy, and Matty. I had a great time visiting.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Interview with Simon Rose

Children's writer Simon Rose, author of nine books for children and young adults, recently interviewed me about Caravaggio: Signed in Blood.

This was a convenient way to run an interview, and got me thinking. If your school or group would like to meet me over Skype or Google Hangouts, this is an easy and cost effective way to do so. Contact me for more information or to arrange an online presentation.

***Correction: At one point in the video I mention having written for Our Daily Bread. I confused that Devotional publication with The Upper Room, which published two of my short devotionals.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

SD43 - CTA District Professional Day, Feb. 19

Coquitlam teachers: be sure to check out the Caravaggio: Signed in Blood workshop at this year's District Pro-D, where I'll present the teacher's guide to the novel as well as a preview of what I bring to students during school visits. Make sure you register here!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Books For Me: Providing quality books to needy kids

Last week I had the immense privilege of visiting a school through the sponsorship of Books For Me, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping needy schools provide books and other resources to students. Every month, Books For Me comes to various schools and sets out an array of donated books, and the children each get to choose one to keep. Every month.

In the library with the students of Admiral Seymour Elementary.

In addition, Books For Me sponsors schools to allow them to arrange author visits at no cost to the school. This provides an exceptional learning experience for students who might otherwise not have such an opportunity.

I really encourage everyone to support this worthwhile organization. Go to their website linked above and see what they're all about. There is information on the site if you are interested in donating.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Shaughnessy Elementary School Visit

Yesterday I had a wonderful opportunity to visit with five classes of grades 6 and 7 students at Shaughnessy Elementary School in Vancouver, both to contextualize and read from Caravaggio: Signed in Blood, and to conduct a short fiction-editing workshop. Little known fact: as a high school student I delivered newspapers in the Shaughnessy neighbourhood kitty-corner from the elementary school, on the other side of Granville and the other side of King Edward. I hadn't had occasion to return to the neighbourhood until now.

The students were keen writers, and during the workshop it was rewarding for me to see them catching some of the common weaknesses in their stories and make improvements to them. As the librarian, Ms. Hapton, said, the students had been taught many of these writing techniques in the past, but sometimes it just seems to "stick" more when it comes from a special guest. If so, I was happy to provide the glue.

From the pictures below, you'd think all we did was play with swords. The cameras always seem to come out at this point in the presentation! WE WORKED ON WRITING! HONEST!

And lest you think my size was an advantage in the little contest above, note how well the student is parrying. I never had a chance!

If you'd be interested in having me visit your students, send me a message via the contact form in the right-hand sidebar and we can work out the details. I'm even available to conduct a Skype visit if your school is outside of Metro Vancouver.