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Writing. Rewriting. The editor. The agent. The publisher. The road tour. Aftermath revelations. 

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Home | Season One | Season Two | Season Three | Season Four

Season Two: First aired January - April 2007
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Carol Windley: "Everything we write is a risk."
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Show #10 - Carol Windley

Carol Windley was born in Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island and grew up in B.C. and Alberta. In 2002, she won a Western Magazine award for "What Saffi Knows," the opening story in the collection Home Schooling, which was shortlisted for the 2006 Giller prize. Her other books are Breathing Under Water, a novel, and Visible Light, a collection of stories. Carol Windley won the 2007 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, BC Book Awards, for Home Schooling.

Topics: the art of rewriting, the experience of the Giller nomination, the way she works.

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homeschooling
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Steve Guppy: "What I really like is...having characters in my head. To me it's like a massive crossword puzzle."
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Show #11 - Steve Guppy

Widely anthologized novelist, poet, story-writer Steve Guppy lives in Nanaimo and teaches poetry and fiction workshops at Malaspina University-College. On writing: "What I really like, to be honest, is that very subjective thing of having characters in my head. To me it's like a massive crossword puzzle." His last two books are The Work of Mercy (short stories), 2006, which includes "Downwind", short-listed for the Journey Prize; The Fire Thief, a novel.

Topics: mining your life vs researching history; reviews and reviewers in Canada; Hanford Nuclear facility potential impact on B.C.; what's exciting about writing; method of working; the reading he recorded for AuthorsAloud.

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mercy
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George K. Ilsley: "It's the public-private thing about being a writer...private, lonely, boring; then the public aspect, all these anxiety-
provoking events focused on a book."
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Show #12 - George K. Ilsley

George K. Ilsley was born and raised in Nova Scotia and is a graduate of Acadia University and Osgoode Hall Law School of York University. And being young and foolish at the time (according to his website), he chose not to become a lawyer. George K. Ilsley was resident, October through December 07, at Berton House Writer's Retreat in the Yukon. His two books are Random Acts of Hatred (stories) and Manbug, nominated for the LitBlog Prize. His website is a must-see.

Topics: entomology; Microsoft culture; cover design; insight while listening to your computer reading your work; rewriting; the reading he recorded for AuthorsAloud.

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man bug
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Caroline Adderson: "People sometimes ask, who do you write for? ...I write for the characters. I get the sense that I'm trying to put down the
truth about their lives. "
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Show #13 - Caroline Adderson

About why certain books are designated by reviewers as gloomy or difficult or about angry people: "Everyday moral conundrums make people uncomfortable; the closer [the book] is to the personal life of the reader, the more personally they take it." Bad Imaginings, Sitting Practice, A History of Forgetting, Pleased to Meet You. Caroline Adderson has won many prizes for her writing & unusual themes. Caroline Adderson was the recipient of the 2007 Marian Engel Award (Rogers Writers Trust), a prize worth $15,000.

Topics: consciousness of craft; the Banff experience and working with editor Jennifer Glossop; Andreas Schroeder's influence; getting characters from one room to the next; the CBC literary prize; what goes on inside writers' festivals; the reading she recorded for AuthorsAloud.

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meet you
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Kathy Page: "I had made the book too complicated and it was ... diluting itself into all these other lives."
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Show #14 - Kathy Page

Kathy Page is noted for complex characters and compelling narrative, as well as suspense, both psychological and existential. Quotes from the show about work on her novel, Alphabet: "I found the manuscript a year later and could see instantly where it had gone wrong. I had made the book too complicated and it was kind of diluting itself into all these other lives." Her Last two novels are Alphabet and Story of My Face. Kathy Page is from Britain and has won many awards for her writing. She is a faculty member, fiction and narrative prose, at the Banff Wired Writing Studio, 2007-2008.

Topics: Rewriting, with emphasis on point of view, including close third person & changing the point of view to gain perspective on the work. Writing characters whose lives are completely different from yours. Hear her reading on AuthorsAloud.

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alphabet
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Adam Lewis Schroeder: "While working on Empress of Asia, [my agent] gave me very good feedback. Some of it was hard to hear."
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Show #15 - Adam Lewis Schroeder

Empress of Asia, nominated for this year's Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, was a work-in-progress for several years and has been sold to Picador in the U.S. Its second draft was 800 pages long. About the role of his agent, Anne McDermid, in the book's success: "She gave me some very good feedback. All her suggestions made so much sense. Some of the stuff was hard to hear. You work on your draft for a year or two and then you hear the hardest one. She didn't think the readers would enjoy the narrative voice...it means changing pretty much every word... " His two books are Kingdom of Monkeys and Empress of Asia.

Topics: Anne McDermid; the agent's role in the editorial process; Madeleine Thien; the story idea notebook; drafts of the manuscript, rewriting; submitting to literary journals, promoting your career in writing.

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empressofasia
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Anne DeGrace: "I feel there's an accumulation of stories in any given place...that creates a combined knowledge."
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Show #16 - Anne DeGrace

Treading Water, Anne DeGrace's first book, sold so well it had to be reprinted. Wind Tails, her second novel, was published by McArthur & Co in September 2007. On this show Anne DeGrace reads from the new book, still in manuscript, and talks about its form and how her writing practice has had to change.

Topics: the difficulties in writing a novel commpared to stories; self-publishing, considerations; the editor Verna Relkoff; agent Morty Mint; where the idea for the new novel originated; about covers, where they come from; reads from her manuscript entitled Wind Tails.

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wind tails
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Leona Gom: "I admire people who can develop a compelling mystery, because it's not as easy as I thought it would be."
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Show #17 - Leona Gom

A long-time light on the Canadian literary scene, Leona Gom has written six books of poetry, her poems widely anthologized. She turned to fiction and won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize for her first novel Housebroken, and later went on to write the Vicky Bauer mysteries. She reads from her latest novel Hating Gladys.

Topics: the difficulty of rewriting when it comes to novels, the advantages of publishing with a small press, why she stopped writing poetry, on writing mysteries, dealing with submissions while an editor at Event, the literary magazine.

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gom book
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