Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Ferries have some advantages and one of them is reading time. When I headed over to Vancouver to help my daughter move last weekend, I brought along Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. Now I have to tell you right up front that I love Halse Anderson. Her writing is crisp, clean and without extraneous detail. Her characters are as alive as you and I. And, best of all, her books pack an emotion punch that make can take your breathe away. Wintergirls doesn't disappoint. It's a seriously tough read, but in a 'you can't put it down sort of way'. By the time you've finished it, you will have been fed through the anorexic/bolemic/cutting mill and been spewed out the other side. There is nothing generic about Wintergirls though. Through Lia, the author takes you inside the skin and bones mentality of girls who who think they will be beautiful if only they can get thinner. Wintergirls is as raw as the razor blade wounds that 18 year old Lia inflicts on herself when she hates herself for eating. Through Lia, and the death of her best friend and competitor, Cassie, the author takes you inside the skin and bones mentality of girls whose only acceptable weight is zero.

It is a trip you won't soon forget, and fortunately for the feint of heart, there is a small glimmer of light at the end of Lia's tunnel.

For all you Halse Anderson fans out there, the cover is fabulous. Here's a peek. There's also a pretty cool trailer that you can see at Amazon, but I'm not sure how to download it, but do check it out because the author talks about her approach to writing and it's quite interesting.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

BC BOOK PRIZE shortlist for novels announced

BC BOOK PRIZE shortlist was announced today:

Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize
- Counting on Hope by Sylvia Olsen, Sono Nis Press
- The Gryphon Project by Carrie Mac, Penguin Group Canada
- Inferno by Robin Stevenson, Orca Book Publishers
- Return to Bone Tree Hill by Kristin Butcher, Thistledown Press
- The Ship of Lost Souls by Rachelle Delaney, HarperTrophyCanada

Congratulations to everyone!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

writing tip

I came across this great writing tip from Jerry Spinelli, an author I really admire, and I thought I'd pass it along.

"Write what you care about. When I write it out, I always underline the word care."

Mr. Spinelli goes on to say, "My reasoning goes like this: You want to be published, right? You want to be read. And not just read—enjoyed. Right? That is to say, you want your readers to care about your story. It goes without saying that to maximize your chances of doing so, you need to do your best writing. Your best writing, I believe, will come out of you when you care what you're writing about. Caring will draw things out of you that have nothing to do with spelling or query letters or subscriptions to writing magazines. Bleed your caring onto the paper or computer screen. It's the first way to make a reader—or editor—care about your story."
—Jerry Spinelli