writing life

How to Be a (Real) Writer – Pt. 1: Write You

I was five years old when I decided I wanted to be a writer. To be fair, most people don’t find their calling that early in life. But the passion and fascination I’ve had for books, the literary world, and the arts, never left me. Now, as Moncton’s inaugural Anglophone Poet Laureate, a professional editor & writing consultant, as well as the host of the Attic Owl Reading Series, the writing world is my entire life.…

The Peg Tittle Interview

Peg Tittle is a prolific author, and not just in one genre either. She has published everything from creative fiction to articles in journals and magazines to textbooks. She’s even done some stand-up comedy! She has a definite style when it comes to her books and stories and it is one I quite enjoy reading, even if I don’t always find myself agreeing with her viewpoint.…

Bill Arnott’s Showcase Interviews: Patricia Sandberg

Let’s meet award-winning author Patricia Sandberg, a tireless member of the Canadian Authors Association, which is where we met, at a boisterous Vancouver get-together.

Q. Please tell us about yourself.

A. I grew up on the banks of Lake Athabasca, at a mine producing uranium for the Cold War. Residents said, “it was the best place they ever lived.” After leaving my legal career, I gave the long-closed town new life in my nonfiction book Sun Dogs and Yellowcake: Gunnar Mines, A Canadian Story which happily won some awards.…

The Anna Van Valkenberg Interview

“A town is a tin of children in an ocean,” writes Anna van Valkenburg in her debut poetry collection, a rich, unpredictable, and deeply surreal exploration of identity and the multiple contradictions we each embody. These poems, set in locations real and imaginary, magical and banal, inhabited by figures out of Slavic folklore and a Boschian landscape, strive to unearth truths, especially those that are difficult or uncomfortable, using Bertolt Brecht’s maxim “Do not fear death so much as an inadequate life” as a touchstone.…

Writers’ Tips from Bill’s Workshop Series II

The Essentials of Ads and Promo

Here’s something you might know. If not, let me share.

For some time, we’ve needed to see an ad multiple times before it resonated—stuck—sufficiently looping in our headspace to motivate us to act, in other words driving us to actually purchase the item being promoted.

In the earliest days of advertising a single placement could well result in action.…

Writers’ Tips from Bill’s Workshop Series I

Success

Writers, whether you know it or not, you’re a business owner. Specifically, an entrepreneur. The sooner you acknowledge and embrace this, the better. And the easier it’ll be to promote and sell books.

Herein lies the dichotomy. As writers, we inherently don’t want to promote—to sell ourselves and our stories. We write because we enjoy it—selecting words to communicate a vision—moods, scene, dialogue.…

The Luke Inglis Interview

Luke Inglis works and lives on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia. His debut novel, Something Drastic, was just published by NON Publishing. The book’s strange protagonist, Earl Qume’s poisoned mind has altered his reality and transformed his surroundings into omnipresent threats. After his wife kicks him out and he finds himself on the run from the law, he escapes the concrete confines of Toronto to find refuge in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.…

Writers’ Primer: Ratios, the Sure-Fire Way to Get Published

Ever heard of ratios? I mean, outside of middle school math.

Ratios are a simple, effective way to quantify your effort as a writer. And if your primary goal is getting published, knowing your ratios is essential. It’s been said, “It’s all a numbers game.” Don’t let an expression’s overuse dilute its merit. It’s cliché in part because it’s accurate. There’s a reason people cite the effectiveness of numbers.…

Bill Arnott’s Beat: I Knew I Was a Writer…

… around the time I signed my first book. The purchaser, someone I’d known for years, looked at me with an excitement I’d never seen them display prior to the publication of my modest trade paperback – a book about personal development and designing a good life – what we labeled self-help in the day. It became a national bestseller. Fifteen years later people still buy copies and seem to enjoy them.…