Sydney Turner, the director of Ready 2 Transition llc just sent me this wonderful picture showing some of the kids in Jamaica who have received copies of the original edition of “Merry Myrrh the Christmas Bat”, which I donated earlier this year.
Ready 2 Transition, along with other business partners, helps provide for the various needs of some of the children in Jamaica, including donated educational and reading books (and more).
I’m so happy to have gotten these books into the hands of these beautiful kids! Merry Christmas!!!
It's here! 25 Servings of SOOP Volume II, featuring 2 of my short stories (and 23 other fabulous stories by some pretty fantastic authors)!
25 Servings of SOOP Vol. II is a collection of short stories written by 25 authors from several countries. While unthemed, this new collection of short stories and pieces of flash fiction looks to follow the footsteps of our first edition, 25 Servings of SOOP Volume I, that served as a literary wine tasting of up-and-coming talent. The book will provide readers across a broad audience with opportunities to support established authors with whom they have already connected, as well as to enjoy works from rising writers looking to earn the spotlight their talent deserves. It is divided into four approximately equal sections and features diverse characters, themes and subtle commentary on social issues. "The Ballad of Is'adora", "The Recital", "Thief", "Doors Between", "Bird on a Wire", "Dying Innocence", "The Wishing Well", and "Three Friends" are some of the short stories that would definitely catch your eye, including "A Tough Nut to Crack", by curator Dannelle Gay.
What about my stories?
Reuben: After the death of Clarissa's husband, her friends and family cannot find it in their hearts to accept her new baby, Reuben, for he is not an ordinary clone.
Envy: This is my shortest flash fiction story yet at only 149 words! This kinda makes a synopsis seem redundant…let’s just say it’s a weird musing by a woman at the end of the universe.
Check out the fun book trailer!
Please tell me a bit about yourself—your background in writing for children and in other genres.
I am a full-time writer of novels, novellas, plays and children’s books. I specialize in farce.
Tell me about your most recent work......what inspired the premise and how did "Wispy & the Unicorn" come to be? What about your stories is topical right now?
I recently launched a children’s book called, “Wispy & the Unicorn.” The story is inspired by a dear friend of mine who recently passed away. She was the first dramaturge I ever had in University and she used to give me much-appreciated guidance and encouragement while I studied playwriting at York. She used to call me her little playwriting fairy and encourage me to ‘work my magic.’ At the time, I was struggling to find my purpose in the playwriting field. I wrote comedy, which was frowned upon in the Canadian Theatre realm. It was hard to be taken seriously when only morbid, depressing plays were receiving government funding. I tried to write that way, but it felt artificial and weird. All I ever wanted to do was to use my work to make people laugh. I didn’t think I could make it professionally unless I conformed to the way everyone else was writing. However, Lena would secretly encourage me and tell me that my gift was magical because it was unlike anyone else’s talent. That was liberating. Once I drummed up the courage to embrace my gift, I was mind-blown by how well my work was received. As it happens, people crave laughter, and I was giving them something they had never really seen before at the theatre. Lena was right.
I also wrote a quarantine novel called "Lovesick Lake". It’s a little darker than some of my other comedies because I wrote it during a time that was pretty depressing for the whole world. I was reluctant to write something while I was languishing from isolation, but my readers begged me for a quarantine novel. So I thought I’d be festive and write a story about the effects of social isolation on the human mind. If you like dark comedy, I think you’ll really enjoy this weird, little book.
What do you hope young readers, and perhaps even parents take away from "Wispy & the Unicorn"?
In “Wispy & the Unicorn,” a little fairy has a rare gift of spreading laughter and joy, but the other fairies whose magic conjures mischief, misunderstand her unique talent. Embarrassed, the fairy hides her magic in a jar where nobody will find it. But a magnificent unicorn implores the little fairy to open the jar and set the magic free. This is a deeply personal book to me, but I think the theme is universal. Embracing your uniqueness can be scary in a world that tries to force us to conform to arbitrary social constructs. Children should be free to be themselves, and to realize this as early as they can. It’s a similar theme to my book, “Freddie the Rock & Roll Cat,” but you know. With unicorns.
What are your fav scenes (from both books)?
I think my favourite scene from “Wispy & the Unicorn” is when the little fairy opens the jar to set her magic free. The illustrator (Nick Dempsey) is amazingly talented at capturing emotion in the character’s faces. The look on Wispy’s face will give you all the feels.
My favourite scene from “Lovesick Lake” would probably be when the socially awkward protagonist (Lydia) meets the love interest (Granger). She has no idea how to navigate through social situations during the best of times, so meeting a swoony stranger after faring alone in rural Quebec for a while, she fumbles around hilariously. It was fun to write.
So, in the hugely busyness of October, I did not have a chance at all to share with you that THREE of my picture books have SCBWI BOOK STOP pages this year! Please drop by, like, and leave a comment so that “Dog Band”, “Merry Myrrh the Christmas Bat”, and “Sloth the Lazy Dragon” can all get the exposure they so deserve! And don’t forget to spread the word to friend’s and family looking to do their holiday shopping!
Find “Dog Band’s” Book Stop page here: https://www.scbwi.org/scbwibookstop-display/?id=793294
Find “Merry Myrrh the Christmas Bat’s” Book Stop page here: https://www.scbwi.org/scbwibookstop-display/?id=798263
Find “Sloth the Lazy Dragon’s” Book Stop page here: https://www.scbwi.org/scbwibookstop-display/?id=798264
Day of the Dead Bonus Blog for my 13 Horrifically Silly Days of Halloween series...with my guest author JF Garrard...Viewer discretion advised
This year, like the past two, I've got a baker's thirteen days for ya -- a bonus Day of the Dead blog!
And once again, I've got the video divided into two parts...here's Part One (please note there is some minor coarse language and a few images that may be disturbing to some (particularly young) viewers):
And here's Part Two! ...
Movies and books we discussed (including some written or edited by Garrard)...
You can find JF Garrard in the following online places...