Saturday 30 September 2023

The Story Behind the Story with Sean Paul Bedell of Dartmouth, NS, Canada.




Sean is another author I met while attending the GMRD Book Fair in April.

It was a pleasure to make his acquaintance and it’s a treat to have him as our guest this week.

Read on, my friends.


Sean Paul Bedell has been writing and publishing for more than 30 years. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in numerous journals and magazines throughout Canada and the United States. Somewhere There’s Music is his first novel. Sean lives in Dartmouth with his wife, Lisa.



Working Title: Somewhere There’s Music 


Synopsis: Somewhere There’s Music is a coming-of-age story where the shy and intelligent Joel watches helplessly as his alcoholic and abusive paramedic father spirals ever downward and out of control. Joel's life crumbles further when his older brother, disturbed by the drunken violence inflicted on their mother, flees their home. Convinced he must track down his brother and bring him back home if he is to survive in this lonely and frightening new reality, Joel's awareness of his father's workplace experiences expands as he starts to appreciate the issues faced by first responders, even as he begins to doubt that he will escape the chaos of his shattered world. Somewhere There's Music depicts a young man's struggle and the desperate search to find what's left of his family.



The Story Behind the Story: When I worked as a paramedic, a co-worker and friend of mine died by suicide. It’s impossible to know all the reasons for that, but surely the cumulative trauma of emergency calls he responded to over the years, must have been a factor.

When I attended his funeral, I noticed his teenage son was wearing one father’s suits, hemmed to fit him. This young man was sad and grieving but exuded a deep pride for his father.

In part, I wrote Somewhere There’s Music to honour my co-worker and his son.  A novel was a good vehicle to do this. I have been honoured to work and serve as both a paramedic and firefighter. Writing this book helped me exercise my own demons while pulling back the curtain on the world of first responders that is rarely shared without a mask of bravado and heroics. My book tells the brutal truth.

Overall, the book is about a suffering young man who has suffered a tragedy and must find his brother and bring him home. Life is a balance of joy and sadness, so the story also includes fun scenes for a young man facing the world alone – music, wild parties, questionable but cool friends, a spark of romance and road trips. All of which help him define himself.   The book is full of music references, sprinkled in to set the mood, reinforce some of the action taking place and to give the book an overall rhythm. The story also mentions other favourite and interesting things. It’s set in Amherst, Nova Scotia with a few scenes in Boston. The book has lots of references to books, birds, and trees. Other characters have complex relationships with their own sons, and the use of names adds an interesting layer.

I wrote Somewhere There’s Music to encourage a young man who has suffered huge losses to carry on. I pointed to the future to assure all of us that somewhere there’s hope.



Website: Go HERE


A couple questions before you go, Sean:


Scribbler: Can you tell us about the perfect setting you have, or desire, for your writing? Music or quiet? Coffee or tequila?  Neat or notes everywhere?

Sean: I’ve written for a long time; I think I can now write anywhere. I need coffee, the stronger the better. I’m a nerd who uses a fountain pen and a notebook for ideas and sketching out scenes and the overall structure of a story first. I use the notebook to keep everything together, otherwise I’ll be afraid that the best idea I had still lives, unused, on a scrap of paper in an abandoned pocket. When I write I use my laptop and a great writing program that keeps everything together. To write I like to listen to soft jazz or classical music in the background, music only no lyrics or vocals. I also need a place to walk around – outside is best – when I’m stuck on what comes next or working out a plot point that doesn’t make sense yet.


Scribbler: What’s next for Sean Paul Bedell, the Author?

Sean: I’m currently working on a novel where the main character, a paramedic with numerous personal tragedies, does his best to work in the world of trauma and emergency response. As his life falls apart, he struggles to carry on even though he feels he’s not making a positive difference. It has a lot of snippets of emergency calls – good, bad and funny.

Once this book is done, I have another draft on the go. It’s a family drama, where a man looks back on childhood events and now pieces together secrets and troubles to understand what he has become.



Thanks for the opportunity to chat South Branch Scribbler! It’s been fun and great to be a part of the blog.



You’re most welcome, Paul. Thanks to you for being our guest. Wishing you continued success with your writing.


And a special thank you to our visitors and readers.

Saturday 23 September 2023

The Story Behind the Story with Odette Barr of New Brunswick, Canada.


I had the pleasure of meeting Odette at the GMRD Book Fair this past April.

Always with a warm smile, it was a pleasure to meet her.

She has kindly accepted my invitation to be our guest this week.


Odette has chosen to feature the latest installment of her middle grade adventure series, Follow the Goose Butt to... This time, it is Prince Edward Island. Odette is co-author and illustrator for the series.



Odette Barr is a retired teacher who enjoys many hobbies and interests. She has drawn, painted and created art as long as she can remember. Although Odette has always enjoyed writing (mainly nature-themed nonfiction), she only discovered her love of writing children’s fiction in 2014. Odette is a former interpretive naturalist with the Canadian Wildlife Service and Parks Canada—she takes great delight in wandering through natural habitats and is constantly awestruck by the wonders of the natural world. Much of her writing is inspired by nature.

Odette is co-author and illustrator for the Camelia Airheart children’s adventure series: Follow the Goose Butt to Prince Edward Island (Acorn Press, Fall 2023), Follow the Goose Butt to Nova Scotia (Chocolate River, 2018) and Follow the Goose Butt, Camelia Airheart! (Chocolate River, 2016). She and her co-authors also wrote a picture book, Take Off to Tantramar (Chocolate River, 2017), which was the winner of that year’s Alice Kitts Memorial Award for Excellence in Children’s Writing at the NB Book Awards. Odette placed second in the 2019 Pottersfield Prize for Creative Nonfiction, resulting in the publication of her memoir, Teaching at the Top of the World (Pottersfield, 2020), which documents a decade of teaching Inuit students in the territory of Nunavut.

Odette and her partner, YoAnne, share their idyllic lives with a 5-yr-old standard poodle, in a cedar log home on the Northumberland Strait shore.



Working Title: Camelia is never at the head of the flock. She has a faulty GPS—goose positioning system—and she is easily distracted. This means she gets lost...a lot! Therefore, Camelia’s beak is always supposed to be as close as possible to the back end of the goose in front of her. The title for each of the middle grade chapter books reflects this reality : Follow the Goose Butt, Camelia Airheart!; Follow the Goose Butt to Nova Scotia; and Follow the Goose Butt to Prince Edward Island.



Synopsis: Follow the Goose Butt to Prince Edward Island is the third book in the Camelia Airheart adventure series. In the first book of the series, we follow the loveable young Canada goose throughout her New Brunswick adventures after she loses track of her flock one spring on the way home to Branta Bog. In book two, Camelia travels throughout Nova Scotia with her Aunt Tillie, a reporter for the CGBC (Canada Goose Broadcasting Corporation), and finds herself in all sorts of predicaments after losing sight of her aunt on more than one occasion! In Follow the Goose Butt to Prince Edward Island, Camelia’s adventures continue as she ends up circumnavigating the coastline of the pastoral island. While attending a Gathering of the Geese in Cape Jourimain, New Brunswick, Camelia flies over the Confederation Bridge to help Billy the blue jay find his way back to the red island. Despite being easily distracted, having difficulties with directions and much trouble with landings, Camelia manages to explore the Island’s coastline and she meets many new friends throughout her travels. Whether it is golfing with Gilbert the great blue heron, discovering sands that sing with Josie the jellyfish, or causing chaos at Green Gables, Camelia has an exciting time and learns many important life lessons along the way. Most importantly, she discovers that her goose positioning system may not be as faulty as she has always believed!



The Story Behind the Story: Odette writes the Camelia Airheart stories with co-authors, Colleen Landry and Beth Weatherbee. The character of Camelia Airheart came about in June of 2014 while Odette, Colleen and Beth travelled together at the end of the school year to a “Born to Read” information session in Saint John. All three were full-time NB teachers at the time. All three women were interested in writing for young people, and Odette was also interested in doing illustration work for children’s books. As they brainstormed story ideas in the car they came up with an iconic Canadian animal (the Canada goose) that loved to fly and discover new places, yet had no sense of direction and was easily distracted. Ironically, the three teachers got hopelessly lost in Saint John trying to find the library in Market Square. Eventually they got to where they needed to be. Odette, Colleen and Beth had such fun dreaming up Camelia they decided to write the story together.


Read an Excerpt below.



Visit Odette’s FB page HERE.



A couple questions before you go, Odette:

Scribbler: Can you tell us about the perfect setting you have, or desire, for your writing? Music or quiet? Coffee or tequila?  Neat or notes everywhere?

Odette: I am fortunate to have an idyllic setting in which to write. I live in a beautiful log home on the edge of the Northumberland Strait near Cap-Pelé, New Brunswick. My desk and laptop are situated on the second-floor loft overlooking the great room and several large windows that face the sea. I draw my energy and serenity from nature. The forest and bird-life I see from my back windows, the swaying trees viewed in the side windows, and the rolling waves (or drifting ice cakes...season-dependent!) out front help ground me when I need to look away from the page for a mental break.

When writing Camelia Airheart stories with my co-authors, we take turns meeting at each other’s place to do the writing. We generally create our stories via 3-hour sessions of a nonstop cacophony of chatter, singing and theatrical performances that almost always involves food and (ahem!) wine.

Conversely, when writing my own stories, I require absolute quiet. I love music but I also love to sing and if I know the lyrics (which I almost always do...) I cannot help but sing along! I have tried listening to instrumental and classical music at times but I end up turning it off eventually. My writing desk is always neat to begin with but a collection of notes on bits of scrap paper and post-its appear soon thereafter. Any mug of coffee I set on my desk gets ignored—once I start writing I am focused for at least 3 hours. I force myself up after that to stretch my legs. It’s a good thing my body tells me I have to head back down the stairs and take a long “movement” break!



Scribbler: What’s next for Odette Barr, the Author?

Odette: I have a few projects started but the one that I am most keen on at the moment is a young adult novel. It is a coming-of-age story that follows a feisty young Scottish immigrant to Canada through her early years, aged 7 through 19. Morag McEwin is fiercely proud of her Scottish roots and considers her parents’ decision to emigrate to Canada as a temporary one. She thinks of the first few years in this new country as a prolonged vacation and documents her Canadian experiences of ‘fitting in’ through the writing of a story journal. Morag intends to delight her friends and extended family with these stories when she returns to her highland home in the Hillfoots. Morag possesses a strong sense of self. She knows who she is and what she wants...or, at the very least, what she doesn’t want! She comes to the realization that she likes girls a lot more than boys, for one thing! And, much to her surprise, she develops a strong affection for her new Canadian home. In fact, she doesn’t recall when she stopped dreaming of returning to Scotland. The novel ends as Morag finishes her first year at university. She is happy and hopeful and ready to embrace whatever it is that life presents to her.



Excerpt: Follow the Goose Butt to Prince Edward Island:


“...Camelia waddled towards Green Gables. No one really paid attention to the Canada goose on the grass. No one really paid attention to the goose walking through the gate. However, when the goose butted ahead of everyone in line and sauntered through the front door, people really paid attention. And they really, really paid attention when the goose beelined for the parlour, shouting, “Anne! I’m your kindred spirit…where are you?” Of course, all they heard was honk, honk, honk, honk, honk!

Half flying, half jumping around, Camelia wreaked havoc from one room to the next. She toppled the fern from the piano in the parlour. She skidded across the dining room table, sending all the china teacups to the floor with a crash. She clipped the kitchen lamp with her wings, leaving it swaying wildly in her wake. She knocked several bottles of raspberry cordial off the pantry shelf.

Everyone was aghast. People yelled, babies cried, and some pushed and shoved their way out of the house. It was bedlam! Someone grabbed the broom from behind the fireplace and attempted to shoo the Canada goose away. Books tumbled from shelves, pictures flew off walls, and chairs landed where they fell. Last but not least, a straw hat with braids was swept from its owner and…guess what? It landed directly on Camelia’s head. Of course, tourists were busy snapping pictures of this strange event. Nothing like this had ever happened at Green Gables!

Camelia headed for the stairs. She flew up to the second floor and found herself in the bedroom of Anne Shirley herself...”




Thank you for being our guest this week, Odette. Wishing you continued success with your stories. 


And a BIG thank you to our visitors and readers.

Feel free to leave a comment below.

Sunday 17 September 2023

The Story Behind the Story with Author Shani Dykens of Saint John, NB, Canada.



Last week you met Amanda and Shani of PIP.

If you missed it, please go HERE.

 This week you will be able to discover Shani’s stories as she shares the SBTS of her newest work, which is due for publication soon.

You can even read an excerpt below.

Read on my friends.




Shani: I’ve been writing most of my life but never seriously. I spent 15 years as a cake decorator while raising my family until I decided that what I really wanted to do was write so I hung up my oven mitts and picked up a pen. Best decision ever. 



Working Title: There are a couple of books that  I am currently working on. Blades and To the Centerfield and Back from the Baxter’s Lake Boys series and a standalone called No Matter What



Synopsis: The closest to completion is Blades. Enemies to Lovers. Jaime and Ian are friends of the MC (main character) from the first two books. They briefly appear in both stories. Emotionally unavailable Jaime is a bladesmith who owns her own forge and Ian is a pop/rock star. Jaime hates Ian at first but warms up to him. Ian is immediately besotted.

To the Centerfield and Back. Secret baby. This is a couple of high school sweethearts that broke up when the MC is drafted by a major league baseball team. The get back together a few years later and have a fling but she doesn’t find out she’s pregnant until after they separate. They meet up again later.

No Matter What. Second Chance love. Crissa and Jack were married until a tragedy strikes. They both move on with their lives until they realize they still love each other.



The Story Behind the Story: Music is my inspiration. I have playlists that I listen to that are specific to each WIP. I love flawed characters that have imperfections that make them perfect for each other.



Website: Go HERE.



A couple questions before you go, Shani:


Scribbler: Can you tell us about the perfect setting you have, or desire, for your writing? Music or quiet? Coffee or tequila?  Neat or notes everywhere?

Shani: Always music. I usually have a bag of candy and, of course, there are multiple cups of half drunk coffee scattered around my workstation.


Scribbler: What’s next for Shani Dykens, the Author?

Shani: Hopefully, I’ll have Blades completed by the end of the year. To the Centerfield and Back will probably be the end of next year and No Matter What is a couple of years out.


An excerpt from Blades.

He pulled up in front of the address she told him and turned off the engine. He waited until she was off before swinging his leg over himself. He hooked his own helmet on the handlebar before he leaned back on his bike, legs spread out in front of him while watched her unclip the buckle and taking the helmet off. She was gorgeous. Her dark hair set off her honeyed skin perfectly. It looked smooth and silky, hardly a blemish. There was one small freckle above her puffy upper lip that begged to be kissed. Her almond-shaped, lion like eyes gave her a slightly exotic look that completely turned him on. She took a minute to run a hand through her hair and try to get a handle on her arousal, as she handed him the helmet back.

Ian took it from her and hooked it on the opposite handlebar. He looked over at her house, trying to imagine what the inside would look like. The outside was neat and tidy, obviously well looked after. The craftsman was painted a soft butter yellow and what he assumed was a bright white trim. There was a light inside. He wondered if she had someone waiting inside for her or did she leave the light on herself.

"Thanks for the ride." Her words broke into his thoughts.

He smiled at her, "Anytime. I mean that. Anytime you want to take a ride, say the word and I'm here."

"Ian-" She said hesitantly.

"Say it again." His voice was urgent.

She looked at him quizzically, "Say what again?"

"My name. That's the first time you've ever said my name."

"No, it's not." She tried to think back over the past couple of weeks.

"Yes, it is." He insisted, "If you refer to me at all, you always call me pretty boy."

"That can't be right."

"Say it."


"Come on Jamie, please."

"Don't you ever get tired of hearing the word 'no'?" She almost laughed.


"Ian... happy?"

His smile was huge, dimples almost big enough to climb in. "Again."

"God, you're an idiot." She rolled her eyes at him.

"Say it again."

"Ian." He loved the way his name sounded coming from her mouth. That slightly husky voice that made him think dirty thoughts.

"Jesus, I love the sound of that." In fact, he liked it way too much.

Jamie was flustered by his apparent happiness over her saying his name. She wasn't used to this kind of interaction, which was her only reasoning for what happened next.

"Do you want to come in for coffee?" The words were out of her mouth before she even realized what she said.

That was the last thing he expected her to say.

"Coffee?" he asked quietly.

"Uh," she practically wilted in front of him before she caught herself and straightened up, "It’s the least I can do after you got me home safely."

"Jamie, admit it, you like me." he grinned.

"No, I don't. You're annoying, I'm just being polite." Ian threw his head back and laughed. Jamie didn't see the humour. He watched her lips thin as she pressed them together.

"I'm not going to come in for coffee no matter how much you beg, remember? I promised and I always keep my promises." He pushed away from his bike to take a step closer to her. He put his hands on the open zipper of his jacket she was still wearing to pull her half a step closer to him. Her eyes widened slightly, and he thought he heard her breath hitch. Her golden eyes dropped to his mouth before looking back up into his. Interesting that they were very green tonight instead of hazel she was used to seeing. Was she imagining the twinkle? She was close enough to see how thick and spiky his lashes were. Yup, that was a twinkle. She was in trouble.

"Jamie?" He was asking her something. She didn't hear the question. Why was it hard to focus?

"Huh?" Brilliant, Jamie, she silently berated herself. She saw him smirk.

"Do you want me to kiss you right now?" His voice was deceptively calm. He could feel his erection throb against the rough denim of his jeans.

"What? No!" She gave herself a mental shake. “I told you-"

"Yeah, yeah, not your type, I know."

"Good, I'm glad we understand each other." She slid the jacket off her shoulders and handed it back to him. "Thanks again for the ride." She said as she stepped back. She watched him put the jacket on, his shirt riding up, allowing her a glimpse of taut stomach before settling it over his broad shoulders. She couldn't help but sweep her eyes over the rest of his body. She felt a jolt at realizing he was hard. She swallowed thickly.


She looked up at him but didn't say anything. 

"You better go in the house before I take you right here on my bike."

Jamie stared for a few seconds, trying to process what he just said. She had been fighting him since the first day he came into the shop. What would he do if she called his bluff? She could see the desire in his eyes. Did she really want to push him? She was looking for something tonight until he came along and screwed up her plans. He was here and obviously willing. Should she? She didn't bring her hook ups home though. What would he say if she suggested going to a hotel? Slowly, she closed the gap between them, laying her hands on his chest and slid them up to wind around his neck. She pulled his head down and crushed her mouth to his.



Thank you Shani for being our guest and your compelling excerpt. Wishing you lots of success with your writing.


And a SPECIAL thank you to all our visitors and readers. It’s all for you!

Don't be shy, leave us a comment.



Sunday 10 September 2023

The Story Behind the Story with Amanda Evans & Shannon Dykens of Saint John, NB Canada.


Amanda and Shannon are the owners of Partridge Island Publishing.

Making one of their wishes come true, they became proprietors of a book store in the Container Village in Saint John NB.

They have graciously offered space for NB Authors in their store.

They have accepted my invitation to be guests this week.



Since there are two of us talking about this we’ll give you our ‘how we met’ story, since that started it all.

Amanda Evans and Shannon Dykens met at the first-ever meeting of Write Now Saint John in January 2019 and quickly became friends, and that became the foundation of Partridge Island Publishing.



Working Title: In the Fog Anthology



Synopsis: We actually have 2 in the fogs to talk about

Monsters in the Fog is our 5th entry in the In the Fog series, and as the name suggests, it is full of monsters.

Monsters come in many forms and we have collected some of the best from Atlantic Canadian Authors to share with our readers in what turned out to be the darkest of our books so far.

Lost in the Fog is our current open call, and like the previous 5 books, any author in the Atlantic Provinces is welcome to submit stories for consideration until January 31st, 2024. The story does have to make use of the theme of being ‘lost’.


                                                                                            From PIP website.


The Story Behind the Story: The story behind the In the Fog series is the story of Partridge Island Publishing.

As we previously said, Write Now Saint John was just getting started in early 2019 and we set a goal as a group to write a book. We knew we wanted it to be an anthology so everyone would get to see something in print, and we knew that we wanted it to be something that we would do every year so we could see the improvement and bring in new authors.

Because it’s Saint John and always foggy we decided that the title would reflect our lifestyle so we chose the ‘In the Fog’ anthology series. We knew we did not want to exclude any authors based on what they wrote, so rather than choosing a genre each year, we would choose a theme and the authors could spin that theme however they wanted.

We tried to find a publisher in Saint John that would take us on and print this book. There was no one, so we talked to a lawyer who thought our story was interesting and agreed to get us incorporated.

Although we have grown and a lot has changed, we are still community-oriented, and every year we get the community to take part in helping us choose our new theme. For Lost in the Fog we had well over 200 votes to help us make that choice!



 Website: Partridge IslandPublishing


A couple questions before you go:

Scribbler: Can you tell us about the perfect setting you have, or desire, for your writing? Music or quiet? Coffee or tequila?  Neat or notes everywhere?

Shannon always has to have music playing whenever she writes, and she’s mostly a pantser, although she does create Pinterest boards for each story.

Amanda never cares if it’s quiet or loud, when the urge to write hits, it hits. She’s a plotter by nature, but you just never know.



Scribbler: What’s next?

Shannon is working on 2 more novels in her Baxter’s Lake Boys series.

Amanda has no idea.



 Thank you ladies for being our guests this week. 

              Wishing you a ton of success.



And a HUGE thank you to our visitors and readers.

Sunday 3 September 2023

The Story Behind the Story with Jill MacLean of Nova Scotia, Canada.


It’s a real pleasure to have Jill as our guest this week.


Her latest novel is making lots of waves and receiving wonderful reviews.


She kindly accepted our invitation to tell us about it.


Read on my friends.


 **** A note from Jill: I'll be reading from The Arrows of Mercy at Westminster Bookmark (new name, new owners) Fredericton, NB, on Sunday Sept 24th at 3 pm.





Jill MacLean’s first story for young readers was written at the request of her then nine-year-old grandson, who insisted it include hockey and skidoos...where, she wonders, is the blue line? There’s no question he changed the direction of her life: three novels for middle-graders and two for young adults, and of the five, three won the Ann Connor Brimer Award for Atlantic Canadian Children’s Literature and a fourth the Red Cedar Award. The novels received numerous nominations, four of which were international, and two of the books are in Nova Scotia’s school system. 

Wanting a new challenge – and an adult audience – she delved into her abiding fascination with medieval England. She was born in Berkshire, the setting for The Arrows of Mercy, and revisiting it, in reality in the 21st century and in imagination in the 14th, has given her much pleasure. An avid gardener, reader and canoeist, she lives in Bedford near her family.


Working Title:  The Arrows of Mercy


Synopsis: The year is 1348. Haunted by the blood on his hands, an archer named Edmund returns home from the French wars to a life of serfdom.

His brutal elder brother doesn’t want a hero on his doorstep. The priest denounces his mercy killings. The woman he loves yearns for a wider world, the ambitious wise-woman challenges him in ways he deplores, and an abused servant-girl is a thorn to his flesh. Yet, as the days pass, he is impelled to fight for the impossible: love and redemption.

Then plague arrives in the village and everything changes.



The Story behind the Story: My five novels for young readers were all contemporary, four were set in Newfoundland (where my family lived for seventeen years), and four dealt overtly with bullying. I became convinced I was falling into a literary rut.

How to get out of it? The way I chose was not easy: to follow my longtime interest in medieval history and write a novel for adults set in the 14th century. I read extensively about rural England during that period (luckily Dalhousie University has a copious medieval collection). And then I started to write. If the learning curve was steep for my first middle-grade novel, it was precipitous for what eventually became The Arrows of Mercy. I felt like a raw beginner. I floundered amongst piles of research. Characters and plots – far too many of each – trundled across the pages. The upshot? You guessed it: a sprawling, unmanageable mess of a novel.

It took me – literally – years to pare the story to the length it needed to be, and for me to feel ready to release Edmund, my protagonist, to today’s world.

Am I glad I wrote this book? Absolutely. Any writerly suggestions? Stretch your imagination, give your characters the freedom they need, and then write beyond your reach.


The Arrows of Mercy is one of three finalists in the fiction category of the nation-wide Whistler Independent Book Awards, sponsored by The Writers’ Union of Canada “to recognize excellence in Canadian self-publishing.”

You can find a great review of The Arrows of Mercy in The Miramichi Reader:



Cavan (as medieval archer) & Jill MacLean reading at the Book Launch

A couple questions before you go, Jill:


Scribbler: Can you tell us about the perfect setting you have, or desire, for your writing? Music or quiet? Coffee or tequila?  Neat or notes everywhere?


Jill: I’m going to reveal how old-fashioned I am. I write only in my study at home, on my laptop, and it never leaves my study. Write in a coffee shop? Way too many distractions, I’d be so busy eavesdropping and people-watching that I wouldn’t tap a single key. Plus I need my research, be it books or notes or photocopies, to be near at hand (or foot – piles on the carpet.)

I begin each day by reading and revising the pages I wrote the day before, because this gets me back “inside” the story. And when I am inside it (such a fine place to be), the characters talk to me and do things I wasn’t expecting, 24/7. In consequence, I never go anywhere without pencil and paper, and when I suddenly stop dead on the sidewalk to write something utterly brilliant in my notebook, passers-by must think I’m nuts.

I’m fortunate to live in a building with quiet neighbours. I don’t listen to music when I’m working, I stay away from tequila and caffeine because the story that is – I hope – unfolding is stimulation enough.

I think of writing as a balancing act between technique and intuition. Varied and interesting sentences are always the goal and I’m willing to wait for and/or work towards the best word, the phrase that captures – almost! – something ineffable. And luckily I’m old enough to have a solid grounding in grammar.

But intuition – there I’m on boggy ground and words like trust and faith come to mind. I suppose I’m telling fictional lies in the hope of happening upon some truth or other new to me – and, perhaps, to you too.



Scribbler: What’s next for Jill MacLean, the Author?

Jill: A sequel. I have 80 pages. Onwards, ever onwards.






Thank you for being our guest this week, Jill. Thanks for the terrific story. Wishing you tons of success.

And thanks to our visitors and readers.