Saturday 25 November 2023

The Story Behind the Story with Pierre Arseneault of Kent Junction, NB, Canada.


Lets welcome Pierre back to the Scribbler.

He’s here to share the SBTS for his contribution to the Spring Paths Anthology.

This is not Pierre’s first visit to the Scribbler and we hope it is not the last.

If you missed his previous posting, please go HERE

Read on my friends.



The youngest of eleven children, Pierre C. Arseneault grew up in the small town of Rogersville, New Brunswick, Canada. As a cartoonist, Pierre was published in over a dozen newspapers. As an author, he has written solo and in collaboration with six titles published so far. Pierre currently lives in New Brunswick, Canada.


Title: Spring Paths (book title) / The Old Belfries Farmhouse (the short story title)


Synopsis: The Belfries farmhouse’s new owners learn their recent purchase has a dark and mysterious past.



The Story Behind the Story: First, I’m going to say that I simply love writing short stories and this anthology series has allowed me to explore other genres without the pressure of fitting in with the other dark tales of a short story collection. In the first book of this series, Autumn Paths, I wrote a drama inspired by the idea of combining a literal and a figurative path. I planted this seed in my imagination and developed it into a story I call The Path to Redemption. The story in the second book, Winter Paths, was a drama-comedy titled Melvin, inspired by something I saw while driving to work. I can’t tell you what I saw without spoilers though, so you’ll need to read the story for yourselves.

Which leads me to the newest in the anthology series, Spring Paths. For this one, I wrote a story that I must label as science fiction. The inspiration for which was my recent infatuation with a certain genre of movies, evidence of this you’ll find in the story itself. I can’t tell you what that means without spoilers, so I’ll refrain from doing so and hope that you go read the story, if you haven’t already. But in case you have not (yet), let me say that it’s a simple story of a young couple who learn about the history of the home they recently purchased and are about to move into. Even if this story isn’t the most original, I’m hoping that I gave it an original take that you’ll enjoy.




A couple questions before you go, Pierre:


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?

Pierre: I like quiet but it doesn’t always work. Sometimes I need white noise, like the sound of peeper frogs, rain and thunder or ocean waves. Other times I might listen to instrumental music. Be it classical, light jazz, movie soundtracks, etc. It just can’t be something with lyrics as they pull me out of my work and distract me.

As for a setting, since I moved that’s not the easiest at this time. I simply need a space where I can lay out what I need and avoid distractions. Sometimes that can be the office desk or the kitchen island.

As for notes, it depends on what I’m writing. But let’s just say that I’ve tried it all in my short run as a writer. Notes. No notes. Plotting and pantsing or a combination of both. I’m still gathering evidence on what works best for me. So far it varies with the project.


Scribbler: What’s next for Pierre Arseneault, the Author?

Pierre: Next? I have a dramatic novel written and at the publisher right now. Barring any change of plans, it should be titled Carlton. It’s a sequel to the novella which was the last story in my collection titled Sleepless Nights.

I’ve also started a crime thriller but set that aside to collaborate with my friend Angella Cormier on book 3 of the Oakwood Island trilogy. The title of which we will reveal in due time.

For short stories, I’m mulling over a short story idea to submit to an upcoming anthology as the idea simply sounds fun. Also, I’ve already written a sequel to my Winter Paths short story Melvin for the upcoming Summer Paths anthology. It’s a comedy titled The Year of the Goat and I’m looking forward to sharing this one with you all.

Also, I’d love to write sequels to my previous works, but the time isn’t right just yet. So, there are things brewing, in between my day job, life, and obligations.



Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Pierre. The whole Path Series sounds delightful. Wishing you continued success with your writing. 


And another HUGE thank you to our visitors and readers.

Saturday 11 November 2023

The Story Behind the Story with A-M Mawhiney, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.


Photo Credit: Laura Stradiotto.

This week you will meet Anne-Marie, a devoted author, as well as other author's best friend with all her sharing and caring.

She was kind enough to accept my invitation to be our guest.

Please read on my friends. 



A-M: First let me thank you, Allan, for your kind invitation to chat here about my latest book.


I grew up in northern Ontario, mostly in small mining communities, with time in Montreal and Toronto for my university years. In 1980 I came back to Sudbury where I worked at the local university for almost 40 years. My debut novel Spindrifts was shortlisted for the 8th annual Rakuten Kobo emerging Writer Prize and for the Whistler Independent Book Awards. It was also a finalist in the Canadian Book Club Awards, all in 2022. My second novel Spelldrifts was published August 2023.



Title: Spelldrifts



Synopsis: Spelldrifts:  Life has changed at and of Hope in the decades since Earth tipped back to a flourishing biome. People work together, connected through a telepathic network, to keep their planet healthy. Each person develops additional magical powers in their teen years that help them find their place in the community. Saki, Fania’s seventeen-year-old, is adrift – they don’t know yet what their unique abilities are nor how they will contribute to the world. 

Everything changes when Saki discovers a long-buried secret. Faced with strangers intent with destroying everything that is precious, a darkness creeps over the land. The stakes are high, for those who prevail will determine whether Earth survives.



The story behind the story: I had no plans to write a sequel to Spindrifts. But our grandchildren urged me to continue the story. The older one asked that I include a dragon, and the younger requested a wolf. This seemed a daunting task given the world of the Land of Hope in my first book. But over a few months, dreams, thoughts, and ideas intruded, eventually overriding my common sense. I began to write Spelldrifts. One or two enthusiastic suggestions by the grandchildren, used with their permission, have found their way into the story but mostly this book is a creation of my imagination. However, many of the themes remain rooted in our own realities: inclusion, environmental rehabilitation, social issues, respect, and hope.






A couple questions before you go Anne-Marie:


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?


A-M: Writing setting: Although I do have a painting and writing studio it became cluttered with copies of my first book, so I wrote Spelldrifts at a drop-leaf table owned by my paternal grandparents when they first were married in 1926. I am a pantser so many of my scenes were created on walks with my dog Charlie (who, sadly, passed away in July) and in the middle of the night.

Scribbler: What’s next?


A-M: Besides marketing and promoting my books, I have just started a new writing project that is unrelated to the Drifts two-part series. It starts with a high school students on a debate team who don’t get along. When they start to discover what they have in common this overrides their differences and they form a tight bond. After they graduate, they head off in different directions but keep in touch. Then one day a world-wide disaster occurs. The story follows the four main characters on their quest, against all odds, to reunite and help their community survive.




Thank you for being our guest this week, Anne-Marie. Thanks for all you do for your author friends. Wishing you continued success with your writing.




And a HUGE thank you to all our visitors and readers.

Saturday 4 November 2023

The Story Behind the Story with Steve C. Eston of Fredericton, NB, Canada.


Steve is no stranger to the Scribbler, having been our guest several times in the past.

He’s an excellent storyteller and we are happy to have him tell us about his contribution to the Path Anthologies.

If you missed his previous visits, please go HERE.

Read on my friends.



Steve C. Eston is the author of four books: The Burden of the Protector, The Conclave, Deficiency, and The Stranger of Ul Darak (Book 1 of The Lost Tyronian Archives – Available in December 2023).

He has been a lover of the fantastical and the scientific since he was a young boy. He wrote his first story by hand while still in elementary school — a five-page fantasy action/adventure about a tiger-masked ninja fighting mystical monsters that included his own illustrations.

When not spending time with his family, Steve try to make time for one of his numerous hobbies, which include reading, listening to music, playing video games, watching movies, making puzzles, and playing hockey and tennis. He also love to travel and have developed an obsession with New Zealand after traveling there in 2015 (visiting the set of Hobbiton and hiking alone the slopes of Mount Doom may have something to do with it).

For more information on his current writing projects and for free short stories, visit him at



Working Title: Erasing



Synopsis: A young girl and her family try to find an escape when their small village becomes the target of the powerful Sentinels.



The Story Behind the Story: ‘Erasing’ is my contribution to Spring Paths: An Anthology, the third book in the Paths series, which regroups short stories inspired by the four seasons. It continues to be amazing to work with the authors of the Seasonal Collective in putting these books together. I’ve learned a lot from each of them and hope we will keep going for several years to come. At this point, we’re already thinking about the next instalment, Summer Paths.

In each book of the Paths series, I try to create a short piece that complements or expand on one of my publishes books or stories. For example, the events in ‘Erasing’ take place around 10 years before the beginning of my upcoming high fantasy book, ‘The Stranger of Ul Darak’. It is a great story on its own, while providing background information about one of the main characters, as well as showing how powerful and dangerous the Sentinels, a key organisation in the series, are.

Writing side stories  like ‘Erasing’ is a great way for me to explore characters or events that I wouldn’t normally get the chance to discover. I’ve come to cherish and look forward to creating these short pieces.



A question before you go, Steve:

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? 

Steve: There is a big difference between the perfect setting, and the reality of my writing. Years ago, I used to have a chair in a corner of our guest bedroom and I would write every morning, between six and seven, closing the door, and putting on headphones. Those were the good old days.

Now, we have moved and added four young children to our family. I do not have a dedicated writing space any longer, and I need to be creative and flexible, balancing writing with my new responsibilities as a parent. I try to be as consistent as I can, and write regularly, even if only for fifteen minutes.

I prefer to write with headphones, listening to instrumental music that fits with the story I’m writing. Movie or video game soundtracks tend to work well for me. For example, I listened to the soundtrack of the movie The Adjustment Bureau while writing ‘Deficiency’, my science fiction thriller. More recently, I used the soundtrack of the movie The Fountain while writing my upcoming high fantasy book, ‘The Stranger of Ul Darak’. I’m also working on a new dark fantasy series and listen to the soundtrack of the Witcher 3 video game while doing so.

I scribble ideas and notes in several notebooks that I keep all over the house, and the cars. I also use my phone, texting myself so I don’t forget ideas that appear, often at the most random of times. When I have a minute, I copy and consolidate everything in a series of documents I keep on my laptop, one for each of the fictional worlds I write into.



Thanks for being our guest this week, Steve. Thanks for being part of the Seasonal Collective. Wishing you a ton of success with the new book coming soon. I am anxious to get my hands on ‘The Stranger of Ul Darak’. 

And a HUGE thank you to our visitors and readers.


****If you are intrigued by Steve’s novel - ‘The Stranger of Ul Darak’ – watch here December 16th for the SBTS of the book.

Mark it in your calendar.