Fiction and Neuroscience – Guest post by author Trina St. Jean


“I am a brain, Watson. The rest of me is a mere appendix.” Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes in The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone, 1921) Everywhere you turn these days, fictional characters in both adult and young adult novels are dealing with brain trouble. Maybe they’ve had their brains altered by surgery, like in YA dystopian books such as The Killables by Gemma Malley, or they’re facing the sudden or gradual onset of a neurological disorder, like in bestselling novels by Lisa Genova. Neuroscience has made its way into mainstream pop culture in a big […]

Continue Reading

Author Feature: Trina St. Jean


#TuesdayTalk with Trina St. Jean. Trina’s debut YA novel, Blank, launches this month. Trina, what’s the oddest or most unusual job you’ve ever had? I wrote personality tests for one of the top online testing sites. Some were serious, like The Resilience Test, and some were just for fun, like The Gossip Test. The other test-developers and I had a blast coming up with ideas and questions. How can you not have a good time when you’re creating a “Bad Party Guest” test? Do you have a routine or ritual when it comes to writing? […]

Continue Reading

Author Feature: Karen Krossing


#TuesdayTalk with Karen Krossing. Karen’s new YA novel, Punch Like a Girl, launches this month. Karen, what do you look for in a good story? I look for a compelling character in an intriguing situation. I want the premise to be unusual or a new twist on an old idea. But, ultimately, it’s the character who will pull me through a book to the end. If I’m fascinated by that person, I won’t be able to put down the book until I’m done. How do you come up with topics for your novels? I get […]

Continue Reading

Author Feature: Monique Polak


#TuesdayTalk with Monique Polak. Monique’s new novel, Learning the Ropes, launches this May and is part of the Orca Limelights series for kids who love the performing arts. Monique, you’ve published over a dozen books with Orca. Where do you get your story ideas from? I get my story ideas from the many young people in my life. I have been teaching at Marianopolis College here in Montreal for over thirty years, so I am surrounded by young people. I also believe in eavesdropping–so I get some of my ideas from listening in on kids’ […]

Continue Reading

Author Feature: Alison Hughes


#TuesdayTalk with Alison Hughes. Alison’s new middle reader, Lost in the Backyard, launches this April. Alison, what do you look for in a good book? I love a good mystery, but I have to say that it’s wonderful, realistic characters that float my boat. When did you first know you wanted to become a writer? I went to university for a long time, studying English literature and law, so I did a ton of writing then. Then I did some freelance writing for magazines. But the fun, creative writing started when my three kids were […]

Continue Reading

Author Feature: Sara Cassidy


#TuesdayTalk with Sara Cassidy. Sara’s new book, Not For Sale, launches this May and is part of the Orca Echoes series of early chapterbooks for emerging readers. Sara, how did you first know you wanted to become a writer? Keeping a diary since I was eight years old has a lot to do with my becoming a writer. I realized that I didn’t just have to write “what I ate today” or “what I did today”, but could draw in my diary, or describe what a stranger looked like, or what the kettle sounds like, […]

Continue Reading