The Evolution of a Story – Author Guest Post


The following is a guest post from debut author Jeff Pinkney. Soapstone Signs, part of the Orca Echoes series, is the story of a young Cree boy who is visited one spring by a master soapstone carver. The carver gives him four pieces of soapstone, and teaches him to listen to the signs and whispers from the world around him as to what to carve. The book was inspired by Jeff’s own travels through the James Bay Frontier region. An Idea Like Uncarved Stone As a tourism consultant living in South Porcupine, Ontario, I traveled […]

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In Memoriam – Joan Betty Stuchner


On June 7, 2014, the BC book community lost a very dear, talented and exuberant person, children’s author Joan Betty Stuchner. Joan resided in Vancouver with her family, where she wrote part-time and taught part-time. Joan passed away after a short but spirited battle with pancreatic cancer. One of her great loves was writing stories, which she did with precision and humor, to the delight of many young readers. We asked Joan’s friend and fellow author, Cynthia Heinrichs, if she would put together a short post in honour of Joan’s memory. Cynthia was there to […]

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A Space Apart – Guest Post by Author Patricia McCowan


A guest post from Orca author Patricia McCowan, whose first novel, Honeycomb, part of the Limelights series, will be released this September 2014.  A Space Apart There’s a certain magic to the spaces where performing artists work. Not just on stage, where bright lights, an audience and performers’ adrenalin combine to charge the atmosphere. When I was an actor, I loved being in rehearsal halls and backstage spaces almost as much as being on the stage. While writing Honeycomb, I loved researching and then imagining myself in the creative spaces where my protagonist, Nat, and […]

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Q&A with author Helaine Becker


Helaine Becker’s new middle grade offering, Dirk Daring, Secret Agent, will hit shelves this October. In the book, Darren Dirkowitz (aka Dirk Daring), has to navigate the usual middle school hurdles, as well as his keep his covert alternate life as a secret agent under wraps. We sat down with Helaine Becker to learn about her inspiration for the book, and to uncover some of the top-secret deets all wannabe spies should know. Helaine, what was your inspiration for Dirk Daring, Secret Agent? Did you do any spying or secret agent-ing as a kid? I […]

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In Pursuit of the Perfect Storm: Part 2


In Pursuit of the Perfect Storm (Part 2): Planning and Promoting a Book Launch and Signing Guest Post by Karen Spafford-Fitz In part 1 of “In Pursuit of the Perfect Storm,” Karen Spafford-Fitz described the planning and promotion that contributed to the success of her launches for Vanish. In part 2, Karen reflects on which steps were most effective. In my previous post, I mentioned that several steps seemed highly effective while others did not appear to have a particular impact. But I am glad I undertook all of them. Each represents part of my […]

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In Pursuit of the Perfect Storm


In Pursuit of the Perfect Storm (Part 1): Planning and Promoting a Book Launch and Signing Guest Post by Karen Spafford-Fitz I was thrilled when Orca released Vanish, my second middle-grade novel, in March 2013. As with my first book, I planned to hold a book launch and signing in Edmonton, where I have lived for 20 years. Upon realizing that many friends and family members living in eastern Ontario also wanted to help celebrate the release of my new book, we decided to launch Vanish in my hometown of Kingston as well. In both […]

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