“Through her reluctant heroine, Canning explores the privacy costs of the new necessity to keep up via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or wherever. When does that participation equal surrendering our privacy?”
Newfoundland Quarterly’s Ellen Curtis chatted with April White recently to get inside the head of one of St. John’s visual artists.
To read her entire article on the NQ website, click here.
Over the past few years, I’ve tried to favour listening to firing back in disgust. I’ve tried to educate myself on the nuances of controversial issues, and I’ve tried to strike a balance between blocking negativity from my life and remaining open for respectful dialogue. In many ways, I’ve become quieter on social media as a result, but there are simply some things I will not remain quiet about.
Yesterday, millions of people across the world marched for women’s rights. Comfortingly, it seems the majority of my friends and family see the value and purpose behind this march. In an age where reproductive rights are being threatened, where sexual assault is normalized as “locker room talk”, where there are countries around the world moving to decriminalize domestic violence, countries that do not allow their young women an education or a choice in their future, the vast majority of people have lent their voice to the cause.
Ellen Curtis, author of the Infinity series of novels and Compendium, brings you her favourite Christmas books!
While we’re a bit too busy finishing up the last of several new releases to participate in daily vlogmas, we did want to get into the holiday spirit!
This Saturday, November 14th, we will be bringing select Engen titles to the St. John’s Health Care Lion’s Club Fall Craft Fair! From 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, I’ll be at our table on the bottom floor of the Knight’s of Columbus on 49 St. Clare Avenue. Admission is only $2.00, and children under 12 get in free! It’s a great opportunity to catch up on the latest Engen titles, as well as check out other great local businesses or just stop by and chat! I can’t wait, and hope you can’t either!
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to take your own advice. Part of my job as an author on the convention circuit means I am constantly asked for writing advice. Sometimes, people want help figuring out how to develop characters, how to plot out a novel, or just what my general writing process is like. A lot of times though, people come to writing panels because they’re suffering a bigger problem, such as the dreaded writer’s block.
Some people –cough cough- Matt –cough cough- don’t believe in writer’s block. In fact, Matt’s gone so far as to call it writer’s laze, saying that people just aren’t focusing enough on their work, etc. etc. I don’t buy into this at all.
I’ve struggled with writer’s block in the past in some pretty severe ways. The Tourniquet Reprisal was challenging for me to write, not just because of my busy personal schedule at the time, but because I was struggling with the direction we were taking with the series. Looking back, there are lots of things I would have liked to do differently with my contributions to the novel. That said, this view stems from where I am now, years removed from the project and after having completed a degree that trained me to analyze fiction. The old adage, that you are your own worst critic, holds true for me I think, and it is entirely to Matt’s credit as ‘show runner’ for Reprisal that it turned out so well despite my struggles with it.
Given the hardships I had with Reprisal, I faced a daunting task heading into Exodus of Angels. I very much wanted to redeem myself for what I viewed as a failure to my partner. I dropped the ball; as I said in the last blog, I wasn’t prioritizing my creative endeavors the way I wanted to due to the workload I was dealing with. Exodus presented me with my turn to be show runner though, which meant I needed bring my A game.
I went into Exodus excited. The plot had mostly been hammered out since Matt and I first sat down to discuss Infinity. I knew what I wanted to do, I felt I had some really strong characters, and I felt that the plot was exciting and hearkened back to some of the aspects of Infinity that were missing in Reprisal. Talking it out with Matt, both of us were pretty excited to start in on writing. Thematically, we were hoping to tackle some pretty big issues that we were really excited to bring to the series.
Matt, as the writing powerhouse he is (you guys have seen how many Black Womb/Xander Drew books he’s got out, right?), hammered out the majority of his portion of the novel fairly quickly. I have to say, it is honestly one of the most emotionally mature pieces I think he has written, and I am so proud of what he accomplished with it. His success with the ‘B’ plot of the novel didn’t translate to my success with the ‘A’ or ‘C’ plots though.
The first few scenes came out easily, but my writer’s block from The Tourniquet Reprisal was sticking around like a stubborn cold. Something wasn’t adding up for me, and I wasn’t sure what it was.
I didn’t think it was my new character. I had been so excited to write her for so long, and my idea of her was so concrete that it felt very natural to translate her experiences. She was a fully formed person in my mind, and seemed to have a life of her own that could carry an interesting story.