• the end

    The Journey: Typing “The End”

    I didn’t used to think deciding on “the end” was hard. You’d write the last line of that novel and know that’s where the story should end. This has always been the case for me–I have always known where the writing should stop. Knowing where the editing should stop is a whole other ordeal. I have been editing my current WIP for almost six months. I know that seems like a long time, but let me put that into perspective for you: I wrote the first draft in about six months. To not spend at least as much time in the editing phase, to me, is a waste. So much…

  • These Words Matter: Ava Dellaira

    I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember. As a child, I spent summer mornings buried under my blankets with the latest from The Baby-Sitters Club. Kristy, Marianne, Stacey, Dawn, Mallory and Jesse felt like friends, but it was Claudia whom I most idolized, with her artistic nature and hidden stashes of junk food. I even tried to emulate her wildly cool fashion choices with selects from Goodwill. I was a kid who spent a lot of time alone, in private imaginary worlds. When I escaped into a book, I was part of something bigger. I fell in love with children’s classics—the Wizard of Oz series, Tuck…

  • The Journey: Sharing a WIP

    A little over a week ago, on Twitter, I shared the aesthetic board for my current work-in-progress (herein called LW). It’s a YA urban fantasy set in Toronto, Ontario. My CP and overall goddess Rebecca Mix encouraged me to do it after hers (deservedly so) got such positive response. I am so out of my shell, y’all. I’ve never done anything like this before, and to be honest, this is one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. LW is filled with a special kind of magic, and I hope you love it as much as I do. Here’s the aesthetic board for the project that has been my focus…

  • Q&A with Amber Smith

    Earlier this month Amber Smith, author of The Way I Used to Be and The Last to Let Go, joined me for a Twitter chat about her writing, editing, and publication experiences. As promised, for those who missed it, you can find the full Q&A below. Enjoy! Bree: Welcome, y’all! Tonight I’m chatting with @ASmithAuthor about her new book #TheLastToLetGo, which published yesterday! We’re going to be talking everything #amwriting, #amediting, and #ampublishing. Welcome, Amber! Amber: Thank you for having me! Amber wrote a beautiful debut novel called #TheWayIUsedToBe about a girl who keeps her rape a secret. It is a stunning look into the mind of a young woman who has been…

  • These Words Matter: Amber Smith

    My mom used to read to me every night when I was a child, so books played an important role from a very young age. I vividly remember the way I would follow along, studying the illustrations long before the words made sense. I immediately fell in love with storytelling and became mesmerized with the idea that words could paint pictures. Books fed my imagination, and imagination was my saving grace as a kid. (As an adult, too, now that I think of it.) When I was a little older, in elementary and middle school, I chose books that could take me out of my ordinary life, where I often…

  • These Words Matter: Sara Barnard

    I can’t remember when I first read my first Sweet Valley book. You’d think, given all the things I’m about to say about this life-shaping series, that I’d remember every detail of my first journey into this sunbleached piece of American perfection, but I don’t. What I have is this sense of always reading Sweet Valley Twins books, in that same way you always played with Sylvanian families or Lego; it was just a part of your life, until that day when it wasn’t. The end of something beloved in childhood has a clarity; a shape. The beginning is, at best, blurred. I loved Sweet Valley with the ardent passion…

  • new year

    New Year, New Changes

    Happy New Year, babes. I thought long and hard about how and what I wanted to say in my first blog post of 2018. So, here it is. Since 2014, when I started this blog, I have posted something new every week. In 2018, I will no longer be posting every week. In the last year, the blog has become more of a job than a passion project, which is something I do not want the blog to be. I started writing here as a way to connect with other readers and writers; as a way to share my thoughts on my favourite books and authors. I want this blog to remain…

  • “These Words Matter” At a Glance: 2017

    I can’t believe we’re three years into the “These Words Matter” segment. This year, another 12 fantastic authors contributed, and their choice titles were sometimes surprising (and often not widely popular). What’s the book that was transformative for you? This year was the first time that the “These Words Matter” segment encountered some obstacles. The roster changed slightly as the year progressed. I’m so happy with how the list turned out. These authors are so kind, generous, and talented. I can’t wait to get into another year of editing this segment. We’re 36 contributors in, and we’ve got another year of writers coming up. Maybe your favourites will be contributing…

  • These Words Matter: Brendan Reichs

    The question of which book turned me into a reader is complicated for me. The concept of reading for enjoyment broke through in fourth grade. My father forced nightly sessions of The Hobbit down my throat, despite all my “books-are-stupid” protests. Night after night, I went from obnoxiously pretending not to listen, to grudgingly accepting the readings as unavoidable, to secretly looking forward to them, and finally to skipping school one day to finish the novel all by myself. The Hobbit opened my mental doors to the magic of books. However, it wasn’t the book that made me a truly insatiable reader. That one came years later. In 1990, I was…

  • My Favourite Read of 2017

    If you follow me on Goodreads, it’ll come as no surprise that I’ve been in the middle of a severe reading slump this year. With a conservative goal of 25 leisure reads (which I didn’t meet), reading has been tough. However, I did read a couple of fantastic books. My favourite read of 2017 was We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan. I found Sarah Crossan through her publicist, who sent me Apple and Rain, The Weight of Water, and One. Apple and Rain and The Weight of Water were really insightful, diverse reads. However, it was One that had me hooked (I reviewed it). If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you do. It…

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