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Iceberg Season

Two days ago I saw a tweet from Iceberg Finder (@IcebergTweets) marking the start of the iceberg season in Newfoundland. The first iceberg has been spotted in Twillingate, and that means the second, third and fourth will soon be seen and photographed. There will be tweets, and Facebook posts, and even though I live far […]

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Your 25 Questions

Someone had gotten the dates wrong. It was Tuesday, May 3rd, 2005, and I was visiting Villanova Junior High School in Conception Bay South, Newfoundland. As far as I knew, I was coming in to run a full-day writing workshop with a select group of 20 students… so I had my laptop, CD player (those […]

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Never Edit in the Dark and Other Tips

As I mentioned last week, I’m currently in editing mode. Well, not only editing mode… I’m also reading first drafts and making notes for a writing experiment of my own… but that’s a different topic. Since editing is a main priority right now, it seems a natural time to pick up on last week’s theme […]

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Grand Banks release date

The release date for the next Champions novella is set: Grand Banks, the second installment for 1941, will be released exclusively as an ebook on Tuesday, March 26, 2013. Look for an except in a few weeks; for now, here’s the teaser: In the face of an unprecedented threat to their Champions, the governments of […]

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The Universe Provides

I’m traveling this week, so I’m writing this post in a hotel room in Ottawa. The trip isn’t Iceberg related, and I knew there would be very little free time. But I still carried two new manuscripts with me. During Iceberg’s first six or so years, carrying two drafts meant printing and packing between 600 […]

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Ask the Right People

Many characters I’ve spent time with over the years have been closely related to people I know, or people I feel like I know. I’ve based major protagonists on friends (Wes Pellew and Rufus Chang, for instance), and drawn others from real history (Sir Julian Byng and Sir Andrew Skeen, to name two). Obviously the […]

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My Job as Editor–What It Is and What It Isn’t

My son has written recently about the fact that writing, storytelling is a privilege. I spent the better part of this past weekend editing, which reminded me that being involved in the storytelling process as an editor is also a privilege –– a very special one. The writer has a story to tell and a […]

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Glorious February

Good military historians say that understanding the literature can’t compare with knowing the ground upon which a battle was fought. They’re right; terrain almost inevitably influences military events –– as does the weather –– so if you’re writing about any sort of land battle (real or fictional) it’s a good idea to form a clear […]

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Zombie Policy

During Question Period in Canada’s House of Commons this week, the opposition questioned the government’s readiness for an international zombie apocalypse. Member of Parliament Pat Martin and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird –– two of Canada’s more outspoken political figures –– put aside their differences to assure Canadians that if the undead rise (as has […]

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A Love Story with a War in the Middle

Forgive me for beginning with a completely obvious statement, but today is Valentine’s Day… and that gives me the perfect opportunity to spend a little time on the subject of romance. I’ll be the first to admit I’m a romantic… always have been and don’t plan to change… but I believe romance is less about […]

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Music For Champions

After being so severe about historical accuracy on Monday, I figured I better lighten up today, and speak about something more upbeat… Wait, sorry, that’s dangerously close to being a pun (upbeat –– about music). I am ashamed of myself. Constructing the alternate world of Champions has been an interesting exercise. From equipment to politics […]

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The Fundamentals

One of the questions I’ve been asked many times over the years is how to become a better writer. I’ve heard this from university students in my business communications classes… from people who want to work in the communications field… from parents who are concerned that Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and text messaging have destroyed any […]

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The Accuracy Requirement

A very interesting story emerged last week, when a Democratic Congressman from the state of Connecticut took issue with the recent Spielberg film Lincoln (which I’ve yet to see). His problem: in the film, two Connecticut Congressmen apparently voted against ending slavery, whereas in reality, all of Connecticut’s representatives supported the Thirteenth Amendment to the […]

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Friday Favorite – It has Something to do with the Weather

The snow is falling in Waterloo, Ontario this morning. Based on our scientific measurement of the amount that has accumulated on the hood of the Jeep in our driveway (we grabbed the level from the garage and stuck it into the snow), we’ve had more than 15 cm (or 6 inches) so far. Schools, universities […]

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It Can Be Frustrating

This week, I got my groove back. I know, that’s a horrifying expression, and it gets even worse if you try to picture how it looks if I ‘groove’ to anything… but it’s true. I’ve been hammering Black Sun since the holidays, knowing there’s a story there, but not quite able to break it out. […]

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The More Things Change

I spent this past Sunday afternoon double-checking Iceberg inventory. We don’t have much on hand –– just the left-overs from marketing events we’ve done over the past decade. Because our distribution is handled by Ingram, those are the only books we keep nearby. We’re currently preparing a shipment of old Canadian editions of the first […]

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Soldiers By Reputation

Now that Firebox has been out for a week, some additional historical notes seem in order. But be suitably warned: these notes may contain spoilers about the story, so I’d advise against reading them until you’ve finished the novella. We last spent time with Colonel Robert Adams, Sergeant Eric Turner, and the storied 25th United […]

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Playing with Numbers

A fine pen and paper shop in Cambridge, Ontario –– Phidon Pens –– started tweeting just a couple of days ago. Their fourth tweet, at 4:00 p.m. on February 2nd, announced that they were starting a haiku marathon, with the goal of at least one haiku a week for as long as possible. With a […]

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Friday Favorite – House of Cards

The backroom realities of politics have been done well on screen numerous times now, whether in principled thrillers like Thirteen Days, idealistic masterpieces like the West Wing, or frighteningly accurate black comedies like The Thick Of It. One of the great classic British series, though, is House of Cards, based on a series of books […]

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Virtual Inspiration

A common piece of advice for writers is to pay close attention to the physical world around them. Everything from snippets of conversations heard in a coffee shop line-up, to the fabric of the jacket being worn by someone in a meeting, to the feel of a small beach rock in your hand, to the […]

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