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Author Participation

8 Questions for Alex Lemon

August 23, 2010 | Claire A

Comments (4)

I just finished reading the book, Happy: a Memoir and I loved it. Alex Lemon writes about the period in his life when he went to college and lived a carefree existence.  When he suffered his first brain hemorrhage, he turned to drugs and alcohol to help him cope with what he was going through.  This is the story of how he overcame his illness and substance abuse to become the person that he is today. 


I got the opportunity to interview the author. 



What was it like going through such a difficult experience at such a young age?

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Laid Editor, Shannon Boodram's Vlog

August 17, 2010 | Tatted Librarian

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Shannon Boodram did an AMAZING vlog for Word Out about her book, Laid

Check it out here

Thank you Shannon!

Sarah Ockler: Insights into Twenty Boy Summer

August 16, 2010 | ED

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Sarah Ockler is the author of Twenty Boy Summer. The novel tells a touching story of love, grief and making the most of life. We had the opportunity to ask Sarah Ockler a few questions. Below are her responses…

Twenty Boy Summer is your first novel and is geared towards young adults. What made you decide to write for young adults?

I don't know that I decided to write for young adults as much as writing for young adults just... picked me! But I was officially encouraged to try YA by a writing instructor from Lighthouse Writers in Denver, Colorado. He'd read an essay I'd written about some trouble my best friend and I got into when we were fifteen, and he thought my writing had a great teen voice. I hadn't considered writing for teens before -- I was actually just wandering around, knowing I wanted to write but not sure where to start -- but Lighthouse had a YA novel class starting up, so I took a chance and signed up. After the first session, I'd found my writing heart. We read other contemporary YA authors like Sarah Dessen, Laurie Halse Anderson, Deb Caletti, and I knew then without a doubt that YA stories were the stories I needed to tell. Plus, I think I never really got over high school. Such a crazy, tumultuous time in life. I wrote Twenty Boy Summer in that YA novel class, and I've never looked back!

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She's Shameless and she answered some questions

August 9, 2010 | Cameron

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She's Shameless: Women write about growing up, rocking out and fighting back

Is an awesome collection of essays and articles about the experience of women as teen's growing up. I was fortunate enough to ask the editors some questions. Here is what Stacey May Fowles had to say:

The collection deals with a lot of sensitive and topical female oriented issues, but presented in unique voices and styles. Was this a conscious choice? Or was it just the variety of articles you had already received? And how did you decide to limit the collection to the one's that you chose?

I think the most important thing for me was that regardless of a writer's personal experience and how they felt it shaped their life, they refused to be patronizing to a young female readership. For the tone of the book I hoped we could achieve that of a trusted, older female confidant, someone who was non-judgmental and positive. So much of the media targeted at young women is about making them feel bad about themselves or scared of consequences. I wanted to make teenagers feel good about themselves, that things can and will get better, that hardship and difference can make you stronger. We had all of that in mind and we were blessed by so many submissions that shared that vision.

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If Kathryn Immonen had Super Powers...

August 3, 2010 | Margaret

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Thanks to author Kathryn Immonen (Patsy Walker: Hellcat)  for agreeing to give us an insight into the life of a comic book writer!

Word Out! (WO!):  So Kathryn, what did you like most about writing the Patsy Walker Hellcat series?

Kathryn Immonen (KI):  The process of getting to know a character during the course of writing a story is absolutely one of the most satisfying experiences and it's always full of surprises.  I think it was Neil Gaiman who said something about learning to write the book that you're writing.  Characters who you think going into it would get along, really don't seem to.  You turn a corner, literally or figuratively, and there's someone, or something! just waiting for you to get there and get to know them.  I've been such a fan of Patsy Walker from way before she ever became Hellcat and right from her first appearance, she's been full of spirit and fun and sarcasm and confidence.  You couldn't stop her with an army of tanks.  But she will stop for lunch.  Right up my alley!

WO!: Do you have any advice for teens that would like to write comics?

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Allan Stratton, Cannes and Jogging along the Great Wall in China...

August 3, 2010 | Naomi

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Allan Stratton, acclaimed author and playwrite, took some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions for Word Out!.  

What are your favourite three books?

Tom Jones, Wuthering Heights, Crime and Punishment. Tom Jones is hilarious with a rich, beautifully constructed plot and bright, vivid characters. It takes maybe fifty pages to get into the rhythm of the language, but once you do it’s heaven on a plate. Wuthering Heights is also densely plotted, the first half dark and brooding, the second sharp and brittle. Crime and Punishment, in contrast to the other two I mentioned, is primarily focused on its characters, and what varied and closely observed characters they are.

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Author Participation Page Now Available

July 22, 2010 | Alan H.

Comments (11)

Just a quick note to say we now have a page listing our participating authors for this year.  They make us more awesome.  Thanks participating authors!

Does Arthur Slade have an evil nemesis?

July 19, 2010 | Elsa

Comments (17)

In The Hunchback Assignments, Modo is a hunchback who has the ability to transform his appearance. He has been raised as a secret agent by Mr. Socrates, his benefactor. Modo does not experience the outside world until he turns 14, when Mr. Socrates leaves him at a corner of London one afternoon. In order to survive, Modo applies the skills he learned and somehow finds himself involved in uncovering a monstrous plan like no other.

The mastermind behind The Hunchback Assignments is Arthur Slade. I have been very lucky this summer to be able to chat with Arthur.

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Meet Tory Woollcott, author of Mirror Mind: Growing Up Dyslexic

July 12, 2010 | Naomi

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Tory is a graphic novelist who just published her first novel.  Mirror Mind is a personal story of her experience growing up with a learning disability. We met at her studio on Markham Street in Mirvish Village.  Check out the final cut:


In the interview Tory tells us that her favorite branch is Lillian H. Smith because she likes the architecture and special collections.  What is your favorite branch and why?

Piecing the experience together-Part 2

July 12, 2010 | Elsa

Comments (3)

As promised, here is the continuation of my chat with Teresa:

3. Do teen immigrants have the hardest times adjusting to their surroundings?

I honestly feel that immigrating anywhere at any time forces you into a temporary adolescence. 
Think about it, your world is completely upended and nothing is sure or permanent or even familiar. 
You’re insecure and defensive, terrified and excited –all these polar opposite emotions that are the hallmark of adolescence.  Plus, you’re trying to figure out the lay of the land and all the new rules, written and more importantly unwritten.  I think that every single one of us, if we were honest, has gone through a phase of feeling like we don’t belong, don’t fit in.  The immigrant just wears that feeing more visibly like young adults do.  That’s why I think that there is a powerful connection between those two worlds.

4. What were your expectations for Piece by Piece?

I had massive expectations for the anthology and confess that I still do.  First, I wanted the terrific drama of the individual stories be recognized for the gripping entertainment that they are.  The writers represented have amazing adventures to tell.  There is an old cliché that: “Nobody’s got stories like immigrants got stories!”  And second, maybe even more importantly--for those of us who felt that we didn’t fit in at any given moment, immigrant or standard issue wonderful Canadian teen—I want those readers to feel just a little less alone after reading Piece by Piece.

I hope that you will check out Teresa's book soon!