A-R International: Alison Acheson

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Alison Acheson
Authors-Readers International


Alison Acheson has published eleven books, ranging from picturebooks to short fiction and memoir for adults, historical fiction and young adult. She lives on the East Side of Vancouver in a little house with a woodstove, and has taught in the writing program at University of British Columbia for a very long time.

I live, teach, and write in Vancouver, British Columbia. I grew up with three brothers in the nearby Delta ‘burb, and have lived with three sons. I suspect this is why quite a number of my stories are written through the eyes and minds of boys.

My life has been filled with turns. An academic might say it’s been “recursive.” A kid would say I’ve been going around in circles. But it’s—so far—been an interesting path. The one thing that has been consistent throughout is my need to write. That’s what distinguishes a…

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A-R International: Marty Chan

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Marty Chan
Authors-Readers International


Inspired to pursue creative writing by his high school English teacher, Marty has been a professional writer for over 25 years. He writes books, stage plays, radio dramas, television scripts and humour articles, and his career has taken him around the world from New York to Los Angeles to Galway to Beijing.

From 1994 to 2000, Marty was a regular contributor to CBC Radio with his weekly commentary series, The Dim Sum Diaries. Later, this series was adapted into a half-hour television program (The Orange Seed Myth) which won a Gold Medal for Best Television Pilot at the Charleston World Film and Television Festival.

Marty’s first young adult novel, The Mystery of the Frozen Brains, is a hit with young readers across Canada. Resource Links magazine listed it as one of the BEST BOOKS OF 2004 for grades 3 to 6…

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A-R International: Frank Beltrano

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Frank Beltrano
Authors-Readers International

Drawing by poet Daphne Sola

Frank Beltrano starts his day with a gourmet cup of freshly hand-ground filter-dripped coffee, usually in a cup stamped with the word “create”. As he sips and writes his early morning pages, a drop or two of coffee slips between his lips and the lip of the cup, runs down over the word “create” creating a Jackson Pollack-ish masterpiece. Mr. Pollack rolls over in his grave, mumbles, “Great, you fucking thief” and Frank’s day moves on from there.

Lately his love, Marie-Claire Roussel, brings him a glass of “sunshine”, freshly squeezed orange juice sprinkled with coconut, in a glass decorated with Joan Miro-ish designs. Miro’s grave is not disturbed by this. The glass comes from a museum in Barcelona that honors him. It was given to Frank by his youngest daughter, Julia who greatly appreciates visual art and is a wizard…

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A-R International: Darlene Foster

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Darlene Foster
Authors-Readers International

Brought up on a ranch in southern Alberta, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing stories, travelling the world and meeting interesting people. She also believes everyone is capable of making their dreams come true. It’s no surprise that she’s now an award-winning author. Her exciting Amanda Travels series features spunky 12 year-old Amanda Ross who loves to travel to unique places. Readers from seven-to-seventy-plus enjoy travelling with Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. Darlene, her husband and their dog, Dot, divide their time between the west coast of Canada and Orihuela Costa, Spain.

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I have never met Darlene Foster in person, even though we were both living in Alberta at the same time. I first discovered Darlene’s books, in fact, because of that shared Alberta experience. I was scanning the Goodreads book lists for new releases and happened upon her book, Amanda in Alberta

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A-R International: Glenn Dixon

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Glenn Dixon
Authors-Readers International

Author, musician and documentary film maker

Glenn Dixon’s third book, Juliet’s Answer (Simon & Schuster) has been published in eleven countries and translated into five languages including Chinese, Spanish and German. He was the 2014 writer-in-residence for the Vancouver International Writers Festival and his second book, Tripping the World Fantastic was shortlisted for the W.O. Mitchell Award. He has traveled through more than 75 countries and written for the New Yorker, National Geographic Magazine, the New York Post, Walrus Magazine and the Globe and Mail. He lives In Calgary, Canada.

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I was Glenn Dixon’s sales rep when he published Pilgrim in the Palace of Words in 2009. Even though we both lived in Calgary at the time, we didn’t meet until he took part in a multi-author event in downtown Calgary. (I still have the paperback ARC of this book.)…

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A-R International: Fred Stenson

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Fred Stenson
Authors-Readers International

Photo credit: Greg Gerrard

Fred Stenson is a novelist, non-fiction writer and film writer (born at Pincher Creek, Alberta). Stenson was raised in ranching country near Twin Butte, AB, and attended school in Pincher Creek. He has a BA from the University of Calgary. He published his first novel, Lonesome Hero, in 1974 (Macmillan of Canada). Last One Home followed in 1988. Stenson’s third novel, The Trade (2000), is a richly imagined recreation of the fur trade in western North America. It was the first of a trilogy of novels set in the 19th century Canadian west. The second of these novels, Lightning (2003), featured the cattle frontiers of Alberta and Montana. Both The Trade and Lightning won the Grant MacEwan’s Author’s Prize. The Trade was a finalist for the prestigious GILLER Prize and was nominated for the IMPAC Dublin Award. The…

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A-R International: Marcello Di Cintio

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Marcello Di Cintio
Authors-Readers International

Photo credit: Monique de St. Croix

I was born in Calgary and studied Microbiology and English at the University of Calgary. I was also a member of the university wrestling team. I graduated in 1997 with a pair of degrees (a BA and BSc).

Later that year, I traveled to West Africa with a volunteer organization and taught biology in a Ghanaian village for three months. When my volunteer placement was complete, I wandered through western and northern Africa for nine months. My stories from Africa resulted in my first book, Harmattan: Wind Across West Africa. This won the Henry Kriesel Award for Best First Book.

In December 1999, hot with millennium-fever, I traveled to Jerusalem to watch the clock turn on 2000. I wandered throughout Israel and Egypt before returning to Calgary to begin a career as a freelance writer. Since then…

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A-R International: Mary Smith

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Mary Smith
Authors-Readers International

I was born on Islay. My family moved to the mainland when I was seven and I grew up in Castle Douglas in south west Scotland.

I worked for ten years with Oxfam in Lancashire, fundraising and campaigning on development issues. The next ten years were spent first in Pakistan, then Afghanistan, where I worked for a small health organisation primarily concerned with leprosy and mother and childcare. My experiences living in those countries inform much of my writing.

I returned to Castle Douglas when my son was five years old so he could have somewhere to put down his own roots.

I have always written. As a child I wrote adventure stories in my own books made from wallpaper off-cuts and as a teenager I wrote very bad love poetry. For most of my life I’ve kept a journal. While still working in Afghanistan I…

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A-R International: Sharon Clark

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Sharon Clark
Authors-Readers International


Sharon Clark has lived in Alberta for over 50 years. Born in Medicine Hat to an Air Force father, Sharon moved with her family to a number of bases across Canada during her childhood. She eventually settled in Calgary. The first books she was introduced to in elementary school, the Dick and Jane series, began her lifelong love of reading. As a pre-teen, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and Cherry Ames were all favourites that she devoured over summer holidays. At about the age of 13, she submitted comments about an article in a previous issue to Ingenue Magazine. She was thrilled the magazine published what she wrote and this began her love of writing.

Sharon has had four children. Her first book, Not Our Baby was published in 1984 by Detselig Enterprises (now Temerin Books). She wrote it after her first-born child, a…

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A-R International: Betty Boyd Caroli

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Betty Boyd Caroli
Authors-Readers International


A graduate of Oberlin College, Betty Caroli holds a master’s degree in Mass Communications from the Annenberg School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in American Civilization from New York University. A Fulbright scholar to Italy, she also held fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, the Hoover Presidential Library, the LBJ Foundation, and others. After studying in Salzburg, Austria and Perugia, Italy (but before joining the faculty at the City University of New York), she taught in Palermo and Rome, Italy.

Caroli’s book tour promoting Lady Bird and Lyndon took her to the Texas Book Festival in Austin, Texas; to Dallas, where she spoke to an audience of 650 as part of the Authors Live! Series; to the Paragraphs Bookstore in Mt. Vernon, Ohio; to…

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