Betty Jane Hegerat – update on a new novel

Betty Jane Hegerat is a fine author as well as a very good friend who I’ve had the great pleasure to represent and promote since we first met in 2009. I have featured her work previously on Reading Recommendations in April 2014 and Jan. 2016. I also wrote a special post about Betty Jane when she was named the 2015 Recipient of the WGA Golden Pen Award on my main blog. She’s back now with the announcement of publication of her new novel!

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Odd One Out
by Betty Jane Hegerat
Published by Oolichan Books
Genre: Young Adult Fiction

“There’s a person here, Roof. You need to come home.”

“Here where? In the house? You let a stranger in the house?”

“Well she’s just a girl. Or like a young woman or whatever.”

My phone was fading again. It does that. Mom got it as a cheap add-on to her own cell.

Or: Maybe the stranger had her hands around Josie’s throat?

Every single lesson we’d been taught about what to do when we were home alone–and our mom and dad take their child-rearing way more seriously than any normal parents–was racing through my head. 911 flashed in big red numbers. “Josie!” I shouted. “Can you hear me? Should I call the police?”

“No! You idiot!” No problem with the volume now. I held the phone a few inches from my ear. Then Josie’s voice dropped to a whisper. “This isn’t dangerous, Roof, only kind of… weird. Just come home, ‘kay?”

Rufus Peters has never felt exceptional in any way. How could he, with a twin sister who outshines him at everything they do? His two problems are finding a way to wiggle out of a student exchange to Quebec, and liberating Boreas, his skateboard, from the principal?s contraband cupboard. After Amelia knocks on their door, life in the Peters family goes from plain old “Just Cheese Please” to Nick’s Pizza’s “Grand Slam and More.” Roof makes it his mission to solve The Mystery of the Mexican Stranger.

Where to purchase copies:
Oolichan Books

Betty Jane Hegerat Recommends Glen Huser

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Book title and author:
Time for Flowers Time for Snow
Written by Glen Huser
Illustrated by Philippe Béhe
Music by Giannis Georgantelis

What genre is it?
A children’s book—the retelling of a myth— but one that will surely delight all ages.

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Quick description:
Time for Flowers Time for Snow is the retelling of the myth of Demeter and Perspephone. This book is the collaboration of author and lyricist, Glen Huser, composer and director Giannis Georgantelis and a choir of more than 180 Quebec children, and the Orchestre Symphonique Pop de Montréal. Illustrations are by Philippe Béha. The book includes a CD of the music, and narration by Terry Jones of Monty Python fame. The book is an enchanted telling of the myth in narrative and song. As well as the story of Demeter and Persephone it is a contemplation of why seasons change; the cycles of plenty and scarcity, and joy and sorrow.

Far more than a children’s book, this is a work of multi-disciplinary art of the highest calibre.

Why I recommend this book:
Everything about Time for Flowers Time for Snow delights me. I believe the best of books for children are equally appealing to adults and beg to be read aloud and shared. This book has the added eloquence of song—opera by children. I recommend it because I want it in my own library and I want to give it to every special child in my life.

Links for people to buy it:
Always, I recommend that readers first seek books from local independent booksellers who are usually delighted to order the book if they do not have in stock.
Online: Amazon
Tradewind Books

HEGERAT BR09Guest reviewer’s latest title or project:
My newest title Odd One Out (Oolichan Books) is a book for young teens to be released this spring 2016. Betty Jane Hegerat has been featured a number of times on Reading Recommendations, most recently announcing this new about-to-be-published book she mentions.

Betty Jane Hegerat – an update on a new novel

Betty Jane Hegerat is a Canadian Author who I first met when I was representing her publisher and selling their books to bookstores and libraries throughout Alberta. She has since become a good friend and has also mentored me with my own writing and business development, always offering sage advice on the many ideas I come up with to promote authors and their books. (“Susan, you’ve always had many good promotion ideas, but hiring authors to entertain at adult birthday parties isn’t one of them.”) I’ve featured Betty Jane on Reading Recommendations previously in April 2014 and April 2015 when she received The WGA Golden Pen Award. Betty Jane is preparing for the release of a new novel this spring and wrote the following blog post about her experience of writing and publishing Odd One Out. With Betty Jane’s permission, I am reposting her original blog post, but I encourage you to click on the link and go directly to Betty Jane Hegerat’s blog, subscribe to it, and read some very fine writing from a talented Author!

Betty Jane Hegerat: Canadian author of literary fiction

My UBC Hat Trick

unnamed Now, I am a pitiful specimen of a Canadian, because I do not love hockey; I don’t watch hockey, I know very little about the game or the lexicon thereof, and my interest in the Calgary Flames involves periodically asking the true fan in the house how “our” team is doing. But there’s a hockey term that always makes me smile—“hat trick.” Although I’m sure there is no one out there who needs a definition of hat trick: the scoring of three goals in one hockey game by the same player.

So, I’m calling the publication of my newest book, Odd One Out (Oolichan Books 2016), the completion of my UBC hat trick. I’m borrowing this as a literary term. The game has been a long one beginning with the publication of my MFA thesis, Delivery, a novel, (Oolichan Books 2009) the year after I completed the MFA Creative Writing through UBC’s low residency program. For literary purposes I’m going to say the game has three periods, and can go on for even longer than a cricket match—in my case, for seven years.

In the second period, The Boy (Oolichan Books 2010), a hybrid of investigative journalism, fiction and memoir was published.

This spring, 2016, Odd One Out, a novel for teens, will be out.

Each of these three books owe huge thanks to the exceptional mentors I had access to at UBC. The gracious and talented Catherine Bush was my thesis advisor and guided me through the final draft of Delivery.

The irascible journalist, Terry Glavin, was one of the instructors who drew me to apply to UBC when I was struggling with non-fiction, with writing the story that ultimately became The Boy. Not only did Terry teach me how to “construct literature from the found materials of the known world,” he baptised me in the belief that TRUTH MATTERS.

I had no intention of writing for young people until I took a summer session course, Writing for Children, with Glen Huser. As in all writing courses, there is that basic requirement— write! And it was in the ten days in the summer of 2007 that I began to think about a boy named Rufus, to hear his voice in my mind, and to get a sense of what was troubling that poor kid. The kind and generous Glen Huser, in my estimation one of the finest Canadian authors of children’s book as well as an outstanding teacher, read the first draft of Odd One Out and helped me find the right sized boots I needed to write for a teenage audience.

I’ve noticed a recent surge of discussion about the value of the MFA in terms of a writer’s skill and success. I will go on record, as I have many times, in saying, “No! One does not need a university degree to be a good writer.” But what’s troubled me lately is that many of the people who are making that same declaration are doing so with a kind of reverse-snobbery that gets a tad offensive. Don’t apply to graduate programs if you feel they’ll be of no value to you, but please don’t peer down the length of your nose at those who have taken that path for their own personal reasons.

I applied to the UBC MFA Creative Writing Program and was accepted on my second try (this for those of you who are inclined to toss in the towel after first attempts). My motive was simple. There were important things I didn’t know and felt sure I couldn’t accomplish without the help of some wise people who would hold my feet to the fire in my efforts to earn a degree. I didn’t need any more letters to tack onto my name, I didn’t need a new community of writers, although I’ve been ever grateful to have met so many gifted and supportive people. I was at an age when I wasn’t looking to gain extra credibility in order to teach. I wanted to be immersed in that academic world just long enough to find answers to my questions.

Am I glad I made the decision to apply to the MFA program? You bet I am. Would I have continued to write and to publish without the degree? Of course I would have. I am determined, tenacious, and thick-skinned and not particularly humble when it comes to believing I have a gift and a responsibility to use it.

Thank you UBC for helping me tighten the laces on my skates. Hat trick.

Here’s the advance sales listing for Odd One Out in Oolichan Books Spring Catalogue.

Bruce Hunter

10845948_10152493277392374_1214699005903604796_nAuthor’s full name

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Poetry: Two O’Clock Creek – Poems New and Selected (Oolichan Books, 2010). Novel: In the Bear’s House (Oolichan Books, 2009).

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Quick description: Winner – 2011 Acorn-Plantos Award for People’s Poetry. Two O’Clock Creek brings together the best of Bruce Hunter’s previous books of poetry as well as exciting new work of a life-long poet.

Winner – 2009 Banff Mountain Book Festival’s Canadian Rockies Award. In the Bear’s House is the story of a young mother who sends her deaf son to live with relatives in the wilderness of Alberta’s Kootenay Plains where he undergoes a profound change.

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Brief biography:
Bruce Hunter is the author of seven books: a novel, a short story collection, Country Music Country (Thistledown Press, 1996) and five books of poetry including Two O’Clock Creek. Deafened as an infant, Bruce taught for 25 years at Seneca College in Toronto and is now active in organizing events for writers and persons with disabilities.

Links to buy Bruce’s book:
Oolichan Books – Free shipping!
Amazon – In the Bear’s House and Two O’Clock Creek

Bruce’s promo links:
Website
brucehunter55 (at) gmail.com

Interviews: With Joan Shillington for Freefall Magazine
With Adam Pottle at Brick Books

What are you working on now?
My current projects are a new volume of poetry, working title The Recipe for Water, and a sequel to my novel In the Bear’s House (Oolichan Books, 2009).

Bruce’s reading recommendation:
Moments of Joy by Cecilia Frey and Yes. by Rosemary Griebel.

Lynette Loeppky

Lynette_Photo2 Lynette Loeppky

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Cease, a Memoir of Love, Loss and Desire
Genre: Creative Non-fiction

Quick description: Shadowed by secrets and desire, Cease unfolds as a brilliant and devastating memoir of how two women face the unpredictable forces of love and death. Compelling, terrifying, and unforgettable, this portrait will seize every reader’s heart and the head in equal measure. Lynette’s unflinching gaze at the cataclysm of loss is vivid and intense, a coruscation of outrageously candid resilience. Cease is unique, transfixing, and beautifully written. ~ Aritha van Herk

Cease, the tough-and-tender debut memoir from Alberta writer Lynette Loeppky tells the story of a young woman who has decided to leave an eight-year relationship. As Lyn begins to plan her exit, her partner Cecile suddenly falls ill. In a tumultuous drop towards a complicated end, the young woman is forced to become sole caregiver to the woman she had been planning to leave. Cease illuminates the delicate, and sometimes damaging, power imbalances in relationship and explores the complexities of how we love and why we stay.

Lynette cover

Brief biography:
Lynette Loeppky was born and raised on the Manitoba prairie by Mennonite parents. She began writing after receiving a BA in Russian Language and Literature from the University of Calgary. She now lives in Calgary with her dogs, Noddy and Charlie, who do an excellent job of getting her away from her computer and out into the elements on a daily basis. Cease is her first book.

Links to buy Lynette’s book:
OOLICHAN BOOKS
AMAZON.CA – Paperback and Kindle editions
AMAZON.COM – Paperback and Kindle editions
CHAPTERS/INDIGO – Paperback and Kobo editions
McNALLY ROBINSON – Paperback Edition
SHELF LIFE BOOKS, CALGARY, AB
ALL LIT UP

Lynette’s promo links:
Website
Facebook

Globe and Mail Review
CBC Interview, Daybreak Alberta

What are you working on now?
I’m currently exploring several different ideas and am waiting to see which one of them takes hold as a piece that I can’t let go of. Don’t know yet. I prefer to work on a large canvas so I expect it will be another book.

Lynette’s reading recommendation:
Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut

Dave Margoshes

Dave Margoshes will be reading at Shelf Life Books in Calgary from his new story collection, God Telling a Joke and Other Stories, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2-4 p.m., at Shelf Life Books,1302 4th St. S.W. (corner of 13th Ave.)

Dave smiling Dave Margoshes

What is your latest release and what genre is it? God Telling a Joke and Other Stories. A collection of short stories published by Oolichan Books (Fernie, B.C.)

Quick description: Unlike my last book, A Book of Great Worth (Coteau Books, 2012), which was a collection of linked stories featuring a character much like my father, this collection contains totally unrelated stories. Among the characters in the sixteen stories are a 99-year-old stand-up comedian wearily challenging God to deliver the punch line; a lightning strike survivor whose luck finally runs out; a Princeton-educated trapper who transforms himself into the King of the Jews; a carnival sideshow “geek” with a glass jaw; the grieving son a woman famous for her beautiful breasts; and a writer, dubbed a “connoisseur of longing,” seeking to make amends. The stories range from laugh-out-loud comedy to wry satire to heart-wrenching romance to sober meditations on the nature of beauty, truth, life and death.

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Brief biography:
I’ve published three novels, five volumes of poetry and a biography. God Telling a Joke and Other Stories is my seventh collection of short fiction. I’ve had stories and poems published in dozens of magazines and anthologies in Canada and the United States (included six times in Best Canadian Stories), and had work broadcast on CBC. I was a finalist for the Journey Prize in 2009 and have won several awards – an earlier collection, Bix’s Trumpet and Other Stories, was Book of the Year at the Saskatchewan Book Awards and a finalist for the ReLit Award in 2007, and my poetry collection, Dimensions of an Orchard, won the Anne Szumigalski Poetry Prize at the 2010 Saskatchewan Book Awards. My most recent title, A Book of Great Worth, was one of Amazon.Ca’s Top Hundred Books of 2012.

Links to buy Dave’s book:
Oolichan Books has published this in a $19.95 trade paper edition and it is also available as a $9.95 ebook in Kobo, Kindle and Apple formats. It’s available from the author (davemargoshes (at) gmail.com), the publisher, at independent bookstores across Canada, and at Chapters-Indigo, Amazon and other on-line retailers.
Amazon Canada – eBook and Paperback
Amazon US – eBook and Paperback

Dave’s promo links:
I don’t have a website, but I’m on Facebook, and have pages on The Writers Union of Canada and The League of Canadian Poets websites

What are you working on now?
A new novel, Wiseman’s Wager, will be published in the fall. Work on that is done. I’m deeply immersed in a new novel, set in the Middle East.

Dave’s reading recommendation:
Short stories are my preferred reading. I really liked two story collections from Alberta writers, Astrid Blodgett’s* You Haven’t Changed a Bit, and Audrey Whitson’s The Glorious Mysteries; and two Saskatchewan collections, Proudflesh by Peggy Worrell, and Sweet Life by Linda Biasotto. I loved Saskatchewan poet dee Hobsbawn-Smith’s debut collection, wildness rushing in, and I’m a fan of the first two volumes of The Literary History of Saskatchewan, edited by David Carpenter.

*Astrid Blodgett was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in July, 2014.