The first time I met a Real Live Author.

When I was a kid, some of my favourite books were the Accidental Detectives series, by Sigmund Brouwer.  I wanted to be Lisa.  When I found out that the author lived only one hour away, I was thrilled!  I always hoped I’d meet him.

Shortly after my thirteenth birthday, I found out that he was doing a young writers course in Ponoka.  Although it was only supposed to go up to age 12, somehow, two friends and I were able to attend.  I think my friend’s mom had a lot to do with that.

I learned so much that Saturday.  I’m sure I still have my notes somewhere.  Or maybe I don’t, because they always reminded me how I embarrassed myself.  One of the exercises was to solve a mystery that went something like this:

A prisoner is in jail.  The only thing in his cell is a bed, a sink, and a 2-foot-tall bucket.  There was one window, hight in the wall.  It was about four feet higher than the prisoner could reach.  One morning, after a freezing cold night, the guards discovered that he had escaped!  How did he do it?

After we had some time to work on the problem, Mr. Brouwer called on me to give an answer.  My awsomely clever idea was that maybe the prisoner was a high-jumper and just jumped up to the window.  I was so smrt.  The real answer involved ice frozen in the bucket.

After the class, my friend and I browsed the book tables and got a chance to talk to Mr. Brouwer.  He mentioned that it had taken him eight years to get his first book published.  Like a dork, I further embarrassed myself by saying, “Well, I’ve been writing since I was eight!  I only have three years left!”

I hope I have developed better social and deductive skills since then.

And that is the story of the first time I met a Real Live Author.

PS: I still love Sigmund Brouwer’s Winds of Light books that we discovered that day.  They introduced me to medieval fiction other than fairy tales.  I’m currently reading his book The Canary List.

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Book Review: Tiger Lillie, by Lisa Samson

Lisa Samson’s Tiger Lillie is about a 31-year-old woman, Lillie, who is still
mourning the disappearance of her high school sweetheart while trying to keep her extreme wedding planning business going and striking out in the dating scene.

This book shocked me.  In a good way.  The story is entertaining and intense and emotional, and it seemed I was learning something new about the craft of novel-writing on every other page.  Here are just a few of those things:

1.     “…”  Brilliant. Much better than using words to state silence.

2.     Rabbit trails can be good!  Lillie is a very well-developed character, and even though her somewhat rambling thought process seemed disjointed at the beginning of the book, it all was necessary to understanding the story and the character.  Besides, Lillie thinks the way I think!  And apparently, it’s ok to write that way!

3.     It is ok to write in both first person POV and third person POV in the same novel.  This is one thing I’ve been vacillating about in my novel-in-progress.  I intended to write it all in third person POV because I want to show some of the antagonists’ thoughts.  But the first scene just came out in first person POV, and it was so much better than it would have been otherwise.

To anyone wanting to write contemporary fiction, Christian or otherwise, I say: Read Lisa Samson’s work!  I have another of her books waiting for me at the library.

To anyone wanting to read edgier contemporary Christian fiction, I say: Read Lisa Samson’s work!

Thanks to The Koala Bear Writer for recommending this author.