Are you a food addict?

Posted on December 19 by Vera Tarman

Are you a food addict? Worried about your will power with food? Take heed – Christmas is coming!

Christmas season is a difficult season for people who struggle with addiction – any addiction. For the alcoholic, there is the spiked eggnog, rum balls, and expensive wines; for the shopper, there are the stores that beckon people with sales and gift cards, and for the food addict, there is food. Too much food: office buffets, Christmas cake and Santa chocolate and marzipan candies.  Endless amounts of food filled with deadly combinations of sugar, fat and salt.

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Tunnels, Towers and Fairyland

Posted on December 16 by Jill Downie

The Moretti and Falla mysteries are set on the Channel Island of Guernsey, where I once lived.  An island of contrasts, it is rich in themes for a writer, with ancient traditions and fairy lore, but it is also haunted by more recent presences.  The Channel Islands were occupied during the Second World War, and the battlements and fortifications of that traumatic time still stand, many of them now resurrected and refurbished, sharing the landscape and the tourists with fairy rings, prehistoric dolmens, and caves believed to be the gates to fairyland.

Bird’s Eye View is the unforgettable story of an idealistic young farm girl from Saskatchewan who is working as a newspaper reporter at the outbreak of World War Two. When her town becomes a British Commonwealth Air Training Base, Rose Jolliffe is fired with patriotism and wangles her way overseas, where she joins the air force and becomes an aerial photographic interpreter.

INFO on Son No. 4,  Herbert Prichard Thomas.

My step-uncle; from my grandfather s first marriage, who was the only one of my five step-uncles to survive WW-1 & WW-2.

Research Notes; by UK Military Genealogist Alan Greveson for, author and grandson Gerald A. Archambeau of Jamaican Police Inspector of Police- Herbert Theodore Thomas 1856 to 1930, from his second marriage to Leonora Thomas in Jamaica.

A world-recognized McGill medical scientist, Peter Macklem became my friend through a shared interest in the misdiagnosis of digoxin poisoning in children based on autopsy blood tests. He became my hero when he stood alone as the professor of Medicine at McGill when he was an expert witness at a Royal Inquiry – denying the validity of autopsy digoxin testing as evidence of murder. He wrote the Foreword to “The Nurses are Innocent” which details how false serial murder charges were laid against nurse Susan Nelles of the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children  (1980-81).

Three Dundurn titles have been shortlisted for the 2014 Speaker's Book Award, it was announced yesterday.  Richard Feltoe, The Ashes of War: The Fight for Upper Canada, August 1814-March 1815; Steve Paikin, Paikin and the Premiers; and Peter Unwin, Canadian Folk; are

Death's Shadow has been Nominated for the Hamilton Arts Council Literary Award! thumbnail

Dundurn is pleased to announce that Death’s Shadow by Jon Wells has been nominated for the 21st Annual Hamilton Arts Council Literary Award in the nonfiction category. Well’s acclaimed work of true crime will compete with Blood by Lawrence Hill and This House is Condemned by David Haskins for the top prize.

Halloween is much more than tricks or treats, it is also All Hallows Eve, where the souls of the dead walk among us. Richard Palmisano, author of Meeting Place of the Dead knows however that it's not just All Hallows Eve when ghosts appear amongst us...

How did you come up with the idea for this work?

Halloween is tomorrow and acclaimed author Philippa Dowding, (The Lost Gargoyle series, and The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden) sits down with us to talk about her new book Jake and the Giant Hand.

Tell us about your book.

Why Don’t We Remember?

Posted on October 25 by admin

The history of HMCS Oakville, a Second World War corvette that served Canada with distinction, is unknown to most. Citizens of the town of Oakville have no idea that their town had such close ties to its ‘adopted’ corvette and, for the most part, Canadians are unaware of the courage and daring exhibited by that small, yet incredibly tough, ship and crew. After having done presentations about the history of HMCS Oakville for many years now, the response doesn’t surprise me, and I am truly delighted to see that people are beginning to realize the importance of the ship in our country’s history – the spark, nearly extinguished, has received a vibrant breath of air and is now alight!

There is one dominant factor that all of us can count on as the overriding influence in our lives and that’s change- not just evolutionary gradual progress but raw, fast and dramatic differences affecting almost everything we do. From a work perspective, rapid change guarantees that we will evolve through many different incarnations throughout our work life. It is critical to take control of this process and make strategic decisions along the way. Every position you accept should be for a reason and offer a path towards your goals.

Alan Bowker worked for thirty-five years in Canada's foreign service, including serving as high commissioner to Guyana. He has a Ph.D. in Canadian history and has taught at Canada's Royal Military College. He is the editor of two collections of Leacock essays, On the Front Line of Life and Social Criticism. Today Alan answers some questions for us about his new book A Time Such as There Never Was Before.

Sean E. Livingston is a Naval Reserve officer with the CAF, as well as a teacher and Sea Cadet instructor. For over a decade, he has researched and promoted the history of HMCS Oakville, keeping its memory and story alive. His book Oakville's Flower has just released and it is a must read! Today Sean was able to stop by the blog and tell us more about his book.


Tell us about your book.

"Something has come to pass, you think, something more important than a mere flight over the ravine." Gwendolyn MacEwen, “Fragments from a Childhood”

This sentiment is the epigraph to my new YA novel, The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden. Many thanks to the author's family for kindly permitting me to use it. 

Gwendolyn MacEwen was an award-winning poet who died much too young at 47. I often walk through her Toronto park on Lowther Street and say hello to her statue. 

Jennifer Dance and Philippa Dowding Shortlisted for OLA's 2015 Forest of Reading Awards thumbnail

Dundurn Press is pleased to announce that two of its authors have become finalists for the OLA's 2015 Forest of Reading Awards. Red Wolf, by Jennifer Dance, has been nominated for the Silver Birch Fiction Award; and The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden, by Philippa Dowding, has been nominated for the Red Maple Fiction Award.


Pity the IT guy. Tasked by managers to use digital tools to bring productivity gains to the organization, they deploy a wide variety of tools — web chat bots, hiring management apps, phone-tree systems, and more.

And then, a couple of months later, those same managers call the IT guy. “How come our customer satisfaction ratings are plummeting?”

Easy. They used technology to solve a human problem.

This isn’t to say that there’s no role for technology in your organization, but deploying it the right way can make or break a business.

There is one dominant factor that all of us can count on as the overriding influence in our lives and that’s change- not just evolutionary gradual progress but raw, fast and dramatic differences affecting almost everything we do.  From a work perspective, rapid change guarantees that we will evolve through many different incarnations throughout our work life. It is critical to take control of this process and make strategic decisions along the way. Every position you accept should be for a reason and offer a path towards your goals.

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My afteroon at Word on the Street Toronto

Posted on September 30 by admin

It was a lot of fun to work at the Dundurn booth for Word on the Street this year. I wish I had had more time to wander around Queen's Park it was such a beautiful day, but I did appreciate being in the breezy shade of the tent. This year we had two authors every half hour sit down to sign books and meet readers, everybody from children's author Philippa Dowding to ghost research enthusiast Mark Leslie.

In the Arctic aviation plays a crucial  role in the everyday lives of people.  The railroads and highways do not connect the communities as they do along the 49th parallel and the annual summer sea lift is the only access possible for bulk freight.  Aircraft are thus the local bus, taxi, ambulance and grocery truck. Air service in these areas is not discretionary or solely for vacationers and businessmen.  Simply put, it is a daily necessity and lifeline to goods and services that Canadians who live down south take for granted.

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Standing in front of the giant map, I’m struck by the reach of the Mackenzie Delta. Flying overhead a few days earlier in an Air North Hawker Siddeley 748, I’d certainly noticed the expanse of water and earth. The tributaries and lakes, the dead ends where the water is trying to push into new territory; they had all caught my attention as I tried to memorize the topography of a foreign land. On the ground in Inuvik in the Northwest Territories, though, it’s easy to forget this place is more water than terra firma.


Contested Land, Contested Memory: Israel's Jews and Arabs and the Ghosts of Catastrophe, by Toronto-based writer and anthropologist Jo Roberts, has become the first Canadian publication to place second at the prestigious Dayton Literary Peace Prize, it was announced today. Roberts will be honored at a gala ceremony in Dayton, OH on November 9th, alongside non-fiction winner Karima Bennoune, author of Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here.

When honest and reliable witnesses report their experiences of paranormal phenomena, there would seem to be five possible explanations – as far as we can ascertain after more than 50 years of investigating.

The first type of phenomena can best be described as Shakespearean or Dickensian ghosts – the surviving souls or spirits of what were once human beings. Hamlet’s father and Scrooge’s partner Marley are prime examples.  These are purposeful ghostly entities with messages for the living.

Indicators that your home may be haunted.

Things being moved or missing

Sounds of walking, knocking, banging, whistles, snapping, glass breaking, furniture being moved. (Rarely any evidence)

Doors and or windows opening or closing

Lights or appliances turning on or off

Black shadows that are seen quickly with your peripheral vision

Mists, smoke, orbs or apparitions

Whispers or voices, unexplained music

Unexplained cold or hot spots

Unexplained items appearing

From my earliest memories, I remember the special thrill of holding a new book in my hands, turning it over, investigating the front and back covers before carefully cracking it open and exploring inside. (I should add that by “new book” I mean a book that was new to me – it could be a library book, borrowed from a friend, passed on from a relative or purchased at a local garage sale.

Interview with Richard Palmisano, author of Meeting Place of the Dead  thumbnail

Today Richard Palmisano talks to us about his new book Meeting Place of the Dead, and the chilling experiences that he and his team had while they investigated a particular house.

How did you come up with the idea for this work?

Dundurn Press is officially the first Canadian publisher to incorporate Thema classifications for all book and ebook records, it was announced today. The innovation, which makes the company’s title classifications compatible with booksellers worldwide, will position the Toronto-based publisher more strategically in the global market and help make its titles more visible to readers abroad.

A book by Toronto-based writer and anthropologist Jo Roberts has been shortlisted for the prestigious Dayton Literary Peace Prize, it was announced yesterday.  Roberts is the only Canadian among the twelve finalists for the international award, a list that includes Jesmyn Ward, whose novel Salvage the Bones won the 2011 National Book Award for Fiction, and David Finkel, noted Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.

 “I’m delighted and honoured that my work has been chosen,” said Roberts.

Back to School

Posted on September 5 by Robert Priest

My birthday is in July so going back to school was one way I kind of felt in sync with the outer world. Beginning each new grade I had a new age, a new season, new clothes   (or at least different hand-me-downs) and a new shot at something. Summer holidays were long enough that, come late August I was usually, if only secretly, beginning to make the equivalent of New Year's resolutions to myself about how studious and on time I would be. Not that I was a bad student.

1. Get to know your child’s teacher. Don’t wait until there are problems. Establish a rapport early on, so that if you do need to talk to the teacher about anything more serious, you will be talking to someone you know and get along with.

2. Always be on the side of the child. When your child expresses frustration, boredom or anxiety, don’t take the side of the school against the child. You are always the child’s ally, providing coaching and strategies but most importantly affirmation. I hear you.

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A Book Full of Memories

Posted on September 3 by Jennifer Maruno

I looked forward to visiting the Normandy coast this July, especially after seeing the amazing D-Day commemorative ceremony on television. World War II played a very big role in my life. My father's friends had all been soldiers, my mother worked in London, England during the blitz. I had Scottish relatives bombed in Glasgow, and unknown relatives buried in war cemeteries in strange sounding places like Kuala Lumpur.

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A Digital Catalogue

Posted on August 29 by admin

Even in an age where data flows like water in a stream and goes out of date the moment it sits still, it’s still a huge deal when a publishing house receives final approval on a catalogue. The mind-boggling amount of tasks and processes that go into just a single book title – from the author catching the spark, to the designer drafting covers, to the details and minutiae that go into editing, printing, distributing, and marketing a basket of books, there are countless steps along the way.

Liberation of Paris

Posted on August 26 by Ray Argyle

Among all the cities of Europe that fell under the Nazi boot in the Second World War, the loss of Paris touched a raw nerve among those who fought the German war machine.

Paris was no Stalingrad, fought over from house to house, nor was it the victim, like London, of merciless aerial attack. It stood as a symbol of culture and freedom — of what had been lost to the Nazis and what must be regained for the world.

When Paris fell to the Germans on June 10, 1940, it truly seemed as if, in the words of an earlier British foreign minister, the lights had gone out all over Europe.

Writing Teen Books

Posted on August 15 by Lynne Kositsky

I have written for almost as long as I can remember, most recently young adult novels.    I am frequently asked where my ideas come from. I guess they come from who I am and what I’ve experienced in one way or another. Let’s start at the brilliant piece of literature I remember creating, at the age of six:     


    I am a pixie

    My husband’s name is Dixie

    We live in a hollow tree house.

    We live near the ground

    Where the tree is round as round

    What a nice little hollow tree house.


Vancouver Noir

Posted on August 8 by Sam Wiebe

Browse the mystery section of your local bookstore, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a book that doesn’t have a subtitle of the “A [Detective’s Name] Investigation” variety. Whether it’s a Rebus novel or a Miss Marple mystery, the common thread and selling point of the series is the stability of the main character. It’s a reassurance to the readers that nothing will really happen to them.

Writing mysteries is a space of my own, where words surround me

Their sounds vibrate with silence and seduction, symphony and serendipity

Inspiration coalesing into clarity, like figures emerging from the fog

Words rant and rave, wild and free, lassoeed and tamed

To turn to prose that is all encompassing ……….to turn to mystery

Words drenched in meaning  - love, hate, soul, greed, evil, lust, motive, menacing, mystical

Paint a thousand pictures, the brushstrokes different for every canvas

Interview with Natasha L. Henry, author of Emancipation Day thumbnail

Tell us about your book.
My book, Emancipation Day: Celebrating Freedom in Canada, is about the history and evolution of the August first commemoration of the abolition of slavery in Canada and the diverse people who celebrated this popular annual event.

Interview with Natasha L. Henry, author of Emancipation Day thumbnail

Tell us about your book.
My book, Emancipation Day: Celebrating Freedom in Canada, is about the history and evolution of the August first commemoration of the abolition of slavery in Canada and the diverse people who celebrated this popular annual event.

It was February, 2011. I was sitting at my desk (writing, what else?), and noticed a new email message with the subject line: Congratulations, Philippa!

I almost dismissed it as junk mail, until I noticed the “from” address. Since it was from my publisher, I opened it. My publisher was pleased to tell me that my first book, The Gargoyle in My Yard, had been nominated for a Diamond Willow award, one of the Saskatchewan Young Readers Choice Awards, and she hoped that it would be the first of many.


My fifth novel, THE HUNDRED HEARTS, has been nominated for the 2014 Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, and I couldn't be happier.  It's not just because of the warm, fuzzy feeling an award nomination gives a writer in his tummy.  Nor is it because of the one-in-three chance of winning a rather large prize purse ($25,000.00, in this case).  It's because the current state of publishing means that for professional writers, there is very little money to be made these days unless one wins a prize, or is at least nominated for one.

My aim with The Paris Game is to give readers a dramatic and intimate accounting of how an obscure general saved the honour of France in the Second World War, and how a restored France went on to reinvent itself as a leader in the modern world.

The sub-title tells the story: Charles de Gaulle, the Liberation of Paris, and the Gamble That Won France.

Effective September 1st, Dundurn Press will be transferring its U.K. sales and distribution to Ingram Publisher Services, which already manages Dundurn’s distribution in the United States. The change marks the end of the Toronto-based publisher’s 11-year relationship with Gazelle Book Services.

“There are several reasons for the shift,” says Margaret Bryant, Dundurn’s Director of Sales and Marketing. “The most salient, without doubt, is that with Ingram we now have the opportunity to move to an inventory-free arrangement that relies exclusively on print-on-demand.”

1. The Orange Order began as an Irish Protestant fraternity sometimes referred to as the Loyal Order of Lodgemen, or LOL.

 2. Robert Baldwin, of Spadina House, instructed that a male version of a Caesarean section be performed on his corpse in homage to his beloved wife, Eliza, who died at twenty-five in 1836 after such an operation.

 3. To project a dignified image as Mayor of Toronto in 1846, William Boulton sat for his official portrait wearing black silk stockings, frilly sleeves, and white lace exploding out of his vest.

On the first night of the Saskatchewan Festival of Words, held in Moose Jaw, SK, there were readings and commentaries in what the festival described as a “Read-ception” at the Mosaic Conference Centre. Several other writers also featured at the festival offered some short excerpts of their writing.

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Once Around Algonquin

Posted on July 17 by Kevin Callan

This past summer my regular canoe mate, Andy Baxter, and I took on Algonquin’s Meanest Link - a full circle the park. It took 16 days, covered 350 kilometers (220 miles), 55 lakes, 6 rivers (3 that had to be paddled upstream), and 93 portages adding up to 68 kilometers (42 miles). It was one crazy trip; one I wouldn’t do again but an experience I’m glad I had. I lost 10 lbs., gained muscles I've never seen on my body before and had mosquito bites all over my genitalia. Doesn’t sound pleasant - and some of it wasn’t. The most prominent silly portion was going up the Big East River.

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Road Trips

Posted on July 16 by Mark Richardson

People keep asking where my next road trip will be. I’m planning for a drive out to New Brunswick in early September, and then back home around Quebec’s Gaspé peninsula, but when I mention this, those people who ask look disappointed.

It’s clear the Gaspé isn’t far enough away for them. After all, I’m the guy who drove across Canada in 2012, and who tests cars on adventurous arctic roads and exotic European highways. I should be driving from ocean to ocean at the very least.

New Again

Posted on July 15 by Glenn Dixon

I have travelled now through 70 countries, give or take.  I have my favorites - Tibet, the Greek Islands, Thailand - but really I’d go back to any of them.  For me, there’s a wonder in it.  The kind of wonder I’ve all but lost in my ‘real’ life.  It’s the same magic I had as an eight year old boy running through a sprinkler on the hissing summer lawn.  The same magic as snowflakes drifting down on a postcard Christmas eve.

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If you enjoy travel, reading about it, or watching it on TV, you’ve probably asked yourself: Who are these people who get paid to see the world?   How on earth did they land that kind of job?  I’d always wondered myself, and then one day, found myself as a travel writer and international television host.   How?    Well, it was kind of an accident.

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Orillia's Big Read

Posted on July 2 by Ann Birch

Dundurn is thrilled to announce that Settlement, a 2010 historical novel by Ann Birch, has been selected for Orillia’s Big Read 2014. The community reading program, hosted by the Orillia Public Library, encourages Orillians to read and reflect on a single title each year. As part of this year’s ‘Big Read’, September 19th has been declared “Settlement Day” and is scheduled to include an Afternoon Tea Q&A with Ann Birch followed by an evening boat cruise and author reception on Lake Couchiching.

Dundurn Rebrands the Jalna Series thumbnail

Dundurn Press has just released an entirely newly designed e-book set of the Jalna series written by 20th-century author Mazo de la Roche. The first book in the popular series, Jalna, was originally published in 1927. Revolving around the Whiteoak family, the books take place in Southern Ontario in a red-brick house called Jalna.

Interview with Daniel J. Baum, Author of Understanding the Law Series thumbnail

Daniel J. Baum, is the author of the Understanding the Law series. The first three books in the series are: Youth and the Law, Freedom of Expression, and Crime Scene Investigations. Daniel answered a few questions for us about his new series of books.

How did you come up with the idea for this work?

The Great Escape: Winner of the Libris Award Non-Fiction Book of the Year! thumbnail

The Great Escape, the bestselling history title from acclaimed broadcaster,  military historian, and author Ted Barris, was honoured at this week's Libris Award ceremony, sharing the award for Best Non-Fiction Title with Chris Hadfield’s  An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth.

Living with a haunting can be very unnerving, and investigating them can be, too…but, based on my own many experiences, I find that comic relief sometimes helps quite a bit.  And, along with respect for the living and dead, and an open mind, a sense of humour is often an important  “tool”  to bring with you into these situations, whenever possible.  Because, for me at least, things don’t always (or usually) go as expected…

The investigation into life after death is not an easy task, there are obstacles and challenges at every turn. It is expensive, often boring and a lot of tedious work. Scheduling visits can be a nightmare, finding a suitable location and securing access can be an enormous job on its own and I wouldn't give it up for anything because the rewards of each discovery easily outweigh everything else.

My interest in the paranormal began in 1975, when I was researching historical sketches of places on the Waccamaw Neck of South Carolina, United States. I became acquainted with a home called the Hermitage.

The Hermitage at the time, was a good example of an appealing combination of the historic and the mysterious. It is still a house with a benign ghost.

Dr. Allard Belin Flagg built the Hermitage in 1849, on a point of land surrounded on three sides by tidal marshes, in Murrells Inlet, S.C.

Each of the places I have called home in Ontario are near and dear to my heart, filled with fond memories, and happen to be haunted -- not just with my vivid memories of them, but with spirits, ghosts and other unexplainable phenomenon.

It was during a ghost walk in Ottawa that I realized history could indeed come alive with ghostly tales. From the haunted downtown hostel on Nicholas Street that used to be the Carleton County jail to the Museum of Nature whose ghosts have a direct effect on the high turnover of security guards, Ottawa has its fair share of both ghosts and history.

Dundurn Press is excited to announce that Lise Dion’s The Secret of the Blue Trunk has been awarded the White Pine Nonfiction Award from the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading Awards. This prize, which honours the best nonfiction titles for high school-aged teens, was announced this morning at a celebration at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre.

Peering out my window I gaze longingly over an endless expanse of ice blanketing Lake Superior, a virtual freshwater ocean.  A steady flurry of wet snow pelts against the window melting instantly. It halts briefly before dripping down the pane blurring the grey and unwelcoming vista. Despite my best efforts I must admit that my disposition matches the sullen landscape as an especially harsh and brutal winter in Northern Ontario shows few signs of relenting well into this month of April.

My Humble Escape

Posted on May 12 by James Ross

It is early morning at the cottage.  I sit on the covered wooden porch of our cabin in a hewn log rocking chair, with two huskies asleep at my feet.

Beyond the cottage porch is the lake.  Waves break gently on our rocky shoreline.  A song sparrow sings from an overhead branch, my robin hops about looking for worms, a pair of loons paddle about the bay hooting softly and a gull stands guard on a stump near the shore; but for the quiet murmur of the birds, the soft breathing of my dogs and the sounds of the water, there is silence.  This is why I like to rise early.

It started when I saw two men fire up chain saws and begin dismembering an old tree on my street. Huge, gnarled and majestic, the tree was one of my favourites. Heartsick, I watched the men. Should I try and stop them? Would they listen or would I just end up getting myself arrested?  As a single parent, I didn’t have the option of going to jail.

My response was to write about it.

Laura H. takes over the blog today to talk about editing Stealing Time by Anne Dublin!

Laura H:

Whenever I begin a new project with an author, I take time to do some preliminary research on the topic — whether it’s social history, hard-boiled detective stories, or YA (Young Adult) fiction — in order to get a “feel” for my subject matter.

As a middle grade author, I have the honour of regularly talking to children across the country. I really enjoy it, and I especially love answering their questions. Here are some of my favourites over the years:

1. “Why did you write your book?” I usually say because I had the idea and I just had to. Kids get that, no problem.

2. “Did you write your book in two hours?” I often ask the class how long they think it takes to write a book, but this estimate was a bit of a surprise.

One of the most exciting things about writing a book is that you learn so much along the way.  When I started researching Mobilize! I had a rather cartoonish view of former Prime Minister Mackenzie King.  He sounded rather dull but the more I read and studied about him the more I came to respect him.  Yes, he spent hours communing with the dead; yes,  he could be petty; and yes, he drove his staff to distraction with all his demands. He was an impossible boss.  But there is a lot more to him especially the more I began to realize that his top priority was always Canadian unity.

The End Game

Posted on April 27 by Brenda Chapman

One of the toughest parts about writing a mystery novel is crafting the ending. When I begin a manuscript, I have a general idea of the crime and who the culprit will be. Over the next 80,000 to 90,000 words, I develop characters, insert clues and red herrings, and work to make the plot gallop along at a steady clip. Along about the point where the action reaches its climax and the killer is to be revealed, the agonizing begins. How will my sleuth put together all of the clues in a way that is not obviously being manipulated by me?

The Perfect Crime

Posted on April 26 by Steve Burrows

The perfect crime is possible. In fact, my next book opens with one. But you can’t sustain a mystery novel with just a perfect crime for very long. A perfect crime, by definition, is one that leaves no clues, and clues, as we all know, are the lifeblood of mysteries. If the contest between writer and reader is going to be a meaningful one, then the clues need to be sufficient, and sufficiently cryptic, to give a quick-witted reader a sporting chance of solving the mystery.

This morning Dundurn Press was pleased to learn that three of its crime writers were shortlisted for this year’s Arthur Ellis Awards, further concretizing its reputation for producing stellar Canadian crime and mystery writing and publishing groundbreaking new authors. The shortlist was announced yesterday evening in events across the country.

Dundurn Has Been Shortlisted for the 2014 Libris Award for Publisher of the Year! thumbnail

Dundurn Press is proud to share that it has once again been shortlisted for the 2014 Libris Award for Publisher of the Year (it was previously shortlisted in the Publisher of the Year category in 2012). Other publishers on this year’s shortlist include ECW  Press, HarperCollins Canada, House of Anansi Press, Penguin Canada, and Random House of Canada.

When I was in the preteen phase of my life-long addiction to rock n' roll, my Dad came home from work one weekend with a massive Bell and Howell reel to reel tape recorder. It was love! I held the taxi dispatcher microphone up to the speaker of our home stereo/credenza and recorded songs off the radio creating my first mixtapes.

When author Patrick Wensink wrote the satirical novel Broken Piano for President, he wasn’t expecting any controversy over its cover design. 

The cover, inspired by old-time saloon-era art, also bore a striking resemblance to the label of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whisky.

Jack Daniel’s felt a legal response was necessary — and they were right. But they approached it with a human attitude which made all the difference.

In North America today, women are the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs and they create jobs at a significantly higher rate than large corporations. I suspect this trend will continue as more women seek flexibility in their employment, diversity in their sources of income and opportunities to make more money; ultimately bucking the trend in the persistent income gap between men and women.

If you’re looking to start or expand your small businesses, you have far greater, and more flexible, options to raise money today than even a decade ago.  

A Letter in the Mail

Posted on March 28 by Ian Darling

Yesterday, one of our editors received a handwritten letter in the mail. We don't get many old-fashioned letters here at Dundurn — most things come through email nowadays. The letter was passed around to a couple of people but ended up with me.

This letter was from a retiree living in Ottawa. He wanted to get his hands on a copy of Amazing Airmen, by Ian Darling. His problem was that it was hard for him to go shopping because he lived in a retirement home. He hoped that he could buy a copy from us and have it mailed.

Dundurn has an immediate opening for a Marketing Designer.


The Marketing Designer is in charge of all design and production for the marketing department, including:

·         Print and online advertising

·         Flyers, posters and invites

·         Newsletters

·         Print-on-demand

·         EPUB samples

·         Print and online catalogues

·         Print materials and printing, ARCs and BLADs


The successful candidate will have:

Interview with Julie H. Ferguson, author of Through a Canadian Periscope thumbnail

Julie H. Ferguson joins us on the blog today to talk about her book Through a Canadian Periscope, how she was able to research for this book, and her ideal writing environment.

Caitlyn: Tell us about your book.

Julie: Through a Canadian Periscope’s second edition celebrates the story of the Canadian submarine service on the occasion of its centenary in 2014.

Dundurn is saddened to learn of the passing of James A. "Pete" McGarvey, a legendary figure in the Orillia community. Among McGarvey's notable achievements in community involvement was leading the charge to restore Stephen Leacock's Orillia summer home, The Old Brewery Bay, in the 1950s. He also co-founded the Mariposa Folk Festival in 1961. 
Interview with Scott Carter, author of Barrett Fuller's Secret thumbnail

Today on the blog we're talking to Scott Carter, author of Barrett Fuller's Secret!

Caitlyn: Tell us about your book.

Scott: Barrett Fuller is a best-selling children’s author, who writes under a pseudonym because he is a pig of a man.  His life changes when he receives a letter demanding that he live up to the morals he espouses in his books or be outed as the morally corrupt man behind the pseudonym.

The Story of Red Wolf

Posted on February 20 by Jennifer Dance

My husband and I migrated to Canada in 1979. We were a young bi-racial couple, searching for a place where our children could achieve their full potential regardless of skin colour. But my husband died shortly after arriving in Canada, and suddenly I was alone in a new country with two pre-schoolers and a third child on the way. It was then that I learned about the Indian Residential School System, and the Indian Act that enabled it.

Life Like Characters

Posted on February 19 by Kristin Butcher

My favourite novels are those with complex characters who come alive and make me love them, despise them, fear them, or feel sorry for them. They are so compelling that I am left thinking about them long after I've closed the book. So, it's only natural that I strive to create exactly those types of characters in the books I write. In my recent novel, Truths I Learned from Sam, I really feel I have achieved that. It's been a year and a half since I finished writing the book, but I still find myself thinking about Dani and Sam.

Interview with Marc Dauphin, author of Combat Doctor thumbnail

Today Marc Dauphin, author of Comabt Doctor, which is about his time as an emergency room doctor at a combat hospital in Kandahar, talks with us about his first book, and what his current project is.

Caitlyn: What was your first publication?

Marc: My first publication was L'anneau de Gabriele the first of a series of seven novels about a German family from the end of WWI, throughout WWII, and the post-war years.

My Writing Process

Posted on January 29 by Lucy Leiderman

I consider myself an organized person. When I try to develop an idea for a book, I like to plan everything out. The whole story arc develops as I lay out every chapter and create a plan for writing and staying on schedule. If I don't have a checklist of things I need to take my characters though, I find my writing really slows down and drifts. That being said, the most important thing I know about making a writing plan, is that you need to be flexible. Maybe the plan happens exactly as you lay it out for some writers, but that's never happened to me. 

Interview with Philippa Dowding, author of The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden thumbnail

Today Philippa Dowding, author of The Lost Gargoyle series, sits down with me to talk about her new book The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden.

Caitlyn: Tell us about your book.

Birthing Short Stories

Posted on January 22 by Russell Wangersky

Almost every short story I write starts the same way: I hear a snatch of a sentence, see a small situation unfold, and wonder what would happen next. A man in his twenties brings his new girlfriend to a bar, and runs into his old girlfriend in a space packed so tight, they have no choice but to be shoulder to shoulder.

I get to overhear this small snippet at the beginning: “Hey. Have you met Lauren? This is Lauren.” “Hi, I’m Lauren.”

Interview with Ray Argyle, author Joey Smallwood thumbnail

Today on the blog is an interview with Ray Argyle, author of Joey Smallwood. Ray tells us about this book, and why he felt the need to write it. Ray also has a new book scheduled with Dundurn called The Paris Game - a biography about Charles de Gaulle

Caitlyn: Tell us about your book.

Today's blog post is from Allister Thompson, editor of Christopher Ward's new book Dead Brilliant.


Author Christopher Ward, as one of the original VJs on MuchMusic in the eighties, was part of the youth of a very large part of Canada’s population. In fact, and I’m not buttering him up here, he was my favourite. He hosted the Fromage show that collected the most heinous videos of the year and seemed to have a pretty cynical, measured take on the whole pop culture thing. As a noted cynic myself, I found his attitude refreshing.

The idea for "Dead Brilliant" came from living in Los Angeles for over ten years and witnessing how quickly the raw fumes of ambition became the sad stench of desperation. As a sometime participant in and full-time observer of the fame game, I vacillated between fascination and horror at the  players antics.

An Editor's Thoughts - Metal on Ice thumbnail

Today on the blog we have a guest post from Allister Thompson, editor of Metal on Ice.


The Metal on Ice project was many years in the making. Author Sean Kelly has been a friend of mine for over twenty years — in fact, we were in a band together for several of them. Well, we still are, because the band never officially broke up!