Category Archives: The Anita Factor

A Minute of Time with Melinda Friesen

Mindi author pic

I asked Melinda the following two questions:

What was the last book you finished? Would you recommend it?

Sadly, the last few novels I’ve read have been mediocre. I have nothing new to recommend.

 

Of all the books you’ve written (published or not yet) which is your favourite?

My favorite of the books I’ve written is Solar. It took a long time to find a publisher, but finally, finally I have. Can’t wait to share this one!

Please connect with Melinda:

Twitter: @MelindaFriesen
Instagram: @MelindaFriesen
Pinterest: @MelindaFriesen
Website: melindafriesen.com

Bio:
Melinda Friesen authored the sci-fi/dystopian, One Bright Future series. Enslavement, book one in the series, was released in 2014 from Rebelight Publishing Inc., and its sequel, Subversion was released in 2016. EnEnslavement Subversionslavement has been shortlisted for a Saskatchewan Young Readers Choice Snow Willow Award and was nominated for a Sunburst Award. She also co-wrote The High-Maintenance Ladies of the Zombie Apocalypse [for adult audiences.] Her short stories have placed in numerous contests and have appeared in the Forging Freedom II Anthology, Freefall Magazine, and the Metro News.

A Minute of Time with Deborah Froese

deb-edit-6-x-6-2016-11-24I asked children’s author, editor, fellow Anita Factor member, and friend, Deborah Froese, what book she’s finished reading lately and would she recommend it?

I recently completed Middlemarcha novel set in late 19th century England. It wasn’t an easy read—the English of that time almost feels like a different language—but it fascinated me. Through a cast of deep and diverse characters, each flawed and perfectly human, the small community of Middlemarch comes to life. Vivid detail and loads of commentary about the time period fill the pages and prove that not much has changed about human relationships since then. Love, lust, deception, intrigue, hopes and dreams, and even murder, wind through webs of gossip and the confinement of society’s expectations.

Image result for middlemarch eliotMary Ann Evans wrote Middlemarch under the male pen name George Eliot so that she would be taken more seriously. Her writing is brilliant, but her long and complex read—it’s over 800 pages—isn’t for the faint of heart!

 

Deb Mr Jacobsons Window

Please connect with Deborah:
Twitter: @DeborahFroese
Instagram: @deborahfroese
Website/Blog: www.deborahfroese.com

Deborah Froese is the author and illustrator of
Mr. Jacobson’s Window [Peanut Butter Press].

A Minute of Time with Jodi Carmichael

jodi author picAward-winning author and good friend, Jodi Carmichael, spent almost two years living abroad in England with her family and recently returned to Canada.

What was your favourite part of living in England? What was it like to learn to drive there?

How is that even possible to answer. There was so much that I loved; the people, the architecture, the proximity to mainland Europe, but I suppose what really moved me was the history. You can walk down streets that once were travelled by Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Agatha Christie, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and I could go on and on. For a writer, exploring England is like traveling the road to Mecca.

Finished reading anything worth recommending lately?

Image result for blackthorn keyI just finished, The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands. It is a fast paced historical mystery that I had a hard time putting down. It had everything a reader could want; secret codes, thrilling action, history, science, and well developed characters. Set in 1665 London, we follow the adventures of Christopher Rowe an apothecary’s apprentice as he cracks codes and opens secret doors, while solving a conspiracy that reaches far beyond the walls of Blackthorn Apothecary. This novel was aimed at middle graders, but anyone who likes a well written mystery with historical and scientific accuracy, and a good number of explosions, would love this book.

Please connect with Jodi:

Website: www.jodicarmichael.com
Twitter: @Jodi_Carmichael
Facebook: Jodi Carmichael
Instagram: Jodi Carmichael

Bio:
Image result for forever julia book cover
Jodi writes for kids and teens of all ages and is the award-winning author of young adult novel, Forever Julia and chapter book, Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food. She is currently working on an action packed middle grade novel that is full of mystery, clairvoyance, and double agents.

A Minute of Time with Pat Trottier

pat-trottierI have asked friend, author, and fellow Anita Factory member, Pat, the following two questions:

What inspires you?

Watching people giving their utmost to make a difference in others’ lives. The weekend Free Press highlighted Grant Park high school students, living with cognitive and physical disabilities, preparing for their January performance, The Little Mermaid.

These talented students present two musicals every year with the support of their amazing teachers, educational assistants and peers who work with students to pick the best play, to practicing their parts and sewing beautiful costumes to highlight each student’s performance gift. This extraordinary community has eight years and 16 shows under its belt. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/special/goodnews/soul-music-416354724.html

Image result for all the light we cannot seeRead anything lately you’d like to recommend?

After reading All The Light We Cannot See [by Anthony Doerr], I would definitely recommend this book as a great read. It’s a masterfully crafted story of two children growing up in different worlds and how their lives become entwined and impact each other. This is one of my all- time favourites!

Please connect with Pat:

Website: Pat Trottier Books
Twitter: @PatPattrott

pat-relationships-comp-d

 

Bio:

Pat Trottier, M.Ed., has been actively involved in education in Winnipeg, Manitoba, for more than thirty years. Pat has worked with students in the early, middle, and senior years as a teacher, resource specialist, and administrator. Her extensive support of students in and outside of the classroom includes leading volunteer programs, preparing students for the work force, student council leadership, and helping parents with issues around child development and study skills. She recognizes the important role of physical activity and has coordinated a girl’s hockey team and Irish dancing classes. Committed to the professional development of teachers, Pat has been involved in developing a writing curriculum with early year’s teachers and an award-winning video, “To Do The Same Thing.”

As an author, Pat self-published The Other “R” in Education: Relationships in 2014 and this fall, 2016 published Relationships Make The Difference for Pembroke Publishers.

A Minute of Time with Gabriele Goldstone

gabe-photoI have asked friend, fellow Anita Factor writng group member, and historical fiction author, Gabriele Goldstone, two questions:

You recently said these beautiful words — “I love my life since retirement.” What’s the best part?

Best part about retirement? Two things…time and energy. When I was working, time was measured, chopped up into little pieces, regimented. A day couldn’t happen without a clock.

Now I can focus on what I’m doing, not when I’m doing it. The other thing, probably more important, is energy. I was running low. And I’ve learned that if you don’t take care of yourself, there’s nothing left for you to give to others.

Mostly, what I love about retirement is the time to putter. Just to go slow and smell the roses.

Image result for A Second Coming: Canadian Migration FictionFinished reading anything worth recommending lately?

I finished reading “A Second Coming: Canadian Migration Fiction” (ed by Donald F. Mulcahy and published by Guernica, 2016.) It’s a potpourri of immigrant stories. I hadn’t read short stories in a while and enjoyed them.

Please connect with Gabriele:
Website/Blog: gabrielegoldstone.blogspot.ca
Twitter: @gabegoldstone

 

Bio:
Gabe Red Stone Cover

 

Gabe considers herself an explorer (reader), a gardener (writer), and a muller (as in mulling things over, preferably while walking). After years of rushing about madly, she’s embracing a slower, simpler life.

 

 

broken_stone_fcover

 

 

Gabriele has two books published  in her Katya’s Stone series [Rebelight Publishing Inc.]. The series is middle grade (ages 9 to senior have enjoyed this series) historical fiction based on the true events that happened to her mother during WWII. Click book images for links to Amazon.ca:

 

 

A Minute of Time with Christina Albig

christina-author-picDiving right in to getting to know my fellow Anitas (& Anito!) better, I asked long time Anita Factor member, Christina, the following two questions:

You’re a new addition to a box of crayons. What colour would you be and why?

[I would be] a deep tomato red. I love the intensity and vibrancy of the color and how it’s full of life.tomatoes-892414_1280

 

 

Finished reading anything worth recommending lately?

The Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage. This series is a middle grade fantasy that is unlike any fantasy I’ve ever read. Full of unique characters and concepts.

Please connect with Christina:

Website: Ink and Attic
Facebook: Christina Albig Janz
Instagram: Christina Albig Janz – see Christina’s cakes!

Bio:
Christina likes the quirky and the queer, and enjoys trying to come up with characters and settings that fit in her writing. She writes for middle grade children.

A Minute of Time with MaryLou Driedger

marylou-signal-hillAs I mentioned in my first post about MaryLou, she is one of the most fascinating people that I know. I find the way she lives her life with intention, may be explained in one of today’s answers.

I asked MaryLou the following two questions:

What do you think is the most interesting thing about you?

Perhaps the most interesting thing about me is that I survived the tsunami in Phuket Thailand in December of 2004.  We were on a family holiday there. A series of changed plans probably saved our lives.  This included switching to a different resort a week before we left, postponing a snorkeling trip we had planned for the day of the tsunami, and sleeping in and not going down to the beach the morning of the tsunami. Seeing the devastation later and the chaos at the airport when we left with so many grieving and wounded people, was a watershed experience for me that really changed my perspective on life and caused me to rethink some of my long held spiritual beliefs. It made me realize the importance of living every day to its fullest and making sure the people I love know how much I love them.

Image result for from sand and ash amy harmonFinished reading something worth recommending lately?

Right now I am reading From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon. It is my first book by this author and I am really enjoying it.  The book was a gift from my eighty-five year old aunt who is a veracious reader. Every time I visit her I leave with a stack of books she thinks I will like. She has introduced me to many great authors. She is my reading mentor and has inspired me to try and be a reading mentor too and recommend books I like to others.

 

 

Please connect with MaryLou:
Twitter: @madajobukaal
Facebook: @maryloudriedger
Instagram: @maryloudriedger
Blog: What’s Next

Bio:
MaryLou Driedger is a newspaper columnist, art gallery tour guide and university student supervisor who lives in an old warehouse in downtown Winnipeg.  Her favorite role in life is being a grandmother. She loves to travel, read and blog and dreams of someday having one of the stories she writes for children published.

A Minute of Time with Melinda Friesen

Mindi author pic

Meet wonderful author, friend, and fellow Anita Factor member, Melinda Friesen. Melinda is one of the most deadline dedicated people that I’ve ever met. She consistently sets goals for herself and meets them which is truly inspiring. And I need to mention – she’s the plot queen! A true gift to think of plot solutions outside the box.

I asked Melinda the following two questions:

Image result for winter marissa meyer

 

What was the last book you finished? Would you recommend it?

The last book I finished was Winter by Marissa Meyer, which is the final book in the Lunar Chronicles series. I loved this series, but I’m afraid this final book left me flat.

As a writer, what would your mascot/avatar/spirit animal be?animal-1997970_640

I think my spirit animal would be a duck. Ducks can do anything—walk, fly, swim. They adapt.

Please connect with Melinda:

Twitter: @MelindaFriesen
Instagram: @MelindaFriesen
Pinterest: @MelindaFriesen
Website: melindafriesen.com

Bio:
Melinda Friesen authored the sci-fi/dystopian, One Bright Future series. Enslavement, book one in the series, was released in 2014 from Rebelight Publishing Inc., and its sequel, Subversion was released in 2016. EnEnslavement Subversionslavement has been shortlisted for a Saskatchewan Young Readers Choice Snow Willow Award and was nominated for a Sunburst Award. She also co-wrote The High-Maintenance Ladies of the Zombie Apocalypse [for adult audiences.] Her short stories have placed in numerous contests and have appeared in the Forging Freedom II Anthology, Freefall Magazine, and the Metro News.

A Minute of Time with Jodi Carmichael

jodi author pic

Award-winning author, Jodi Carmichael, is a fellow founding member of the Anita Factor writing group. She was the first of our group (with the members at the time) to be published with her middle grade novel, Spaghetti is Not a Finger Food (and other life lessons). We were all so excited for her!

Jodi is a spunky bundle of energy who is always excited about something writerly. She works hard at her craft (especially plotting cartoon-1817570_640) and writes wonderful stories with her natural brand of humour. I rarely see Jodi without a smile, so contagious.

I asked Jodi the following two questions:

What was the last book you finished? Would you recommend it?Image result for a monster calls book cover

The last book I read was, A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness. It had me with the first line. “The Monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.” How could anyone not love this opening. I highly recommend it and don’t forget to read the note the author included about writing the novel. To me, this made this story all the more special.

Do you base your fictional characters on real people?

I don’t typically base my characters on real people, except when I do! What an answer. Until my most recent novel, my characters and their stories were complete fiction. The book I am now working on is loosely based on my Grandfather’s mysterious World War 2 years. His war records keep getting resealed, which made me wonder, why? What did he do that is still so top secret? From there, my imagination took flight.

Please connect with Jodi:

Website: www.jodicarmichael.com
Twitter: @Jodi_Carmichael
Facebook: Jodi Carmichael
Instagram: Jodi Carmichael

Bio:
Image result for forever julia book cover
Jodi writes for kids and teens of all ages and is the award-winning author of young adult novel, Forever Julia and chapter book, Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food. She is currently working on an action packed middle grade novel that is full of mystery, clairvoyance, and double agents.

 

A Minute of Time with Christina Albig

christina-author-picChristina and I have known each other a long time. We were both members of the Vast Imaginations writing group, prior to the formation of the Anita Factor. Christina is one of the most creative people I know, not only does she have excellent story ideas, but she’s creative in everything in her life – from writing, to DIY home renos and decor, to arts and crafts, to drawing. And most recently cake decorating – all self-taught. Her creativity oozes from every cell. She’s simply amazing!

I asked Christina the following two questions:

What was the last book you read and you would you recommend it?Mistletoe and Murder (Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, #5)

The last book I read was Murder and Mistletoe by Robin Stevens, a middle grade read, part of a series, about two girls who solve a murder at their school. An enjoyable read.

What do you think about when your alone in the car?

I drive a lot of highway miles, leaving me free to think unhindered. And after a few minutes my creative mind kicks in and I start to work on whatever project I happen to be working on at home. Sometimes that means trying to sort a way to tackle a DIY home project in the most feasible and efficient manner, or a craft project I want to do. [Pictured: Christina’s book lamp and hand-bound journals.]

 

But often my brain turns to a writing project I’m in the middle of and almost lazily mulls over different aspects of the story to come up with quirks and details of the piece that surprise me pleasantly. The things my muse comes up with aren’t necessarily things I can work into the story but help me learn my characters better or my setting, which affects my writing positively.

Please connect with Christina:

Website: Ink and Attic
Facebook: Christina Albig Janz
Instagram: Christina Albig Janz – see Christina’s cakes!

Bio:
Christina likes the quirky and the queer, and enjoys trying to come up with characters and settings hat fit that in her writing. She writes for middle grade children