New Play from Concrete Theatre!


I Am For You

….thrusts you into the world of teen girls, violence and conflict resolution, through the engaging lens of stage combat.

PERFORMANCES AT C103 (formerly Catalyst Theatre) 8529 Gateway Boulevard Friday November 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm & 7:30 pm

Saturday November 30, 2013 at 2:00 pm (Pay-What-You-Can) and 7:30 pm Sneak Peek Video at:

Advance tickets at TIX on the Square 780.420.1757

At the door (cash only)
Adults $19, Students/Seniors $16 plus tax & service charges Group rates available. Call 780.439.3905

I Am For You features Patricia Cerra as Mariam, Samantha Jeffery as Lainie and Jonathan Purvis as student teacher Caddell Morris. Fight Choreography is also provided by Jonathan Purvis. Production design is by Patrick Beagan, with sound design by Dave Clarke. The play is written and directed by Mieko Ouchi

This production is suitable for ages 13 and up.
For more information contact Concrete Theatre at 780-439-3905 or visit

The Five Most Surprising Things I Have Learned From Self-Publishing

Ethan Jones self-published Arctic Wargame, the first in his Justin Hall spy thriller series, in May 2012. Since then, he’s published three more books, including Double Agents, which is out this December. Through Amazon’s book store and Kindle, the Justin Hall series has sold over 10,000 copies.

He joins me Sunday, November 24 to talk about what’s become one of the biggest trends in publishing. Together with author Marty Chan, who’s been on both sides of coin, having put out books through mainstream imprints and his own, we will cover the ins and outs of self-publishing. The event begins at 1:30 in the Stanley Milner Library’s new Makerspace. As a bonus, we’re following the event with a demo of the library’s new Espresso Book Machine. 

In the meantime, Jones shared with me the five most surprising things he’s learned from self-publishing.

1. Self-publishing is a lot of hard work and I have to do much of it by myself

“As a self-published author without the backing of a publishing agency, I have to do many things by myself, things that do not fall in the realm of writing. I am responsible for finding beta readers, proofreaders/editors, cover art designers, and for making arrangements for promotional and marketing campaigns, blog tours, giveaways, and so on. Some of these services can be hired out, but still I have to find the right people in order to get results.

2. I need to approach self-publishing as a professional

“I started self-publishing my stories so that they could entertain readers, and soon enough I found that readers can easily tell if a self-published writer is an amateur or someone who has put some serious thought into this process and has a professional approach toward it. I have to convey an image of professionalism in my work, beginning with the title, the blurb, the cover, the sample writing — in short: with the entire book or series.”

3. I need to write more books and fast

“It is extremely difficult to build my brand as a writer if I have only one book or if I only release one book each year, like in the traditional publishing industry. I already have three books and three short stories published and the fourth book in the Justin Hall spy thriller series is coming out this December. In order to attract readers and keep them satisfied, I need to write more books in the series they love and do it as fast as I can.”

4. I have the freedom to set my own schedule

“One of the beauties of self-publishing is the freedom to work for myself, without any deadlines but those imposed by me. Depending on my life circumstances, I can set the time of the release of my next work, along with the daily number of words needed to reach that goal. There is no boss in self-publishing, which means that I need to motivate myself to keep writing and keep publishing.

5. Things change very rapidly in this industry and I must adapt

“The self-publishing industry has come a long way since three or four years ago and some of stigma surrounding it has started to disappear. More and more writers who were published traditionally are making the jump to self-publishing, sometimes with hybrid deals (self-publishing electronically but publishing in hardcover and paperback through a traditional publisher). As things change,  I need to keep abreast of these changes, learn, and adapt, so that I can ride all waves and survive all storms.”

Ethan Jones is the author of the popular Justin Hall spy thriller series. The first book in this series, ARCTIC WARGAME, came out in May 2012. The second novel, TRIPOLI’S TARGET, was released in October 2012. The third one, FOG OF WAR, came out on June 4, 2013. Ethan has also published three short stories and maintains an active blog at He is a lawyer by trade, and he lives in Canada with his wife and son.

Meet authors of the Seven Series literary blockbuster and welcome Metro Edmonton’s newest writers in residence

Edmonton writers, bibliophiles, and unabashed library-lovers — mark your calendars for December 9th and 10th, when the Metro Federation of Libraries hosts four authors from the literary blockbuster series Seven and makes an exciting new announcement.

John Wilson, Ted Staunton, Sigmund Brouwer, and Shane Peacock are some of Canada’s most successful authors and they’re here for this two day event in which Natasha Deen and I — your 2013 writers in residence — are passing on the torch to the next two artists lucky the serve the Edmonton region’s many writers.

There’s so much to enjoy that we’re spreading it out across two days, two libraries and two towns: the Strathcona County Library on December 9th and at the Stanley Milner Branch of the Edmonton Public Library on December 10th.

Both events begin at 7:00 pm.

As Natasha Deen and I say goodbye, we’ll celebrate the launch of the Regional Writers in Residence for 2014 and host our guests as they promote their Seven Tour, based on the series.

The Seven Series is one of the best-selling series currently in print with over 100,000 copies sold.


The premise of the novels: seven grandsons undertake a quest given to them by their grandfather, via his will. There’s been no other series like it in Canada—seven linked stories published all at once; novels that can be read in any order. Within two weeks of its release, the series hit the best-seller list. The novels have had three printings and are in the process of being translated into four languages.

Ted Staunton’s novel, Jump Cut, and Sigmund Brouwer’s book, Devil’s Pass, have been nominated for a 2014 Red Maple award. Sigmund Brouwer’s work was also a John Spray nominee and Shane Peacock was nominated for a Governor General award.

November & December Book Draw

Just in time for the LAST book draw of the year, some reads for the under 18s in your life!

To enter the draw, email your name to regionalwir (at), or stick it in the designated boxes at the EPL/St. Albert/Fort Saskatchewan/Strathcona Library. Winner will be announced on December 15th and will have a month to collect the items from the library. If they don’t collect the books by January 15th, the prizes will go to the next name drawn.

PLEASE NOTE: You do NOT have to enter the writing prompt to be entered in the draw. However, those who submit a writing prompt will be automatically entered to win.



The Snow Show
Written and illustrated by Carolyn Fisher

Ever wonder how snow is made?
Tune in as Chef Kelvin and the rest of the Snow Show gang
investigate evaporation, condensation, and precipitation –
all while cooking up the crispiest, lightest, fluffiest batch of snow
ever to fall from the sky!

Toby & His Hospital Friends
Written by Charmaine Hammond
Illustrated by Rose Anne Prevec

Toby is a big, brown, happy dog. Every week, his owner, Miss Charmaine takes him to visit and comfort children who are in the hospital. Follow Toby the service dog for a day, and see how he makes friends with the children, helps make them happy and forget that they are sick and away from home. * Beautifully illustrated, Toby, the Pet Therapy Dog teaches young readers the wonders of being of service to others. * A happy story that also sends a positive message about community, as well as the importance of kindness to pets.

Winds of L’Acadie
Written by Lois Donovan

When sixteen-year-old Sarah from Toronto learns that she is to spend the summer with her grandparents in Nova Scotia, she is convinced that it will be the most tedious summer ever. She gets off to a rough start when she meets Luke, the nephew of her grandmother’s friend, and one unfortunate event leads to another. Just when she thinks her summer cannot get much worse, she finds herself transported to Acadia in 1755. Here she meets Anne and learns much about the Acadian culture and history and the Acadians’ relations with the Mi’kmac people. She also experiences the warmth she has always wanted of a closely knit family. When Sarah realizes that the peace-loving Acadians are about to be torn from their homes and banished to distant shores, she is desperate to find a way to help them. Forced to abandon her pampered, stylish lifestyle, Sarah uncovers a strength and determination she did not know she possessed. Although Sarah has to come to terms with the fact that “you can’t change history,” she is willing to risk her life to do everything in her power to help her Acadian family, and finds a surprising ally in Luke. Winds of L’Acadie, a historical novel for readers ten and up, reveals a painful part of Canadian history through the relationship of two young women from different centuries.

Writer in Residence Retrospective – Marilyn Dumont (2008) & Helen Forrester (1991)

marilyn dumontMarilyn is an award-winning local writer who has published three collections of poetry, and whose work has been widely published in Canadian literary anthologies. Most recently, she helped create an impressive multimedia project – Honour Songs – paying tribute to Aboriginal women during the Edmonton Poetry Festival.




Helen-Forrester-007Helen Forrester was the pen name of June Bhatia (née Huband). She was the author of more than 15 books, including “Twopence to Cross the Mersey,” which was turned into a musical. She passed away in 2011.