"Edson’s vivid portrayal of the urban area, as well as the working class and underclass, creates a vision of Saint John that highlights the discrepancy between the pre-modern idyllic notion of life in Atlantic Canada and the more complicated reality of the region."

-The New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cover for THE GOON

Oberon sent me the cover of The Goon. Back in 2007 I was talking to another author at the Eden Mills Writers Festival and she said Oberon covers have a distinctive look--that you can always tell an Oberon book right away, and this cover follows in that tradition. I think it looks pretty cool.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Van Gogh in Ottawa

These are the three Vincent van Gogh works in the National Gallery's permanent collection. The first one (from left to right), Iris, was painted in 1889 while he was in the asylum at Saint-Remy-de-Provence. The second, Bowl with Zinnias and Other Flowers, was painted in 1886 and is one of Van Gogh's early works while living in Paris. The third, Vase with Zinnias and Geraniums, was painted either a few days before or after. These last two are important works as they marked the beginning of van Gogh's use of vibrant colours (greatly influenced by the Impressionists), leading to some of the world's best-known works of art, Sunflowers, Starry Night, etc.

Van Gogh's use of vibrant colour is the basis for the new novel I'm working on, Dogs in Heat--still a good three or four years away from being finished...

Monday, August 16, 2010


I recently bought this novel and read all 983 pages in a week. This is one of the greatest books I've ever read and I can't even begin to describe how good it is. Many people over the years have told me to read it but I didn't want to until I was ready to take on such a big book (I like shorter novels). As soon as I started I couldn't put it down.

I've always read more "literary" novels, and THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH has shown me that I've been missing out; that I've forgotten how fun it is to read. Spanning roughly fifty years in 12th Century England, the novel is about the construction of a Gothic Cathedral and the political / emotional / social implications of the lives of those involved. There are civil wars, raids, bloody battles, corruption, evil bishops and earls, brave and noble knights, religious brutalities, famine, love, sex, death and murder--all the goodies of life.

I was totally and utterly absorbed in this novel and I feel as though I've lived in the Middle Ages alongside these characters for their entire lives. Sometimes they would look back on their lives and I knew their memories as though they were my own, and I was sad to see these people growing old.

Ken Follett is brilliant. As a writer, this reading experience has opened my eyes to the art of storytelling, and I'm going to read more of Ken Follett to help me learn how to tell a better story.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Saint John, NB

I was back home in NB in July and took some pictures of Saint John. These were places I've either written about or am writing about now. To me, there really is no better city on the planet.