Friday, February 28, 2014

Online Course with the University of Calgary - Writing for Children and Youth - April, May and June

Writing for Children and Youth - April 15 to June 9

The children and youth writing market is a rich and vibrant one. In this online course, you will examine the writing process from initial concept to finished work including how to turn ideas into stories, story structure, developing characters, the creation of outlines and the importance of editing and revision. You will also examine ways to research publishing houses where you can submit your work, cover letters, synopses and sample chapters. 

Learn more about Writing for Children and Youth and how to register here

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Writing Historical Fiction - Online Course at Mount Royal University, March and April


Writing Historical Fiction. Online course at Mount Royal University in Calgary from March 3 to April 14. 

Learn how to write authentic and appealing historical fiction and turn your ideas into compelling stories. Understand how research plays a crucial role. This course involves online assignments, discussions, and writing exercises. 

Registration is available here at the Mount Royal University website.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

School Programs, Presentations and Workshops


I offer a variety of presentationsauthor in residence programs and conduct workshops for children at schools. 

I offer a variety of presentations for grades three to eight, but can work with grades one and two as well. I cover such topics as where ideas come from, story structure, editing and revision, character development, time travel stories, history and research, plus many other aspects of writing and publishing. 

I will present to around one hundred students at a time, although we can also look at workshops with smaller groups or individual classes. Each of my novels provide ideas for classroom projects and you may find some suggestions on the Study Guides page on my website. 

Contact me for details of fees and availability for school presentations.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Virtual Author Visits for Schools

Children are almost always inspired when they meet a real life author or illustrator, but it may not always possible to have an author visit your school. However, why not put technology to work for you? Now you can arrange a virtual author visit via video using Skype. These can be conducted with large groups in a library or gym or with individual classes. You can get an idea of what a virtual visit looks like by viewing the videos on my website or on YouTube, in which I talk about my books, my workshops for adults and schools, plus my various services for writers.

Ideally, in preparation for a virtual author visit, students should have read at least one of my books prior to the visit, but can also familiarize themselves with my work by undertaking the Super Scavenger SearchYou may also wish to download the word search puzzles related to each novel. Study Guides and Classroom Resources are also available for all my novels. Each book can provide teachers with a wide variety of ways to explore projects with their students and class sets of books are available.To host a virtual author visit, you will need to download Skype, which is available for both Windows and Mac, and have a webcam. 

You may contact me directly for details on technical requirements and all about exactly how a virtual author visit works. A technical run through a few days prior is also advisable, to ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day of the visit.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Children's Writer's Guide - Available Online


The Children’s Writer’s Guide examines how you can get started as a writer, create time and space to pursue your craft and deal with lack of motivation and writers block. Topics covered include where ideas come from and how writers turn them into stories, choosing names for characters that are appropriate to the story, the importance of historical research if your novel is set in a different era, writing science fiction and fantasy, and the use of magic in stories for children.

The guide examines the role of editing and revision and how to deal with what is often the inevitable process of rejection, at least until good fortune comes your way. I also recount some of my experiences with marketing and promotion, such as book launches and in-store signings, websites, blogs, and social media, and discusses presentations, workshops and author-in-residence programs at schools and libraries.

Check out the video on YouTube, where I talk about some of the topics covered in the Guide.

Here are just a few places where you can buy The Children’s Writer’s Guide.

Amazon Canada               Amazon USA               Kobo               
Amazon UK                       Amazon Germany       Amazon France           
Amazon Japan

You can also learn more about The Children’s Writer’s Guidealong with all my other books, on my website.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Author in Residence


For my Author in Residence program, I can be at your school for a week or longer. This allows me to cover topics in much more depth than would be possible during a regular author visit. Each of my novels provide ideas for classroom projects and you may find some suggestions on the Study Guides page on my website. 

I have some suggestions for presentations and workshops, but am always pleased to work with teachers and librarians to build sessions best suited to your students. 

Contact me for details of fees and availability for my Author in Residence program.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Coaching and Workshops for Writers


I offer workshops and presentations for both adults and children for community associations,home schooled students and summer camps, as well as services for writers including coachingmanuscript editing and evaluation, plus online workshops for children and for adults. 

I conduct creative writing workshops with community associations and have run workshops and made presentations as part of summer camp programs in Calgary and the surrounding area. I also work as an instructor at the University of Calgary and at Mount Royal University, conducting one day classes and evening sessions for adults who are interested in writing for children and young adults. I’ve also conducted similar workshops for adults for community associations, professional writer’s groups, public libraries and am available as a speaker for keynote addresses, conferences and other events.

Contact me directly for further details about coaching and workshops.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Writing Historical Fiction - Online Course at Mount Royal University, March and April


Writing Historical Fiction. Online course at Mount Royal University in Calgary from March 3 to April 14. 

Learn how to write authentic and appealing historical fiction and turn your ideas into compelling stories. Understand how research plays a crucial role. This course involves online assignments, discussions, and writing exercises. 

Registration is available here at the Mount Royal University website.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Forming Fictional Characters - University of Calgary, Wednesday April 23

Each year, the Continuing Education department at the University of Calgary serves over 20,000 lifelong learners and offers thousands of courses taught by more than 1,000 instructors – all experts in their fields.

Forming Fictional Characters - Wednesday, April 23, 6 pm to 9 pm 


Without people there is no plot and characters are at the heart of any story. In this workshop, we explore where writers get ideas for the people in their stories, the many methods of creating strong characters and how to use descriptive language to build them. Students invent their own unique characters and also learn how to write effective and engaging dialogue for their creations so that their characters truly come alive for the reader.

Learn more about the Forming Fictional Characters workshop and how to register here

School Programs, Presentations and Workshops


I offer a variety of presentationsauthor in residence programs and conduct workshops for children at schools. 

I offer a variety of presentations for grades three to eight, but can work with grades one and two as well. I cover such topics as where ideas come from, story structure, editing and revision, character development, time travel stories, history and research, plus many other aspects of writing and publishing. 

I will present to around one hundred students at a time, although we can also look at workshops with smaller groups or individual classes. Each of my novels provide ideas for classroom projects and you may find some suggestions on the Study Guides page on my website. 

Contact me for details of fees and availability for school presentations.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Heretic's Tomb: Medieval Medicine - Part Four

Surgery was practiced in the Middle Ages, although it was seen as a last resort. It is known to have been successful in the treatment of breast cancer, gangrene, hemorrhoids, and other conditions. There are illustrations showing medieval surgery, but naturally they give no sign of the pain suffered by the person on the operating table.

Anesthetics were used, but many of the concoctions used to relieve pain or induce sleep were also potentially fatal. ‘Dwale’, for example, consisted of gall from a cow or castrated boar, lettuce, briony, opium, henbane and hemlock juice mixed with wine. The opium, alcohol and hemlock would have made patient incapable. Henbane and briony would have quickened the passage of poisons out of the body. However, it must be noted that hemlock was particularly dangerous, too much being a death sentence.

You can learn more about The Heretic's Tomb and the historical background to the novel on my website.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Children's Writer's Guide - Available Online


The Children’s Writer’s Guide examines how you can get started as a writer, create time and space to pursue your craft and deal with lack of motivation and writers block. Topics covered include where ideas come from and how writers turn them into stories, choosing names for characters that are appropriate to the story, the importance of historical research if your novel is set in a different era, writing science fiction and fantasy, and the use of magic in stories for children.

The guide examines the role of editing and revision and how to deal with what is often the inevitable process of rejection, at least until good fortune comes your way. I also recount some of my experiences with marketing and promotion, such as book launches and in-store signings, websites, blogs, and social media, and discusses presentations, workshops and author-in-residence programs at schools and libraries.

Check out the video on YouTube, where I talk about some of the topics covered in the Guide.

Here are just a few places where you can buy The Children’s Writer’s Guide.

Amazon Canada               Amazon USA               Kobo               
Amazon UK                       Amazon Germany       Amazon France           
Amazon Japan

You can also learn more about The Children’s Writer’s Guidealong with all my other books, on my website.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Marketing and Promotion for Creative Writing Authors - University of Calgary, April 12

Each year, the Continuing Education department at the University of Calgary serves over 20,000 lifelong learners and offers thousands of courses taught by more than 1,000 instructors – all experts in their fields.

Marketing and Promotion for Creative Writing Authors - Saturday, April 12, 9 am to 3.30 pm

Once books are published, today's authors are becoming increasingly responsible for their own marketing and publicity. Once your book is finally published, will you know how to promote it? This workshop examines different ways to promote yourself and your published work including the use of websites, blogs, social media, school visits, book signings, promotional events and more.

Learn more about the Marketing and Promotion for Creative Writing Authors workshop and how to register here

The Heretic's Tomb: Medieval Medicine - Part Three

As far as medicines were concerned, many medieval concoctions were little more than witch’s brews. One of the best known medicinal drugs of the Middle Ages was ‘treacle’ or theriac, a blend of sixty four different drugs in honey. Sold as a cure all, it was claimed to cure fevers, prevent internal swellings, clear skin blemishes, help heart trouble, dropsy, epilepsy, palsy, help you sleep, aid digestion, strengthen limbs, heal wounds and of course, cure plague. 

Doctors at the time did make use of herbal remedies too. However, here again astrology had a distinct influence. The genuine medical properties of some plants were also related to how, and by who, they were collected. Betony had to be picked by a small child in August before sunrise, and marigold when the moon had entered the house of Virgo. A herbalist also had to recite the proper designated prayers when preparing the medicine.

And yet, medieval doctors were also skilled at a variety of medical procedures. They could set broken bones, extract teeth, take out bladder stones, remove cataracts, and restored a scarred face by skin grafts from the arm. They knew that apoplexy and epilepsy were related to the brain. Urine samples, feces and pulse rates were used to analyze ailments, and doctors were aware of which substances were diuretics and laxatives. It was also firmly believed that prevention was better than cure, and great emphasis was placed on a healthy lifestyle, in which diet, exercise, mental attitude and reduced stress all played a part.

You can learn more about 
The Heretic's Tomb and the historical background to the novel on my website.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Author in Residence


For my Author in Residence program, I can be at your school for a week or longer. This allows me to cover topics in much more depth than would be possible during a regular author visit. Each of my novels provide ideas for classroom projects and you may find some suggestions on the Study Guides page on my website. 

I have some suggestions for presentations and workshops, but am always pleased to work with teachers and librarians to build sessions best suited to your students. 

Contact me for details of fees and availability for my Author in Residence program.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Writing Historical Fiction - Online Course at Mount Royal University, March and April


Writing Historical Fiction. Online course at Mount Royal University in Calgary from March 3 to April 14. 

Learn how to write authentic and appealing historical fiction and turn your ideas into compelling stories. Understand how research plays a crucial role. This course involves online assignments, discussions, and writing exercises. 

Registration is available here at the Mount Royal University website.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Online Course with the University of Calgary - Writing for Children and Youth - April, May and June

Writing for Children and Youth - April 15 to June 9

The children and youth writing market is a rich and vibrant one. In this online course, you will examine the writing process from initial concept to finished work including how to turn ideas into stories, story structure, developing characters, the creation of outlines and the importance of editing and revision. You will also examine ways to research publishing houses where you can submit your work, cover letters, synopses and sample chapters. 

Learn more about Writing for Children and Youth and how to register here

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

School Programs, Presentations and Workshops


I offer a variety of presentationsauthor in residence programs and conduct workshops for children at schools. 

I offer a variety of presentations for grades three to eight, but can work with grades one and two as well. I cover such topics as where ideas come from, story structure, editing and revision, character development, time travel stories, history and research, plus many other aspects of writing and publishing. 

I will present to around one hundred students at a time, although we can also look at workshops with smaller groups or individual classes. Each of my novels provide ideas for classroom projects and you may find some suggestions on the Study Guides page on my website. 

Contact me for details of fees and availability for school presentations.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Great Reviews of the Canada in World War I series


Check out the great reviews of the Canada in World War I series, part of my many non-fiction titles published by Weigl Educational Publishers. Here's an excerpt from the reviews in CM Magazine.

"August, 2014, will mark the hundredth anniversary of the beginning of World War I, and, under the authorship of Simon Rose, Weigl Educational Publishers has assembled an excellent five volume series entitled "Canada in World War I". It is important to note the word Canada in the series' title as the books, while about the war, focus particularly on Canada's role in that war and the impacts the Great War had on Canada both during and after the conflict."

"This series is an excellent introduction to, and overview of, Canada's participation in World War I."

You can read the rest of the reviews of all the books in the series at the CM Magazine site.

The Heretic's Tomb: Medieval Medicine - Part Two

The Middle Ages are often seen as a shadowy period of limited medical knowledge and great superstition. But many ideas from the classical medicine of the ancient Greeks and Romans survived into the medieval period relatively intact. Medical knowledge also arrived in Europe from the Arab world over the centuries, and doctors were familiar with the medicinal properties of some plants. However, treatments and cures were often as much to do with magic and superstition as they were to do with real medicine.

Doctors were very much guided by astrology in the Middle Ages. The Church, which influenced so much of medieval life, strongly disapproved of astrology, but found it difficult to stamp out. During the worst period of the Black Death, astrological charts became even more important for doctors. As the illness reached a noticeable crisis point, after which a patient either recovered or died, the time of recovery and the position of the stars and planets were seen as very significant. Even Guy de Chauliac, physician to three popes in succession, and author of the leading work on medieval surgery, was a firm believer in astrology. For operations, he would use recognized anesthetic potions, but also recommended bleeding and other procedures based on the position of the planets. Illnesses were also determined to be serious or not depending on whether they were under the sun’s or the moon’s influence.

You can learn more about 
The Heretic's Tomb and the historical background to the novel on my website.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Children's Writer's Guide - Available on Amazon


The Children’s Writer’s Guide examines how you can get started as a writer, create time and space to pursue your craft and deal with lack of motivation and writers block. Topics covered include where ideas come from and how writers turn them into stories, choosing names for characters that are appropriate to the story, the importance of historical research if your novel is set in a different era, writing science fiction and fantasy, and the use of magic in stories for children.

The guide examines the role of editing and revision and how to deal with what is often the inevitable process of rejection, at least until good fortune comes your way. I also recount some of my experiences with marketing and promotion, such as book launches and in-store signings, websites, blogs, and social media, and discusses presentations, workshops and author-in-residence programs at schools and libraries.

Check out the video on YouTube, where I talk about some of the topics covered in the Guide.

Here are just a few places where you can buy The Children’s Writer’s Guide.

Amazon Canada               Amazon USA               Kobo               
Amazon UK                       Amazon Germany       Amazon France           
Amazon Japan

You can also learn more about The Children’s Writer’s Guidealong with all my other books, on my website.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Background to The Emerald Curse

The Emerald Curse - "Page turning tension with a resourceful and intrepid hero ... and sure to please any child who likes fantasy, science fiction and comics."

'Charles Kelly was the world's greatest comic book artist, until he disappeared without a trace. Two years later, his grandson Sam discovers a mysterious pen in Kelly's attic studio. Sam is soon propelled into a bizarre dimension, where super villains are all powerful and disturbingly real, and finds himself in a deadly confrontation with an evil entity, imprisoned inside a mystical gemstone since the dawn of time.'

On my website, you can learn more about the superhero comics that served as an inspiration for The Emerald Curse at Comics and Superheroes page. The Emerald Curse is available at most online bookstores which you can link to here. Autographed copies are also always available directly from the author.  

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Author in Residence


For my Author in Residence program, I can be at your school for a week or longer. This allows me to cover topics in much more depth than would be possible during a regular author visit. Each of my novels provide ideas for classroom projects and you may find some suggestions on the Study Guides page on my website. 

I have some suggestions for presentations and workshops, but am always pleased to work with teachers and librarians to build sessions best suited to your students. 

Contact me for details of fees and availability for my Author in Residence program.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Forming Fictional Characters - University of Calgary, Wednesday April 23

Each year, the Continuing Education department at the University of Calgary serves over 20,000 lifelong learners and offers thousands of courses taught by more than 1,000 instructors – all experts in their fields.

Forming Fictional Characters - Wednesday, April 23, 6 pm to 9 pm 


Without people there is no plot and characters are at the heart of any story. In this workshop, we explore where writers get ideas for the people in their stories, the many methods of creating strong characters and how to use descriptive language to build them. Students invent their own unique characters and also learn how to write effective and engaging dialogue for their creations so that their characters truly come alive for the reader.

Learn more about the Forming Fictional Characters workshop and how to register here