Author Archives: Shelley Hrdlitschka

Write What You Know? Maybe not…

I’m often asked if I have a favourite author and the answer always changes depending on what books I’ve recently read. If asked today I’d say it was John Boyne. The three titles of his that I’ve read (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The Heart’s Invisible Furies, My Brother’s Name is Jessica) are each completely different, yet so brilliant in their own way. He has a talent for creating humour out of desperately difficult circumstances but without making light of that situation. Continue reading

Drinkin’ Thinkin’

 

A Canadian Cyclist’s View Atop An American Barstool

I am so proud of my friend, Brian Mulligan, who followed through on his dream to publish a book chronicling his solo cycling adventures. It’s a beautiful book and a great read.

Brian is no ordinary guy. Although he is well-loved by a large circle of friends, he’s also a bit of a loner, and likes to cycle long distances alone which gives him extended stretches of time to ponder life.  At the end of the day he’ll find a bar in whatever small town he’s reached, grab a bite and a beer, and talk with the locals. They share their stories with him because he’s a good listener.

In his book, Drinkin’ Thinking‘ we meet a few of these characters while also reading about some of Brian’s many cycling adventures. In short, it’s a book you can gobble up in one sitting or stretch out  by reading one chapter (read: adventure) at at time.

Following is the Foreward that Brian asked me to write for the book. I was honoured to do so.

Shortly after I met Brian I approached him at a noisy social gathering. Debbie, his wife, had told me about his biking trips, how he was cycling from Canada to Mexico and from the Atlantic to the Pacific by riding for two weeks every year. The whole idea of it fascinated me and I wanted to know more. 

“What do you think about when you’re pedalling along those endless highways?” I asked as a way of jumping in. Continue reading

Celebrating Canada Day All Year Long

To celebrate Canada Day I have chosen to read a Canadian authored (and published) book this weekend. (Every Little Piece of Me by Amy Jones). Every time we choose to read a Canadian published book we know there was a MADE IN CANADA team of editors, graphic designers, layout artists, publicists, printers, warehouse staff, delivery drivers and book sellers behind it.  The Canadian book industry pumps money into the Canadian economy which creates jobs and pays taxes.

And that is just the book industry.

I’m also attending a gathering  this weekend where we will wear red and wave little Canadian flags because truly, we are proud to be Canadian and know how blessed we are to live in this country. And yet next week some of us will go out and  purchase products that are produced everywhere but Canada. There’s a disconnect here.

Let’s show our Canadian pride all year long by supporting Canadian-made products whenever possible.

Faster Than Truth

Once again I’ve become the great auntie to a new book. Kim Denman, member of my beloved writing critique group has just launched her Y/A novel, Faster Than Truth.  As the great auntie I’m extremely attached to this story. I’ve watched it grow from infancy (Kim pondering the idea of a Y/A story about ‘fake news’) to suffering along with her through the growing pains (edits, revisions, seeking a publisher) and now I’m delighted to join in the celebration of its release. And what a story it is. Kim always creates loveable, complicated, and unique characters. Her stories are full of humour but always seek out deeper meaning, and she succeeded beautifully with this one. It is a timely story and the reader will struggle along with the protagonist as he tries to understand the nature of truth in journalism.

From the cover: Sixteen-year-old Declan dreams of becoming a professional reporter, an international correspondent who flies around the globe covering big stories. But Declan is still in high school, and as the editor of his school paper, he covers schools dances – not exactly “news”.

Declan gets his chance for a big scoop when another student shows him part of an email written by the principal that discusses an outrageous plot to track the students. Declan publishes the story without checking the source. The story goes viral. Unfortunately, it’s also wrong. Will Declan find a way to make it right?

It is funny, poignant, there’s a hint of romance, and the reader will be left thinking about ‘the news’, what is real, what is fake, and how to dig deeper to find the truth.

A most enjoyable, thoughtful story and I’m proud to have had the opportunity to follow along on its journey to published book.