The Writer’s Life: The Margaret Laurence Lectures

This is a great book about the 25th anniversary of the Lecture Series. It brings the best writers and everything that they say is necessary for a writer’s life.

Some of the stories are humorous. Others are more serious. But together, they are a threasure-throve of great tips for writers of all vintages from beginner to more mature writer.

Before an audience of peers, our greatest writers have revealed insights into their work, shared the challenges they faced in forging their careers, and give their unique perspectives on what it meant to be a part of an emerging national writing community.

Now in celebration of the series’ twenty-fifth anniversary, The Writers’ Trust is brining these lectures to the general public for the first time.

The result is a sparkling collection that ranges from sharp social commentary to deeply personal meditations.

This is a book that I will read and re-read. It is a book that every writer should read at some point in their lives. Why not now?

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

The Canadian Writer’s Market: The Essential Guide for Freelance Writers

This is a great book for writers about the state of the Canadian Writer’s market. It is a book that is necessary for all writers to be most successful in their writing careers.

It can be difficult to be a freelance writer in Canada. However, this book is an effective tool to help freelancers fend off such a nasty fate. With such a concise resource, writers trying to sell or place just about any competent piece of work will probably find places to find publication for their work.

The publishing industry is constantly changing. For freelance writers, it is essential to learn as much as possible about the opportunities and atmosphere of the publishing world in order to get a career off the ground and to grow their current business.

This book is designed to serve both the aspiring and the experienced freelance writer who needs some guidelines and accurate listings of potential markets.

The book also includes a section on self-published and e-books, which are making it easier for writers to get published.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

The Write Track by Betty Jane Wylie

This is another book about how to succeed as a freelance writer in Canada. I have been reading a few books this month about this topic because I am a writer, and of course, I am writing in Canada. So, it is a book that I will read and re-read over the years.

This book is now revised and updated with a new chapter on electronic rights, is a personal and practical look at the author’s freelance experience as she tells how she made it from the uncertainty of a neophyte to the growing confidence of a veteran.

This book is a writer’s reference. It is packed with the information every freelance writer needs to know, including:

  • A writer’s self-evaluation: measuring the itch, the talent, the skills, the character, and the discipline necessary for success.
  • First steps: taking that leap into the freelance world and knowing where you might land.
  • Profiting from brainwaves: generating ideas and putting them to work.
  • Details of the writing life and the writing business: organizing your day, your office, your small business, your support team, and your marketing energy.
  • A writer’s right and responsibilities: contractual, moral, Canadian and electronic.

I loved this book from beginning to end. I will be suggesting it in my writing groups.

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Day 3: A. Law Shettleworth About Oh Brother!

cover-final-obDescribe your book to the readers. Here are some questions for you:

1. What is the theme of your book or description?

It is helping siblings learn to appreciate one another.

2. Who is the audience?

The audience is young children from age 4-8, unisex, sibling relationship, and family.

3. Who is your publisher Information

Lisa Umina – Halo Publishing
Tel: 877-705-9647
Mex: 55-5250-8519

4. What is your Email?

It is

5. What is your contact information?

People can contact me several ways:

By email at:
Through Facebook at:
Through Twitter at:

6. Where is it available for purchase? Amazon? Barnes and Noble?
It is available online:


Barnes & Noble:

Halo publishing:

Indie’s bookstores:

1378 Lincoln Ave.
San Jose, CA 95125
Phone: (408) 292-8880
FAX: (408) 292-6233

Linden Tree Books
265 State Street
Los Altos, CA 94022
Phone: 650.949.3390
To place an order, please call us.

Christopher’s Books
1400 18th Street (at Missouri)
San Francisco, CA 94107
415 255-8802
Email us:

7. Do you have anything else to tell your reader?

I received a 5 stars review from Reader’s Favorite.

Thank you so much for being here on my blog today!

It has been GREAT getting to know you more as a writer!

I wish you every success in the future!


Day 2: A. Law Shettleworth’s Writing Life

self-portraitHi there!  It is GREAT to have you here on my blog today!

Describe Your Writing Life to the reader as a way to inspire others to read your book.

The beginning sentence is always the hardest, and it overwhelming to gather my thoughts together.  Who am I writing to?  What am I going to write?  Self-doubt gets in the way and procrastination comes second, and I found especially after I became a mother is very challenging to find the time to sit down and write.  On a light note, writing is addictive.  Once I put all self-doubt aside and my pen start flowing on a piece of paper, and the final piece of a thousand words just took my breath away.  Wow, I wrote a story, and it felt great.

I personally don’t write every day, but when ideas strikes I write it down.  I always have a small note pad in my purse, and I take creative orders.  I take out my pen and write down what comes to mind, it’s either something I see, hear or a pop of an idea.  I love writing it down on a napkin, I love how the ink smears over and every cursive word bleeds into each other creates art.  I draw triangles, squares or clouds to enhance my ideas, when it is fun to look at it keeps my writing flowing.

I love penmanship, I love to write on a piece of paper.  I am a very tangible person, so when I get into a writer’s block I just pick a word and write it down.  I like to write on all sort of textures, and use different color pens encourage my writing.  One word becomes a sentence, a sentence becomes a paragraph.

Yes, guilty as charged. I used a piece of recycle paper, and 2 squares of napkin filled with numbers, clouds, quotation marks and blue ink.  To me it’s perfect and I like it that way ha ha.

Day 1: Meet A. Law Shettleworth

self-portraitHi there!  It is GREAT to have you here on my blog today!

Readers: Please stay tuned for a full week about Antonette Law Shettleworth’s book, her interests and writing life. It will be a super-exciting and inspiring week!

Tell us a few things about yourself.

Hello there, well I’m a mother of 2 young children.  I’m originally from Washington, DC, but I went to Hong Kong when I was 7 years old.  I lived in Hong Kong for almost the rest of my childhood and early adult life.  I speak fluent Cantonese and conversational Mandarin.

What’s your favorite book?

I will go with what first came to mind – It’s CLICK, CLACK, MOO Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin.  This author is simply brilliant!  Her story is so funny and the whole story came to live.

Who is your favorite author? 

My favorite author is J.K. Rowling.

cover-final-obWhat inspired you to want to write your book?

Negative criticisms about my writing, and a dream that I had since I was little girl that one day I would love to become a magazine publisher.  Yup, I always dreamt about what article, artwork, or even what the cover would look like of my imaginary magazine/book. That image or idea stuck with me for a very long time.  As for the criticisms part of things also stuck with me for a very long time.  I grew up in a country where the Chinese and English language collides, and it’s not the easiest thing to do to actually pen down something.

I remembered I dread composition classes (Chinese and English) in school, and I don’t like writing at all.  I felt that I’m really bad at this, and it’s quite hard for me when my brain function in both languages. One time my journalism instructor in college came to me with my project in hand and told me “Antonette, this is really bad, look at all the grammar, this is really bad work you need to take a grammar class”.

My heart was pounding filled with embarrassment, that comment was never forgotten.  To be honest, it hurt my feelings it really did, and that D graded project I wrote for my journalism class was a sight of sore eyes; but it pushed me to a different level.  I kept writing and kept getting criticisms and I kept it moving.  Don’t get me wrong there’s good and bad criticisms, and I was praised plenty about my creative ideas and attitude towards my writing.  Eventually, I decided to take a class to improve my writing.  It was a choice between Children stories or Business writing.  It was an easy choice, it was a Nope! To boring business writing, and Yippie Yes!! To fun Children stories.

Why do you like writing children’s stories?

Because it’s fun and takes me back to the past when I was a little girl.  I can use my creative ideas in writing, and it truly makes me happy.

Tell us a bit about your current writing projects.

Well, there’s no secret I still write and scribble here and there, but it will be a surprise.  Stay tuned

Do you have more books in the works? Tell us a bit about them.

I do have another story that I am still working on, and trying to map the bits and pieces together, and a little more research. (I am sure having a writer’s block moment)  This time I would like to add a little friendly creature into it, because being a mother I learned a lot more from my children and their friends – they are truly teachers to children writers.

What can readers expect to get from this book?

My goal is for parents to feel they can enjoy and relate to it, so it will not only be suitable for children but also any ages.

Any tips for aspiring writers?

I am an aspiring writer myself, but this was once said to me

from a friend of a friend as an encouragement, she wrote,

“Ignore all the naysayers.  Lots of things are better said

   than done. You do what makes you happy.  If it 

   doesn’t work out in the end, at least you’ll know you


It was that one tip and support that I needed.  I forever

thank her for this comment.

Any last words?

It’s all about practice – “Go for it!”

Thank you so much!  I look forward to learning more about you and your work on Wednesday!

Readers, stay tuned for that!

Day 3: Nancy Coradinni’s Writing Life

pic-of-herHi Nancy!  Welcome to Day 3 of your VBT tour right her on my blog!

Today, can you please describe your writing life to my readers?

I consider myself a storyteller more than a writer/author. My life is rich with events that are interesting and insightful. I often tell my grandchildren stories I’ve lived and they love that it really happened. No one made it up. I do let them know that sometimes embellishing helps people imagine the characters you are talking about. They like telling me their oral stories too. I learn so much about them when they freely storytell!

To write the story I just sit down whenever time allows and put words to paper in the format I would be talking the story to a person. Then I go back, many times and create the settings, work on character and create conversation. In The Horse Who Loves Hats, the main characters are actually a few horses/people I observed combined into one. Those are Stardust, Ruby and Leti. Nel is actually me. I hope people understand how connected I am to Stardust. Picture books are a challenge with so few words!

One of the subjects in my story is autistic. I was aware of autism and observed the children coming to horse therapy where my horse was a participant. But, I researched autism in depth so my few sentences about Charlie, my character with autism, were not insensitive. I feel research is essential to writing.

If I were to write a story totally from my imagination I would picture it in real life first. I have been a beach goer all of my life. When I am not swimming in the ocean or walking the seashore I like to sit on the beach, watch the people or seashore life around me and imagine stories about their lives. My cousin Gretchen and I did that about people we would see at the beach over several years. We even gave them names. Maybe my next book will be about the beach people!

Thank you so much for sharing your writing life with my readers. I am sure they will be as inspired as I was with your writing life!

All the best of luck, and I wish you every success in the future!