Posts in Cantastic Authorpalooza


Aliya's Secret: A Story of Ramadan, by Farida Zaman

Farida Zaman: Aliya’s Secret

Aliya’s Secret published by Owl Kids is a picture book very close to my heart. Firstly, because it’s my debut picture book as an author / illustrator, and secondly because it was inspired by my own childhood experience, trying ... Read More  

A World of Love by Aimee Reid, illustrated by Chris Lyles

Aimee Reid: The Birth of a Book

I remember the months of waiting for my first child to be born as both a thrilling and vulnerable time. As is my tendency when encountering change, I prepared and planned as much as I could. I followed developmental milestones ... Read More  

Cover of The Lion Queen by Rina Singh

Rina Singh: The Lion Queen

The Lion Queen was inspired by the true story of Rasila Vadher, the first woman guardian of the last Asiatic Lions of India’s Gir Forest. The book is gorgeously illustrated by Tara Anand and published by Cameron Kids. There are ... Read More  

Cover of Iz the Apocalypse by Susan Currie

Susan Currie: Perseverance and Iz the Apocalypse

Iz the Apocalypse took me seven years to write. I’ve honestly lost count of how many versions there were. Characters and storylines came and went as I fought to figure out exactly how to tell Iz’s story. My husband ... Read More  

Leslie Gentile: Novel Writing with Music – the Unexpected Connection

It started with a boring writers’ bio. When my first book, a middle grade novel called Elvis, Me, and the Lemonade Stand Summer, was published (Cormorant/Dancing Cat Books 2021), my writing accomplishments were pretty slim, so in my bio ... Read More  

More Than Words by Valerie Sherrard and Natalie Hyde

Valerie Sherrard: More Than Words – Navigating the Complex World of Communication

I’ve been making things up since I was a young child, although my talents went generally unappreciated back then. As a small maker-up-of-things, I felt insulted when playmates refused to believe my stories. So what if they were obviously ... Read More  

Caroline Fernandez: Lifting Up Women in STEM

There aren’t a lot of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) who grace the pages of history books. Perhaps it is because of lack of education or opportunity. Perhaps it’s because of gender roles. Perhaps it’s because the ... Read More  

The Boy and the Banyan Tree by Mahtab Narsimhan

Mahtab Narsimhan: The Boy and the Banyan Tree – A Story About Gratitude and Giving Back

Who is the tree in your life? And whom will you be a tree to? There are many people in our lives, family, friends, teachers, and mentors, who nurture us and make us who we are today. How often do we ... Read More  

Focus. Click. Wind by Amanda West Lewis

Amanda West Lewis: Historical Fiction as Time Traveling

People who write historical fiction generally love research. We have a reverence for minutiae and often find ourselves spending many hours reading about things that have nothing whatsoever to do with our stories. We love the hunt and the ... Read More  

Outta Here by Lea Beddia

Lea Beddia: Struggle, Resilience, and Difficult Choices

What are the first words you think of when you read Teenagers are…? Did the words resourceful, hard-working, or resilient come to mind? We’ve all heard negative stereotypes about how today’s generation have it so easy, but we overlook the ... Read More  

A monarch butterfly feeding on a red zinnia.

Frieda Wishinsky: How a Zinnia Sparked a Book

I’ve always been fascinated by the story behind a book.  What sparks an idea or theme? My latest picture book, A Flower is a Friend with luminous art by Karen Patkau, published by Pajama Press, began with a packet of ... Read More  

Monster vs. Boy by Karen Krossing

Karen Krossing: Addressing the Monster in the Closet

I’ve loved playing with words and making up stories ever since I was a child. Back then, I drank imaginary tea and served it to my imaginary guests. I pretended a goblin lived in my closet and a witch ... Read More  

Becoming Bionic, by Heather Camlot, illustrated by Victor Wong

Heather Camlot: Truth, Justice, and the Nonfiction Way

How does an author known for books about history, social justice and sports write a book about science and superheroes?  By calling up her past. I never studied science, and I’m certainly not a superhero (I don’t think), but as ... Read More  

A Flower is a Friend, by Frieda Wishinsky, illustrated by Karen Patkau

Karen Patkau: A Flower is a Friend

This book was a collaboration from the beginning. Ideas for words and images exchanged between friends. On a warm summer day, as Frieda and I relaxed in her beautiful garden, we noticed birds and insects whizzing and settling among the ... Read More  

Welcome Rain! by Sheryl McFarlane, illustrated by Christine Wei

Sheryl McFarlane: Celebrating Welcome Rain!

Hi, I’m Sheryl McFarlane and I’m pleased to announce the release of my newest picture book, Welcome Rain! It’s published by Greystone Books, and illustrated by the very talented Christine Wei. Welcome Rain! is a a celebration of rain in ... Read More  

Bliss Adair and the First Rule of Knitting by Jean Mills

Jean Mills: A Yarn About Yarn – And More

I don’t know about other writers, but every story I write has a connection to something in my own life and experience. Music, sports, the Nova Scotia shore and, in Bliss Adair and the First Rule of Knitting – ... Read More  

These Are Not the Words, by Amanda West Lewis

Amanda West Lewis – Warming Up

All artists need to warm up. Painters, actors, dancers, musicians, and writers must all do something to tune up the physical and mental muscles required for the work. As choreographer Twyla Tharp says, when you warm up, won’t hurt ... Read More  

Too Much Trash by Joan Marie Galat

Joan Marie Galat – Too Much Trash: How Litter Is Hurting Animals

Did you know litter on the ground often ends up in water? It can travel from creeks to rivers, and onward to the sea. When I first dreamed of becoming an author, I didn’t exactly picture myself writing a ... Read More