Posts in Cantastic Authorpalooza


A Planet is a Poem by Amanda West Lewis

Amanda West Lewis: On Not Being a Poet

For most of my life, I’ve actively avoided writing poetry. There are SO MANY bad poems in the world. But poetry has always been a huge part of my life. I studied calligraphy when I was young, eventually becoming a ... Read More  

Blue to the Sky by Sylvia McNicoll

Sylvia McNicoll: About Blue to the Sky

Food allergies seem like a big bother when you can’t bring your favourite sandwich or have a special treat day at school. But how much bigger is the bother for the person who has the allergies. Imagine trusting people ... Read More  

Author Carol Matas holds her new book, Zevi Takes the Spotlight

Carol Matas: Psychics and Murders, Oh My!

I know I am a guest on a scientist’s blog today, but I have to talk about something that doesn’t quite fit in with scientific theory. Or does it??? Psychic powers? Synchronicity? Messages from beyond? Prophetic dreams? Dowsing? Far-seeing? Read More  

Interior spread from Wake Up Little Pin by Loretta Garbutt

Loretta Garbutt: A Little Story with a Big Message

Writing for children is an incredible experience and it’s also a lot of hard work. But, I love it. Not every single minute, but when I sit to write, I feel like I’m doing something worthwhile. I often pinch ... Read More  

Cover of Bird Brain by Joanne Levy

Joanne Levy – How Bird Poop Inspired a Book

One of the most common questions I get from young readers is, “Where do you get your ideas?” If you’re an author reading this, I’m sure you’re nodding along—it’s very common. I take this question to mean that the person ... Read More  

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