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  • Writer's picturehelentdoan

My First Book Reading!

I gave my first book reading last night, thanks to an invitation from The Good News Unit of Stamford Lane United Church. I began by talking about my early writing attempts to break into the Harlequin romance market, initially sending my manuscripts to England to Mills and Boon (an imprint of Br. Harlequin Ltd.), and later to Harlequin’s Toronto office.

Wanting to improve my writing, I enrolled in Niagara College’s journalism-print program, where Barbara Blue, who had worked for Reuters, taught feature writing; and program coordinator Austin Jelbert taught news writing. They both were excellent teachers, and I dedicated my book, Passage of Time, in memory of them.

About a dozen people attended last night’s session, and I share with them how I had come to write Passage of Time: Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series made me want to write a time-travel historical romance; and after reading George Bird Grinnell’s two-volume series on the life and ways of the Cheyenne Indians, I knew the book’s setting had to be the 1857 American plains at the start of the Indian wars, and that Nathan Walker had to be a member of the Cheyenne tribe. I also talked about Nora Roberts’ influence on my writing, specifically how reading her books taught me how to write realistic dialogue, and how a character in one of her books inspired me to make Kate Hunter an FBI crisis negotiator.

I also talked briefly about Amazon’s self-publishing process, and about my ventures into the social media world. Afterwards I read a scene from Passage of Time, in which the medicine man, Red Fox, determines what Kate’s punishment will be after she has been accused of having evils spirits.

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