And when I say “dream team”, I mean DREAM TEAM. I’m one of seven authors writing a series of linked novels for Orca Books called Seven Secrets. Here, in alphabetical order, are my amazing co-writers: Kelley Armstrong, Marthe Jocelyn, Kathy Kacer, Norah McClintock, Teresa Toten, and our token – ha,ha – male, the inimitable Eric Walters. And that’s about all I can tell you about the project at the moment because the rest is – as the title suggests – still SECRETS. All will be revealed in 2015.
Such a weird word. Triggered. It suddenly looks kind of Scandinavian to me. Is that really how it’s spelled?
Must be – because I can see it right here on the cover of my brand new Young Adult Thriller for Orca Soundings!!!!
I can also see it in the headline of this rather nice review from CM magazine, the gist of which is:
“Triggered is a great read for both males and females. Vicki Grant has woven a story about teenage relationships that is both gripping and believable. She also touches on themes such as mental illness, co-dependent relationships, and poverty. Triggered would also make an interesting novel study for multiple grades and is highly recommend for middle-school and high school libraries.“
But my favourite part is this: 3 1/2 stars out of 4!
Vivian Howard of Dalhousie University is the driving force behind SeaStacks, a website devoted to children’s and young adult authors of Atlantic Canada. When she asked to interview me for the project, I’m sure she had no idea how much I could talk.
Man, do I go on.
In any event, here are a series of youtube videos that cover my background, my writing process, my approach to research and a lot of other things that just happened to pop into my head at the time.
Click here to watch. Enjoy!
It was a classic case of one-thing-leading-to-another. I’d always known my father was 17 when he went to war but it never dawned on me just how very, very young that was until my own beardless boy was the same age. (At which point, it promptly broke my heart. Children should not go to war. I get weepy whenever I think about it.)
Dad became a pilot of a Halifax bomber. By the time he returned to his hometown of Stittsville, Ontario in 1945, he’d flown 33 missions over Nazi Germany. He’d won the Distinguished Flying Cross for valour. And he’d been engaged at least twice. This was all before he was in the eyes of the law even considered an adult. (He turned 21 on the troopship home.)
That belated realization on my part spawned several creative projects. The first is a little video I did last year for Remembrance Day. (It’s only a minute long so please watch if you can.)
The second is on-going: a mystery novel set in Halifax (the city, not the bomber) during World War 2. For several years, Halifax, believe it or not, was the most important port in North America. Soldiers, sailors and airmen from all over the world filled the harbour, streets and dance halls. It made it a very exciting time – especially for young Haligonian girls.
And that’s what lead me to my third project. In the course of doing research for the book, I interviewed a number of women who lived in the city at the time. I thought I was going to hear sad stories of young lives lost – and I did hear a few of those – but mostly I heard about the crazy fun of wartime Halifax. There were ten boys for every girl so, as one of my ladies said, “If you didn’t have at least a few dates for Saturday night, you were slipping.” Their fabulous, hilarious stories are recorded in my very first documentary, Dancing Was My Duty. It aired on CBC-TV in the summer but you can watch it now online.
I just received a wonderful note from a young woman named Alexia Panakos. She’s now a budding fashion designer but when she was in Grade Six, she read a funny little book called The Puppet Wrangler. It’s about a girl named Telly and a – how shall we say it? - character named Bitsie. (He’s hard to explain.)
Alexia enjoyed the book so much she decided to make a life-size replica of Bitsie.
Even better, she decided that it’s time the little guy came home to Mummy. Alexia is sending Bitsie to me so I can take him on school visits.
Didn’t she do an amazing job?
I have no idea if the Scandinavian publisher will keep that title but my comic high/low novel will soon be available in Norway.
To which all I can say is, “Kjempeflott!”
(Which I hope means “awesome” and not “grilled cheese sandwich” or “orthopedic insoles” – although both, under the correct conditions, can be pretty darn good too.)
Here are a few reviews to whet your appetite.
“Vicki Grant has done it again: she’s come up with another great hi-lo teen novel that is almost certain to garner accolades equal to those which her past efforts (all ALA “Quick Picks” books) have earned. NINE DOORS…boasts a plot that’s simple yet gripping, pacing that’s tight and rapid-fire, and true-to-life characters that will resonate with readers both young and old…On top of its absorbing storyline and sharply-drawn main characters who undergo believable changes, NINE DOORS even has a splash of romance thrown in – truly a fantastic all-round read that is a sure bet for grabbing the interest of reluctant readers. CM Magazine
“No one creates more likable, fully rounded characters than Vicki Grant’s protagonists and “good guys”. Her central characters are memorable individuals whose comments clearly show their views of the world and the motivations and interconnections between them and their allies.” The Virtual Bookmark
“Realistic action and dialogue, along with a fast-paced plot, will keep reluctant readers turning pages.” School Library Journal
* He’d like that.
Congratulations to all the other authors who made the list!
Adderson, Caroline. Middle of Nowhere. Groundwood Books.
Bourke, Pat. Yesterday’s Dead. Second Story Press.
Curtis, Christoper Paul. The Mighty Miss Malone. Wendy Lamb Books.
Gay, Marie Louise and Homel, David. Summer in the City. Groundwood Books.
Horvath, Polly. Mr. and Mrs. Bunny – Detectives Extraordinaire! Illustrated by Sophie Blackall. Groundwood Books.
Korman, Gordon. Ungifted. Scholastic.
Peterson, Lois. The Paper House. Orca Book Publishers.
Skrypuch, Marsha Forchuk. Making Bombs for Hitler. Scholastic Books.
Stratton, Allan. The Grave Robber’s Apprentice. Harper Collins.
Junior Fiction – Honourables:
Grant, Vicki. Hold the Pickles. Orca Book Publishers.
Trogan, Kari and Brit. Margaret and the Moth Tree. Kids Can.
Wharton, Tomas. The Fathomless Fire. Doubleday.
White, Susan. Ten Thousand Truths. Acorn Press.
If I were a book, what would I be?
A thriller? In my dreams.
A romance? Not bloody likely.
A comic book? Closer, perhaps – that is if the cover were a little wrinkled, some of the jokes kind of lame and a few crucial pages were missing in the middle.
Sound like something you’d like to ‘read’? Then check me out this Saturday, January 26 from 10 to 2 at the Keshen-Goodman Library in Clayton Park.
I’m just one of the many books at The Human Library.
And what might that be?
“Human Libraries provide an opportunity to connect one-on-one with individuals who have diverse life experiences, stories and knowledge. Just like borrowing a book from a local library, the user can, “check out” a human book for a 20-minute conversation in the library.”
Other books this year include a forensic anthropologist, a transgender activist, a chef, a judge and a member of the Provincial Legislature. Check out their fascinating stories here.
The same questions come up frequently from readers so I decided to start videotaping my responses.
Keep tuned! More coming soon.
One of the things that’s always bugged me – a bit – is that the sponge on the cover looks like a big candy heart. (Don’t you think?)
Not that there’s anything the matter with candy. And I guess you could argue that a teenager might be more likely to pick up a book that seems to be about food rather than cleaning up after it.
It’s just that that’s not what this particular young adult novel is about. It’s kind of about cleaning up your life, I guess. The new edition will feature “enhanced bubbles”. (And doesn’t everybody need enhanced bubbles in their life, now and again?)
I’ll post the new cover here as soon as I get it.