Go ahead. Judge these books by their covers.

Secrets Orca Vicki GrantThe Unquiet PastMarthe Jocelyn Vicki GrantStones on a graveMy life before meTeresa Toten Shattered GlassInnocent Eric Walters

Because that’s all I can show you at the moment. You ask me, Orca’s Art Director Teresa Bubela did a fabulous job designing all seven Secrets novels.

The Secrets will be out September 2015. I’m looking forward to participating in the launch (launches!) with my friends Kelley Armstrong, Marthe Jocelyn, Kathy Kacer, Norah McClintock, Teresa Toten and Eric Walters.

The Secret isn’t out yet – but it is done.

Orca Secrets Vicki GrantI just realized that it’s been months since I posted anything.

Well, no wonder. Since I last appeared in this space, I’ve been working feverishly to finish Small Bones, my contribution to Orca Secrets.

Don’t know what Secrets is? Here’s a teaser:

It’s 1964 and life is about to change for seven orphan girls. On their own for the first time in their lives, the girls each embark on journeys of discovery, aching for the families they never had and experiencing the world in ways they never imagined.

Authors Kelley ArmstrongNorah McClintockVicki GrantMarthe JocelynKathy KacerTeresa Toten and Eric Walters team up in this brand new series of linked YA novels that will be published simultaneously.

Look for Secrets in September 2015.

Pigboy: starring Zachary Gordon and Megan Fox

Pigboy Movie posterOne of my favourite things about doing school visits is seeing examples of what I humbly refer to as ‘fan art’. (Click here to see another amazing example.)

I was back at Bible Hill Junior High this week and was given – okay, that’s not quite right. I was back at BHJH and begged to be given this Pigboy: The Movie poster created by one of the Grade 8 boys. (Pigboy – the book, that is – is a funny-scary or maybe scary-funny quick-read about a kid named Dan Hogg who goes on the worst field trip ever.)

I love the drawing. I love the stencilling. I love the casting. Zachary Gordon as Dan Hogg and Stanley Tucci as Mr. Benvie? Brilliant!

But my favourite is Megan Fox as Ms. Creaser. I named the character after an old friend of mine and a real teacher. Sue is going to be very flattered.

And P.S. Thanks to Mr. Greg Reid, teacher extraordinaire for inviting me back again this year. (What is it now, Greg? Five? Six times?

And P.P.S. Thanks to Halifax Learning Centre for sponsoring my visit – and their continuing work with struggling readers.

Coming soon to Toronto!

Vicki Grant PresentationCan I go to school with you?

I’ll be in the GTA October 14, 15 and 16 and would love to visit your class or library. I do my best to make my presentations entertaining and, when I can get away with it, educational. If that sounds like something your students would enjoy, please get in touch with me here.

“Down-to-earth, funny and informative” – Dan Rolo, Monsieur Uyen Catholic School

“A motivating and heartfelt presentation” – Darlene Charron, Immaculata High School

“Vicki is an absolute delight!” – Linda Arsenault, Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library

 

Triggered is one of “The Best”.

CCBC Best Book of 2013According to the good people at The Children’s Book Centre – and they know quite a bit about this type of thing – Triggered is one of the Best Books for Kids and Teens of 2013. (I just got word yesterday so don’t know who other honourees are. I’ll post the rest of the list as soon as I get it.)

A he said/she said thriller, Triggered is my latest quick-read in the popular Orca Soundings Series.

Here’s is a glimpse into what reviewers are saying about Triggered:

“A great read for both males and females…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. Highly Recommended.” CM Magazine – October 4, 2013

“Rich in teen angst and the human condition, this novel will shock the teen reader with an awareness of how emotionally disturbed the human psyche can become…Highly recommended for the reluctant reader collection in school library.” Resource Links – October 1, 2013

TRIGGERED hits the bull’s eye.

Triggered Vicki GrantI’ve delighted to see that Triggered, my latest high/low novel for Orca Soundings was chosen as one of Resource Links’ Best Books of 2013.

Don’t know Resource Links?

Here’s what they have to say for themselves: “Published 5 times a year, Resource Links is Canada’s national journal devoted to the review and evaluation of Canadian English and French resources for children and young adults.

Resource Links informs you about Canadian writers, awards and announcements of interest to a Canadian audience. Written by educators and librarians working with young people across the nation, our reviewers span the country from British Columbia to Newfoundland.”

Triggered was chosen in the Best Fiction for Grades 7 to 12 category. This is the third time one of my books has been chosen by Resource Links: The Puppet Wrangler, Quid pro Quo and Res Judicata all made the list too.

I’ve joined the Dream Team.

Orca Secrets
Marthe Jocelyn and Eric Walters hammering out some plot points at a top SECRETS meeting.

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.

Triggered!

Triggered Vicki GrantSuch 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!

 

Young Love, circa 1942

World War 2 Vicki GrantIt 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.

Dancing Was My DutyAnd 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.

 

Ni Dører?

Nine DoorsAccording to good old Google, that’s how you say “Nine Doors” in Norwegian.

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.)

In case you’re not familiar with Nine Doors (“What?!), it’s a short Young Adult novel in Orca’s wonderful Currents series.

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 DOORSboasts 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