Blog Hop!

Dear Blog,

It’s time for another blog hop! This one is just four questions, and importantly, taught me how to include photos in my blog. (Yes, I am a luddite, but I’m trying). (And OK, the blog hop didn’t teach me, Eric Sipple told me how to do it on twitter – thanks Eric!)

I was tagged by Joyce Audy Zarins. I met her in a workshop led by the spectacular Nova Ren Suma in May. (Read Imaginary Girls. Love. LOVE.) Joyce shared a really stunning excerpt of her WIP “The Crescent Scar,” which she mentions in her own blog hop post – you can view her post here. A bit more on this intrepid author / sculptor:

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I write and do art for PB, MG, and YA books from contemporary to historical and have had twenty books published, which you can see here The heaviest steel sculpture I’ve built is 700 pounds. Not so big, though I’m only 4’11” tall. My husband and I’ve kayaked with whales twenty miles out, hiked the Italian Dolomites, and cramponned atop the glacier at Finse, Norway. My daughter and I went to Burning Man, I’ve experienced the Ring Road around Iceland with one son, and the other’s wedding in a castle. Life is intriguing. Nature is my muse.

blog: http://constructions.joyceaudyzarins
twitter: @jazarins

*Boggles at the idea of 700 pound steel sculpture*  Anyway, here are the blog hop questions (and my answers):

What are you working on right now?

I’m revising a new YA fantasy novel set in a fantastical version of early 20th century Paris. My heroine Julia is a jaded spy-for-hire posing as a housemaid in a wealthy and eccentric household, who finds herself on the wrong side of a power-struggle between ancient forces. As much as I’m loving working on this project, I’m actually putting it aside for a bit so I can work on revisions of the third Tian Di book, slated (I think!) to come out next fall (2014).

How does it differ from other works in the genre?

I think that the Tian Di trilogy concludes in a way that sets it apart from many fantasy series, but I don’t want to give away the ending! You’ll have to read it. As for my WIP, I’m most engaged by writing a character who is not particularly noble, and does something truly horrible when she’s in a bind, and then has to figure out how to atone, and who she wants to be.

Why do you write what you do?

At the moment, I am mostly busy with the rearing-of-small-children thing, which means that writing time is scarce and often brief. To make any headway, I have to write something that’s pure fun and doesn’t feel like a lot of work. For me, that’s YA fantasy. It’s what I like to read when I’m feeling tired or low energy, and it’s the only thing I seem able to write when there are a great many other demands on my time and energy.

What is the hardest part about writing?

At the moment – just finding time to do it. I also find it hard to know when it’s time to throw in the towel and concede that a new project isn’t working. I don’t want to quit too easy, but I hate to waste my time… and mostly, I just hate to write when it isn’t fun, so I throw in the towel pretty fast if it isn’t coming easy. I’m a wimp that way.

I am tagging three lovely authors to continue the hop.

Kip Rechea Wilson!

Kip Wilson’s work has been published in the TIMELESS and SPAIN FROM A BACKPACK anthologies, as well as several magazines for children. She’s on the hunt for that elusive agent who’ll fall in love with the YA novel she’s currently querying. In the meantime, find her on her blog ( and twitter (

Karen Bass! (So much buzz, by the way, about her latest book, Graffiti Knight. I’m looking forward to it – I read and loved her previous YA, Drummer Girl.)

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Karen Bass has always been an avid reader and for many years reading satisfied her love of story. That changed when she was hired to manage the local library and the desire to write took root. Since then her stories and articles have been published in local newspapers, magazines and anthologies, but if you ask, she will tell you that she is, primarily, a novelist.
A fourth-generation Albertan, Karen grew up on a farm in the Peace Country, attended the University of Alberta, and received a psychology degree from the University of Victoria. She currently lives in northwestern Alberta where she recently retired from managing the local library in order to write full time.
Karen’s fourth YA novel, Graffiti Knight, is an historical story set in the Soviet Zone of post-WWII Germany, and is, in its way, a dystopian adventure. You can find info about all of her writing at .

Maureen Ulrich! I don’t have a photo, but her website is here:

I grew up in Edmonton and Calgary. I started writing horse stories when I was 11 and historical fiction during my high school years. In 1976 I returned to Saskatoon to attend university and graduated in 1980 with an education degree. My first teaching assignment was in Lampman, and I have pretty much been there ever since. I didn’t have much time for writing during the 80’s because I was too busy getting married, finishing a BA, teaching middle years at Estevan Junior High, and raising two wonderful daughters. However, in 1996 I was asked to write a student production, and the floodgates opened. Thirty plays later, I am still writing for students and for my adult community theatre troupe in Lampman. In 1999, I started a YA manuscript about girls’ hockey – which Coteau Books published as Power Plays in 2007. Face Off (2010) and Breakaway (2012) followed. Baker’s Plays has published two plays – Sam Spud, Private Eye (2007) and The Banes of Darkwood (2010). After 25 years in the classroom, I called it quits and started working for my husband in the oil industry. In my free time, I love to read and write, hang out at rinks and ball diamonds, golf, ski, ride my motorcycle – and of course – talk about writing!

Hop on, blog hop, hop on.

Yours, hippity-hoppitingly,


1 thought on “Blog Hop!

  1. kiperoo

    Oooooh, so excited to be tagged and to hear more about all your projects, since the WIP is the only one I know well. 😉 Can’t wait to see it again soon, and looking forward to doing my own bloggy response next week! 🙂


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