Interview with ‘Edmonton: Unbound’ Author Howard Gibbins

Today, the Edmonton Writers’ Group is proud to announce that authors of our current anthology, ‘Edmonton: Unbound’, will be hosting our official book launch and signing event next Sunday, January 7th, from 1:00pm-5:00pm, in the Program Room of the Enterprise Square Branch of the Edmonton Public Library. Come on down for a chance to meet the authors, pick up a copy, and get it signed!

Edmonton: Unbound’ contains fourteen stories by twelve local authors, unified only by the common theme of their current hometown, Edmonton, AB.

Ranging from simple domestic interactions, to futuristic sci-fi adventures, to deep psychological introspections, these stories take a look at Edmonton from viewpoints as different as the writers themselves. This anthology is a love letter to our hometown, and demonstrates our incredibly varied approaches to literature, and to life.

As a gesture of our gratitude, all proceeds from the sales of this book will be donated to the Edmonton Public Library, which has been gracious enough to host our humble group at the Capilano branch for over a decade and a half.

Click the Image to buy ‘Edmonton: Unbound

To celebrate this release, we have an interview with one of the ‘Edmonton: Unbound’ authors, Howard Gibbins.

1. You have been with the Edmonton Writers Group for many years. How has the Edmonton Writers Group helped you as a writer?

Howard Gibbins: Being a member of the group has helped me to focus on my writing, as well as share ideas with other members such as developing a plot, characterization (i.e., what makes a memorable character). I’ve also found that the experiences of the various members has given me ideas for things to research when writing some of my work.

2. What was your greatest challenge in writing each of the two stories in the anthology?

Howard Gibbins: “A Night to Remember” developed out of a writing challenge, and in its first iteration was pretty poor to say the least. I then began working on rather large novel, and found out that I had to either explain way to much in the novel itself, or I could use this story with just a bit of rewriting to explain a lot of the backstory. As for “Tools of the Trade”, I work in the palaeontology department at the University of Alberta, and the tools mentioned in the story are actually in our collection. When I first saw them, I got the idea for the story and it quickly developed into the final product. Not to give too much away, I guess the biggest challenge to this would be the setting of the house as it had to have certain physical characteristics which meant I had to sour Google Maps® to find a suitable location.

3. You include time travel in your stories. What is it about time travel that interests you and makes you want to write about it?

Howard Gibbins: Actual time travel is actually only featured in “A Night to Remember” but I guess what interests me is that there are numerous hypothesis dealing with temporal travel, but virtually the only one you ever hear about is a linear progression which is what is dealt with in the “Grandfather paradox” i.e., if you go back in time and kill your grandfather, how do you get born? I’m well aware that time travel isn’t possible with our current understanding of physics, but then again the other stories in this world all revolve around a scientist who has discovered/developed a new physics. In “Tools of the Trade” the main character visits an alternate in a dream-like state, so this is kind of cheating on the time travel idea, but hopefully it works for the reader.

4. Which writers do you admire, and why?

Howard Gibbins: I read a lot of books. As far as fiction writers are concerned Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov were some of the first ones that I read when I was young. This was followed by James P. Hogan, Robert Sawyer and Chris Bunch. These are all Science Fiction writers but I try and add an element of mystery into my writing as well so authors such as Agatha Christie, Sue Grafton, and other have also influenced me. As for non-fiction, I tend to read authors that have a science background themselves as they are aware that research is required to be able to write science books.

5. What part of writing do you like the most? What part of writing do you like the least?

Howard Gibbins: The part I like the best is seeing the story develop, especially when it takes off on a tangent, and I have to try and figure out how to explain what happened (assuming I keep it in – and I usually do). As for what I like the least, I guess that would have to be all the self-promotion that one has to do now-a-days to get your stories out there.

Howard Gibbins’ stories, “A Night to Remember” and “Tools of the Trade”, are featured in ‘Edmonton: Unbound’, which you can purchase now on Amazon.

Have a Happy New Year, and remember to come on down to the Enterprise Square Branch of the EPL to get your copy, and meet the authors on Jan. 7th, from 1:00pm-5:00pm!

-Brad OH Inc.

Interview with ‘Edmonton: Unbound’ Author A. Merlyn

The Edmonton Writers’ Group’s new anthology, ‘Edmonton: Unbound’, contains fourteen stories by twelve local authors, unified only by the common theme of their current hometown, Edmonton, AB.

Ranging from simple domestic interactions, to futuristic sci-fi adventures, to deep psychological introspections, these stories take a look at Edmonton from viewpoints as different as the writers themselves. This anthology is a love letter to our hometown, and demonstrates our incredibly varied approaches to literature, and to life.

As a gesture of our gratitude, all proceeds from the sales of this book will be donated to the Edmonton Public Library, which has been gracious enough to host our humble group at the Capilano branch for over a decade and a half.

Click the Image to buy ‘Edmonton: Unbound’

To celebrate this release, we have an interview with one of the ‘Edmonton: Unbound’ authors, A. Merlyn.

1. Your story features Edmonton’s ‘Talus Dome’. Why did you decide to write about the Talus Dome?

Merlyn: It is one of the most well known and indeed most controversial pieces of public art in Edmonton. It also had some very unique properties that I felt a story was just waiting to exploit, namely a large number of reflective surfaces as well as a hefty reputation.

2. Why do you think your protagonist Ant has lost his way in life?

Merlyn: Ant is a young man, and I think a lot of young people (older ones too) have a difficult time figuring out the path they should take in life. I don’t think he is so much lost as changing and temporarily waylaid. Following through on a dream is difficult, and we all get discouraged. I have three mostly adult children and all of them have gone through and continue to go through periods of change, and time when they don’t know what their future will hold or how to get there.

3. How different is the story in its current form from its first draft?

Merlyn: This is one story that stayed very close to the same from the first draft to finish. It was always about choices and changes. The biggest change was that in my original idea the dome has something to do with Fairies. In fact Ant’s last name is Teg, short for Tylwyth Teg, the Welsh name for Fairies.

4. Your story uses fantasy elements in a story that is mostly realist. Why do you like to use fantasy elements in your fiction?

Merlyn: I tend to believe that the world is not quite as realistic and concrete as we seem to think it is. I find that there are a lot of things in life that are just a little bit on the fantastic side. I don’t believe that things like what happens in this story really happens, but it might, might it not?

5. What is your favourite piece of public art in Edmonton? Why?

Merlyn: Probably my favourite piece of public art in city is the Talus Dome. I like the look of it and It always seems to me to be a very personal piece of art, one that is neither easily defined nor easily, forgotten.

Merlyn’s story, “Myriad”, is featured in ‘Edmonton: Unbound’, which you can purchase now on Amazon.

The authors of ‘Edmonton: Unbound’ will be selling copies and doing signings in person at the Enterprise Square Branch of the EPL on January 7th, starting at 1:00pm. Come on down to meet the authors, and get your copy!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,

-Brad OH Inc.

Interview with ‘Edmonton: Unbound’ Author Vivian Zenari

The Edmonton Writers’ Group’s new anthology, ‘Edmonton: Unbound’ contains fourteen stories by twelve local authors, unified only by the common theme of their current hometown, Edmonton, AB.

Ranging from simple domestic interactions, to futuristic sci-fi adventures, to deep psychological introspections, these stories take a look at Edmonton from viewpoints as different as the writers themselves. This anthology is a love letter to our hometown, and demonstrates our incredibly varied approaches to literature, and to life.

As a gesture of our gratitude, all proceeds from the sales of this book will be donated to the Edmonton Public Library, which has been gracious enough to host our humble group at the Capilano branch for over a decade and a half.

Click the Image to buy ‘Edmonton: Unbound’

To celebrate this release, we have an interview with one of the ‘Edmonton: Unbound’ authors, Vivian Zenari.

1. There are plenty of weird and wonderful things that happen but the why remains a mystery. Has anything weird/wonderful that has ever happened to you that made you stretch your head and wonder why?

Vivian Zenari: My entire life makes me scratch my head, I must admit.

2. Roy was adamant about not leaving the lot. Is there a place that you are very attached to? Why?

Vivian Zenari: I am not much attached to any location, I have to admit. I am more of the “grass is greener on the other side of the hill” person. For example, I want to live in Venice, Italy, but apparently it is a terrible place to live. The locals are leaving in droves. Yet I want to live there. Go figure.

3. Your story contains some very supernatural or spiritual elements. Do you believe in spirits?

Vivian Zenari: I do not believe in the supernatural at all. I guess for me the supernatural elements in my stories are metaphorical.

4. Roy was not very approachable to certain people but seemed to have a heart of gold, willing to help others down on their luck. Is there someone you can think of like this in real life?

Vivian Zenari: One of my heroes is William Lloyd Garrison, an American anti-slavery advocate in the mid-nineteenth century. As well, certain dogs can be selfless.

5. You certainly have a lot of experience with writing. At what point did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

Vivian Zenari: Since I was a little girl I have been writing. I have always been afraid of writing, though. I am a fearful person who lacks confidence. Writing is a perfectly unsuitable occupation for such a person, and I have tried to steer my way away from it during different stages of my life. Right now I am steering towards it. At this stage of my life I have nothing to lose. My son is almost grown, the pets seem able to get along without me, and my husband is chugging along without much need for my intervention. Vivian Zenari’s story, “The Lot”, is featured in ‘Edmonton: Unbound’, which you can purchase now on Amazon.

-Brad OH Inc.

Interview with ‘Edmonton: Unbound’ Author Hai Doan

Today, the Edmonton Writers’ Group is happy to announce that ‘Edmonton: Unbound’ is now available on Amazon.ca.

Edmonton: Unbound’ contains fourteen stories by twelve local authors, unified only by the common theme of their current hometown, Edmonton, AB. Ranging from simple domestic interactions, to futuristic sci-fi adventures, to deep psychological introspections, these stories take a look at Edmonton from viewpoints as different as the writers themselves. This anthology is a love letter to our hometown, and demonstrates our incredibly varied approaches to literature, and to life.

As a gesture of our gratitude, all proceeds from the sales of this book will be donated to the Edmonton Public Library, which has been gracious enough to host our humble group at the Capilano branch for over a decade and a half.

Click the Image to buy ‘Edmonton: Unbound

To celebrate this release, we have an interview with one of the ‘Edmonton: Unbound’ authors, Hai Doan.

1. What was your initial inspiration for the story you included in this anthology, and how the story changed from its original conception?

Hai Doan: My goal was to write a story that was based in Edmonton and since I love riding on the LRT, it seemed natural that I would include our transit system. Plenty of people take the LRT, all from different walks of life, so I wanted to share a story from a viewpoint of one of those passengers. I enjoy light hearted comedies so it is surprising that the plot ended up being rather dark but the ideas flowed well and I just went with it.

2. What events in your background led you to want to write?

Hai Doan: When I was a child, I loved to take books out of the library and read them (and I still do). Two of my favorite authors were Roald Dahl and Gordon Korman. I especially enjoyed the books from the “McDonald Hall” series; I found the stories to be hilarious! This made me want to become an author too because then I could try to make people laugh as well.

3. What difficulties did you encounter while writing this story, other than finding the time to do it?

Hai Doan: I think the most difficult thing was probably getting started and putting some writing on the paper (or computer screen to be more accurate). Once I got started, the writing became easier. For this short story, I didn’t plan the plot out as much as I normally do and just wrote down the ideas as they came to me.

4. Are you writer that plots out all the different angles, or are you more free-form. Why do you think you write this way?

Hai Doan: I tend to plan out my stories. Actually, I would say I plan so much that I often don’t complete the story! I like to jot down notes about the plot, daydreaming about what could happen next but I have a hard time putting all these ideas into a completed work. I remember starting a fantasy genre story and I had all the main points of the plot figured out; I even had drawn maps of the world I had built. I never finished the story though. I think this could be due to the fact that I find world building and plot creation so much fun and actually writing the story can be “hard work”. I think I should take the advice of some authors and just write since the first draft is never perfect anyways.

5. What is your typical response to “writers’ block”?

Hai Doan: My response to “writers’ block” is similar to my approach for working on homework assignments. If I find myself wracking my brain for a long time with no success then I would temporary stop working on the task; I would either take a break or work on something else. I find that allowing my mind to focus on something else for awhile that once I do return to the original task that sometimes I somehow “magically” have an epiphany which makes the solution very clear.

Hai Doan’s story, “LRT Ride”, is featured in ‘Edmonton: Unbound’, which you can purchase now on Amazon.ca.

-Brad OH Inc.