amazon.ca

Thousands of Canadian-authored kids and YA books

Blog

Shiver Me Timbers: A Little Murder with My Fall

Helen Walsh’s debut novel Pull Focus—a feminist thriller set behind the scenes at an international film festival—publishes September 7 in North America and October 7 in the UK.  

Autumn’s long shadows cut across the darkening sky. A director frames a close-up shot of a woman in an armchair clutching a book, legs curled up beneath her, half-drunk glass of Pinot Noir on the side table. The crackle of the fire makes her jump, as her eyes dart from the page out the bare window, and back again. What lurks outside? Waits upstairs? Under the bed, perhaps. . .

Is there anything more delicious than a chill up the spine as nights grow longer and shadows lurk?

Here are 10 novels full of crackling tension that crowd my beside table or will soon, once their publication date arrives.

*****

Everything Turns Away, by Michelle Berry

I was a film producer living half-time in lower Manhattan when September 11th blew up life as I knew it. Cataclysmic events shake our very foundation, prompting us to look at the world, and those closest to us, through greater clarity …

Continue reading »

From the Page to the Screen

Claremont is the debut novel by Wiebke von Carolsfeld, a German-born writer and filmmaker living in Montreal. She has directed three critically acclaimed feature films (Marion Bridge, STAY, The Saver), winning numerous awards, including Best First Feature at TIFF and Sudbury, Canada’s Top Ten, Best Screenplay from the Chlotrudis Society along with nominations from the Canadian Screen Awards, the DGC, the AIFF, and the WGC.

*****

While most of my work life has been spent at the movies (I know, woe is me), literature has never been far from my mind. For one, I love reading—and on most days writing, too. But also, many of the films I’ve been involved with, be it as a writer, director or editor, have been based on books. All films listed here are available on iTunes and other streaming services, so once you have read the books, check them out. 

 * 

Marion Bridge, by Daniel MacIvor  

Marion Bridge is my first feature film as director. Daniel MacIvor wrote the screenplay, adapting his own play. (Yes, technically the film is not based on a book, but the pl …

Continue reading »

Stuart Henderson: Why Lessons of 1960s' Counterculture Still Matter Today

Prologue Movie Poster

Talking History focuses on a wide range of topics in Canadian history, and it consists of articles by Canada's foremost historians and history experts. Our contributors use the power of narrative to bring the past to life and to show how it is not just relevant, but essential to our understanding of Canada and the world today. "Talking History" is a series made possible through a special funding grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Stuart Henderson is a documentary film producer with 90th Parallel Productions, and author of Making the Scene: Yorkville and Hip Toronto in the 1960s.

*****

When Canadian filmmaker Robin Spry died in a car wreck ten years ago this March, he was chiefly remembered as the man whose cameras had chronicled the infamous FLQ kidnappings of 1970. But, despite the fact that Action, his celebrated, if controversial, 1973 documentary about the October Crisis, has come to be remembered as his crowning achievement, I am actually here to discuss one of Spry’s least-revered works, the mostly forgotten 1969 gem Prologue. Because: this forgetting is a mistake. Indeed, as an historian of the period, this film stands as the one I am most inclined to watch and re-watch, looking for clues.

Despite being awarded a BAFTA for best documentary in 19 …

Continue reading »

The Interruption: Sean Cranbury Interviews Richard Rosenbaum

BOTR_MARCH_2014_SQUARE

Welcome to The Interruption, a 49th Shelf–Books on the Radio podcast in which I interview Canadian writers about the surprising things that inform, inspire, and even interrupt their creative process. The Interruption is now generously sponsored by The UBC Creative Writing Program, celebrating 50 years of excellence in creative writing. Programs include undergraduate minor and major degrees, Masters of Fine Arts in Vancouver or by distance education from anywhere in the world! For more information visit creativewriting.ubc.ca.

Today, I chat with Richard Rosenbaum, the author of Raise Some Shell: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (ECW Press, 2014). Here's what one reviewer (Vic Sage, at Retroist) had to say about the book:

"The highest praise I can give to Richard Rosenbaum is that while his book is quite educational and smartly written [it is] enormously humorous .... during my first read through I kept imagining the author and I sitting at a restaurant just chatting about characters that we loved very much .... He proudly announces in the first few pages …

Continue reading »

Canadian Books on the Big Screen

For authors and publishers, it's an exciting event when a book is optioned for film or TV, and even more thrilling if it’s made into an acclaimed movie. It can also be tough, artistically speaking, because it often requires the author to step back and separate as much as possible from the book to allow the film or TV series to establish its own life and energy. Michael Ondaatje (interviewed by Willem Defoe) said of his decision to not write the film script for The English Patient:

“I spent six years writing the book, the last two years of which were spent creating the only structure I thought it could have. So to turn around and dismantle that structure and put the head where the tail was ... There’s no way I could have been objective and known what should go, what should stay.”

Ondaatje ended up being very pleased with the film, perhaps because of the distance he maintained from its production.

As of this writing, there are currently several Canadian books that have recently been optioned for film* or are in production. They include (and publishers, authors, and agents, please write us with additions!):

Continue reading »

Christopher Heard on the magic of luxury hotels and the stories told behind closed doors.

Christopher Heard, author of The Suite Life (Dundurn Press).

Christopher Heard, author of The Suite Life (Dundurn Press).

Christopher Heard has published biographies of Kiefer Sutherland, Britney Spears, and Johnny Depp, among others, during more than a dozen years as a TV interviewer and film reviewer for the shows Gilmour on the Arts and Reel to Real. Heard currently co-hosts the radio travel show Planes, Trains and Automobiles and contributes weekly pop culture commentary to Bynon's Toronto Weekend. He lives in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter at @AuthorCHeard.

I studied film and television in university, then production in college, before returning again to college to complete a post graduate certificate in Creative Book Publishing. I like stories, more so the storied people who tell them. So it was a personal thrill to interview Christopher Heard — biographer, reviewer, interviewer — about his latest book The Suite Life: The Magic and Mystery of Hotel Living (Dundurn Press), which is chock full of  personal and celebrity anecdotes about the endearing appeal of hotel life.

Julie Wilson: "With each new hotel experience I lived and each new hotel story I was told, another fibre was added to the fabric of my desire and dream to live in a hotel." 



You've conducted film and TV interviews in over 700 hotels and cite …

Continue reading »