Meet Author Sandy Totten

A few days ago, The One We Forgot to Love by Sandy Totten was launched. During all the final reads, tweaking of covers and final design changes, I had a chance to talk with Sandy about her book. Like every new author holding their first book in their hands, she was overjoyed.

I asked her what had inspired her to write The One We Forgot to Love, and she said what I heard many writers say: “I have always wanted to write a novel.”

Saying that and doing it are two very different things. If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone proclaim, “I’m going to write a book,” I’d have oodles of cash.

However, Sandy did write the book.

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Author Interview: Diane McGyver

Quarter Castle Publishing sat down with author Diane McGyver and asked her about her latest novel, Natural Selection. Here is what she had to say.

QCP: When did you decide to become a writer?

I knew I wanted to a writer in my mid-teens. That’s when I started writing a lot. By the time I was 17, I had written my first novel. However, I didn’t start writing professionally until I became a mom in 1997.

QCP: Do you write every day? If not, how many days do you dedicate to writing?

I write for at least an hour every day. On average, I write for three hours.

QCP: Do you use an outline or do you write free style?

I’ve heard many writers have success with outlines, but I’m not one of them. I’ve tried and failed. I write best when I’m writing free style.

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Introducing John N. Grant

Recently, Diana Tibert of Quarter Castle Publishing interviewed historian John N. Grant about his book, Schooling in Guysborough County 1735-2016 – A Case Study of Public Education in Rural Nova Scotia.

Grant is the author of several Nova Scotia history books, including Mary Kaulbach’s Normal School Diary 1892 – 1893 (with Melanie Ballard) and A History of Oldfield Consolidated School: 1962 – 2017.

Interview

Tibert: In a few sentences, tell us a little about Schooling in Guysborough County 1735-2016. Give us a glimpse into the material covered.

Grant: Schooling in Guysborough County, 1735-2016 provides an overview of the efforts made by generations of parents to provide for the education of their children. The first Guysborough County school of which I found a record was in in Canso in 1735 and as the population grew and changed, so did the schools. At one time there were about 100 schools in the county. Today there are three. This book tells the story of what happened in-between.

Tibert: From where did you gather the bulk of your material?

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Interview with Bridget Canning

Author InterviewBridget Canning of St. John’s, Newfoundland, is the author of Indonesian Rice, the story that came in third in Quarter Castle Publishing’s first short story writing contest.

Recently Quarter Castle Publishing interviewed Bridget.

Interview Questions

QCP: When did you decide to become a writer?

I think I was in grade two. My mother was a librarian and read to my siblings and me daily when we were kids.  So at an early age, I had a long list of favourite books. And my father was a great storyteller. I feel like I was always absorbing a story or trying to tell one.

QCP: Do you write every day? If not, how many days do you dedicate to writing?

I write or rewrite in some form every day. When I don’t feel like it, I force myself. It’s like flossing; it can be an ugly process, but you rarely regret it.

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Interview with Bretton Loney

Author InterviewBretton Loney of Halifax, Nova Scotia, is the author of The Beggar’s Shoe Box, the story won second place in Quarter Castle Publishing’s first short story writing contest.

Recently Quarter Castle Publishing interviewed Bretton.

Interview Questions

QCP: When did you decide to become a writer?

I decided to become a journalist first. I decided to become a journalist during my first undergraduate degree at the University of Lethbridge and joined the student newspaper. From my late teens on, I thought about becoming a writer but didn’t seriously think about it until my late 20s. I didn’t really act upon it until my early 30s.

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Interview with Ashleigh Rajala

Author InterviewAshleigh Rajala of New Westminster, British Columbia, is the author of Working Title, the winning submission in Quarter Castle Publishing’s first short story writing contest.

Recently Quarter Castle Publishing interviewed Ashleigh.

QCP: When did you decide to become a writer?

Ashleigh: I remember a moment as a book-obsessed child where I realized that someone created those books and that I too could do that. The first story I wrote was about a dinosaur, and my mum sewed a cover onto it and everything. Sadly, this opus has been lost to history. So I never really decided, it was just something I have always done.

QCP: Do you write every day? If not, how many days do you dedicate to writing?

Ashleigh: I write every day. Sometimes life gets in the way, but that’s okay. But I try to never let myself stop if I’m feeling blocked or less than motivated. I set a goal of 1000 words per day. It can be anything: part of a novel, a short story, a blog post, or even just an exercise. For me, the more I write, the more I want to keep writing. An object in motion…

QCP: Do you use an outline or do you write free style?

Ashleigh: I almost always use an outline. I think an outline is an example of one of those times where having limits opens you up creatively. Free-style can seem overwhelming and near-paralyzing in the possibilities open to you.

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