NWPL Author FEST 2020

Our inaugural Author’s Festival is here, including three separate episodes that initially debuted October 20, 21, and 22, accessible until November 30, 2020.  In each episode NWPL librarians interview a selection of BC’s finest authors discussing everything from their writing process, to their books, to some of their newest projects.

How do I access Festival events?

An access URL linking to the episode via our YouTube channel is listed with each episode below.

Festival Lineup

EPISODE ONE – Theme: Crafting Mystery (Original air date October 20, 2020)

ACCESS LINK: https://youtu.be/BUkUE762uAc  

Everyone loves a good mystery, but not all mysteries are written the same, nor approached in the same way. The following authors help us understand their process and the nuances that make each of their works so unique:

A.J. Devlin

A.J. Devlin grew up in Greater Vancouver before moving to Southern California for six years where he earned a B.F.A. in Screenwriting from Chapman University and a M.F.A. in Screenwriting from The American Film Institute. Cobra Clutch, the first entry in the “Hammerhead” Jed ex-pro wrestler turned PI mystery-comedy series, was nominated for a 2019 Lefty Award for Best Debut Mystery and won the 2019 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Crime Novel. Book two in the series, Rolling Thunder, was published in May, 2020 by NeWest Press.

Sam Wiebe

Sam Wiebe is the award-winning author of the Wakeland novels, one of the most authentic and acclaimed detective series in Canada, including Invisible Dead (“the definitive Vancouver crime novel”) and Cut You Down (“successfully brings Raymond Chandler into the 21st century”). Wiebe’s other books include Never Going BackLast of the Independents, and the Vancouver Noir anthology, which he edited. Wiebe’s work has won the Crime Writers of Canada award and the Kobo Emerging Writers prize, and been shortlisted for the Edgar, Hammett, Shamus, and City of Vancouver book prizes. His original film/TV projects have been optioned, and his short stories have appeared in ThugLit, Spinetingler, and subTerrain, as well as anthologies by Houghton-Mifflin and Image Comics. Wiebe is a former VPL Writer in Residence.

Iona Whishaw

Canadian author Iona Whishaw spent her infancy by Kootenay Lake in BC, eight years in Mexico, and her teens in the US. Now based in Vancouver, she worked as youth worker, social worker, teacher, and award-winning high school principal. She got her master’s in creative writing from the University of British Columbia, and has published short fiction, poetry, poetry in translation, and one children’s book. Her seventh Lane Winslow Mystery, A Match Made For Murder, was released in April. A passion for mysteries, history and her mother and grandfather’s WW2 intelligence work inform the spirit and storytelling of these engaging, character-driven period novels.

EPISODE TWO – Theme: Lived Experiences (Original air date October 21, 2020)

ACCESS LINK: https://youtu.be/JptKywHLgiE

They say that writers do their best when they write about what they know, or in this case, what they’ve lived.  Bill Arnott shares thoughts about an amazing 8-year journey around the globe through his work Gone Viking: A Travel Saga, while three wonderful women, including New Westminster’s own Jen Arbo, discuss their contributions to the anthology BIG: Stories About Life in Plus-Sized Bodies.

Bill Arnott

Author, poet, songwriter Bill Arnott is the bestselling author of Dromomania and Gone Viking: A Travel Saga. Bill’s been a featured author, performer and host at hundreds of literary events across Canada and internationally. His articles, reviews and poetry are published in Canada, the US, UK, Europe and Asia. Bill is a national songwriting finalist, poetry award recipient, and finalist for Whistler Independent Book Awards 2019 with Gone Viking: A Travel Saga. When not trekking the globe with a small pack, weatherproof journal and horribly outdated camera phone, Bill can be found on Canada’s west coast, making friends and generally misbehaving!

Jen Arbo

Jen Arbo lives in Sapperton with her family. She holds a blue belt in karate and prefers to shoot her recurve bow sightless, though she swears she is not preparing for a post-apocalyptic future. She likes snug socks, strong black tea, and a brand new dot grid journal with a nice set of coloured pens. Dislikes: heights, clutter, and storage containers that have lost their matching lids. Jen has a diploma in professional writing from Douglas College and works in Economic Development.

Christina Myers

Christina Myers is a freelance writer and editor, a former journalist, and a creative writer of both fiction and non-fiction. She is the editor of BIG: Stories About Life in Plus-Sized Bodies a collection of non-fiction by 26 writers published by Caitlin Press earlier this year. Her work has been published in newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and online, and her first novel is forthcoming in 2021. She juggles stay-at-home-parenthood and creative work from behind her desk in Surrey, BC.

Sonja Boon

Sonja Boon is an award-winning writer, researcher and teacher. Her creative non-fiction has appeared in Geist, The Ethnic Aisle, and is forthcoming in several edited collections. She has a critical memoir published last year, What the Oceans Remember: Searching for Belonging and Home. She is professor of Gender Studies at Memorial University in Newfoundland, but prior to that, she was a longtime resident of the lower mainland where she worked as a professional early music flautist – performing, recording and touring.

EPISODE THREE – Theme: The Storytellers (Original air date October 22, 2020)

ACCESS LINK: https://youtu.be/VrEeJW8KcV0

All writers are in some ways the tellers of stories. In this third and final episode of our festival, three authors help to explore connection through their stories. Joseph Dandurand uses stories of the Sasquatch as inspiration for his first children’s book The Sasquatch, the Fire and the Cedar Baskets. Maria Reva looks to her own heritage in the Ukraine as a foundation for the very compelling Good Citizens Need Not Fear, while Jessica McDiarmid connects us to the voices  of those impacted by missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls through Highway of Tears.

Joseph A. Dandurand

Joseph Dandurand is a member of Kwantlen First Nation located on the Fraser River about twenty minutes east of Vancouver, BC. He resides there with his three children. Dandurand is the director of the Kwantlen Cultural Centre and a poet, playwright, and author. He received a Diploma in Performing Arts from Algonquin College and studied Theatre and Direction at the University of Ottawa. He is also the Heritage/Lands Officer for his people and has been performing his duties for 14 years now. He has been tasked with protecting his people’s heritage from the many destructive elements of development in the Kwantlen territory.

Jessica McDiarmid

Jessica McDiarmid is a Canadian journalist who has worked across North America and Africa, writing for publications such as the Toronto Star, the Associated Press, Maisonneuve and others. Highway of Tears is her first book.

Maria Reva

Maria Reva is the author of the linked story collection Good Citizens Need Not Fear (Doubleday, Virago, and Knopf Canada New Face of Fiction, 2020). Her fiction has appeared in The Atlantic, McSweeney’s, Granta, The Journey Prize Stories, The Best American Short Stories, and elsewhere, and has won a National Magazine Award. She also works as an opera librettist. Good Citizens Need Not Fear is a finalist for the 2020 Writer’s Trust Fiction Prize.

Questions about Author Fest 2020? Please email us at AskUs@nwpl.ca

The New Westminster Public Library would like to acknowledge the collaboration and support of the Arts Council of New Westminster, as well as funding and support provide by the British Columbia Arts Council, and the Province of British Columbia.