Topic: how i wrote it

How I Wrote It

Why the poetry of Jillian Christmas examines the realities of Black queerness, femininity and community

The Vancouver-based poet and activist is the author of The Gospel of Breaking.
How I Wrote It

How writing a novel helped John Elizabeth Stintzi connect with their own genderqueer identity

The Ontario-born writer spoke with CBC Books about writing debut novel Vanishing Monuments.

Carol Rose GoldenEagle on the sinister things you learn while writing a thriller

Bone Black, Carol Rose GoldenEagle's first thriller, is about an Indigenous woman named Wren who seeks justice in the name of her missing sister.

Shani Mootoo's novel Polar Vortex explores love, relationships and real connections in an age of social media

The Ontario-based author talks about how she wrote her latest novel.

Eternity Martis reflects on the challenges of being a Black university student in her first book

Eternity Martis is the author of They Said This Would Be Fun.

How life in a Trumpian, post-Brexit world prompted Tessa McWatt to explore race and identity in her new memoir

The Guyanese-born Canadian writer and professor is the author of memoir Shame on Me.
How I Wrote It

Souvankham Thammavongsa's stories explore the diversity of the immigrant experience

The Ontario poet and writer talks about writing her short story collection How to Pronounce Knife.

Sidura Ludwig explores diversity within the Jewish Canadian community with book You Are Not What We Expected

The short story writer and author of the 2007 novel Holding My Breath is back with a collection of linked stories set in a Jewish neighbourhood outside of Toronto.

Cole Pauls wrote an action-packed comic to help preserve Indigenous language

Two Earth Protectors are charged with saving the planet from evil pioneers and cyborg sasquatches in Dakwäkãda Warriors. The comic, which incorporates a blend of English and Southern Tutchone, serves as an allegory for colonialism.

Canisia Lubrin uses the language of the past to explore the future in her new poetry collection

The Ontario poet is the author of The Dyzgraphxst. She spoke to CBC Books about how she wrote the collection.

How Desmond Cole wrote a bestselling book about being black in Canada

The Toronto-based journalist and activist is the author of The Skin We're In.

Why Rebecca Fisseha wrote about family secrets, trauma and reckoning in her debut novel

The Ontario-based writer of Ethiopian descent spoke with CBC Books about writing Daughters of Silence.

Adnan Khan explores tired stereotypes and being a young Muslim in Canada in his debut novel

The Toronto journalist and writer talks about love, class and cultural identity with his debut novel.

Sherwin Tjia imagines what it would be like to fall forever

In the graphic novel Plummet, the earth has disappeared and his main character Amelia must survive a lifetime of freefall.

Why Anosh Irani looks at immigrants' sense of belonging in his latest book

The Vancouver-based writer and playwright's novel Translated from the Gibberish explores moving from the streets of Mumbai to Western Canada.

Motherhood challenged Sylvia Nickerson to rethink her place as an artist in Hamilton

Sylvia Nickerson's latest comic, Creation, is a story of transitions. She spoke to CBC Books about creating the comic.

Sarah Leavitt's comic imagines the life of Agnes McVee, fabled 19th-century serial killer

Sarah Leavitt's graphic novel Agnes, Murderess was inspired by the B.C. legend of a roadhouse owner who murdered men for gold. It is a finalist for the Doug Wright Award for best Canadian comic.

How Jesse Thistle survived addiction, homelessness and incarceration — and became a Canada Reads finalist

The Métis-Cree author shares his story of surviving on the streets in his memoir From the Ashes.

How family stories inspired Allison Mills's novel about a girl who catches spirits in her hair

The Ghost Collector is about a young girl named Shelly, who can see ghosts and help them move on.

David Szalay's Turbulence looks at how we're disconnected in a connected world

Szalay's latest book flies us all over the globe to explore the physical and digital links between the ones we love.

With African epic The Rage of Dragons, Evan Winter wrote the book he'd want to read

The debut author discusses how he wrote his epic fantasy novel, which was originally self-published and is now the bestselling beginning of a series.

Why Sharon Butala wrote a short story collection about what getting old is really like

Season of Fury and Wonder is on the shortlist for the 2019 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.

Alan Walker demystifies the storied life of Fryderyk Chopin

Alan Walker is a finalist for the 2019 Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction for his biography Fryderyk Chopin.

Why Joan Thomas wrote about the wives of missionaries killed trying to convert Ecuador's Waorani people

The novel Five Wives won the 2019 Governor General's Literary Award for fiction.

Brian Francis faced his fears to write YA — and got nominated for a Governor General's Literary Award

The author of Natural Order and Fruit almost gave up writing his first YA novel, Break in Case of Emergency.

Brian Harvey went on a two-month sailing trip around Vancouver Island to better understand his late father

His memoir Sea Trial is a finalist for the 2019 Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction. The winner will be announced on Oct. 29, 2019.

Cary Fagan's The Student was inspired by the opportunities his mother never had

The Student is a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction, one of the Fagan's two nominations in 2019.

Why Jenny Heijun Wills wrote a book about reuniting with her first family in Korea

Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related. won the $60,000 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

Why Merrie-Ellen Wilcox wrote a nonfiction book for children that explores death and grieving

After Life, which is for readers aged 9-12, is shortlisted for the $50,000 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award.

Epidemiologist Dan Werb studies Tijuana's epidemic of missing and murdered women

Dan Werb documents his research in the book City of Omens, which is a finalist for the 2019 Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction.

Why Marie-Louise Gay created a picture book about the life of a child refugee

Mustafa, which is for readers aged 4-8, is shortlisted for the 2019 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award.

Why Hassan Ghedi Santur wrote a novel about the radicalization of a young Muslim man

The Somali Canadian author discusses how he wrote his second novel, The Youth of God.

Why Anar Ali wrote a novel about a Muslim family dealing with hard times in a new country

The screenwriter and author shines a light on diverse South Asian Canadian experiences with her debut novel, Night of Power.

How sea glass inspired Heather Smith to write a timeless children's story

The middle-grade novel Ebb & Flow is on the shortlist for $50K 2019 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award.

How environmental destruction and family trees inspired Michael Christie's new novel Greenwood

The novel by the B.C.-based author is on the longlist for the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Why Megan Gail Coles wrote a novel that explores the best and worst of Newfoundland

Megan Gail Coles is on the Canada Reads 2020 shortlist for Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club.
How I Wrote It

Adam Foulds explores how magical thinking and celebrity fandom collide in his novel Dream Sequence

The Toronto-based author is on the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist for his seventh novel.

Why Alexi Zentner wrote a novel about a teenager trying to escape his white supremacist roots

Copperhead was influenced by an incident from Zentner's adolescence, when his mom's office in Kitchener-Waterloo was allegedly firebombed by a neo-Nazi group. 
How I Wrote It

Why Becky Blake wrote a story about understanding the world and our place in it

The two-time winner of the CBC Literary Prizes discusses how she wrote her debut novel Proof I Was Here.
How I Wrote It

Mona Awad's Bunny is a twisted novel inspired by teen movies, fairy tales and the horror of academia

The author of 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl discusses how she wrote Bunny.
How I Wrote It

The end of David A. Robertson's Reckoner trilogy is really the introduction of a new Indigenous superhero

The Winnipeg Cree writer discusses writing Ghosts, the finale of his Reckoner series, and breaking down harmful tropes of Indigenous characters in his writing.
How I Wrote It

Why Bindu Suresh wanted to explore the meaning of love, romance and heartbreak in her debut novel

The Montreal author, named a writer to watch by CBC Books, discusses how she wrote 26 Knots.
How I Wrote It

Why Amy Jones wrote a novel inspired by Halifax, reality TV and the end of the world

The former winner of the CBC Short Story Prize discusses how she wrote her second novel, Every Little Piece of Me.
How I Wrote It

Why Zalika Reid-Benta wrote a short story collection that looks at growing up young and black in Toronto

The debut author, named a 'writer to watch' by CBC Books, discusses how she wrote Frying Plantain.
How I Wrote It

Aviaq Johnston continues the adventures of Pitu the shaman in Those Who Dwell Below

Aviaq Johnston's latest fantasy novel is a sequel to her award-winning debut Those Who Run in the Sky.

Why Samra Habib wrote a memoir about growing up as a queer Muslim woman — and it's now a Canada Reads finalist

The journalist and photographer opens up about reconciling her identity in her memoir We Have Always Been Here.
How I Wrote It

Why Anakana Schofield wrote an extraordinary novel about ordinary people

The acclaimed Irish-Canadian author discusses how she wrote Bina, a work of experimental fiction.

Ayelet Tsabari is always leaving things behind. So she wrote a book about it

The Israeli-Canadian author discusses how she wrote The Art of Leaving. The memoir is shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

Michael DeForge writes about cults & cluttered cities in Leaving Richard's Valley

Michael DeForge collected his popular daily Instagram comic Leaving Richard's Valley into a full-length graphic novel.
How I Wrote It

Why Ziya Tong wants readers to open their minds and enter The Reality Bubble

The science journalist, author and Canada Reads 2019 winning panellist discusses writing a nonfiction book about how we see the world around us.
How I Wrote It

Why Téa Mutonji wanted her first short story collection to challenge what diverse literature is supposed to be

The Scarborough, Ont.-based author discusses her short story collection, Shut Up, You're Pretty, which is a finalist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.

Teresa Wong chronicles her battle with postpartum depression in her debut graphic memoir

Teresa Wong discusses how she wrote and illustrated Dear Scarlet.

How Renee Nault adapted The Handmaid's Tale into a graphic novel

The Victoria artist shares how she adapted Margaret Atwood's award-winning novel.
How I Wrote It

Why Alicia Elliott challenges us all to think critically about trauma, oppression and racism in Canada

The Haudenosaunee author discusses how she wrote A Mind Spread Out On The Ground. The essay collection is a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.
How I Wrote It

Arielle Twist explores grief in her poetry and finds a home in the Indigenous arts community

Her debut poetry collection, Disintegrate/Dissociate, navigates the grief and dysphoria experienced by the poet as an Indigenous two-spirit transgender woman.

Griffin Poetry Prize finalist Chantal Gibson wants to decolonize minds through poetry

How She Read is a collection of genre-blurring poems about the representation of black women in Canada.

Why David Bezmozgis writes about his Eastern European heritage and being an immigrant to Canada

The award-winning author and filmmaker discusses his latest short story collection, Immigrant City.
How I Wrote It

Faith Erin Hicks on comic industry woes and off the cuff writing

The illustrator's debut YA novel, Comics Will Break Your Heart, is about the grandchildren of comic book rivals in a small Canadian town.
How I Wrote It

Ann Hui pays tribute to Canada's small town Chinese restaurants

In Chop Suey Nation, the journalist talks to the hardworking families bringing Chinese Canadian cuisine to small towns across the country.

Whitney French on why nurturing the next wave of black Canadian writers is important

Whitney French discusses how the creative nonfiction anthology she edited, Black Writers Matter, came to life.
How I Wrote It

Why Ben Philippe wrote a YA novel about being a black French Canadian kid in Texas

The author on how his own personal experience shaped The Field Guide to the North American Teenager.

Ian Williams explores race, class and identity in his debut novel, Reproduction

The award-winning poet and author discusses how he wrote his first novel.
How I Wrote It

Why Andrew Westoll felt compelled to tell the story of a troop of resilient chimps

Andrew Westoll is the author of The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, which is on the Canada Reads 2019 longlist.
How I Wrote It

For the novel Corvus, Harold R. Johnson envisioned a thriving Indigenous community in a dystopian future

Harold R. Johnson is the author of Corvus, which is on the Canada Reads 2019 longlist.
How I Wrote It

Why former NHL goalie Clint Malarchuk wrote about his struggles with addiction and his mental health

Clint Malarchuk is a retired NHL goaltender and author of the memoir The Crazy Game, which he co-wrote with sports writer Dan Robson.
How I Wrote It

How a promise to his father inspired Holocaust survivor Max Eisen to tell his story

Max Eisen, a Holocaust survivor, shares why he decided to share his story with the world.
How I Wrote It

Sarah Raughley shares her secrets to writing a successful fantasy series

The YA author on writing Legacy of Light, the third and final instalment of the Effigies series.
How I Wrote It

How being a CBC Literary Prize finalist gave Christine Higdon the confidence she needed to pursue writing

The former CBC Literary Prize finalist discusses writing her debut novel, The Very Marrow of Our Bones.

How Phyllis Aronoff & Howard Scott translated their way to a Governor General's Literary Award

Phyllis Aronoff and Howard Scott won the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for Descent into Night, translated from the French novel Explication de la nuit by Edem Awumey.
How I Wrote It

Governor General's Literary Award winner Cecily Nicholson writes poetry with purpose

Cecily Nicholson describes how she wrote her award-winning poetry collection Wayside Sang.
Magic 8 Q&A

Why Lisa Gabriele wrote a novel inspired by Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca

The author of The Winters takes the CBC Books Magic 8 Q&A and answers eight questions from eight fellow authors.
How I Wrote It

How flipping a coin helped Sheila Heti make tough decisions about motherhood — and write a novel about it

The Toronto-based playwright and author discusses her novel Motherhood, which is nominated for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize.
How I Wrote It

Why Lindsay Wong wrote a memoir about her family's mental health struggles

The Woo-Woo documents a stranger-than-fiction childhood surrounded by dysfunctional, profanity-loving adults.
How I Wrote It

Jen Neale reminds us animals have lives too with novel Land Mammals and Sea Creatures

The Vancouver author on writing her debut book, which is on the shortlist for the $50K Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.
How I Wrote It

How Canadian music critic Andrea Warner wrote the definitive Buffy Sainte-Marie biography

The journalist and author discusses how she collaborated with the iconic musician — and recorded more than 60 hours of interviews — to write Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography.
How I Wrote It

Why Will Aitken wrote a book about Anne Carson's adaptation of Antigone

The Montreal author discusses his unconventional memoir, which is on the shortlist for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.
How I Wrote It

Judi Rever uncovers truths about the Rwandan genocide with In Praise of Blood

The Montreal journalist and author talks about her groundbreaking book, which is on the shortlist for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.
How I Wrote It

Why Waubgeshig Rice wrote a dystopian novel about the collapse of society from an Indigenous perspective

The CBC host and author discusses his novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow.

How Peter McCambridge translated the Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist Songs for the Cold of Heart

The Quebec editor on creating the English version of Eric Dupont's award-winning French novel La Fiancée Américaine.
How I Wrote It

How Eric Dupont wrote the Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist Songs for the Cold of Heart

The Montreal author on writing his fourth novel, which is up for Canada's richest literary prize.
How I Wrote It

How Harley Rustad's award-winning magazine article about saving a tree grew into the book Big Lonely Doug

The West Coast journalist on writing about the logging industry, environmental activism, Indigenous land and cultural rights.
How I Wrote It

Why Shazia Hafiz Ramji writes poetry about modern-day surveillance and addiction

The Vancouver poet and author discusses her poetry collection, Port of Being.
How I Wrote It

Why Barbara Reid made the background the star of Picture the Sky

Award winning plasticine artist Barbara Reid invites young readers to look up — way up — in Picture the Sky.
How I Wrote It

How East Coast mining culture inspired Joanne Schwartz and Sydney Smith's beautiful picture book

Town Is by the Sea is the winner of the 2018 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award.
How I Wrote It

How Paul Harbridge and Matt James captured the magic of moonlight

When the Moon Comes is one of five books nominated for the 2018 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award.
How I Wrote It

Why Monique Gray Smith almost stopped writing Speaking Our Truth

The novelist and children's book author turns to nonfiction in an inventive new book about truth and reconciliation for young readers.
How I Wrote It

The lesson Wendy Orr wants to share with readers: 'We're all stronger than we think we are'

Wendy Orr takes readers inside a world inspired by the Minotaur myths of ancient Minoa.
How I Wrote It

Harold R. Johnson honours the memory of his brother Clifford with new genre-bending memoir

The author describes how he incorporated elements of science fiction and fantasy to tell the story of his late brother.
How I Wrote It

In Dreaming Sally, James FitzGerald explains how a woman's death in the 1960s still haunts the present day

The award-winning journalist and author on writing the creative nonfiction book
How I Wrote It

Vivek Shraya on the power of unpacking pain and writing with urgency

The award-winning author discusses how he wrote I'm Afraid of Men.
How I Wrote It

Rawi Hage ponders death, war and the nature of mourning in the novel Beirut Hellfire Society

The Montreal-based novelist discusses the creative process behind his latest book.
How I Wrote It

Esi Edugyan's latest is the high-stakes historical fiction novel Washington Black

The award-winning author discusses how the themes of freedom, brutality and steampunk adventure fit together in her latest book.
How I Wrote It

With book I'm Afraid of Men, Vivek Shraya unpacks the fearlessness of living your truth

The author discusses the creative process behind his latest book.
How I Wrote It

Craig Davidson's Canada Reads follow-up is a 1980s-infused novel about the horrors of the past

The award-winning author discusses how he wrote his latest, The Saturday Night Ghost Club.
How I Wrote It

How Esi Edugyan wrote her novel Washington Black — and won her second Scotiabank Giller Prize

The 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author discusses how the themes of freedom, brutality and steampunk adventure fit together in her latest book.
How I Wrote It

Claire Holden Rothman almost quit writing — and then a theatre gig inspired a new novel

Montreal author Claire Holden Rothman takes us behind-the-scenes of her latest novel, Lear's Shadow.
How I Wrote It

When a throat injury forced Georgia Webber into months of silence, she wrote a comic about it

Georgia Webber talks about how she wrote her first graphic memoir, Dumb.
How I Wrote It

Why Shauntay Grant created a children's book to revisit the legacy of Africville

The poet and author talks about how she wrote Africville, which is nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award for children's literature — illustration.
How I Wrote It

Robyn Harding's thriller is about discovering that a parent at your kid's school is a violent convicted felon

The Vancouver-based writer takes us behind-the-scenes of her new domestic thriller, Her Pretty Face.
How I Wrote It

Janice Lynn Mather's novel was 15 years in the making — now it's a Governor General's Literary Award finalist

The Canadian-Bahamian writer discusses how she wrote her debut novel, Learning to Breathe.

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