Author Spotlight – Tania Stephanson

Where Did Your Writing Journey Begin?

In 2009 I was on maternity leave with my first child. I was enjoying watching the Lord of the Rings movies and it sparked a wave of creativity. I began to dream of this new world of my own. My husband suggested I start writing it down, so I did. Then my mother in law suggested I attend the Selkirk Library writer’s workshop. After that, my writing journey took flight!

What Do You Like To Do When You’re Not Writing?

I work full time in manufacturing as a Production Planner. In my personal time I am a hockey mom, which normally takes up most of my time. But I miss the days of song-writing, singing and baking cakes.

Are There Any Rituals You Must Perform Before You Can Start Writing?

If earlier in the day, I make sure I have a tea and snacks. If it’s dark (early morning or later evening) I turn on my Beauty and the Beast rose lamp and light a candle before I start.

What Has Influenced You Most As A Writer?

My biggest influences for developing my skills as a writer, would include reading other published authors, playing video games and learning from more experienced writers. For example Tyra Masters-Heinrichs and Ishbel Moore.

Do You Have Any Advice For Other Writers?

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and write your truth, no matter how others may view it. Or how shocking it may sound when you read it aloud.

Where Can People Find You Online?

https://www.facebook.com/TaniaStephanson/

 

Download Tania Stephanson’s 2020 Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight Announcement Website Slider - Don Schaeffer

Author Spotlight – Don Schaeffer

Don Schaeffer Head Shot

Where Did Your Writing Journey Begin?

I became a poet by default. I was writing aphorisms in college like my idol Franz Kafka. Poems are like aphorisms. I called them poems.

What Do You Like To Do When You’re Not Writing?

I’m retired. I diddle around. I paint, take photographs, make videos, visit my kids and grandchildren (2 here 2 in BC)

Are There Any Rituals You Must Perform Before You Can Start Writing?

The poems usually occur to me in the middle of the night or some inconvenient time. I have to grab my tablet and get them written before they vanish.

What Has Influenced You Most As A Writer?

I am a trained social psychologist–so I observe. The poetry started when I joined on-line poetry forums. I also write blogs for money.

Do You Have Any Advice For Other Writers?

Be adventurous. Tell the truth even if it is not pleasant.

Download Don Schaeffer’s 2020 Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight Announcement Website Slider - Debbie Okun Hill

Author Spotlight – Debbie Okun Hill

Debbie Okun Hill - Author Image
Photo courtesy Melissa Upfold for The Calculated Colour Co.

Where Did Your Writing Journey Begin?

My interest in literature and reading began with Dick and Jane, Sally and Spot, the main characters in the basal readers that taught me how to read. I always loved school and books so working with words and writing letters and essays were a natural progression for me. However, it was my appointment as the newspaper editor for the Lord Selkirk Regional Comprehensive High School that planted the seed that eventually grew into a writing career that branched out into a variety of genres from journalism to public relations to freelance writing to creating fiction to poetry to blogging.

What Do You Like To Do When You’re Not Writing?

That’s a tough question as I seem to always be writing or thinking about writing! Even when I park myself in front of a Netflix show I am analyzing the script and if I watch a DVD, I am often more interested in the special features than the actual movie. However, as I get older, I’m making more time for such quiet pursuits such as reading, gardening, exploring nature, art, photography, and crafts.

Are There Any Rituals You Must Perform Before You Can Start Writing?

Yes! Turn on the computer.

Seriously, if I have a writers’ block, I just write/type words free fall until the ideas and words flow.

If I get frustrated, I turn off the computer, take a walk outside, and try again later.

Almost all of my rough drafts are composed onscreen, although I’ve read that writers are more creative if they write long hand. One day I may try that!

What Has Influenced You Most As A Writer?

Margaret Atwood’s earliest novels The Edible Woman and Surfacing. These books introduced me to symbolism, metaphors, and other literary devices.

Do You Have Any Advice For Other Writers?

Give yourself permission to be yourself. Motivational speaker Leo Buscaglia once wrote, “You are the only you . . . You are the best you. You will always be the second best anyone else.” So if you want to write, just do it, and stop comparing yourself with others. Even famous writers, like Margaret Atwood, have both fans and critics. Trust the magic (your spiritual essence) to take you where you need to be.

Download Debbie Okun Hill’s 2019 Author Spotlight

Read by the Lake Time Website Announcement

Reading by the Lake Series

The Lake Winnipeg Writers’ Group extends an invitation to all writers and lovers of literature to participate in our summer activity called Reading by the Lake which will be held at the Breakwater Café in Winnipeg Beach every Thursday in July at 7 pm.

Each week we will use a different theme starting with water on July 4th, facilitated by Helma

July 11 – Air
July 18 – Fire
July 25 – Earth
August 1 – Sky
August 8 – Time

Bring a poem or a piece of prose that you have written on the topic or share one from a well-known author. Reading is not mandatory, you can be a part of the audience. Just sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee as you listen to the readers.

Author Spotlight – Jeanne Gougeon

Jeanne Gougeon Spotlight PhotoWhere Did Your Writing Journey Begin?

My name Jeanne Gougeon and I have published a children’s book, Be Brave which was later translated in French. This month, I launched my second book, Le fruit de la haine, which is a murder mystery taking place in rural Manitoba in the sixties. It was published by a firm from Saskatchewan, Les éditions de la Nouvelle plume under my pen name, Margot Joli.

I am a teacher and my writing journey started in the classroom. When I could not find a story on a specific theme, I wrote my own. However, I did not spend much time writing since I was quite busy with teaching, raising my own children and taking courses at the university.

What Do You Like To Do When You’re Not Writing?

When I retired, I found time to play with words and concoct stories. It took a while to develop my skills. I am thankful to the Lake Winnipeg Writers’ Group for mentoring me. Sharing sessions with a small group of writers in my area was the most beneficial.

Read More

Are There Any Rituals You Must Perform Before You Can Start Writing?

I prefer silence or the sounds of nature when I write. My best time to write is in the afternoon, when the daily chores are done, or later at night. Sometimes the muse keeps me up late with great ideas I need to put down before I forget them.

What Has Influenced You Most As A Writer?

I am a lover of the classics and they have greatly influenced my writing. As a child, I always had a book in my hands. Aside from the classics I read adventures. I devoured all the Bob Morane books on the shelves of my high school library. As an adult, I ventured into murder mysteries because they give the reader a puzzle to solve and I am a big fan of puzzles.

Do You Have Any Advice For Other Writers?

If I were to give any advice to other writers it would be to read voraciously, since it is the best way to develop vocabulary. It is also important to get feedback from fellow writers. Critique is sometimes difficult to take, but always helpful, depending on how well we can step back emotionally from our work and see it through a reader’s point of view. We must remember that we are writing, not for ourselves, but for our readers. We must never forget who our intended audience is.

The most important quality a writer needs is persistence. Do not give up, even when your work is rejected by publishers. Not everybody will like your work, but if you keep sending it out, one day you will find someone who loves it. It takes time and patience.

Good luck in your writing adventures. And, keep writing.

Download Jeanne Gougeon’s 2019 Author Spotlight

Read Less