Wednesday, 12 February 2014 15:58

Lyric Theatre to showcase local writing talent at Write Out Loud: Smid showcasing latest book

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
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Some of southwest Saskatchewan’s most talented writers will be featured at the Lyric Theatre’s Write Out Loud event in Swift Current Feb. 19.


The Write Out Loud series combines readings by Canadian authors with entertainment by local musicians as the opening act. The upcoming event will feature four local writers who will read from their works and talk about their crafts.
Madelon Smid, who lives near Swift Current, will read from her recently-published romantic suspense novel Climbing High, which is the first book in her new Three Wise Men trilogy.
She is looking forward to participating in the Lyric Theatre’s 2013/14 Write Out Loud series.
“I’m quite pleased about it,” she said. “It certainly gives me an opportunity to put Climbing High front and centre, and with the other authors there you hope for a bigger audience so that you get more sales.”
The book has received a positive reception from readers since its publication in November.
Its main character is a wealthy businessman who saves a woman during one of his mountain climbing adventures in France.
Smid said readers are surprised by the level of writing and the detail provided in the mountain climbing scenes.
“They always want to know if I climb, how could I know all of those things in such detail,” she mentioned. “They find them very credible and they say that they sat down to read a chapter and they had to finish the book. So I’ve been very encouraged by the comments and the reviews that I have had on amazon.com and amazon.ca.”
She completed the first draft of the second book, High Ground, on New Year’s Eve and she edited it during January for submission to her publisher, Wild Rose Press.
“It’s a total change,” she said.
“This male protagonist is a genius who writes computer security spyware for the government and protects all of the government agencies down in the United States. ... High ground refers to his sense of values, his integrity, and how he believes his work and his foundation should be run.”
Her love for kayaking will be reflected in the third book, High Seas. The main character lives on the west coast, where he uses his technical skills to write software for computer adventure games and to find lost art, stolen identities or criminals for a variety of clients.
She has been gathering ideas for her third book while still finishing the second one.
“I got many notes and scenes and everything already that have showed up in my mind when you least want it, when you’re trying to focus on the second story,” she said.
The books in this series feature three male characters who share a common passion for computers and technology.
“I’ve always enjoyed a series where characters are repeated in the next book and you see them again down the road in the next book,” she said.
She also felt it made sense on a practical level to write a trilogy that will attract readers to keep on reading.
“It can be a good marketing scheme in the sense that if they like the characters in the first book and you’ve introduced the ones from the next book and they’re interested in them, then the reader is more apt to go and buy the next book because they want to read about characters that they got a glimmer of,” she explained.
She decided to use men as the main characters in the series. Each book includes a female protagonist, but the male character is predominant.
“I guess it’s because I'm fascinated by what men might be thinking and feeling,” she said. “So I like to write from their point of view and hope I’m getting it right.”
This trilogy represents an important shift in Smid’s career and at the same time a return to her roots as a writer. Her first published work in 1991 was a contemporary romance novel, but thereafter she achieved success as a non-fiction writer.
She is the co-author of the national bestseller Smart Women: Canadian Entrepreneurs who make Money and the revised, updated edition Smart Women get Smarter. She wrote non-fiction articles for magazines and newspapers for more than a decade.
She also started a business that provided online writing classes and she taught writing at the former Cypress Hills College (now Great Plains College) in Swift Current until 2008, when she decided to focus on her own writing.
“I wanted to take the time again to write, but during the 10 years that I was teaching I think I taught myself to be a better writer because I covered all the genres,” she said. “When I started writing again I decided to go back to an area that I really enjoy, which is contemporary romance.”
She is a founding member of the Prairie Quills Writers Group in Swift Current and a former president of the Saskatoon Writing Group.
Writing is a lonely task and a writing group can provide important support, but her advice to any aspiring writer is simple.
“Stop talking about it and do it — write,” she said. “It’s so easy to call yourself a writer because you do the odd short story or poem and maybe belong to a writing group ..., but if you’re not at your desk every day, putting something down on paper and moving forward, then I don’t think you’re a writer. I think that you are fooling yourself.”
The other writers who will share their experiences and writing at Write Out Loud on Feb. 19, starting at 7 p.m., are Bev Biggeman, Phyllis Nakonechny and Destinee Purves.
Biggeman is a former high-school English teacher and technical writer who is now spending time between Didsbury, Alberta and a farm east of Swift Current. Her book Biggeman Tales, Tall and True is a collection of stories about farm life and the adventures of growing up in a big family on a farm near Edmonton.
She is working on a series of stories about renovating a 100-year-old farmhouse east of Swift Current and she is collaborating with her partner Bob Horne on a children’s book, The Dog with the Gigantic Tail.
Retired Swift Current resident Phyllis Nakonechny taught high-school English and creative writing for 30 years. She is the author of Vidh: A Book of Mourning that was published in 2010. She received a CBC Literary Award in 2008 in the creative nonfiction category for her meditation on the subject of grief.
Destinee Purves is a Grade 12 student at Maverick School. She has been an avid writer and reader since childhood. She writes poetry and also publishes a blog that aims to give readers a better understanding of the unique challenges facing youth today.

Read 9078 times Last modified on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 16:14

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