kc kconnects April Newsletter
Volume 22, April 2022
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This past month I finally finished a project — not a new book, tho’ book-related — that I thought would take me six weeks, but ended up taking A YEAR. Have you had that experience over the pandemic? Time has been weird lately, no question, but the job is done and for that I am grateful. Time to move on, and right now I’m excited to flexing my writing muscles again. First up is reworking a story that hasn’t yet found a home for a new market. Wish me luck!
the view from here
This shot is not filtered, and was taken just after sunset, with the last of the light refracted against a stormy sky. Those are the lights of Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island, that you can see along the horizon in the distance. I think it’s beautiful!
three questions with…
authors Julia Kyi and Tanya Lloyd Kyi!
Tanya Lloyd Kyi is the author of more than thirty books for children and young adults. She writes about science, pop culture, and all kinds of curious combinations of the two. She’s also a lecturer with the UBC School of Creative Writing and her latest book is BETTER CONNECTED, written with her daughter Julia Kyi. BETTER CONNECTED focuses on the less-recognized positive aspects of girls’ online experiences. From environmental activism to gun control, immigration policy to education access, girls are leading the way. They're showing up, teaming up and speaking up. With profiles of real changemakers and practical tools for getting started, this book is an inspiring look at the amazing things girls can accomplish online. kc: I’m so excited to have this dynamic mother-daughter duo to chat with today. Welcome, Julia and Tanya! Let’s dive right in. What unexpected lesson has the pandemic taught you? JK: The pandemic really furthered my interest in social justice, and gave me extra time to learn and pursue new initiatives. With two friends, I started an organization called The Daily Feminist, and we gave virtual workshops about feminism to hundreds of kids across B.C. My interest in feminism taught me about intersectionality, and now I apply an intersectional lens in everything I do, including our book. (Catch the sidebar about the intersectionality octopus!) TLK: I'm going to reveal Julia's secrets here. She also spent the pandemic hand-making ravioli — often at midnight — and ALMOST cleaning up the kitchen afterwards. JK: It was perfectly clean! kc: Ha! This sounds like many a conversation I’ve had with my own daughter. Let’s turn to the nuts and bolts of writing. Julia, what is your greatest stationary extravagance? JK: Definitely notebooks with embossed covers, particularly those from Peter Pauper Press. I have five of them full of poetry. kc: I can’t tell you how many notebooks I have filled. None with poetry, though! Okay, Tanya — your turn. Do you have a favourite of all the books you've written? TLK: In my non-fiction books, I like to delve into topics with multiple sides and without concrete answers — subjects that scientists (and the rest of us) are still investigating. If I can talk about the research that's being done, but also about some of the things not yet explained, that leaves kids with room to wonder, explore, and come up with their own ideas. THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON STEREOTYPES definitely fits in this category. In many ways, so does BETTER CONNECTED . kc: Okay, let’s finish up with a bonus question for both of you. What’s it like to write with a collaborator? Does that change at all when the writer is your mother? JK: I usually HATE group projects, but somehow I loved this one — we didn’t even fight! My mom and I work very differently. She works in the mornings on Word, while I work at night on Google Docs. Collaborating definitely took a lot of communication and planning, and she had to edit my grammar countless times. However, I think we were able to bring our perspectives together in our book and I’m super happy with how it turned out! TLK: Agreed! It was a pretty amazing project to work on together. kc: That seems like a perfect note to end on, doesn’t it? And now, readers, if you’d like a peek at this amazing collaboration, you can pre-order a copy of BETTER CONNECTED by clicking on the title, since it won’t be out until May. Or, you can send me an email [firstname.lastname@example.org] for a chance to win one of two copies. Add the subject line: ‘I’d like to be Better Connected’, and your name will go into the draw. Good luck! And thanks again, Julia and Tanya, for joining us today!
In June, I’ll be Zooming with the writers of the Royal City Literary Arts Society, taking about taking research on the road — where to go, how to pack and what happens when there is a pandemic! This one is open to non-members, so feel free to pop in for a visit. See you in June, writing Royal Citizens!
To finish, here are a few fresh recommendations for those important times when you need to give your brain a break. Enjoy! reading: I am revelling in a romp through Jasper Fforde’s EARLY RISER at the moment. It’s a classic Fforde stand-alone, surreal and funny and complicated, and I love how I can hear his voice in my head as I read it. Makes me want to go back and start again with Thursday Next. RECOMMEND! listening: I've been on a Catherine Steadman kick lately and for GOOD reason. Catherine is an actress -- you might recognize her from Downtown Abbey, among other roles. She also writes a mean thriller AND narrates her own audiobooks. Triple threat! This month I’ve listened to MR. NOBODY, SOMETHING IN THE WATER, and THE DISAPPEARING ACT. They are all stand-alone’s so you can read in any order. RECOMMEND! watching: I’ve just started David Tennent’s EIGHTY DAYS AROUND THE WORLD, a streaming remake of Jules Verne’s story, with a few welcome upgrades. It’s a perfect watch before reading EIGHTY DAYS TO ELSEWHERE [which, by the by, is an Amazon Editor’s Pick novel, AND is massively on sale right now]. RECOMMEND! what about you? What do you love? If you send me your recommendations, I promise to share! Find something good? You can reach me by pressing the contact button, below.
And, as always, thanks for reading, and for sharing your time with me today.