Posted by: jockmackenzie | March 29, 2016


Marty Chan

READER OF THE DAY #64 Marty Chan

I can’t remember when I first had the pleasure of meeting Marty but it’s been interesting and fun for some time. He spoke to the Writers’ Ink group at the annual Spring Workshop, and has presented at our local teachers’ convention. I had the honour of interviewing him when I wrote an article (The Relentless Reinventions of Marty Chan, Volume 32, Number 3, May/June 2012 ) for the Writers’ Guild of Alberta’s WestWord magazine.

Marty’s website is worth a visit. Here’s link to his “About” page

As a writer, his views on reading are these:

As an author, I have the excellent excuse that I need to read for work. I often pick up non-fiction books to help me research a subject. For example, I have three shelves bursting with books about New York history because I was working on a steampunk fantasy novel set in 1890s New York. I’ve also devoted a bookcase to books by authors I have met, and nothing makes a book come to life better than meeting the person who wrote it and hearing their voice in person. If you ever get a chance to go to a book signing or public reading, go out and meet authors. It’s a great way to get insight into the origins behind their books.

When I’m reading for fun, I let my mood dictate the next book I pluck off the shelf. Sometimes, I feel like reading a mystery. Other times, I’ll feel like reading a biography about a celebrity. I just picked up Karen Bass’ The Hill, a YA thriller set in Alberta, and I can’t wait to read it. I just finished reading the magnificent novel, We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen. Both writers are Canadian, and I encourage everyone to find a book by a Canadian author and give it a read. You’d be amazed at the talent we have within our borders (and they’re still living).”

Wikipedia has this to say about steampunk novels:

Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction and sometimes fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. Although its literary origins are sometimes associated with the cyberpunk genre, steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or American “Wild West”, in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has maintained mainstream usage, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power.

Infinity Coil

Here’s a bit about Karen Bass’ The Hill:


Jared’s plane has crashed in the Alberta wilderness, and Kyle is first on the scene. When Jared insists on hiking up the highest hill in search of cell phone reception, Kyle hesitates; his Cree grandmother has always forbidden him to go near it. There’s no stopping Jared, though, so Kyle reluctantly follows. After a night spent on the hilltop―with no cell service―the teens discover something odd: the plane has disappeared. Nothing in the forest surrounding them seems right. In fact, things seem very wrong. And worst of all, something is hunting them. Karen Bass, the multi-award-winning author of Graffiti Knight and Uncertain Soldier, brings her signature action packed style to a chilling new subject: the Cree Wîhtiko legend. Inspired by the real story of a remote plane crash and by the legends of her Cree friends and neighbours, Karen brings eerie life―or perhaps something other than life―to the northern Alberta landscape in The Hill.



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