WELCOME TO AK WHITE'S BLOG!
BOOK LAUNCH PARTY MARCH 23RD, 2014
"NO REASON TO STAY"
March 27, 2018
Is it just me or is time flying by? I recently heard a song on the country station (I know, right?) titled Dear Life by High Valley. The lyrics hit me with their accuracy: "Now you're flying by too fast, I'm about to make you last, I'm begging you, please slow down." That's about the truth of it for me ever since the conference in the fall. I remember my mother telling me when I was a kid that life would speed up as I got older. I didn't really know what she meant at the time- it always seemed an eternity until it was time to go back to school. How could a summer last so long? But now I sure get it! I'm trying to find ways to slow time down, to stop losing hours, days, weeks. I carve out time to just sit and breathe, to listen to the birds, to stand in a windstorm and feel the power. I imagine what I'd do with the day if it were my last - would I do things differently? Would I rush, and complain, and want for things I don't really need? Would I worry and fret over things I cannot change? Would I be angry or sad or mean? Or would I embrace the day with eagerness, happy to be experiencing all the trials and tribulations we all face in any average day? The clock still ticks off its 24 hours, but it feels like I've gained an extra hour or two just by slowing down and paying attention. As the song says, "You're scaring me to death, I'm trying to catch my breath, Don't wanna let you go, I'm hanging on for dear life." I imagine there's no need to go about life feeling this frantic. It's time to ease up on the gas peddle and roll down the window. Can't you just smell spring in the air?
October 23, 2017
An astonishing thing happened to me on the weekend: I went to my first writer's conference - the famed Surrey International Writer's Conference (SiWC) - and fell in love with the whole idea. What on earth could be better than talking about books for three days? What could be better than meeting Diana Gabaldon, Anne Perry, Jack Whyte, Hallie Ephron, Susana Kearsley, and all the other authors attending the event? I also met many wonderful people, all at some stage of crafting their novels or stories, and I'd like to say thanks to Corinne, Matt, and Laura for making my time at SiWC an absolute joy. You can bet I'll be there again next year!
May 17, 2017
We were lucky enough to get tickets to the Vancouver Joshua Tree kick-off concert for U2 last Friday. The stadium filled to capacity, fans screamed and cried, and Bono, leading the band through song after song, wowed the crowd. I couldn't help but think about what it must feel like to have that amount of 'pull' with so many people. What a sense of power you must feel, of responsibility. I think about the words of their songs, the impact they have on people's lives. I imagine they must feel honoured to have such devoted fans, fans who know their songs as well as they know them (poor Bono flubbed the words a few times, but the audience was able to help him out). Isn't it amazing how a few words strung together in just the right way can cause such emotional response?
"I want to run, I want to hide, I want to tear down the walls that hold me inside." Wow. We saw them 30 years ago, in a crush just as big as Friday's, and they still have 'it', that magnetism, that way with words, that sound, that voice. Rock on!
February 27, 2017
You may have thought I disappeared from the face of the earth, going by my infrequent blogging. I have been more active on my Goodreads blog, but had not meant to abandon this one for as long as I have. I laughed when I read my Nov. 4/15 post about letting The Reassurance of Uncertainty go, because I'm still editing it. I did a massive edit which took 5 months, but I'm much happier with the outcome now. I have also been working a number of short stories which have been a treat to write.
It's been a long, cold winter here on the west coast and I've been reading a more than ever. There's nothing better than curling up with a cat (either one will do) and a good novel. Right now I'm reading Crooked Heart which I bought because of its gorgeous cover art. Won't you share what you've been reading? I'd love some recommendations.
Earlier in the month, I flew up to Nelson, BC to visit my parents (my dad has been ill and I hadn't seen them since September) via the Castlegar airport. It is tricky to land in the mountains in the winter and my flight was delayed not once but twice. While I killed seven hours at the airport, I met a very interesting young lady who'd been on the same delayed flight as I was. We struck up a conversation as stranded travelers tend to do, and ended up having lunch together. It turns out she's a very accomplished makeup artist who works from home while raising two young children. She has over a million followers on her YouTube channel where she posts video clips about hair, makeup, and products. In one year, she developed Krystal Clear Makeup using Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook, and all the while was a stay at home mom. I was so impressed by this personable young woman. She shared with me her struggle with depression after the birth of her second child, how her husband had helped her to find out what she was passionate about and then pursue it. And man, did she! She's a one woman show, doing all her own hair, makeup, lighting, photography, and staging. Her results are astonishingly good. So here's to all the people in the world just like Krystal, who find their passion, who pursue it even when things are difficult, and who come out winning in the end. It is unlikely I'll ever see her again, but her story, her unwillingness to be held back or tripped up by obstacles, will stay with me and inspire me when I'm feeling low or defeated.
January 5, 2016
For the past year or more I've been blogging onGoodreads.com and I invite you to join Goodreads to follow along. You may be interested in following all of your favourite authors on that site, or perhaps you'll be inspired to leave a review of No Reason To Stay or any other books you are currently reading.
November 4, 2015
I'd like to announce the release of Rachel Albang's e-Book on Amazon. This is part one of several (six) books to be released and Rachel is busily working on the release of part two. Congratulations, Rachel, on a job well done!
I've finished work on The Reassurance of Uncertainty, but I seem unable to let it go! Soon I will send it off to see if anyone is interested in publishing it. In the meantime, I have started working on my third novel, working title - What We So Desire, which is a story inspired by my love of dance. It is coming along slowly as ideas percolate and make their way to paper. With the nights drawing in early, it should be easier to sit down to the computer and get things rolling with Eve, her overbearing and unsuportive family, and the fractured road leading towards her dream.
As some of you may know, fall is my favourite season. I love the crispness of the air with its scent of decaying matter, the pure blue of the open midday sky, the crunch and scatter of leaves beneath my feet. I love the dense fur my cats grow for their winter coats (the ink-black of one and the burnt-orange of the other...my Halloween cats), and the fuzzy gray velvet on the muzzle of my horse. It is a time when Earth's colours are rich and exaggerated; when my spirits lift just from witnessing the bright array - the gold, the auburn. How can I be anything other than jubilant in such a season? How can I feel anything other than gratitude?
July 29, 2015
I recently had the good fortune to meet a lovely young woman by the name of Rachel Albang at an indie publishing seminar. Rachel is a singer/songwriter who is also launching the first of several books on stretching your hard earned dollar. Please check out her site at: artofdollarstretching.c0m She not only has a sense of humour, she also has an eye on social justice and environmental awareness that shows up in her lyrics, her blog, and her books. I'll keep you posted when she releases her first book. Have a listen to some of her songs on soundcloud.com. I like "Beautiful" and "Right Now"; uplifting and joyful, showcasing her talents.
June 10, 2015
Hello all you readers out there! I've been neglectful of my blog mostly because I've been busy with the manuscript and I have been organizing a new group for local authors. The group is small, but we meet once a month and help each other, plus we share short stories we're working on. It's fun to get away from editing for a bit and spend time playing with words just for the heck of it. Thanks to the beta readers who have been helping me with the manuscript; so far, I've had very helpful feedback from everyone.
March 16, 2015
Please visit me at the Brighouse Library in Richmond on April 4th from 2:30-4:30! I will be selling and signing books in the lobby at the Community Table Event.
I've been very busy polishing the manuscript for my second novel, "The Reassurance of Uncertainty", and have had little time for blogging. I've also been reading a ton...I'm on book five of Alan Bradley's charming Flavia de Luce series and I just finished my first (but definitely not last) Elizabeth Berg novel, "The Tapestry of Fortunes" which I thoroughly enjoyed.
January 9, 2015
Happy New Year to you all! The holiday season came and went with such speed, it's hard to believe it actually happened at all.
Here we are, the First Anniversary of the publication of "No Reason To Stay". It has been such a thrill to have the novel available; to
have people reading it and giving me their feedback. Just yesterday I received a card from a reader in Pennsylvania who had enjoyed the
book over the holiday season. I had taken a break (mostly because my horse has not been well and needs constant attention) from writing for the last few weeks, but I feel myself itching to get back to my current project. It is a novella in the early stages of development that seems to be more on the sci-fi side of fiction than I normally find myself. That said, this little gem has been calling to me for over a year, so off I go to see where it leads me. I can tell you there are elements of building relationships and animal communications in the story; the rest I've yet to discover!
I wish you all a year ahead that offers you all the good stuff of life: love, joy, happiness, & excellent health.
November 16, 2014
Here I am again, at long last. I've finished my second novel and am pleased to be getting it out to a few readers.
I'll be reading from "No Reason To Stay" at Village Books and Coffee House on November 28th, Friday @ 7pm.
Bring your friends and come on down! Sandi Bezanson-Chan, Angelica Poversky, and Lyle Hendriks will be joining me
for the evening to present from their work as well. Sandi writes wonderful non-fiction short stories; Angelica and Lyle
are spoken word poets, and they have a tendency to blow your socks off! Please come early to browse the store and grab a latte or a snack.
September 29, 2014
I wish to thank best-selling author Daniel Kalla and spoken word poet Angelica Poversky for sharing the Culture Days BC event with me on Sunday at Richmond Public Library. It was a thrill for me to meet both of you; I admire your ability to speak with such unique voices.
Having finished And the Mountains Echoed, I was compelled to read A Thousand Splendid Suns, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Hosseini writes with vivid clarity and has the ability to spot-light the human condition without condemning or judging. I am now waiting to get my hands on The Kite Runner. Might as well make it a Hosseini hat-trick! (FYI, that is my first and last hockey reference!)
I wish I could say I've been busy working on my new novel, but since last I blogged, my progress has been slow, due to family commitments and a trip to Edmonton. I'm back on track now, though, and plan to make a big push on it these next two weeks; I have a goal set for completion in November. It's really a matter of balancing horse, home, husband (oh, and work...can't forget about the day job!)
Recently, I have received several compliments on No Reason To Stay. One reader said she had connected with the protagonist so completely she felt as if it was her life story. Another gentleman told me although he does not generally read fiction, he was taken on an emotional journey by No Reason To Stay and now he can't wait for me to finish my next novel. These kinds of compliments mean more to me than general ego boosters (which of course they are). What they mean is this: I'm writing from my heart, out into a universe which may or may not understand, care, or connect with my ideas, my characters, my philosophies. When a reader tells me they are touched in some way by what I have written, it acts as a confirmation of everything I was hoping to achieve. So thank you Sheera, Chad, and Laura for making my day. Your comments make me want to keep writing - even when there's not enough time, even when I hit a block, even when I feel like I'm nuts to be trying to do this thing...this writing of novels. Your comments inspire me to carry on and I thank you for that.
September 4, 2014
What a lovely trip I had - over to the Kootenays to visit with friends and family. While I was there, I stopped in at the Nelson Public Library and had a great conversation with author and librarian Anne DeGrace. She was full of encouragement and will soon have a copy of No Reason To Stay on the shelf for those of you who frequent the NPL. It was my pleasure to spend a few minutes with this award winning author and to soak up some of her tips. Thank you, Anne.
I have been making my way through And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (published in 2013). Attracted to the title (as oft I am) I couldn't help but pick it up. I've thoroughly enjoyed it, and although I'm not done yet, I can already recommend it as a very absorbing read.
August 27, 2014
Argh! I can't believe it's been more than a month since I had time to blog. I guess I could blame it on the fact that I've been working diligently on my current novel and have been making real progress with it. I'm at 53,000 words now, and the characters are once again becoming my friends, my children. I don't have an ending yet, but that does not concern me; it will be there when I need it.
I'm off to the West Kootenays for a brief holiday and will be roaming some of the same areas that Alexi did in No Reason To Stay. Now, when I go there, I'm not only visiting my childhood stomping ground, but also that of Alexi. I know she will be with me on this short trip, and I am happy to have her come along with me.
Congratulations to the two winners of the Goodreads Giveaway: Sharon, in Victoria, B.C. and to the lucky winner in New South Wales!
You can now find No Reason To Stay on the shelves of 32 Books & Gallery in Edgemont Village in North Vancouver. Deb, Kelsey, and the rest of the staff at this cozy, independent, book retailer will help you find a great read for the summer.
July 14, 2014
I must admit to being very excited about my up coming reading at the Richmond Public Library on September 28th. I will read from my novel as will Robert Friedland and Daniel Kalla, and poet Angelica Poversky will present her poems. The event is in celebration of Culture Days BC and I couldn't be more thrilled to be participating with this group of dynamic artists. Watch for posters around Richmond; RPL does a great job promoting their events. I'd love to see you there; bring your friends and family - the more the merrier. Books will be available for sale & signing after the reading.
Happy 1st Anniversary to Y's Books on Main! You guys rock -- thanks for offering a shelf for local authors.
Don't forget to enter to win a copy of No Reason To Stay on Goodreads -- giveaway is on August 1st.
June 2, 2014
Congratulations to Jessica of Indianapolis, Indiana for winning a signed copy of "No Reason To Stay." With 869 entries, I've decided to run the giveaway with Goodreads.com again. This round there will be two copies and a draw date of August 1, 2014. Enter to win a copy of your own; I'd be happy to autograph it for you. To enter, go to www.goodreads.com --giveaways--enter AK White, then fill in details.
I want to tell you all about a wonderful book I've just read: "The Sweetness At the Bottom of the Pie" by Allen Bradley. It's a must-read for anyone who likes well-told stories, excellent characters, interesting locations, and a bit of the mysterious thrown in to boot. I've got the next book in the Flavia de Luce series and can't wait to get started. Try it out; you'll love it.
I'LL BE AT THE STEVESTON CAR BOOT SALE ON SUNDAY, JUNE 16TH FROM 9-4PM SELLING "NO REASON TO STAY". PRAY FOR GOOD WEATHER AND SEE YOU THERE!
May 11 2014 Happy Mother's Day, all you mothers in the world!
May 5, 2014
Thank you to those intrepid adventuring souls who came out in the torrential rain to my reading & signing event yesterday at Y's Books on Main Street! What an intimate afternoon it was...the sound of the pouring rain on the quiet streets keeping our small group company for a few hours. Thank you Pam & David & Shmi for hosting me.
A special shout out to Sara...HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SISTER!
April 14, 2014
I am pleased to announce that Hager Books in Kerrisdale is now selling copies of "No Reason To Stay". Drop by and say hello to Andrea and the team. This is a great little store with a wonderful selection of books; it's well worth your time to stop in to browse.
Oh, sweet cherry tree-
How lovely your blossoms are!
Spring brings joy to life.
April 1, 2014
I've been playing with Haiku these last few days (inspired, no doubt, by the book I'm reading by John Shors, "Beside A Burning Sea"). It is such an interesting form of poetry; I remember trying it out in high school and not liking it much, but now, I'm intrigued. You'll recall that Haiku comes from Japan and has 3 lines: the first has 5 syllables, the second line has 7 syllables, and the third has 5. The first two lines have a common, shared thought and the third line is a separate, juxtaposition image or idea. There is traditionally a reference to nature and the season in these short poems.
I'll share with you the couple I've been playing with. What do you think???
Trumpeter wings beat
against a bruised April sky -
Knowing the unknown
A weeping grey sky
descends on my umbrella -
Bright daffodils dance
Why don't you share your thoughts with me via my email on the Contact Me page?If you have also been playing with Haiku, I'd love to read your offerings.
March 24, 2014
What a party it was last night! Thank you all for coming to the launch party and showing your support for No Reason To Stay. It was such a special evening for me - an evening filled with remarkable friends and cherished moments. Thank you, thank you, thank you to Ron and Angela for hosting the party at Village Books and Coffee House in Steveston and thanks to Richmond Review for their words about the novel in the paper last week.
I can only hope that you will feel, after reading the novel, the way my editor Renee Layberry did when she noted, "I felt enriched for having experienced it." What more could an author dream of than to enrich the lives of others who have read their book? For me, it feels like a triumph; to not only have written the novel for my own satisfaction but for it to also be rewarding for the reader is like achieving the ultimate goal.
I feel certain I won't forget anything about this evening for years to come and that is all due to you, my friends, who made the evening possible. Thank you :)
March 10, 2014
I'll be signing books atY's Books at 4307 Main Street, Vancouver on SUNDAY MAY 4TH from 2pm-4pm. Thanks to Pam and David for hosting me! Come by and say hello - I love nothing better than to chat with readers about "No Reason To Stay" (or anything else you'd like to talk about).
I've entered the novel for a Giveaway Contest on Goodreads.com so if you're feeling lucky, go ahead and enter the contest - who knows - you might be the winner.
February 25, 2014
My Book Launch Party will be on Sunday March 23/14 from 5:30 - 7 pm at Village Books & Coffee House in Steveston. You will be receiving your invitation shortly. Village Books is located in Steveston at #130-12031 First Avenue and their number is 604 272 6601. Ron and Angela Hill are the owners of this great little bookstore in the heart of Steveston; you won't want to miss meeting them.
Here's the plan for the evening:
5:30pm Join me for tea, coffee, and pastries while you mix, mingle, and browse
6:00pm Anecdotes - the secrets behind the writing of No Reason To Stay
6:15pm Q & A
6:30pm Reading -three selections from the novel starting with the poem Hope
7:00pm Stick around for the door prize draws!
I'd like to thank both Village Books and Y's Books on Main Street in Vancouver for carrying my book. It is also available at the Richmond Public Library, and of course, via Friesen Press, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble (on the Contact Me page 0f site).
February 14, 2014
Happy Valentine's Day, all you lovers in the world. What a perfect day to sit down with the one you love the most to read No Reason To Stay, a story that above all, explores the nature of love in all its complexities - in all its fragility and all its strength.
January 27, 2014
So much has been happening with the book it's been a challenge finding the time to do anything, much less write! Still, I guess that's what it's all about - learning to balance everything and using time wisely, which I'm not famous for. I can digress for long periods of time at a moments notice (especially when the cats or the horse are involved). Outside Perfect is rumbling around in my head, becoming more defined as the days pass. Even though I may not put pen to paper for days on end, I am constantly mulling over characters, plots, and scenes. This way, when I do have a few minutes to write, it's all there, ready to go in almost fully formed segments. This system works well for me because I commute two hours a day and I can utilize this time in the car for contemplating.
January 16, 2014
A shout out to Richmond Writes Out Loud for encouraging writers to share their works. Open to anyone who loves to write and wishes to share their work...poetry, prose, short story, or novels...please contact me for details.
I'll be posting details about the Book Launch Party soon, so watch for the date on my Welcome page.
Thanks to everyone who has been supportive over the past months as this novel came together.
January 5, 2014 Welcome, New Year! I'm trying to find time to read "Beside the Burning Sea" by John Shors. Lovely cover & design.
December 19, 2013
I awoke to the sound of the alarm clock this morning and promptly turned over and fell back to sleep. Half an hour later, Chimoo (the orange tabby) came to the bedside and gently meowed. Glancing at the clock I shriek in dismay and leap from bed. Peaking out the window, I see a tangerine sunrise has set the sky awash with colour. I pat Chi and thank him for being such an observant soul; he likes a precise schedule and does not like delays. Later, as I rush out the door, I grab a CD to play on my drive to work. Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov catches my eye. Perfect: a gorgeous mix of bombastic moments favoured by the Russian composers and the heart-peircing sweetness of strings and woodwinds. Not a bad way to start the day after all.
December 15, 2013
I'm finding myself with little time to write these past two weeks, and miss the fun of working with words. I plan to make a big push on
Outside Perfect over the holidays. In the meantime, all my Christmas shopping is done, the cards are mailed, and there was just enough time left over to play with the cats.
December 2, 2013
I was privileged this morning to witness hundreds of Snow Geese flying low overhead, their white bodies stark against the dark, stormy sky. The sound of their voices filled the air with excitement and I thought to myself, what a glorious day to be alive.
November 27, 2013
I have an update on the publishing 0f No Reason To Stay: it should be available early January! Thank you all for being patient while waiting for your copy of the novel. I promise you, it will be worth the wait.
In the meantime, here's a poem I wrote:
The wise crow knows
I am a child of the fall.
Copper and brass, gusty wind blows.
Vivid, cloudless skies watch shivering, naked trees stand tall.
Hope, sweet and eager, does rise,
From rust-soaked vistas to shining eyes.
Here to forever my beating hear goes;
Something the old crow already knows.
November 26, 2013
Welcome friends! I am pleased that you have found my website and my blog. I would be delighted to hear from you; please use the Contact Me page to send an e-mail. I will respond promptly.
I recently attended a book launch party hosted by Roberta Rich in celebration of the publication of her second novel, The Harem Midwife. The party was a lively, well attended affair that proves once again that people still love to read which is a good news for me because I love to write. I am presently working on another novel and have several other ideas lurking in the wings. My mind is a constant whirl of ideas; the challenge is finding the time to sit and write my musings down.