Book Club



And I’m off to the Frith!

On Monday (October 22) I’ll be on my way to Kilmory Resort in Swift Current, Newfoundland to attend the Piper’s Frith Writer’s Workshop.

You may have noticed that I haven’t been blogging much lately – well, it’s because I’ve been preparing for this workshop.  I’ve never been to anything like this before so I’m equal parts excited and nervous as to what will happen.  I must admit, I’ve always wondered what goes on during these types of things.  Turns out, it’s a pretty packed schedule – group meetings, private sessions with mentors, readings and of course blocks of time for writing/revising.

The faculty at this year’s event includes Don McKay (poetry), Michael Crummey (fiction) and Lisa Moore (fiction and creative nonfiction).  I’ve been assigned to Lisa Moore’s group and have already sent a sample of my work for her, and the other people in my group, to review.

The Frith also provides participants with an opportunity to read from our work.  I think I’ll give this a go – great practice for my (eventual) book launch.  There’s always the risk that a heckler will tell me I suck, or that a giant hook will yank me off the stage or, worst of all, the audience will yawn.

These are the types of things that would have sent me into a worried frenzy when I was twenty.  At 42, it doesn’t bother me so much.  After all, even if the readings go poorly, I still get a week in a resort.

I probably won’t have time to blog next week, but I will send a few tweets as time permits.  You can follow me @valerie_francis (or click the twitter follow button to the right of this post).

I’ll leave you with a short clip from Michael Crummey discussing our “bizarre profession” and the “unnatural process” of writing a novel.

Wish me luck!


Valerie Francis

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Well, you’re not going to believe this. Reece Witherspoon and I picked the same book for our February book clubs. Sort of.  Late last year, I came across THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE by Marie Benedict and was fascinated by the premise. Benedict writes historical fiction, much like Philippa Gregory,

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Valerie Francis

A Girl Named Howard

This month, rather than recommend one book to read, I’m recommending the entire body of work of one author because Anne Rice, who passed away December 11, 2021, single-handedly revolutionized the role of vampires in literature.  Yes, vampires.  And the impact she’s had is more significant than you might realize.

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Valerie Francis

The Christmas Bookshop

If you’ve had it up to your eyes with holiday preparations and are looking for a light-hearted story to escape into, The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan, might be just the ticket. The title is a bit misleading, in my opinion. Yes, there’s a bookstore. Yes, the plot unfolds in

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