Author. Editor. Podcaster
As a bona fide story nerd, I believe that craft reigns supreme. Readers want great stories, and writers who can deliver them will have careers that last.
I like the way Robert McKee put it: there are two types of talent, literary and story. While writers need both, one does not flow from the other. Literary talent is the ability to use words to create powerful and beautiful images. Story talent is the ability to convert life itself into a form that moves and changes the audience. Literary talent is relatively common. Story talent is rare.
The goal for storytellers is to leverage their talent by learning the craft. Whereas screenwriters learn their craft at film school, novelists tend to not study the craft at all. Few study creative writing at the post-secondary level, and those that do, are taught to develop literary talent.
The typical writer works on instinct.
In the current indie author community, writers are scrambling to develop a backlist so they can leverage the Amazon algorithms to get more page reads and be discovered through also-boughts.
But what would happen if authors mastered their craft and designed their novels in such a way that kept readers turning pages? That made them talk about the book to their friends? That led them to search for the author by name on Amazon. I believe that when novelists master their craft, readers do just that. My goal then, is to master my craft and help fellow authors do the same.
I’ve published across genre in both fiction and nonfiction.
- My nonfiction articles about the craft can be found on the Story Grid website in the Fundamental Fridays blog and the Story Grid Editor Roundtable Podcast show notes. I also speak about the craft every week on the Story Nerd Podcast.
- Work in Progress – Immortal (vampire thriller)
- 2021 – Masquerade, a novel in 12 parts (paperback and hardback) (women’s fiction)
- 2016 – Masquerade, a novel in 12 parts (digital) (women’s fiction)
- 2015 – Crossing the Rubicon, Nature Knights Book 1 (middle grade, fantasy fiction)
- 2015 – Defiant, Nature Knights Prequel (middle grade, fantasy fiction)
- Additional publications and appearances can be found under the Appearances tab.
Education and Experience:
Like most authors, I’ve been writing my entire life. I finished my first book when I was 7 years old and after graduating with an Honours degree in English Language and Literature from Memorial University of Newfoundland (and winning the University Medal for Academic Excellence), I spent 20 years working in shadow careers like journalism and public relations in both the private and public sectors.
I’ve been studying story every day since May, 2017 (yes, every single day) and have shared what I’ve learned on the Story Grid Editor Roundtable Podcast, and more recently, the Story Nerd Podcast.
I’ve invested tens of thousands of dollars, and hours, in my pursuit of mastering storytelling fundamentals. But it’s not enough to understand the theory. As writers, we also have to be able to apply it to our work, otherwise it’s useless. So, when I say “mastering storytelling fundamentals” I mean understanding the theory but also understanding how to apply it to my work.
Since May, 2017 I’ve studied directly with Robert McKee (I’ve flown to NYC and LA to take every one of his seminars in person – I pelted him with questions and he was very patient), Shawn Coyne (I’ve flown to NYC and Nashville to take his seminars), and Alec Sokolow (mercifully, he taught me online – equally patient with my questions). I’ve also taken courses from Lisa Cron, Tiffany Yates Martin and Jane Friedman. I’ve studied every one of the story-related workshops on Masterclass and BBC Maestro, and I have far too many story theory books to count.
Based on the island of Newfoundland off the east coast of Canada, I was the first Story Grid Editor to be certified outside of the United States. It’s a ruggedly beautiful spot here in the North Atlantic and, fun fact, my hometown of St. John’s is the oldest city in North America.
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