Marsha Skrypuch tagged me to answer a few questions about the project I’m working on right now which is difficult as I’m working on rewrites for three different books. One is called What the Dog Says, and it’s almost

ready to go to my favourite Norwegian publisher.

My one+ sentence synopsis is that it’s about a 13 year old girl who after drowning meets her dog at the gates of heaven and together they receive a one week do over. Their goal is to cheat fate and fate does not like to be cheated!

Another is Revenge on the Fly, a historical novel that I dusted off after hearing Christopher Moore speak at Packaging Your Imagination. I’m passionate about this story (Chris instructed us to write about a time in history that inspires us) and have a very positive outside reader’s report to edit from as one publishing house almost bought it. It about a 12 year old boy who immigrates to Hamilton, Ontario from England and participates in a fly killing competition in order to avenge his mom and sister’s death. The local health officer told him that flies carry and spread the germs for all the diseases

The project I really should talk about it Dying to Go Viral. That’s the actual title to come out this spring with Fitzhenry Whiteside.

It’s about a 14 year old girl named Jade who skateboards without a helmet as she hitches to a car. She tumbles under, dies and at a garden gate to heaven meets her mother. Jade watches her funeral from the garden and begs to go back to help her brother and dad get closer so that they can survive this huge grief. Her mom gets her a one week do over during which Jade signs up Dad to an online dating agency as well as negotiates for her brother to skip university and stay at home to help him at Dad’s design business. Jade also learns to experience life to the fullest. How can she give it all up when she’s finally fallen in love?

Oh man, that was so not one sentence.

The idea came to me after reading about a local skateboarding accident that put a boy in a coma when he “skitched” in a performance for youtube. (The other drowning story was inspired by a 14 year old girl who jumped off a dock in Burlington and drowned. She didn’t know how to swim.)

I guess you would call it an urban or realistic contemporary fantasy. What the Dog Says falls under the same non classification.

Who would play the main characters? Selene Gomez. Justin Bieber could play the part of her best friend turned best boyfriend.

How long have I been working on this? A year and now I’m approaching another rewrite.

What inspired me to write the story? I’m fascinated with what happens after death but have decided it must be different for each person. Everybody meets a different dead person to guide them along the way and everyone’s heaven will be unique according to what they like right here on earth.

What else can I say to pique your interest? I think by reading about Jade’s death you’ll appreciate life. Plus you’ll never skateboard without a helmet or attach yourself to a car when you do it.





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