Writing

How To Cook A Book

This failsafe recipe will transform your bottom drawer of manuscript pages into a tasty treat for readers everywhere. Meatier than paleo, the steps below will spice up your journey from secret writer to successful author. Think of it as your breakfast of champions. A power lunch. Your new favourite weeknight dinner. . .obsession * This article is published by Open Book during my November 2022 writer-in-residence appointment. To read it, please visit Open Book.

Characters That Capture The Imagination

I visited the wonderous Borghese Gallery and gardens in Rome this summer for the first time. Originally a powerful merchant family from Sienna, the Borgheses moved to Rome in the 16th century. Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew to Pope Paul V (reign 1605–1621), built this breathtakingly grand palazzo in an effort to expand the family’s influence and telegraph their wealth at a time when art was at the very centre of power, government, and civic life. *This article is published by Open Book […]

The Writing Life

It’s late October and I’m writing this on a cold, rainy day after learning my friend, the writer Sylvia Fraser, has passed away. Such profoundly sad news. Sylvia was three decades older than me and more alive than almost anyone I knew. She backpacked alone around India for three months in her sixties. She took ayahuasca (a plant-based psychedelic) in the Amazonian jungle. She demonstrated on the front lines for animal rights.  *This article is published by Open Book during […]

My house burned down, I contracted Covid, and I moved to the country—all in the past six months

Published September 22, 2021 via Toronto Life. In late 2015, I bought a house at Yonge and Summerhill, just down the street from my partner, Michael. I fell in love with the village pocket of small streets and independent shops. At the end of my street are graffiti-strewn stone steps that descend into the Vale of Avoca ravine—a glorious urban forest with paths winding around Yellow Creek that fill with families and dog owners every […]

Shiver Me Timbers: A Little Murder with My Fall

Published September 7, 2021: 49thShelf.com “Is there anything more delicious than a chill up the spine as nights grow longer and shadows lurk?” Helen Walsh’s debut novel Pull Focus—a feminist thriller set behind the scenes at an international film festival—publishes September 7 in North America and October 7 in the UK.   Autumn’s long shadows cut across the darkening sky. A director frames a close-up shot of a woman in an armchair clutching a book, legs curled […]

10 Crime Novels About the Cutthroat Business of Culture

Go behind the scenes in these tales of love, murder and revenge among the glitterati.  Published September 7, 2021 via crimereads.com The film industry has long provided a grisly backdrop for authors. A world of rags-to-riches and sudden reversals; glamour and seediness; eccentricity and charm—cinema and its players are perfect fodder for the criminally inclined. And it’s not just Hollywood. Around the globe writers have killed, maimed, kidnapped, or ransomed with abandon the glitterati and […]

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