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Guest Author Interview on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

I’m honoured and thrilled to announce that I was asked to do an interview with author Cheryl Holloway on her blog. Please take a moment to read the interview. The link to it follows:

Guest Author Interview – Val Tobin

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Val Tobin. She writes stories worth losing sleep over by drawing on her master’s degree in parapsychology. Welcome to my blog, Val.

CH: How did you come up with the premise for this psychic/ghost thriller?

VT: Earthbound is a prequel to The Experiencers, book one of the Valiant Chronicles. Ever since I wrote about Michael Valiant, I wanted to know more about his previous victims and what led up to the events that occur in The Experiencers and A Ring of Truth. I decided to tell the story of one of the unjustly murdered, and to do it from the spirit world. This way, I could explore philosophical and theological themes. I’ve always wondered, if spirits exist, why don’t all murder victims try to expose their killers? What would cause them to let it go? What higher purpose might there be to events? What is fate and how does it fit in with free will?

Most of these questions don’t have answers, but fiction is a great conduit for exploring such ideas….

Read more on Cheryl’s site.

Thank you for reading!

Mom’s Favorite Reads 2019 Spring Catalogue

Spring2019CatalogueMom’s Favorite Reads has released the spring catalogue for 2019 and I’m honoured to report that my books are included.  Download and browse the catalogue to find your next favourite author. Explore a new or beloved genre.

Grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine and curl up with the catalogue now. It features 105 pages, 30 categories, and 637 books, plus big-name authors and #1 bestsellers. Truly, there is something in Mom’s catalog for everyone.

Read #FREE and discover a new favourite author today.

Dragon Tattoo Series Hijacked

The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz

The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz

I loved the Dragon Tattoo series of books. I was sorry to hear author Stieg Larsson died suddenly of a heart attack and wouldn’t write more.

But an author’s death doesn’t matter anymore, and here we are with a new book in the series written by someone else (obviously).

The Girl in the Spider’s Web will be released on Tuesday in North America.

The New York Times wrote an excellent piece on the new novel and its author. It includes interviews with those involved in the project as well as Larsson’s longtime partner, who had no say in what happened. For the record, she’s against it.

I’m ranting here myself, because, as a reader, I hate when a publisher does this. No one else can know what the author intended. Maybe the author was done with those characters and their stories. Even if he wasn’t finished with them, we can’t know where he would have taken their lives.

In the NYT article it says “In the newest novel, Camilla takes over her father’s criminal empire and modernizes it, becoming Lisbeth’s ‘evil twin’ foe.”

Evil twin. Oh, balls.

As a writer, I wouldn’t want someone else hijacking my stories after my death.

When the publisher or estate hire someone else to continue the series, it’s an obvious money grab. It’s bankrolled fan fiction. In my mind, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is the last book in the Millennium series.

Punish predators, not their potential prey

photo courtesy of flickr - by tambako https://www.flickr.com/photos/tambako/4304497784/

photo courtesy of flickr – by tambako https://www.flickr.com/photos/tambako/4304497784/

Until last week, I’d never heard of Jian Ghomeshi. But when the story that he abused women broke, I followed it and the subsequent updates, hoping the allegations weren’t true, though, sadly, I suspected they were. I wanted to see how it played out, because, as a woman, a mother, and a grandmother, I hoped justice would be served. For the first time, due to social media, we’re seeing the whole sordid thing play out from accusation to, well, wherever it goes.

It also, coincidentally, echoes some events in the novel on which I’m working. So there was that life imitating art thing, too, though I conceived the idea for the novel over five years ago.

I hadn’t planned on commenting on anything. What would I have to say that hadn’t already been said by everyone else? I only know what I’m reading in the media.

Then I saw this article in the Toronto Star on students warned away from Q internships, and couldn’t stay quiet. Here’s what caught my attention: “Students were told two years ago that internships at Q were ‘off limits’ due to concerns about inappropriate behaviour by Ghomeshi, a former Western student told the Star.”

The article goes on to say that the journalism program stopped sending interns to Q for reasons to do with the relevance of the internship duties after a male student was placed at the show in 2008. But there are indications female interns were denied internships at Q because of Ghomeshi’s behaviour.

According to the Star report, “Jeremy Copeland, a journalism lecturer at Western, said the concerns stemmed from a 2012 incident in which Ghomeshi allegedly ‘prey(ed) on a young grad who wanted to work (at Q).’ Because of this, he recently stopped a female student from pursuing an internship at Q.”

So my take away from this is that women should be protected from predators by being denied internships that might benefit their careers. Women should limit their prospects, because it’s easier to deny potential victims the right to further their careers than to change the predator’s behaviour or remove the predator from a position of power. Does that sound reasonable?

I’m happy the men at the university showed concern for these young women. But it wasn’t fair to decide for the women what was best for them, to deny internship opportunities, while allowing Ghomeshi to carry on as usual, reinforcing to him that what he did was acceptable. If the university had contacted the CBC to alert them to what was going on, they haven’t revealed it, but it’s what should have happened.

Remove the predator from the hunting grounds, so the potential prey can live without fear.