Today we talk with Mandy Robinson, Cobourg’s Town Crier since 2015. A published photographer, poet, and author, she plays piano and has acted with the Northumberland Players and sometimes sung opera. She is the mother of three daughters and has an eleven year old grandson. Mandy has been a professional public speaker for many years and is the recipient of the Provincial Award for Leading Women Building Communities for her work empowering women to find their voice and step into their power of freedom. Mandy has increased her writing and performing of poetry recently and is currently working on her own book about her life, Freedom My Final Frontier. She is also slated to launch her first book of Poetry called Catalyst shortly.
Jennifer Bogart is a writer, with three adult novels and a number of mid-grade and YA books to her credit. She has also been a publisher and editor at Morning Rain Publications and is now the owner of Let’s Talk Books, Cobourg’s wonderful independent book store, recently featured in a Globe and Mail article and now celebrating its fifth year in business. She frequently hosts writers, whose books she admires and arranges very successful readings for them, as well as organizing a number of book clubs at the store for readers of different genres. She tells us about running a bookstore in pandemic times and what her customers have been reading.
Today we talk with Paddy Scott. Paddy was born and raised in Trenton, Ontario, the fictionalized version of which provides the setting for his novel, The Union of Smokers. His fiction has appeared in magazines across Canada, has been nominated for Canadian Magazine Awards and The Journey Prize as well as being a finalist for an Alberta Magazine Award, and long-listed several times for the CBC fiction and poetry prizes. The Union of Smokers, published by Invisible Publishing, was one of 49th Shelf’s books of the year for 2020 and long-listed for the Stephen Leacock Medal.
This week we talk to Ronald Mackay. Since Ron put aside technical and academic writing in favour of more personal and creative writing, in 2011, he has published four memoirs, written a dozen plays only a very few of which have been produced, and written lots of short stories of which some 20 have appeared in anthologies. While Ronald was surprised at losing some friends during this career switch, he was compensated by new friendships from unexpected quarters. Ronald has been forced to revise the commercial aims that propelled him towards creative writing a decade ago and to come to terms with the concrete realities of the nature of publishing in the 21st Century.
Meet J.D. Carpenter. David grew up in Toronto, earned degrees at York and Queen’s, taught high school English for 25 years and ran a Special Education program for 14 of those years. He publishes under the name J D Carpenter and began his writing career as a poet, later switching to fiction, primarily murder mysteries: The Devil in Me (McClelland & Stewart, 2001); Bright’s Kill (Dundurn Press, 2005); 74 Miles Away (Dundurn Press, 2006); Twelve Trees (Dundurn Press, 2008) and The County Murders (Cressy Lakeside Books, 2016). A second Joe Horn mystery, The Lake Pirates was published by Cressy Lakeside Books in 2020. Now David has returned to writing poetry as well as planning a major revision to a Campbell Young mystery which he put aside several years ago. So, though he told us that his biography hadn’t altered except in that he had grown two years older since he was last our guest, it seems there’s plenty to add to it. Today he tells us about his recent work and current projects