Cover love

Authors don’t always love the covers their books are put behind, for ultimately the cover is the publisher’s decision. But it’s easy for me to say I like the one givenĀ This Hidden Thing. Thanks to designer Karen Allen at CMU Press for that, but huge thanks as well to Agatha Doerksen, who granted permission to use a detail from her painting, “Seasoned Offerings” (1998).

I would like you to see the entire painting! And here it is, below, sans its plain wood frame, and here too, something about the painting via the artist’s statement about work she was doing in that period: Continue reading

The origin of ideas

I was the guest of a book club this week, the tenth I’ve visited on behalf of This Hidden Thing. Like the nine previous, it was a very enjoyable and stimulating experience. It’s one of the easier tasks of a writer’s life: you show up, answer questions, listen with appreciation and sometimes surprise to what your work has loosed in others, eat great food, and return to your work encouraged.

One of the questions I get most often is “What’s the origin of this book?” or its variation, “Where do you get your ideas?” I really should have a more fluent and coherent answer figured out by now, but I usually fumble around with a whole bunch of things that threw themselves into the mix — like a wish to feature Winnipeg (my home city), an interest in the notion of secrets, and my research in Mennonite history. Continue reading

Another “presence” on the web

In the crowded, changing world of publishing today, it’s imperative — at least, so writers are told (as for example, here) — to have a “presence” on the web. When I started this blog at the end of 2009, I knew that my novel, This Hidden Thing, would be published the following spring and I supposed that I would also talk about it — as I did, when it happened. I put up pages (above) devoted to my books and to that new one in particular.

I never visualized “Borrowing Bones” as being primarily a promotional vehicle for my work, however. I have found it a bit awkward, in fact, to bring my book — reviews, sightings, reader letters, book club discussions, and more — into the conversation, and so I haven’t done so much. I have no hesitation in saying that I would love for “Borrowing Bones” readers to order and read my work, especially the award-winning This Hidden Thing, if they haven’t done so already, and I will also be bold enough to say that I’m quite certain they (you) will like it a lot — because those who stop here (readers I know and readers I imagine) just seem like the kind who would!

I want to keep “Borrowing Bones” eclectic and wide-ranging and personal; I don’t want it to feel as if I’m sneaking in “sell.”

But I need a venue where I’m more fully present in my professional self.

So, I’m trying this: a new blog, a place where my work will be the focus. I invite you to take a look at Dora Dueck, and hope you’ll visit often. Thank you!