“Best Books” and a New Year

 It was a pleasure to see my latest book, Quiz Queens, included in the Canadian Children’s Book Centre list of Best Books for 2017 – a lovely recognition to end the year.

There has been a lull in my writing of late, but two new stories are clamouring to be written and I can’t wait to get back to work. Wishing all a new year abundant in the joy of creating!

~ K. L. Denman


Final Book Giveaway ~ La revanche parfait

Okay, maybe it’s not the final time ever that I’ll have books to give away, but the French edition of Perfect Revenge is the last of the foreign language translations of my books I have on hand. It’s been fun to send these books off to the winners (selected through Goodreads), with the hope that they will be read and enjoyed. This contest runs from December 13th to the 21st. You can click on the link in the sidebar to enter.


Another Book Giveaway ~ Agent Angus, Swedish Edition

Contest on Goodreads runs from November 26th to December 4th. Beautiful hardcover Swedish edition.   


Here’s the next book giveaway ~ La cache

From Nov 8 to 16th, Canadian residents can enter to win a free signed copy through Goodreads of La cache, the French language translation of my book Stuff We All Get. More details about the story can be found on this website under the “Books” tab.

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Writing demands consistency; one is supposed to show up and stay on task. It’s great when the words are flowing and I’m in “the zone” but often (let’s say at the beginning, the middle or the end of a book) it’s plain old work.  Any little thing can become a distraction at that point. My current distraction is an inquisitive Steller’s Jay. He (she?) has been determined to remove the egg shaped rocks from a nest that sits on a shelf by my door. After a few messy episodes, I decided on a solution – provide peanuts. Ha. Apparently, I am now the object of routine surveillance. I need only glance up from the screen to find a hopeful beak face peering through the window, either from the sill or a nearby branch. I think I’ve been played. 


Book Giveaway ~ Perfect Revenge in Swedish and Norwegian

Time for the next giveaway! I have 2 signed paperback copies of Perfect Revenge in Norwegian and 2 copies in Swedish. It was great fun for me to receive these from the foreign publisher and see the cover art they chose, but these books aren’t being enjoyed while languishing in a box. This giveaway runs from October 23 to October 31st. I hope someone out there in Canada is learning a second language or has a friend, family member or pen pal in Norway or Sweden who might enjoy receiving this as a gift from you!

In Norwegian:

In Swedish:

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Book Giveaways!

I’ve been attempting to clear space in my home, and there’s a box in a closet containing some extra copies of my books that could be better appreciated in a new home. I’ve launched a free giveaway for an English copy of my latest book, Quiz Queens, on Goodreads (see sidebar), and a few more titles will follow here soon.

Most of the extras in the box are foreign language translations of my books, and my hope is that someone out there will appreciate a signed (free!) copy of these titles. There will be Spanish, French, Swedish and Norwegian translations of some of my other books. Watch for them here.

The Goodreads giveaway for Quiz Queens runs October 10th – 18th, 2017.


Quiz Queens ~ New book Spring 2017

Ever tried doing an online quiz? These characters did … with unexpected results.



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Perfect Revenge Book Trailer

A Grade Five student from British Columbia sent me a book trailer she made for an assignment from her (clearly) hip and excellent Language Arts teacher. I am sharing this with permission and am so delighted with the creativity of this project. Love how Ayla has worked to create interest in the story by posing leading questions – that may or may NOT be true – about Perfect Revenge. Fine work here. Thank you, Ayla!


Failure and Success

A reader working on a study project about Canadian authors has asked me to share something about my “successes and failures”. This is a straightforward request and the answer ought to be simple but I’m having trouble with it. Why? I suspect that at some point I stopped thinking about life and writing in the stark black and white terms of success and failure, and finding my way back to framing a response to this is a challenge.

So here goes. Failures. There is no doubt that a publisher’s rejection of a manuscript I’ve babied, loved, hated, fought or flown with for a year (or more) of my life could be deemed a failure. For a book I’ve labored to create to be dismissed with “meh, not good enough” is tough. It happens. It happened a number of times when I first began submitting manuscripts to publishers and, woe, it continues to happen.

Generally, I’ve decided the rejecting editor is an utter fool. And time passes. I may then decide said editor had a point. And time passes. Finally, I decide to revisit the manuscript—or not. I’ve yet to actually burn one but the impulse has occurred. There’s one book in particular that has been kicking around for over 10 years and it refuses to quietly die. I hope and fear in equal measure that the day will come when for the third (or is it the fourth?) time I will tackle it again. Some stories insist on being told and when I figure out exactly how they must be told then perhaps the story will have its time to be shared.

Success. I suppose for a writer this could be measured by the sheer fact of having books published. That’s not easily done and for me, there have been ten books so far with number eleven due out in the spring of 2017. I was so delighted when my first book, Battle of the Bands, was published in 2006, and each book thereafter has been cause for celebration.

Success could also be measured in terms of awards; my books have earned some of these, including the short-list for the Governor General’s award for Me, Myself and Ike. There have been many good reviews. There have been solid sales figures, audio books, and translations into French, Spanish, Swedish, Finnish, Korean and Norwegian.

But in truth, as hokey as it may sound, to me success has resonated most deeply when I feel I’ve made something beautiful. That “something” could be a single sentence or it could be a massive, “Aha!” I got that. I understand that character, I understand something I never understood until now when it sprang from this thing I do for the love of it—writing.

Oh, and in case anyone doubts that Canadian authors write for the love of it and not the money, a 2015 survey done by the Writer’s Union of Canada found the average writer’s annual income is a mere $12,879 (way below the poverty line and $36,000 below the national average income). This certainly explains why I must keep my part time “day job” and devote far less time than I’d like to writing books.

Most writers I know seldom have the option to discuss “success” in terms of monetary value. So let’s pretend (writers of fiction enjoy pretending) that I didn’t mention the nasty money thing and I’ll return to the bit where if and when I’m inclined to measure success I dwell on the joy of this thing. Creating. That’s it, right there. To create, even if it’s wrong, or messy, or no one else gets it, or it’s awkward or gorgeous or busting out with teary kindred-soul recognition, that act in and of itself, in whatever form it takes, is success. I believe that leap, that try is what we humans were made to do.

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