Future writers 

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Very humbly!

We receive a lot of requests regarding Anne’s career or advice for future writers.

Here are some tips and tricks to know.

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First of all

Before writing or publishing a work, anyone should know the rights and responsibilities of an author. Click HERE to consult the texts concerning Quebec’s Copyright Act.

The better informed you are, the better protected your work will be!

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People write for all kinds of reasons. Some just want to make their point, others do it to teach. At home, it’s a basic need like eating or sleeping.

Words fascinated me at a very young age and, as soon as I knew how to read and write, I began to compose. There was nothing I could do, I had to tell all the stories in my head. Of course, when I was six years old, I wrote mostly stories about lost cats, faithful dogs and even learned bats.

The characters only appeared during my adolescence, probably because at that age, we start to know more people and realize that they are not all like our parents or our teachers. Our circle of knowledge is growing. So it was only natural that my first heroes were students like me, because that was what I knew best. I wrote the first version of Crystal Strings during my high school and two years of CEGEP. This series of teen novels has never been published, but it has been read by many of my friends and friends.

Since I was 20, things have progressed. I discovered magic through Tolkien and his stories of Middle Earth, as well as mysterious phenomena like UFOs, ghosts, reincarnation and secret societies, and I incorporated them into my stories. My characters then became more complex and fleshed out. No matter what story I was trying to write, there was always a supernatural element. I even added the ghost of an old rock star to the Crystal Strings. It was also during this period of my life that I became passionate about history. I have read everything that has been written, from Atlantis to the present day, and I have added a historical dimension to my stories.

It was only in the last few years that I began to write novels with an instructive purpose. In Alexanne’s Wings, I explained, through a beautiful story, all the notions of the New Age, from supernatural healing to extrasensory perception. The Emerald Knights arrived shortly thereafter.
It would be wrong to say that I took advantage of the "wave" of fantasy that was sweeping the world, because I have been writing fantastic stories for over 40 years. It was the world that had just caught up with me!

In short, I believe that I was born an author, just like others are born architects or doctors. To me, words are incantations that are put together on a blank sheet of paper to create magic.


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I do not know if it is the same for all authors, but in my case, what was most difficult in my learning as a writer was the lack of social life. When you dive into your head to lay a text, you can’t do it in the middle of a band of noisy friends or in a wild discotheque. So, quite often, while my friends were partying, I isolated myself because I had to give birth to a text. So, for me, writing involves long hours, locked in silence. But that doesn’t mean I was completely alone…

In fact, I lived more often with my characters than with members of my own family or friends. So I spent most of my adolescence with the band of Crystal Strings musicians, my life as a young adult with the bizarre characters of my science fiction and fantasy tales, and, more recently, with the beautiful Knights of the Emerald Kingdom and the secret agents of the A.N.G.E. So, if it is exacting to work his "art", I think it is, on the other hand, rewarding to be able to one day sit down in front of a 300-page manuscript that tells an exciting story straight out of our imagination.

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The first is persistence, because you have to put your work back on the job a hundred times before we really like it. Never expect to write a perfect novel the first time. Every time you read it, you will want to add something else, and that is perfectly normal. I make at least ten drafts of everything I write and, even once printed forever in the form of a book, if I were allowed to do so, I would make other modifications!

You also need discipline. The art of writing requires, like any other learning, long hours of practice. It is essential to write at least one page a day, every day, to refine your style. Personally, I have become accustomed to always stop writing at a critical moment in my story. That way, when I come back the next day, it’s easy for me to pursue it.

You also have to love your language. Whether you are writing in French, English or even Quenya (Elven language created by Tolkien), to be a writer you must be constantly looking for the best way to say something. Often, in the middle of a sentence, instead of using an ordinary word to express one’s thought, an author can spend long minutes looking for another more beautiful, more complicated, one that will say the same thing. So we should expect to open the dictionary a thousand times. Personally, I use Little Robert to find the meaning of words and I use analog dictionaries and synonym dictionaries to avoid repetition in paragraphs.

I also discovered a little gem of a co-occurrence dictionary that allows us to associate adjectives and verbs with more than 4,000 nouns. Very useful! I have as many reference books in French as in English (just two in Quenya!). I regularly visit bookstores to see if there are any new books on language. We get really obsessed.

Then, if you want to become a successful author, you must also acquire interpersonal skills, which is quite a feat after millions of hours alone with your books. We must sincerely love others if we want them to like what we write. That is a fundamental rule. So we must always be careful about what we say and what we do. It does not mean walking on eggshells, but simply remaining honest in everything. Courtesy is in order and patience is in order. But once acquired, these two qualities can serve you for the rest of your life.


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First you have to have an idea. The author lets it sprout in his head as long as it’s necessary. This idea will haunt him for a few weeks or months, then start to make roots. It is important throughout this growth process to take notes. Yes, even authors sometimes lack memory. It is even better to use a good filing system or you waste a lot of time putting your notes in order when it comes time to write.

Once the idea has made good roots, it must be divided into three essential parts: the introduction, the body and the conclusion. I think we need to spend more time on the first and last part. Before you start writing the manuscript, you need to know how it will end. The rest of the plot will be used to get to that finish point.

It is also useful to note in the form of keywords, inside the three parts, what one intends to write there. Once the "skeleton" is assembled, all that remains is to dress it. It is at this moment that the author isolates himself the most in order to write the first draft of the story. Once the story is over, he has to take a step back, put it in the drawer for a week or two (it’s the perfect time for him to take a vacation), then he starts the long process of proofreading. In my case, I sometimes correct a text ten times before I really like it.

Then I suggest a step that asks the author to show humility. Before handing this manuscript over to the editor, I think it is important to have it read by a trusted person who has a very strong critical sense. Personally, I ask my sister to reread my novels and to point out my mistakes in chronology, geography, logic or French. When the manuscript comes back to me, I analyze its annotations and correct the narrative accordingly. So I can present my editor with a manuscript that is consistent and enjoyable to read.

In the meantime, you can protect your manuscript by sending it to you by registered mail, either in paper form or in electronic form, that is, a manuscript or a CD. Once you receive your own envelope, don’t open it! Store it in a safe place. It will only serve you if someone tries to steal your text. At that point, you will be able to show the court that on the date printed on the envelope by the post office, you had already written this story. Publishers are generally honest and they don’t see the texts they receive, but you still have to protect yourself.


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Not at all. The writer who wants to be published must be patient. Unless he already knows some people in the publishing industry, he will have to send his manuscript to several publishing houses before finding a buyer. It is also easier to get a subject published that is of interest to a large audience, regardless of the literary genre.
If the author has a new product, which is unheard of, and he is adamant about it, he will have to knock on every door and be very tenacious, because publishers do not like to think outside the box. However, if he is in a well-defined vein (poetry, love novel, fantasy novel), he will save time by transmitting his manuscript only to publishing houses that specialize in the same style. If he can, he should take his manuscript to the editor himself, which will give him the opportunity to distinguish himself from all those who send theirs by mail and who no longer take care of them afterwards. It is also a good idea to call the publisher after a month to find out where the manuscript evaluation process stands.

In the case of the Emerald Knights, I started by looking for publishing houses specialized in heroic fantasy and, believe me, even if this style is very fashionable, they are rare. I made two calls and my interlocutors panicked when they learned that it was a 12 volume saga. Put yourself in their shoes: I wasn’t even known. So I decided to publish myself.

I talked to a printer, a proofreader, a graphic designer, an infographic, a distributor, government officials who give ISBN numbers and legal deposit numbers. In the middle of this, three publishers called me at home, even though I had never sent them my manuscript. They had heard about it from friends of my friends. A former lawyer from the firm where I worked talked about me to Varia, the director of a small magazine broadcaster in Montreal, for whom I was freelancing, talked about me to Quebecor and, finally, a work friend talked about me to De Mortagne. I had to decide between three publishing houses! Not everyone has that chance, that’s true, but when we tell people that we write novels and we try to break through, our words always end up in the right ears. It is for this reason that we must always be courteous (like a Knight)!
I met with these publishers to get to know them better. It is not only necessary to have a novel printed, but also to ensure that it will be distributed in as many bookstores as possible. They all offered me pretty much the same thing. So I tightened up my requests and demanded a right of review and final decisions on my novels. De Mortagne promised me that. In addition, their offices were 10 minutes away from my home. So I can get there easily, as often as I have to.


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Again, this is my personal experience. First of all, the publisher evaluates the manuscript. Even if you think your manuscript is perfect, remember that the publisher has its own values and philosophy. He may love the manuscript and not want to change it. But he may also ask you to change it. Many authors bow to this requirement because they absolutely want to be published. Personally, I think that a writer, who has struggled on every page, has an obligation to consider the changes requested with a magnifying glass and accept only those that do not distort his work. It’s always possible to negotiate with a publisher. You just have to explain it in writing or in person. Basically, the publisher and the author have the same goal: to publish a good book.
Once the author and publisher have agreed on the necessary changes, the author goes back to work and resubmits his corrected manuscript to the editor. The second step is to "revise" the manuscript (the first time it was evaluated). The reviewer’s job is to correct spelling and grammar errors. Unfortunately, some revisers take the opportunity to express their opinion on certain passages. Here again, the author is free to accept or refuse the corrections proposed by the editor, but he must justify his refusals.

Once the corrections have been reviewed and entered, the final manuscript is entrusted to an infographic that puts it in the form of a "novel". A copy is then printed for the proofreader and a copy is given to the author. Both must then read the text one last time, to ensure that everything is in order. In addition, the proofreader ensures that the word cuts are accurate and that there are no "chimneys" and "rivers" in the text. 

As for the cover of the novel, in general, the author who publishes it for the first time does not choose it. It is the graphic designer of the publisher who sends him his ideas. Sometimes we ask the author if he likes the idea and sometimes we take his suggestions into consideration. At the end of the day, it all depends on the publisher.


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