Category Archives: Blogs

Valentine’s Day and the San Miguel Writers’ Conference

San Miguel Writers' Conference

February is shaping up to be an enjoyable month. Éditions Hurtubise is hosting a Valentine’s Day promotion for the French e-book/pdf of Muse for the very attractive price of $9.00. As they say, «Pour la Saint-Valentin, offrez-vous une histoire d’amour!» Guess where I’m going to be spending Valentine’s Day? In Mexico! In a few days, I’ll escape rainy Vancouver on… Read More

Another Film About Art Repatriation Misfires

Klimt-Woman-in-Gold

I’ve just seen another film on the popular subject of art repatriation, along the lines of the Hollywood “comedy-drama” Monuments Men. The latest is the disappointing Woman in Gold, starring a horribly miscast Helen Mirren, about the fate of the Klimt painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer. This made me think about the superb Edmund de Waal book, The Hare with Amber… Read More

36 Hours in Arles and Avignon

Avignon's Carousel

The New York Times has just featured Arles and Avignon in its spectacular “36 Hours” series, which I have been following for several years. How exciting to see Avignon, the setting for my novel Muse, featured! “Just 20 minutes apart by train, the Roman-era town of Arles and the medieval walled city of Avignon enfold a dense mix of architectural beauty, world-class… Read More

Re-enactment of John Donne’s Gunpowder Sermon, 1622

Preaching at Paul's Cross

On November 5, 1622, the Dean of Saint Paul’s Cathedral, John Donne (the main subject of my novel, Conceit), preached a sermon in St Paul’s yard for Gunpowder Day. A brilliant digital re-creation of this sermon, which includes elaborate models, diagrams, videos, and acoustic files, gives us the amazing opportunity to be part of the large crowd listening to John Donne on… Read More

London Before the Great Fire of 1666

London 1588

What did London look like before the Great Fire of 1666 that destroyed the old Saint Paul’s Cathedral? Six students from De Montfort University in Leicester “have turned a historic map into a realistic and detailed 3D animation of Tudor London,” says The Telegraph. “The video shows the area around Pudding Lane in the City of London before the Great… Read More

New Life for Muse

Mary in Avignon

It’s been a good week for Muse. It was a pleasure to receive a thoughtful review on April 10 on the blog Ramblings of a Reader, by Maria Vigornia, with the intriguing title of “Fabula Argentea: Mary Novik’s Muse.” Also, on April 15, Caitlin Hicks, wrote a very generous review of Muse on Goodreads. Thank you, Maria and Caitlin! As well,… Read More

The Camino

Santiago Pilgrims

Every journey is a pilgrimage and we were on a journey to Iberia. As a writer, I was on a quest for ideas for a new novel. We were travelling by car and bus and were adventuring in comfort: engaging with history, eating different foods, and tasting local wines. Much was unusual and mysterious. Not being Catholic, I expected to… Read More

Authors for Indies Day, May 2, 2015

Kidsbooks Couch

On May 2, 2015, authors across Canada will be volunteering in independent bookshops to meet customers and hand-sell books. This initiative, called Authors for Indies, has been organized by author Janie Chang of Vancouver to help bookstores build sales and attract new customers. The list of participating bookstores and authors can be found at www.authorsforindies.com  Over 120 bookstores and 480… Read More

The French Muse

French edition of Muse

Spring is blooming here in Vancouver (sorry, rest of Canada!) The crocuses are already finished, the azaleas are in flower, and the videos of our Japanese cherries and plums are already up on YouTube. The writing scene is blooming as well. Today is the publication day of the French translation of Muse, a glorious day! The translators are Lori Saint-Martin… Read More

Novel Nights at The Book Warehouse on Main

Mary-at-Book-Warehouse

If you live in Vancouver, you know about The Book Warehouse, which has been going strong at Broadway and Ash since 1980. In 2012, they were rescued from looming closure by Cathy and Mel Jesson of Black Bond Books, and I had the pleasure of appearing there, with Roberta Rich, in 2013 (see photo). A year ago, Book Warehouse on Main… Read More