Archive for February 2013

Reviews are In!!


This was a week of reviews!   The whole phenomenon of blog reviewers is relatively new – and so valuable, given the huge emphasis on social media.


I’m quoting from the reviews here (for the complete reviews, go to Nix Minus One’s home page).


“…fabulous new verse novel…violent, redemptive, sad, uplifting…”  (For Those Who Know)


“Nix – 1 =Jill MacLean2”   (CanLit for Little Canadians)


“I loved the point of view. I loved the characters. I loved this book.” (Tinlids)


“…this book tackles sensitive issues and oftentimes delivers powerful and upsetting punches…a story well told.”       (CM Magazine)


“…an absorbing, emotionally resonant book.”   (Quill & Quire)


“…the characters are expertly drawn…so worthy of your attention.”  (Sal’s Fiction Addiction)


As you may have realized, I’m trying to increase my online presence (it’s called salesmanship).  Trouble is, I hear my mother whispering in my ear, “Stop showing off!”.


Does anyone else have a problem with self-publicizing?  I’d love to hear from you, either way!


Bog Laurel on the Barrens

Bog Laurel on the Barrens



Newfoundland Shoreline

Newfoundland Shoreline

Nix Out Of The Box


Nix Minus One is now officially “out” – the publication date was February 15. And a high point last week was the arrival in a big cardboard box of my copies of the hardcover version of Nix.
Hardcover. A first for me. And such an exciting first – the book is really beautiful.

Newfoundland Seascape

Newfoundland Seascape

Thank you, Pajama Press!

The link below is to an interview that I did with Open Book Toronto, posted online February 13. Thanks to my wonderful publicist, Erin Woods, for arranging this.

The interview is part of their series The Dirty Dozen, in which writers are asked to share twelve unexpected facts about themselves. I had a lot of fun with it…and I had to stop and think about what I did – and didn’t! – want to include.

I hope you’ll find it fun to read.

 The Dirty Dozen Interview – Open Book Toronto

These pictures are from a trip to Fogo Island in Newfoundland.

Bye The Sea

Bye The Sea


Newfoundland Cottage

Newfoundland Cottage

Bedford South School Visit


On Friday of last week, I spent the morning at Bedford South School, Bedford, Nova Scotia. with two wonderful grade four classes. This is my fourth year in a row visiting grade fours in this school – and I always have a fine time.

The students in the first class had made a folding display for The Nine Lives of Travis Keating, colouring it a dull gray to look like the old fish shacks in Gulley Cove. They’d added their own comments and pictures, and cutouts of some of the characters – it was a work of art! I was very touched.

And what great questions they asked – challenging questions that made me think.

I always show as many versions of the book as I can, so this time I took along the Korean translation of Nine Lives, which I’d received earlier this year.

When I held it up, the teacher told me a new student from Korea, who spoke very little English, had just joined them and was sitting there right in front of me. So I was able to give him his own copy of the book, in a language he could read. The smile on his face brought tears to my eyes – and by the time recess came, he’d read the first two chapters.

So heartening – these cold, snowy winter days – to realize that the very first book I wrote for children is still such a big hit.

Thank you, grade fours!


Jill visiting South Bedford Grade 4's

Jill visiting South Bedford Grade 4’s

Nix Minus One – It’s Official!


It’s very exciting to see the cover of Nix Minus One officially posted on my website!  The book can be pre-ordered now, and you’ll find it in bookstores on February 15th.

The warmest of thanks to:

  • my wonderful Pajama Press publisher, Gail Winskill
  • my always insightful editor, Ann Featherstone
  • the very talented Pajama Press publicist, Erin Woods, who produced the trailer
  • the equally talented Art Director, Rebecca Buchanan, who came up with the “sawdust” concept for the cover – the all-important cover.

I have a copy of the book in my hand. There’s nothing like holding your own book, turning its pages, smoothing the letters of the title…and, of course, wondering who will read it.

This is especially true for a book that started with nothing but the title – Nix Minus Onethree words that suddenly came into my head on a cold January afternoon two years ago, and refused to go away.

I’ve lived with Nix for the last two years, hearing his voice, worrying about him, hurting for him. And now I have to let him go.

I hope you like him as much as I do.


 Nix’s surroundings – West Coast of Newfoundland


Barrens of Newfoundland


Shoreline of Newfoundland

Check out Jill's Blog!
The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden
Jill MacLean's latest book The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden , published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside and is available in bookstores and on-line!

This book is the completion of the Newfoundland trilogy which started with The Nine Lives of Travis Keating, followed by The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy.

Pick up your copy today!
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Nix Minus One

Jill MacLean's book Nix Minus One , published by Pajama Press and now available in bookstores!

Nix Minus One is geared for readers in Grade 7-8 and up.
Published February 15, 2013


Jill MacLean's books on Goodreads

Home Truths
Home Truths

reviews: 34

ratings: 143 (avg rating 4.20)

The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy
The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy

reviews: 14

ratings: 69 (avg rating 4.19)

The Nine Lives of Travis Keating
The Nine Lives of Travis Keating

reviews: 26

ratings: 91 (avg rating 4.16)

Nix Minus One
Nix Minus One

reviews: 6

ratings: 13 (avg rating 4.15)

Brevity of Red, The
Brevity of Red, The

ratings: 1 (avg rating 3.00)