The Heroic Deborah Ellis

I was thrilled yesterday to receive a succinct promo blurb (early Christmas present) from Deborah Ellis, prolific Canadian author of novels about children living in crisis. She’s raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various causes through her books, and her making time to read HARE and offer her support really means the world to me. When I originally contacted her about this project, I described myself as a Deborah Ellis wannabe – we’re the same age, and although we’ve never met, I’ve been strongly influenced by her writing.
“An important and well-written story. Jan Coates takes the reader deep into the lives of children dealing with the uproar of war and terror – a strong reminder that the world needs to do better.”Deborah Ellis, December, 2010
Hope we can all work together to create a kinder, gentler, more peaceful world in 2011, and beyond! Happy Holidays!


The longer I’m in this writing business, the more I realize there are writing opportunities beyond traditional trade publishing. Last fall, I received a call from JLS, a Korean English language school, with offices in British Columbia, asking if I’d be interested in writing some books for use in their schools. Their curriculum is completely story-based, which is very cool! Since I worked for four years as an ESL tutor, I said I was very interested, and over the next few months, I wrote six stories for them. I received the first two books in the mail this week, and I’m very impressed with the quality – both the lay-out/design and the illustrations. They hire illustrators from all around the world, so it’s funny to have created these books together without ever having any communication with the illustrators themselves. As well, a book I wrote two years ago, a non-fiction ESL comprehension book, QUEBEC STORIES, will now be published in the summer of 2011 by Editions de l’Envolee.