Canadian Authors – Toronto programs will take on a mix of art and business concerns. We plan to alternate between two main types of events:

1. themed presentations by writers and other publishing professionals dealing with various aspects of the writing life and the craft of writing, and

2. industry-focused events designed to help writers in the GTA meet agents and publishers, understand publishing contracts, master the ‘authorpreneurial’ demands of social media and marketing, and wend our way through the business side of this writing life.

Event archives: 20192018

Kissing Books: Cultural Diversity and Publishing Options in Romance and RomcomTuesday, June 25, 7:30–9:30 pm

Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) Spadina

192 Spadina Ave., Toronto

Room F (Third Floor)

Canadian Authors–Toronto is excited to welcome three Toronto romance writers to discuss cultural diversity and publishing options in the romance and romcom genres. Authors Farah Heron, Jackie Lau, and Kasey Goldstraw each bring their own perspective and experience with publishing romance. Farah will represent the traditional publishing track with a short talk about her debut novel, The Chai Factor, out this month with HarperCollins Canada. Jackie will share how she became a one-woman indie publisher of her own romance novels, and Kasey will discuss pulling her 20-year-old manuscript out of hibernation and bringing it to life with the help of a hybrid publisher. Farah and Jackie will also talk about personally adding to the growing cultural diversity of the romance genre by populating their romance novels with Chinese-Canadian characters and “brown people falling stupidly in love.” A Q&A with the authors will follow their presentations. And each author will be selling and signing copies of their books.

Oh, and there will be ice cream. Yup! In honour of summer, and as a nod to Jackie’s book Ice Cream Lover, we’ll be serving free ice cream until it runs out.

New to romance fiction? Want to know more? Check out this great introduction to the world of kissing books on Book Riot.

 Meet our panellists:

After a childhood raised on Bollywood, Monty Python, and Jane Austen, Farah Heron self-rejected her writing career before jotting down a single word, despite admitting her ultimate fantasy was to be a writer. But when she could no longer keep the story arcs straight in her daydreams, she started writing a few years ago and never looked back. She writes romantic comedies and women’s fiction full of huge South Asian families, delectable food, and most importantly, brown people falling stupidly in love. Prior to writing, Farah had careers in human resources and psychotherapy. She lives in Toronto with her patient husband, surly teenager, and delightful middle-grader. Farah is the president of Toronto Romance Writers. Learn more by visiting her website here. Farah’s debut novel, The Chai Factor, is due out on June 11 from HarperCollins Canada and has been featured in Elle Canada, Quill & Quire, CBC’s The Next Chapter,, and Book Riot.

Jackie Lau decided she wanted to be a writer when she was in Grade 2, sometime between writing “The Heart That Got Lost” and “The Land of Shapes.” She later studied engineering and worked as a geophysicist before turning to writing romance novels. Jackie previously wrote erotic and contemporary romance as Laura Jardine and now writes romantic comedy with Chinese-Canadian heroes and heroines. Since she began self-publishing in May 2018, she has released six novels, including Grumpy Fake Boyfriend, The Ultimate Pi Day Party, and Ice Cream Lover, and one novella, One Bed for Christmas, a prequel to her Baldwin Village series. Jackie lives in Toronto with her husband, and despite living in Canada her whole life, she hates winter. When she’s not writing, she enjoys gelato, gourmet doughnuts, cooking, hiking, and reading on the balcony when it’s raining. You can purchase all of Jackie’s books through Amazon, Kobo, and other online book retailers. Visit her website and sign up for news and updates here.

Kasey Goldstraw was born and raised in Vancouver, and she studied English at the University of British Columbia and creative writing at Capitano College. At the urging of one of her writing professors, she turned one of her short stories into a novel, but she stuck the manuscript in a drawer and left it there for 20 years while life went on. It was Kasey’s husband, Peter, who kept reading it year after year and prodding her to send it to publishers. Since teaming up with Toronto hybrid publisher Iguana Books, Kasey’s debut novel, Archibald Full Frontal, has been shortlisted for the 2019 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize. Thanks to the mindfulness skills she’s been able to cultivate as the co-owner of Toronto yoga studio Tranquility Wellness, Kasey is waiting patiently for the Kobo results to be announced on June 27. To date,  she has only gnawed off a couple of fingernails.

Ice Cream! Raffle! This event will include free ice cream (!!) and a raffle with lots of great prizes, including copies of the authors’ books, at least one valuable gift certificate, and another of our popular one-hour mentorships on any aspect of writing or editing with Authors–Toronto vice-president Jennifer D. Foster. Other prize details will be released through the  events web page of Authors–Toronto as they become available. All raffle proceeds support Authors–Toronto programming and allow us to pay our speakers.

Raffle tickets are $2 each, $5/three, or $10/seven, and they can be purchased at the venue (cash only). Raffle winners must be present at the event or be represented by someone who holds their ticket to claim their prize.

Ice cream will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis. Get there early to score your seat and your cone or bowl of the good stuff.

This event is FREE for members of Canadian Authors Association, $10 for non-members, and $5 for non-member students.

Questions? Contact co-president Lee Parpart at

Follow us on Twitter at @Authors_Toronto for updates and pre-event news.

Accessibility –Directions, parking, accessibility, and other details about the venue are available here and here (for accessibility details, scroll down to the ninth item within the second link).

Please note that although the third floor of CSI Spadina is fully accessible, the building’s narrow elevator (30 inches, or 72 centimetres, wide) may not accommodate all mobility devices.

Anyone with specific questions about the accessibility features of this venue is invited to email Lee at

Trouble getting into the building? The CSI closes its doors at 7:00 pm. We’ll station a volunteer at the front door until 7:35 pm. If you arrive late and find the door locked, text Lee at 647-607-0416, and we will send someone to let you in. 

Privacy and media coverage –Portions of this program will be videotaped. Please let us know ahead of time if you wish to avoid appearing on camera, by emailing

We look forward to seeing you!