Poles Apart: Chapter 5

August 28th, 2015

XY Doors

 

Welcome back to the podcast edition of Poles Apart, my fifth novel. This week, Everett’s mother makes a surprise visit to the hospital to visit her ex-husband, and then all hell breaks loose in Ev’s online world.

Of course, your comments are welcome here on the blog. Feel free to send me an email to tfallis@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter (@TerryFallis).

The voiceover that opens each episode of the podcast belongs to my good friend, Roger Dey.

Poles Apart: Chapter 4

August 20th, 2015

EofE blog2Welcome back to the podcast edition of Poles Apart, my fifth novel. This week, Everett maps out his return to the feminist crusade, and then spends more time getting to know the aging feminist icon, Beverley Tanner.

Of course, your comments are always welcome here on the blog, or via email to tfallis@gmail.com. You’re also invited to follow me on Twitter: @TerryFallis.

The voiceover that opens each episode of this podcast belongs to my good friend, Roger Dey.

Poles Apart: Chapter 3

August 15th, 2015

Subjection of women

 

Welcome back to the podcast edition of Poles Apart. This week, with his interest in feminism rekindled through meeting aging feminist icon, Beverley Tanner, Everett rejoins the fight for equality while the construction work in his building actually enters his own apartment. Incidentally, the photo above is of my own first U.S. edition of John Stuart Mills’s classic, The Subjection of Women, from 1869. I’ve owned it for 27 years having bought it in a used bookstore in Wolfeville, Nova Scotia, the same weekend my wife and I were married.

Of course, your comments are always welcome here on the blog or via email to tfallis@gmail.com. You’re also invited to follow me on Twitter: @TerryFallis.

The voiceover the opens each podcast episode belongs to my good friend, Roger Dey.

Poles Apart: Chapter 2

August 9th, 2015

walker

Welcome back to the podcast edition of Poles Apart. In this episode, Everett heads down to Orlando to help his father recover from a stroke and is caught off guard by a chance meeting with one of his father’s fellow patients at the rehab hospital. Here’s Chapter 2.

Of course, your comments are always welcome here on the blog, or via email to tfallis@gmail.com. You’re invited to follow me on Twitter: @TerryFallis.

The voiceover that opens each episode of the podcast belongs to my good friend, Roger Dey.

 

Poles Apart: Chapter 1

August 3rd, 2015

body in bunker

 

Welcome to the first chapter in the podcast edition of Poles Apart, my fifth novel, published by McClelland & Stewart and due in bookstores in October, 2015. It’s the comic tale of a young man with an unusual but serious commitment to feminism. he has certainly not chosen an easy path, and as usual, all does not go as planned.

Your comments Poles Apart are welcome. You can leave one here on the blog, or email me at tallies@gmail.com. I invite you to follow me on Twitter (@TerryFallis).

The voice that opens each episode of the podcast belongs to my good friend Roger Dey.

Poles Apart cover unveiled

July 2nd, 2015

Well, here you go! As promised, I’m proud to unveil the cover for my fifth novel, Poles Apart, due to hit bookstores on October 20th. I think the design team at Random House/McClelland & Stewart, led by Scott Richardson, have done a great job on the cover. It’s playful and cryptic, and captures the tone and fun of the book very well. My deep thanks to Scott and his crew.

Fall_9780771036194_cvr_all_r1.indd

The Leacock Medal: Humbled in Orillia

April 30th, 2015

TF at Leacock Luncheon

 

I didn’t think I could be any more shocked than when I miraculously won the 2008 Leacock Medal for The Best Laid Plans. Wrong. When my name was called from the podium this afternoon in Orillia as the winner of the 2015 Leacock Medal for No Relation, I really didn’t know what had hit me. Had I heard correctly? Was that my name? Yes, and yes. I honestly didn’t think I was going to win. I can’t really explain why I felt that way, but I was convinced it wouldn’t happen this time around. And I was quite happy with that. I was thrilled to be a finalist. But it was in fact my name I’d just heard. It was.

I stood up, walked to the podium, shook hands with Leacock Associates President Mike Hill, and then strung together an ill-prepared (actually, ill-prepared is generous — it was unprepared) assembly of sentences to try to express my deep gratitude for this unexpected honour. I’m still processing it all, but suffice it to say that I’m over the moon. As I said in  my impromptu acceptance remarks, all roads in my writing life lead straight to Orillia and the Leacock Medal. I suspect that every Leacock winner in the award’s 68 year history has been grateful. How could they not be? But I can pretty well guarantee that no winner has been more grateful than I.

The 2015 Leacock Medal Shortlist – I’m honoured

April 1st, 2015

2015 shortlist graphic

 

Up in Orillia this morning, the wonderful folks who kindle the Leacock flame in this country unveiled the shortlist for the 2015 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour, one of Canada’s oldest literary awards. I was thrilled to see No Relation on the shortlist along with some very funny books by some very accomplished writers. My friend Zarqa Nawaz, the creator of Little Mosque on the Prairie, made the cut, along with one of my Canadian music heroes, Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea. I’ve loved his singing and songwriting for years. I only hope I might get to meet him now that his memoir has been named a finalist.

It’s hard for me to believe that each of my novels has been a finalist for this very special recognition. Anyone who claims it never feels quite as good after the first time is flat out wrong. That principle may apply to other pivotal events in our lives, but for literary awards, I’m just as tickled today as I was back in 2008 when I was Leacock virgin, as it were.

I offer my humble gratitude to the judging panel. I’m over the moon and look forward to attending the Orillia luncheon on April 30th, not just to find out who wins, but also to hang out with the warm and friendly guardians of Leacock’s Legacy. Deep thanks all around and my congratulations to my fellow finalists. It’s great to be in their company. They’ve all written worthy works that we should all read.

I must lie down now. The excitement of the day has taken its toll…

Eight years later…

December 31st, 2014

2014

It’s hard to believe, but eight years after writing my first blog post in this space, it’s time for my annual look back across the past year to reflect on how fortunate I’ve been in my writing life:

  • It was a very busy year on the talks/readings front. I gave 142 talks and/or readings in 2014, up from 137 last year. So much for my attempt to slow down a little bit. Again, my annual refrain, my deep appreciation for the patience and forbearance of my wife, Nancy Naylor, and our two sons, Calder and Ben. I truly believe these gigs are important in the never-ending quest to sell books, which, in turn, allows me to write another. My travels took me from Halifax to Vancouver, Sault Ste. Marie to Mexico City, and dozens of ports in between.
  • Starting in January, CBC Television aired the six-part miniseries based on my first novel, The Best Laid Plans. I loved it, and many others did, too. It pulled some very strong viewership numbers, but the travails at CBC, starting with the loss of Hockey Night in Canada, mean that, alas, there won’t be a second series. But we’ll always have six! I also enjoyed my brief cameo appearance in the final episode, though my phone has not been ringing off the hook for auditions.
  • At some point in the year, I can’t remember when, I became the 2014-2015 writer in residence for Hillfield Strathallan College in Hamilton. This isn’t that onerous an undertaking, but I’ve enjoyed my time at the school working with the students.
  • In May, my fourth novel, No Relation, hit bookstores and opened on the Globe and Mail Bestsellers list where it stayed for many weeks. I’ve been on the road promoting it ever since.
  • In the fall, I developed and taught the Humour Writing course at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. I teach the eight week course again starting in May, 2015.
  • I have just finished the manuscript for my fifth novel, Poles Apart. The last couple of chapters were written in Paris during a welcome vacation visit my wife and I made in November. We now move to the editing phase, as well as cover copy and design. It is slated for release on October 6, 2015. I’ll start to record and post the podcast version of Poles Apart sometime in July.

I’m sure I’ve missed some happenings from 2014, but I’m already focused on 2015 (I still can’t believe I just wrote 2015.). Looking ahead to July, I’ll be one of the writers on an Adventure Canada trip up the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As well, I’ll be participating in several literary festivals in various Canadian cities including Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and Eastport, Newfoundland. And my fifth novel, Poles Apart will hit bookstores in early October. Many thanks for all the support I’ve received from readers around the country. I’m grateful. Onwards and Happy New Year!

Poles Apart manuscript is finished…

December 14th, 2014

Cover page

 

It’s always nice, even a thrill, to write the words “The End” at the bottom of the page. I finished the manuscript for my fifth novel, Poles Apart, last night. It comes in at just under 98,000 words, and so is a touch longer than my last novel, No Relation. I wish this meant I was well and truly finished. Alas, no. We’re still a long way from seeing the novel on bookstore shelves. But I think of this as, to borrow from Winston Churchill, “the end of the beginning.”

My wonderful editor, Douglas Gibson at McClelland & Stewart, will now go through it, first as a reader, and then on the second, third, and fourth passes, as an editor. We’ll talk about his reaction and suggestions. Then I’ll take another run through it, tweaking here,  tightening there. If our first four novels together are any indication, and I hope they are, the editing process ought not to be too onerous (I’m touching wood right now!). But we’ll see.

I’m just happy to have this first major phase completed. If all goes well, expect to see Poles Apart in bookstores in October, 2015. (Fingers eternally crossed…)