Back in March 2008, I discovered that the Ottawa Public Library had ordered 15 copies of TBLP for its various branches. I was thrilled given that at the time I was just another self-published novelist trying to find readers. Obviously the Ottawa setting of the novel helped. I confess that before that time, I’d been more focused on getting TBLP into bookstores and online retailers. I hadn’t really thought too much about libraries. But if you consider just how many libraries there are across Canada, and what a critical source of new readers they represent, you quickly come to realize how important our public library system can be to a new author. In the days after the Leacock announcement and before I signed on with M&S, most of the major libraries across Canada ordered the iUniverse edition (like the Winnipeg Public Library for instance). So I’ve been curious whether the M&S version of TBLP would also be picked up. Well, it’s starting to happen, for example in Calgary. And the folks at Library Bound, a company that supplies public libraries, are helping. In fact, they’ve featured it on their website in the “Drop in Best Seller” category. (No, I’m not sure what that means either but it sounds good to me.)
Archive for the ‘Ottawa Public Library’ Category
Here’s my second post from the Booklounge Insiders’ Blog about the Ottawa International Writers Festival.
I had a wonderful day at the Ottawa International Writers Festival on Sunday. At 2:00 p.m., Sarah Dearing chaired our panel on Canadian literature. Bill Gaston started things off with a wonderful reading from his new novel, The Order of Good Cheer. I read next. The crowd was very kind and laughed in all the right places. Then Stephen Henighan read from his book of essays, The Afterlife of Culture. With all four of us on the stage, Sarah Dearing posed questions to drive a discussion on the state and future of our literary culture. I was a little intimidated by the topic but the discussion flowed with several questions from the floor as well. After 90 minutes (that seemed more like a half hour), we moved to the foyer to sign our books.
After our session, literary comet Joseph Boyden, hot off of his Giller shortlisting, read from his new novel Through Black Spruce, to a packed house. CBC radio personality Laurence Wall adroitly moderated the session. Beyond the moving reading and insightful discussion, the highlight of the session had to be Joseph Boyden performing three different moose calls (I kid you not!). The line up at Boyden’s signing table after the session snaked around the foyer and almost certainly left him with a swollen pen hand.
The final session I attended brought together three amazing writers for a reading and discussion. South African Booker nominee Damon Galgut read from The Imposter, Amitav Ghosh read from his Booker nominated novel, Sea of Poppies, and then Kenneth J. Harvey read from his epic masterwork Blackstrap Hawco. What a thrill to hear these three celebrated authors.
The Montreal media day yesterday went very well. I did four radio interviews that will run in the coming week or so (I think the CJAD interview may already have aired), along with a video shoot for a popular website and a print interview for The Surburban. The Montreal Gazette is expected to review TBLP in the next several weeks as well. Hank Schaffer, an experienced book publicist was wonderful company getting me to and from the interviews. All in all, a great day.
Now, it’s on to the nation’s capital for the Ottawa International Writers Festival.
I start my OWIF weekend with a book signing at Chapters just east of Parliament Hill on Sunday, October 26th at 11:00 a.m. This will be my first major bookstore signing and I’m hoping a few people show. Then at 2:00 it’s on to the Ottawa International Writers Festival (OIWF) where I’m on an authors panel billed as follows:
I’m really not sure what pearls of wisdom I can possibly contribute but I plan to do a lot of nodding as my fellow panelists, Stephen Henighan and Bill Gaston, are talking and perhaps throw in the odd “ditto for me.” Apparently we’ll be interviewed on stage about our books before we get into the heavy discussion. Sarah Dearing, the award-winning author of The Bull is Not Killed and Courage My Love is moderating the panel. I’m excited about it and look forward to meeting and hearing some wonderful writers. Here’s the bio they’ve posted for me on the OIWF website:
As I’ve been threatening to do, I thought I’d list the readings and other speaking events I’m doing this fall in support of the release of the McClelland & Stewart edition of TBLP. Being on the author circuit will be a new experience for me but I’m really looking forward to it. In the next couple of weeks, this blog will go through a make-over of sorts and there will be a separate “Appearances” page in case any of you have the twisted desire to know where I’ll be speaking or reading.
Upcoming Speaking and Reading Gigs
So here’s what’s happening in the coming weeks and months after TBLP arrives in bookstores across the country on Tuesday, September 23rd:
- Wednesday, September 24, 2008: Harbourfront Reading Series, a reading at 7:30 in the Brigantine Room at Harbourfront. I’m honoured to have TBLP share the stage with Andrew Davidson and his debut blockbuster The Gargoyle, and Fred Stenson and his new novel The Great Karoo.
- Thursday, September 25, 2008: Readings at the Roselawn, a talk and reading at the Roselawn Centre in Port Colborne with an audience of 300 subscribers!
- Sunday, September 28, 2008: Word on the Street – Toronto, a reading at 11:00 a.m. in the Great Books Marquee.
- Friday, October 3, 2008: Headwaters Arts Festival, a reading as part of the 4th annual Armchairs, Authors, and Art event, at 6:30 p.m. in Caledon, Ontario. I’ll be sharing the program with Joseph Boyden and Drew Hayden Taylor.
- Sunday, October 26, 2008: Ottawa International Writers Festival (scroll down until you hit the Sunday, October 26th schedule), a reading at 2:00 p.m. (I think) and on-stage panel discussion on The State of Our Literary Culture (yikes!) with Stephen Henighan, and Bill Gaston, moderated by Sarah Dearing.
- Monday, October 27, 2008: Ottawa Public Library, a free lunchtime public reading at the Main Branch that I assume will start around noon.
- Wednesday, October 29, 2008: McMaster University Alumni Book Club, a reading and discussion starting at 7:00.
- Thursday, November 6, 2008: A private luncheon address at Borden Ladner Gervais’ Labour and Employment Symposium at the Old Mill in Toronto. (I assume I’ll be the comic relief!)
- Tuesday, November 11, 2008: Gryphon Theatre Annual Authors’ Night, an evening reading in Barrie along with Ted Barris, author of many books on Canada’s storied military heritage.
- Saturday, November 15, 2008: Breakfast talk at the Writers & Editors Network as part of their Speakers Series, at the Canadiana Restaurant in Toronto.
- Tuesday, November 18, 2008: A reading and talk at a McMaster Alumni “Coffee and Conversation” evening event in Toronto.
- Wednesday, April 1, 2009: The prestigious Grimsby Author Series held at the Casablanca Winery Inn. A reading alongside one of my literary heroes, Paul Quarrington who will be reading from his latest novel, The Ravine.
Wow! It’s going to be a busy time. But I can think of nothing else I’d rather be doing. Stay tuned for a revamped website with its own “Appearances” page where I’ll try to keep track of all of these engagements.
I just discovered when reviewing my monthly sales summary from my publisher that the Ottawa Public Library system has ordered 15 copies of TBLP to distribute among its 33 branches. As far as I know, this is the first library order I’ve received.
For what it’s worth, here’s a partial screen shot of the New Titles On Order list from the Ottawa Public Library website. Very, very cool.