Archive for June, 2008

Out of town and offline for two weeks…

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

After a very eventful yet wonderful spring, I’m off to the cottage for two weeks with my wife and two sons for our summer vacation. I’m looking forward to reading and continuing my fledgling efforts to map out the sequel to TBLP. In the meantime, the M&S edition of TBLP is well into the production process now. The cover design is complete, cover copy is approved, and the book layout, all 314 pages or so of it, is done. I met earlier this week with the publicity team that will be doing all they can to make sure copies of TBLP fly off bookstore shelves in October. I’ll be doing a number of speaking/reading gigs to support the novel including the Ottawa International Writers Festival and the Headwaters Arts Festival in Orangeville. There’s apparently an article about, and/or review of TBLP podcast coming out this weekend in the Hamilton Spectator written by Mark Leslie Lefebvre. I hope to be able to read it just before packing up the minivan and heading up the 400 to Twelve Mile Bay.

(Update: In fact, two Mark Leslie Lefebvre articles ran.  You’ll find the TBLP podcast review article here and a second interesting piece here on how independent authors are using podcasts to build an audience adn break through into traditional publishing.  Nice job Mark and thanks!)

By the way, a segment on Global Television’s CEO TV about yours truly and TBLP will air Saturday, July 5th at 11:30 a.m. You should also be able to catch it on the CEO TV website by Monday, July 7th.

I’ll check in as soon as we’re back. (I’m not sure how I’ll survive offline for two weeks but I’m looking forward to trying…)

My first public reading…

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, I appeared on stage at the Soulpepper Theatre in Toronto’s historic Distillery District, to do a reading for a People for Education fundraiser. It was a great evening. Also on the bill were Nicholas Campbell, Paul Gross, Claudia Dey, and Molly Johnson. I was way out of my league but had a blast nevertheless.

Leacock Dinner… an unforgettable night

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

My wife, two sons and I have just returned from Orillia, Ontario where we’ve spent the weekend attending a number of events surrounding the Leacock Medal for Humour. It was a wonderful time spent with the incredibly warm and welcoming people who manage one of Canada’s oldest and most prestigious literary awards. I was presented with the Leacock Medal at an amazing dinner for about 250 people at the Geneva Park Conference Centre on the shores of beautiful Lake Couchiching. As is tradition, I spoke for about half an hour trying to strike the right humourous-serious balance. I think it went well. Before and after the dinner my time was spent inscribing books. Don Ross, the owner of the great local bookstore, Manticore Books, took care of selling 65 copies of TBLP while I handled the signing.

The medal itself is amazing. The photo above doesn’t do it justice. It’s solid silver and shines like it’s emitting, and not just reflecting, light. It was quite simply one of the high points in my life so far.

To top it all off, the whole family sat in the Toronto Dominion Bank Comfort Zone, four leather arm chairs, at field level along the first base line for the Toronto Blue Jays – Baltimore Orioles game this afternoon. At one point we looked and found ourselves on the Jumbotron. My ever-resourceful son Calder took this photo.

New cover from M&S

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Here’s the new cover from Douglas Gibson and the great creative team at McClelland & Stewart. I love it. I really like the way the Globe and Mail quotation free forms its way around the cover. I also think the wordplay on “Plans” with the “s” scrunched in at the end because of bad planning, is great. I think it will be difficult for bookstore patrons to walk by this cover, and that’s the whole point. It says satire and humour more effectively than the original cover. Plus, the prominently placed Leacock Medal doesn’t hurt either. Full steam ahead…