Archive for December, 2009

It’s a sad day for Toronto book lovers…

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

It was a shock to learn yesterday that the wonderful McNally Robinson bookstore, open less than a year ago, has closed as part of bankruptcy proceedings. I’ve been to the MR Toronto store many times, most recently a week or so ago for last minute Christmas shopping. It was a beautiful haven for book lovers. They’ve been very good to me, hosting a reading last June. It was a great event and I’m grateful.

Though it’s a long shot, I’m praying someone else steps up, changes the name, and tries to make a go of it. But it’s a tough business in probably the toughest time ever for booksellers. We clearly need to buy more books!

TBLP makes the “Canada Also Reads” longlist

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

This morning, the National Post‘s Canada Also Reads longlist was released. There was some criticism of the annual CBC Canada Reads selections this year. Not because they weren’t all great books, but because many of them were well-known, already-recognized CanLit offerings. So the National Post, using Twitter, solicited nominations for an alternative program dubbed Canada Also Reads. Nominated books had to have been published in the last two years. There was quite a response from Canadians. The good news is that TBLP made the cut, albeit, along with 60 other books. There are some big name writers on the longlist including: Michael Crummey, Cory Doctorow, Cathy Marie Buchanan, Pasha Malla, Lorrie Moore, Donna Morrissey, Alice Munro, and Zoe Whittall.

The next step, sometime early in the New Year, is the announcement of five finalists, and five panelists to defend the shortlisted books. If you’re interested in being a panelist, just send an email to [email protected] with the name of the book you’d like to defend. Who knows, your book choice may be a finalist and you could be a panelist. Thanks to all of you who nominated TBLP for the longlist. It seemed to work!

Three years later…

Friday, December 25th, 2009

For the last two years, on Christmas Day, I’ve posted about what has happened in my humble life since I signed up with iUniverse on Boxing Day in 2006 to self-publish my first novel. Every year at this time I re-read those two annual posts, One year later… and Two years later…. This year is no different. I just had a walk through those earlier two posts and find myself yet again counting my blessings. In my sideline life as a writer, it would be hard to top 2008. But I’ve had a wonderful time in 2009 and taken a few more strides down the writerly road. TBLP continues to sell well even though it’s been on bookstore shelves since September 2008. I also kept up a steady stream of readings, signings, and talks about the novel and the strange way it came into print. I think I’m up to about 60 book-related gigs since the Leacock Shock, with more being added steadily. Many authors dislike the “book tour” part of promoting their works. I, on the other hand, really enjoy getting out there and meeting those who have read the novel. It helps that most who read TBLP seem to like it, or at least they don’t dislike it enough to say nasty things to the author’s face. I’ve loved doing book clubs and public library readings, and bookstore signings. For me, that’s the fun part.

The big achievement in 2009 was outlining and then writing the sequel to TBLP, called The High Road. It was a great joy to write, and a great relief to finish, the sequel. It took about the same length of time to write as TBLP. What’s more, as 2009 wound down, McClelland & Stewart and my editor Douglas Gibson, agreed to publish The High Road in September 2010. Needless to say, in these uncertain times in the publishing world, I’m thrilled. In 2010, I became more active on Twitter and enjoyed connected with many writers and readers in this way. You can find/follow me on Twitter (@TerryFallis).

So I couldn’t be happier as 2009 draws to a close. My day job at Thornley Fallis has been busy and satisfying, and it’s shaping up to be a very fulfilling year professionally. On the writing front, the final manuscript for The High Road is due at M&S on January 11th so I’m in final tweaking mode. Then the focus moves to cover design and cover copy etc. Finally, I’m about ready to start outlining my third novel, as yet unnamed. It will not be another installment in the lives of Angus McLintock and Daniel Addison (although I expect I’m not through with those two yet). The characters and plot are still steeping in my mind but the general story line is there. It’s not as narrowly focused as my first two and I hope it might appeal to a broader audience. I think I’ll leave it at that for now. But it will be another satire.

All the best in 2010 and thanks for a year of encouragement and kind words from so many!

PeopleTalkRadio interview posted

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Earlier in December, I did an interview with Nigel Killick, who produces PeopleTalk, a great podcast, out of England. He has a considerable following in North America and in Asia. In our conversation, we talk about my publishing journey, politics and social media. You should check out some of the other interesting interviews posted on the site. Many thanks Nigel.

I swear it feels just the same…

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

I don’t generally get hung up on milestone birthdays. It didn’t me bother when I turned 30 or 40. I’m pleased to report that turning 50 hasn’t sent me into a melancholy tailspin of nostalgic pining for years gone by. I just feel the same. I know whenever I go to my ABM and happen to look up at the security monitor and I silently lament the bald spot with expansionist tendencies stretching ever wider over the back of my head. I look away fast. But that’s about it. Other than that, the only real physical manifestation of age that I can discern is the ever-lengthening recovery time required after my ball hockey night. The morning after it feels as if I’m inhabiting someone else’s body. Fortunately, six days later, when it’s time to strap on the shin pads and do it all over again, I’m nearly ready to go.

My one regret is that I didn’t start this novel writing thing a little earlier in life. But in general, I’m a newly-minted yet still happy 50 year-old.

Literati Lounge – great event, great cause

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Literati Lounge Reading

A week or so ago, I was pleased to participate in a great event at the wonderful Re: Reading bookstore on the Danforth here in Toronto. The reading was organized by a group of students in the PR program at Centennial College and it was in support of Frontier College. Also reading at the authors event was Pasha Malla, who wrote the award-winning short story collection, The Withdrawal Method. I really enjoyed meeting and talking with Pasha. I hope our paths cross again. The event was very well organized and the food was great. Frontier College has been doing extraordinary literacy work in this country for over 100 years. I was honoured to support this important institution.

Alexandra Courneya, a talented photographer, was at the event and took some shots. Be sure to vist her site.

Literati Lounge event

Wow… good news from Amazon.ca

Friday, December 18th, 2009

While this list changes every hour or so, it seems that TBLP has again risen to number one on the “Political” bestsellers listing at Amazon.ca, at least for a few minutes. Perhaps someone in my family is doing their last minute Christmas shopping. However it happened, it’s good news. As I often do in such situations, and never knowing if it will ever happen again, I grabbed a screen shot as evidence. If you click on the graphic below now, TBLP will probably be well back in the pack, but for this one brief shining moment, on a Friday afternoon the week before Christmas…

Amazon number 1 ranking 091218

Still six days of Christmas shopping left…

Quill & Quire note publishing deal

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Quillblog on THR

If you’re a Canadian writer (published or unpublished) or an avid reader interested in the book world, Quill & Quire is a great publication. I buy it at the newstand but it’s time I subscribed. They also have a great blog called the Quillblog. Check it out. If you look closely, you’ll see that the very talented writer, Zoe Whittall, has written the brief piece above (I’m honoured!). I just heard the podcast of her great interview with Sheila Rogers on The Next Chapter as I walked to work yesterday.

McClelland & Stewart to publish The High Road

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

ms-logo

It’s official. The paperwork is done, and I’m thrilled to announce that next September, McClelland & Stewart will publish the sequel to TBLP, entitled The High Road. Even better, Douglas Gibson will again be my editor and publisher, under his own M&S imprint. There’s none better than he (he’s edited Alice Munro, Robertson Davies, W. O. Mitchell, and the long list goes on and on). I could not be happier.

I had always hoped that it would unfold in this way after M&S published TBLP, but in this uncertain climate, it’s never really done until the contract is signed. Well, the ink is now dry. I want to thank my wonderful literary agent, Beverley Slopen, who worked with Doug and M&S to make this happen.

Douglasgibson

DG Book

In the next few weeks, I’ll be doing some final tweaking to the manuscript based on Doug Gibson’s close editorial review. I’m pleased that there’s not much left to do on it and it’ll be done by early January. Then Doug and M&S take over. There’s cover design to do, layout, and cover copy, among other steps along the way. We’re also trying to gather some big names to provide endorsements of sorts that might appear somewhere on the front or back covers. So far, Jim Cuddy, the amazing singer/songwriter from Blue Rodeo, has agreed to “blurb” the novel. He said he really enjoyed TBLP, and who am I to argue? (If you’re wondering how I was able to connect with Jim, we actually play on the same ball hockey team. He’s a great guy and a stalwart defenceman too.)  As well, former Leacock Medal winner Ian Ferguson (another great guy — hilarious too — I’ve come to know since meeting him at last year’s Leacock Luncheon) has also promised to provide a quotation.  Of course, neither of these great Canadians has yet read The High Road manuscript, but here’s hoping they like it when they do early in 2010. Fingers crossed.

This news simply continues what has been for me, an extraordinary journey since I “went public” with the first episode of the TBLP podcast nearly three years ago, nine months before it was yet a self-published book. What a ride it’s been…

My recommendation made the Advent Book Blog

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Advent book blog twitter TF rec

I noticed through this Twitter tweet that the Advent Book Blog just posted my recommendation. I love this idea of soliciting and then posting book recommendations from folks connected to the writing/publishing world. I’ve really enjoyed reading the various book picks and learning a bit more about the people behind them. If you haven’t visited yet, get over there!

Advent Book Blog TF rec