Archive for July, 2010

The High Road Podcast: Chapter 10

Friday, July 30th, 2010

This week, Chapter 10, courtesy of McClelland & Stewart. In this episode, Angus seems a bit depressed and his mood is not lightened when the Liberal Leader makes a surprise visit to Cumberland, on very short notice, to do a little mainstreeting with the local maverick MP. The election is now just around the corner.

The music that opens each episode is Game Day, by Jon Schmidt and is available at Music Alley. The voiceover at the beginning of each chapter belongs to my friend Roger Dey.

Congratulations to our podcast contest winners

Friday, July 30th, 2010

The entries for our first ever podcast contest have closed and our  three winners have been randomly drawn. McClelland & Stewart will be contacting the winners soon to arrange delivery of their $50 iTunes gift cards. Congratulations to  Geoffrey, Marlene, and Janet! Many thanks to everyone who participated, and I hope all entrants will continue to listen to the podcast. Chapter 10 will be posted tonight.

The High Road Toronto Launch: September 8

Monday, July 26th, 2010

If you’re going to be in the Toronto area on September 8th, or even if you’re not, you’re all invited to the launch of The High Road. As we did for the launch of The Best Laid Plans in the fall of 2007, we’ll be gathering at the wonderful Dora Keogh pub on the south side of Danforth Avenue, just east of Broadview. There’ll a couple of brief (I promise) speeches and a short reading, but really the night is more about socializing and having fun. Books will be available for sale and there’ll be plenty to eat and drink too. You can RSVP over on the Facebook event page. H ope you can make it.

The High Road Podcast: Chapter 9

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

This week, Chapter 9, courtesy of McClelland & Stewart. In this episode, Daniel is briefed on some fascinating public opinion polling data, and Angus makes it through his second all-candidates meeting with a little help from the GOUT squad. The chapter ends with an unexpected discovery at the McLintock campaign headquarters. Hope you’re still with me!

The music that opens and closes each episode is Game Day by Jon Schmidt and is available at Music Alley.

The voice at the beginning of each chapter belongs to my friend, Roger Dey.

Doing Word on the Street in Kitchener & Toronto

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Sunday, September 26 is going to be one busy day for me, but happily so. I’ll awake that morning in Florida, where I’ll be attending a family event. Then I’ll board a 7:30 a.m. Delta flight out of Tampa, change planes in Atlanta, and land in Toronto at about noon (please let me not be delayed!). I’ll then leap into our minivan, which will be parked at Pearson Airport, and drive, of course observing all speed limits, to Kitchener for their Word on the Street celebration. I’ll be reading from The High Road, which will be in bookstores by then, at about 2:30. After signing any books that audience members might purchase (Christmas will be but a few short months away!), I’ll dash again for the minivan and blast back to Toronto. You see, I’ll be reading at the Toronto Word on the Street festival at Queen’s Park at 5:30, pending any traffic travails. Two countries, two readings, and two Word on the Street festivals. A busy but fun day.

The High Road podcast – steadily growing

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

For the last two months, I’ve been recording and uploading one new chapter of The High Road podcast per week. I’ve had fun doing it and by the look of the numbers, a growing group of listeners has been enjoying the podcast too. Recording a new chapter each week is quite straightforward and it gives me plenty of  practice for the readings I’ll be doing in the fall to support The High Road when the printed version hits bookstores in early September.

Here are a couple of shots of me recording Chapter 7 in our third floor library. I read the final manuscript directly off of my laptop and use the scroll wheel on my mouse to advance the pages. I always read standing up to help bring a bit more energy to the reading. You’ll also see that I record under the watchful gaze of one my literary heroes, Robertson Davies.

After I record, I then have to mix and produce each episode by adding music to open and close the chapter, and cut out coughs, flubbed phrases, and mispronounciations. I use Audacity as my sound editing software. It’s avaiable as a free download. Here’s what a bit of Chapter 7 looks like in Audacity:

Finally, when I’ve got the sound balanced just right, I export it as an MP3 file and upload it to my podcasting hosting service, Libsyn. Here’s a quick peek at the stats that Libsyn provides on the podcast.

Just thought you might like a bit of a behind-the-scenes look at The High Road podcast.

The High Road Podcast: Chapter 8

Friday, July 16th, 2010

This week, Chapter 8, courtesy of McClelland & Stewart. In this episode, Angus tries his hand at door-to-door canvassing with mixed results and then attends an editorial board meeting of the Cumberland Crier. Daniel gets a heads up from the Liberal party pollster. Enjoy!

The music that opens and closes each chapter is Game Day by Jon Schmidt, and is available on Music Alley.

The voiceover at the beginning of each episode is provided by Roger Dey.

Heading back to the Headwaters Arts Festival

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Shortly after McClelland & Stewart published The Best Laid Plans in September 2008, I was invited to appear at the Headwaters Arts Festival in Caledon, Ontario alongside Giller winner Joseph Boyden, and prolific writer Drew Hayden Taylor (on whose new book Motorcycles and Sweetgrass, a blurb from me appears). I was over the moon to be sitting at the front of a packed house next to these wonderful writers. We all spoke for a bit and then read a piece from our respective books. Finally, the audience could buy books from the good folks at Booklore and we signed them. (To be clear, we each signed our own books.) It was a memorable night for me as you can read.

Well, I get to do it all over again this coming October. Yes, undoubtedly against the organizers’ better judgement, they’ve asked me back, this time to read from The High Road. Even better, I’ll be joining three other accomplished writers, one of whom I already know. Cathy Marie Buchanan, NY Times bestselling author of The Day the Falls Stood Still is married to a fellow ball hockey player in the Withrow Park Ball Hockey League. I attended her book launch last fall and I’m delighted to get the chance to read with her. Terry O’Reilly, the author of The Age of Persuasion, based on his excellent radio show, and Kate Taylor a Globe and Mail columnist and novelist round out the line-up. It’s still a couple of months off, but I know this will be a great night.

My thanks to Nancy Frater at Booklore for inviting me back.

Heading to Thunder Bay in August

Monday, July 12th, 2010

I’ve been invited to read and speak at the Sleeping Giant Writers Festival over the final weekend in August. Even better, my editor/publisher from McClelland & Stewart, Doug Gibson will be speaking as well. I’ll be developing, and twice presenting, a two hour workshop on self-promotion for aspiring writers. Doug will be doing  a session on publishing. I’ll also be doing a reading alongside the CanLit superstar Miriam Toews, who won the Governor General’s Award for her novel, A Complicated Kindness. This should be a great way to close out the summer. A week after I return from Thunder Bay, The High Road hits bookstores.

The High Road Podcast: Chapter 7

Friday, July 9th, 2010

This week, Chapter 7, courtesy of McClelland & Stewart. In this episode, Muriel creates an undercover geriatric political SWAT team, and Angus survives his first All-Candidates meeting, barely. Hope you’re all still with me.

The music that opens this podcast is Game Day by Jon Schmidt and is available through Music Alley. The voiceover at the beginning of each episode is provided by Roger Dey.