Archive for May, 2012

Heading to Winnipeg later in June…

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012


On June 18th, I head out to Winnipeg for a couple of events. The first night I’ll be doing an on-stage interview with a popular local CBC Radio host, Terry MacLeod at the famous McNally Robinson Grant Park flagship store. I’ve heard so much about this independent bookstore and look forward to a fun evening. I gave a talk and reading at the sadly now-gone McNally Robinson Toronto store a few years ago shortly before they unfortunately closed their doors. I hope my appearance had nothing to do with its demise shortly thereafter.

Then, on June 19th, I’ll be giving a public lecture as part of the annual conference of the Canadian Engineering Education Association at the University of Manitoba. This is the real reason for my trip to Winnipeg. I am an engineer who has never practiced professionally but who believes my engineering education informs nearly everything I do. So I’ll be prattling on about how my years studying engineering at McMaster have shaped the rest of my life, including my writing, even if I’ve never actually worked as an engineer. I wrote a piece about this for an engineering magazine that should give you a sense of what I’ll be talking about in Winnipeg. I encourage any and all to attend.


The cover of Up and Down revealed

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Earlier today on the Indigo Fiction blog, the cover for my third novel, Up and Down was unveiled. Somehow seeing the actual cover of the novel makes it all seem so much more real. While we’re still four months away until it hits bookstores, it’s nice to cross this threshold. I hope you like the cover as much as I do. It was interesting to see the evolution of the design from early concepts to what you see here. Perhaps that’s a topic for future blog post. One of my fears has been that the cover might have a sci-fi feel to it. I certainly didn’t want that as this is most decidedly not a sci-fi story, even though the space program plays a role. I think the cover whimsically hints at the space program without impersonating an Isaac Asimov novel. I doubt too many hardcore sci-fi readers will be snatching Up and Down from bookstore shelves based on the cover.

I confess that it will take me some time to get used to seeing my name dominating the cover’s real estate. But M&S explained the rationale to me. Some readers will have grown accustomed to the funky font used on my first two novels, and there was a fear that they’d be expecting the same look on the third. But of course, Up and Down is not a continuation of the Angus and Daniel story, so M&S decided on a completely different look. As it was presented to me, making my name large enough to be seen from earth orbit is supposed to ensure that those expecting a cover design similar to my first two won’t walk right by Up and Down in their neighbourhood bookstore. The novel is now is fully formatted so we’re just going through the galleys for a final proofread. Then, it’s done, and we wait until September 11, 2012. Or if you really can’t wait that long, stay tuned for the chapter-by-chapter podcast of Up and Down, which you’ll find here on the blog and over at iTunes starting later in June. One chapter will be posted each week. And to make it easier, I’ve decided to post the chapters in chronological order. More on the podcast soon…