In the first few weeks of its life, it’s been very gratifying to see Poles Apart grace a number of bestsellers lists in various positions. I just wanted to note them here for posterity’s sake, as this blog is a kind of digital scrapbook of my writing life. Here’s hoping Poles Apart hangs on for a few more weeks before it inevitably slips off these ever-changing bestsellers lists. I’m grateful to the many readers who have bought the book and helped propel it into these rankings.
Archive for the ‘Canadian Booksellers Association’ Category
I think this may be the first time a novel of mine has occupied the top spot on the bestsellers list. I doubt it will happen often, so I’ve commemorated it here for posterity’s sake. The source is the official bestsellers list of the Canadian Booksellers Association (part of the Retail Council of Canada). No Relation is number one in Paperback Fiction and in Canadian Fiction. Onwards!
While it seems impossible that seven years have escaped since I created this blog, the date staring back at me on my iPhone must be right. It’s New Year’s Day, and time for the annual accounting of my literary blessings in the gift that was 2013. Here are at least some of the highlights that made 2013 such a great year in my writing life:
- I squeezed in 137 speaking engagements, readings, talks, etc. in 2013, up from 121 last year. I really don’t know how I fit everything in but it would not be possible without the patience and forbearance of my wife and two sons. My travels took me all over the country including, Vancouver, Calgary, Whitehorse, Ottawa, Montreal, Banff, and every region of Ontario.
- The TV miniseries version of The Best Laid Plans was shot from July through to October. Episode 1 airs in four days on Sunday, January 5th at 9 pm on the CBC national network. (Check out this behind-the-scenes look at the production.) It’s been such an exciting and rewarding process, including the three days I spent on the set. I’ve now seen the first three episodes and I think you’re going to bowled over by the acting talent of this extraordinary cast. (That last comment about acting prowess does not apply to a certain MP applauding his leader at a caucus meeting in episode 6.)
- Work continues on the stage musical of The Best Laid Plans but there’s no word on when it might be finished, let alone staged. Stay tuned.
- In June, I was shocked to be named the winner of the 2013 Libris Award for Author of the Year, presented by the Canadian Booksellers Association. I’ll be forever grateful.
- Up and Down continued to sell well, and the second edition hit the U.S. market in late June.
- I was thrilled to sign a two book deal with McClelland & Stewart in July covering the upcoming No Relation to be published in May, 2014, and my fifth novel, tentatively entitled Poles Apart.
- I finished the manuscript for No Relation, my fourth novel in the early summer with copy-editing, final proof-reading and cover design taking us into the fall. We’re almost there and should be revealing the cover art very soon. May 20th is the “on sale” date.
- Not exactly sure how to put this so I guess plain language is the best approach. Here goes. I posed nude for a calendar of Canadian writers as a fundraiser for PEN Canada. The Bare it for Books calendar was launched in October.
- What an honour to haveÂ Up and DownÂ awarded the 2013 Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award earlier last fall. Just to be among the stellar list of finalists was reward enough.
- In November, I was among an intrepid group of four Leacock winners and the curator of the Leacock Museum as we drove through the mountains from Banff, Alberta to Yale, BC to visit the literary icon W.P. Kinsella and remember a fallen friend and writer, Paul Quarrington. Here’s the piece for the National Post I wrote about this Canlit odyssey.
- Finally, in early December, an omnibus e-edition of all three of my novels was released.
It was quite a year. Looking ahead to 2014, I’m really focused on:
- The Best Laid Plans TV miniseries on CBC starting in a few days;
- starting to produce the chapter-by-chapter podcast edition of my fourth novel, No Relation (look for Chapter 1 in February);
- the publication and launch of No Relation in May;
- writing my fifth novel, Poles ApartÂ (I hope to have it finished by the end of the summer (he says optimistically)).
My undying thanks to so many who have made 2013 such a banner year in my writing life. Here’s to a wonderful 2014 for us all.
I’m not quite sure how to process this, but it seems I’m a finalist for the Canadian Booksellers Association Author of the Year Libris Award. It’s an annual honour handed out by the independent booksellers to a “Canadian author of an outstanding literary work published in the previous year that makes a significant contribution to Canadian culture. The work must combine readability with strong sales. The author should be one who has offered strong support to the bookselling industry.” (There are lots of other Libris award categories but the graphic above just shows the first two.)
I certainly wouldn’t have thought I’d be a candidate for this, particularly when the other names in the running are Alice Munro, Will Ferguson, and Nancy Richler. (Since my great editor, Douglas Gibson, also edits Alice Munro, he’s quite excited about it all.) I have traveled the province, and sometimes the country, for readings, often supported by wonderful independent booksellers, but still, this is most unexpected. Needless to say, I’m shocked and thrilled at the same time. The awards are announced at a big dinner on June 3rd at the Toronto Congress Centre. I was actually the Emcee for this dinner last year. I don’t expect to be going anywhere near the stage this time around, but it sure is nice to be in such fine company on the shortlist. Perhaps I’ll get to meet Alice Munro. Now that would be cool…