Ten minutes before the 10:30 announcement of the Canada Reads Essential Top 10 Canadian Novels of the Decade this past Tuesday, our internet at the office died. Yes, it did. I waited to see if it were just a momentary glitch. Alas, no. So with a couple minutes to spare, I grabbed my iPad and dashed to Starbucks up the street to enjoy my regular tall no-whip hot chocolate, and more importantly, their free wifi. So I sat there by myself, with the hustle and bustle of the mid-morning coffee rush swirling around me, and called up the Canada Reads website on my iPad. I can assure you, I certainly had no expectation of being on the Top 10 list given the stellar array of novels in the Top 40. in fact, I was still recovering from the shock of making the Top 40. But neither was I going to miss the announcement…Â just in case.
Then, at 10:30, hot chocolate in hand, the Top 10 List appeared. My eyes immediately fastened on the cover of The Best Laid Plans in the Top 10 graphic above. I very nearly dumped my hot chocolate all over me.
Shocked, astounded, astonished, breathless, etc., etc., (you get the idea). I exhausted my ability to express surprise when TBLP made it to the Top 40. Simply put, I’m overwhelmed and so, so grateful. The book has not arrived on the Top 10 list solely, or even largely, on its literary merits. It’s there because of dozens (hundreds?) of friends, family, and yes, even satisfied readers of The Best Laid Plans. Any way you slice it, people had to take action and vote to bring about this unexpected outcome. So I am happily in your collective debt. I may not be able to express my gratitude to each of you personally, but I’ll take this as a sign that I should keep writing novels. I figure writing a third may be the best way to thank you all. The list is really a wonderful and eclectic tour of Canadian literature, featuring some truly outstanding works, and mine as well. I can’t wait to dig into the books I’ve haven’t already read.
This novel, and all of you, have taken me on such a wonderful odyssey. Whatever happens on November 24th, when the mystery panel and the five Canada Reads finalists are announced, I could not be happier or more grateful. Again, you have my heartfelt thanks.