Archive for the ‘McClelland & Stewart’ Category

Editing If at First You Succeed

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

blue pencil

I’ve been working closely with my editor at McClelland & Stewart, Bhavna Chauhan, to edit the manuscript for my seventh novel, tentatively known as If at First You Succeed. It’s been tough slogging but the novel is much better now than it was before this editing stage. I should have the revised manuscript back to her in the next few weeks, and we’ll see how she likes it. I’m enjoying the process and we’re both staying focused on making this the best book it can be. We’re still on track to be published in August 2019. Stay tuned.

If at First You Succeed is finished

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018


Ball in hole

It’s always exciting to finish the manuscript for my next novel. It’s such a journey to cook up an idea, create the characters, map out the story, and then write the novel. There is a moment of sheer relief when you type the words “The End.” I say “a moment of sheer of relief” because the journey isn’t nearly over yet. My twin brother Tim is almost always an early reader (along with my wife, Nancy), and he’s already nearly finished it. As usual, he’s had some sound editorial suggestions, most of which I’ve already executed. But still, there is a certain satisfaction at making it this far.

You’d think on my seventh novel that it might be getting easier. But I’m hard-pressed to say this novel was any less challenging than the six that preceded it. In fact, I encountered a rough patch on this novel that I’ve never experienced before. When I’d written the first half of this manuscript, I read it over before digging in to write the second half. For the first time in my writing life, I just wasn’t satisfied with what I’d written. It just didn’t feel quite right. I wasn’t happy with it.

So after thinking long and hard about the story, I made some changes. I performed some surgery on the first half that may have lengthened the novel a tad, but I hope also makes it a faster read. Seems like a contradiction, but it’s not. After recovering from this surgery, I barrelled ahead with the second half and finished it last week. I’ve now gone through the entire manuscript one more time, fixed some small things, and made the solid edits my twin bro proposed.

Now it’s off to my editor at McClelland & Stewart, Bhavna Chauhan, and the editorial process begins afresh. I’m sure she’ll have some helpful suggestions at various levels of the story that will make this a better novel. But, we’re getting closer. This post is just my way of pausing for a moment, and feeling good about finishing the manuscript, at least for the first time. I’m sure I’ll be “finishing the manuscript” a couple more times before it’s well and truly ready for your favourite bookstore. As far as I know, we’re on track for its release in August 2019. Seems so far away.

Onwards…

manuscript

We have lift-off on my seventh novel

Friday, May 4th, 2018

Blogpost photo

I’ve been remiss by waiting so long to post about the state of my seventh novel, If at First You Succeed. Actually, being remiss is kind of a perpetual state of being for me these days. It’s a busy time. But the good news is, I’m deep into writing the manuscript for my seventh novel. I’ve been working on it reasonably steadily since February. If at First You Succeed is now about half-written. I’m up over 50,000 words. So far so good (I think). The novel deals with a central issue in most of our lives. It’s about finding happiness and fulfillment and doing what our heart tell us to do, even if the head has other ideas. I think it’s an issue many struggle with, particularly as it relates to our careers. People often simply fall into their first job and discover that they’re actually pretty good at it. By all of the standard measures of success, they’re doing very well. They get promoted. They get raises. They’re headhunted by other companies. And before they know it, fifteen or twenty years have passed and they’re well entrenched in what seems to have become their career.

Here’s the tricky part, even though they’re very good at their job (or in the case of my narrator, the very best in the world), they don’t wake up on a Monday morning entranced by the idea of going to work for another week. So this is a funny (I hope) novel that wrestles with the idea that even though you may be very good at what you do, maybe even the best, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s what you’re meant to do.

The current thinking of my publisher, McClelland & Stewart, is that it will hit bookstores in the late summer or early fall of 2019. And yes, there is a reason for the golf ball graphic. Now I must get back at it…

Eleven years later…

Monday, January 8th, 2018

2017-2018 change represents the new year 2018, three-dimensional rendering, 3D illustration

Yes, I know, I’m a little tardy with my annual end-of-year post counting my blessings over the preceding twelve months. I have no excuse. There are just as many blessings to enumerate, but the holiday break ended up being just that, a break. For some reason I could not muster the wherewithal to sit down at my computer. (Given that my last post on this humble blog was in August, you may wonder just how long my “break” was.) Anyway, I made similar “progress” on my seventh novel, If at First You Succeed. Bu I’m pleased to report that my sedentary ways are behind me and I am emerging from the holiday haze!

So, a few days behind, let me reminisce about what a happy year 2017 was as part of celebrating the eleventh anniversary of this blog:

  • Part of January 2016 was dedicated to persuading other writers I know and respect to read the manuscript for One Brother Shy, and offer their old pal Terry a positive blurb for the then new novel. I was thrilled when Joe Kertes, Gary Barwin, Susan Juby, and Steve Patterson all kindly agreed. No money changed hands. You can find their lovely comments gracing the back cover of One Brother Shy.
  • I taught my eight-week Humour Writing course early in the year for the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies Creative Writing program. Always fun.
  • In February we lost Canadian treasure and three-time Leacock Medalist Stuart McLean. We weren’t ready. When my first novel won the 2008 Leacock Medal, in my impromptu acceptance remarks, I thanked Stuart’s two main characters from his classic Vinyl Cafe stories, Dave and Morley, for having a particularly quiet and uneventful year. I did that because I suspected that had Stuart released a new collections of stories that year, I would not have won. I was interviewed for the CBC story when news of Stuart’s passing broke.
  • I gave 83 book talks in 2017, down somewhat from my high-water mark of 142 a few years ago. But it was wonderful to visit parts of my city, province, and country I don’t get to very often. Highlights would include a ten day tour of the Gulf Islands off the coast of BC in April, a lecture to the Hamilton Association of the Advancement of Literature, Science and Art, a “Google Talk” at Google’s Canadian headquarters, a keynote address at the Women in Nuclear conference, along with festival appearances in Gananoque, Wakefield, River John (Nova Scotia), Eden Mills, Lunenburg, Westport, Whistler, Stratford and Toronto (IFOA). I even Skyped in to a book club in Kinshaha in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • In July I was thrilled to be invited to join the faculty of the famed Iceland Writers Retreat running for a week this coming April. I’ve always wanted to visit Iceland.
  • In November, I spoke at the launch of the One Brother Shy Daisy audio version for the CNIB. It was such a wonderful hosted at The Hub, a CNIB community “hub” in Toronto.
  • I added to my writing obligations in 2017 when I became the humour columnist for Legion Magazine as well as a columnist for Leaside Life magazine. Both of these will continue in 2018.
  • In November, I spent a week sequestered in a hotel in Collingwood working on my seventh novel, If at First You Succeed. I’ve finished my chapter-by-chapter outline and have just started the manuscript. McClelland & Stewart expects to release the novel in the spring of 2019.

So it was an eventful and wonderful year in my writerly life.

Looking ahead, I’ll be doing more traveling in 2018 with writing-related trips already planned for Iceland, Yellowknife, and Woody Point (Newfoundland), with a few dozen appearances already booked. As well, I should have my seventh novel, If at First You Succeed, finished by the summer. I’m about to start teaching my eight-week Humour Writing course again for the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies Creative Writing program. So life is full and good, and I couldn’t be happier. Onwards!

 

Global Television appearance

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

I was lucky enough a couple weeks ago to appear on Global Television’s popular national morning show. I was a little nervous though I hope it doesn’t show. (To watch it, click on the graphic below.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Brother Shy is a #1 Canadian Bestseller

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

What a thrill it was to discover this morning that One Brother Shy has ascended to #1 on the CBC Books Canadian Fiction Bestsellers list. This is wonderful news and I’m grateful to everyone who has supported this novel including readers, booksellers, and my great team at McClelland & Stewart.

CBC Bestsellers June 17

Update:

According to the Telegraph-Journal,  One Brother Shy also seems to be doing well in New Brunswick. Thank you New Brunswickers!

NB Bestsellers List (June 23).PNG

One Brother Shy: Chapter 16

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Chapter 16 image

Welcome back to the final chapter in the podcast edition of One Brother Shy, my sixth novel.

In chapter 16, there are changes afoot at Facetech, and Alex makes some important life decisions.

Of course, your comments on One Brother Shy are always welcome here on the blog. You can also follow me on Twitter (@TerryFallis) or send me an email to [email protected]

I’m grateful for the support shown for the podcast. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. The novel has now been published by McClelland & Stewart (Penguin Random House) and is available in Canada wherever books are sold.

The voiceover that opens each episode of the podcast belongs to my good friend, Roger Dey.

Typewriter2 (The End)

One Brother Shy on The Morning Show

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

The Morning Show

It was fun to appear on Global Television’s The Morning Show earlier today to talk about One Brother Shy. The butterflies in my gut kindly flew in formation. (Click on the photo or the link to watch it.)

One Brother Shy: Chapter 15

Friday, June 9th, 2017

Chapter 15 image Chateau Laurier bar

Welcome back to the podcast edition of my sixth novel, One Brother Shy.

In Chapter 15, Alex makes some progress with Dr. Wendy Weaver and then meets the mysterious girl in the red dress he’s been searching for since 2005.

Of course, your comments on One Brother Shy are always welcome here on the blog. You can also follow me on Twitter (@TerryFallis) or send me an email to [email protected]

The voiceover that opens each episode of the podcast belongs to my good friend, Roger Dey.

I love independent bookstores!

Friday, June 9th, 2017

I’ve had so much support from independent bookstores since beginning this writing odyssey more than a decade ago. And it continues. It seems One Brother Shy is being well-received by customers and staff of independent booksellers. I’m deeply in their debt and cannot thank them enough.

Independent Bestsellers List (June 4)