Archive for the ‘podcast novel’ Category

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!

 

Toronto Star Reviews One Brother Shy

Monday, July 24th, 2017

Note: Several plot spoilers in this review 

TorStar logo

Twins reunite in quest to find father in One Brother Shy

In One Brother Shy by Terry Fallis, the search for family is also a tale of self-discovery.

Aficionados of novelist Terry Fallis’s fiction could be forgiven for thinking his new novel, One Brother Shy, might be the kind of comic turn that has earned him two Stephen Leacock Medals for Humour. But they’d be wrong. Although one central character’s somewhat chippy personality has its amusing moments, the book is more psychological whodunit than side-splitting farce. The book is also something of an ode to one of the most unique emotional bonds a human can experience — the ineffable connection shared by identical twins.

But at the narrative’s outset, the shy, diffident and, yes, chippy Ottawa-based Alex MacAskill has no idea he was separated at birth from his much more sophisticated London-based twin brother Matt Paterson. Resolving the mystery of their separation and discovering the father they never knew keeps the novel humping along at a breakneck pace.

The action begins with the death of Alex’s mother and two pictures she leaves behind as a mysterious legacy. One of them shows a man, seen only from the shoulders down, cradling two newborns in his arms. The pictures contain a clue that would be critical to tracking him down: an odd tattoo on the left arm. But Alex initially has more pressing business: finding his twin who’s out there — somewhere.

Alex possesses a useful skill to aid and abet his sleuthing. A brilliant code writer, he’s developing state-of-the-art facial-recognition software, so faster than a speeding hard drive, Alex quickly discovers his bro is a successful tech entrepreneur in London and seemingly his polar opposite, emotionally, psychologically and experientially. Or is he?

A compelling subplot in One Brother Shy is the impact of a humiliating trauma Alex experienced as a 15-year-old aspiring high-school actor. After spiking his Coke with a Viagra-like pill, two bullies lower a dazed, naked — and tumescent — Alex onto the stage of his high-school Christmas pageant and the ensuing video — “ARCHangel” — became the Internet’s first viral sensation. Humiliated, Alex retreats from life, going emotionally AWOL for the next decade, until he meets his twin.

Once reunited, the twins go in search of their father, an odyssey that takes them to Putin’s Moscow with its vestiges of Soviet-era spooks and memories of the 1972 U.S.S.R.-Canada hockey series. Eventually, they succeed in finding their dad, but that is not the book’s emotional crescendo, IMO. That transpires when shy, taciturn Alex, the one-time aspiring actor, rediscovers himself by “playing” his brother, sidelined by laryngitis just before a make-or-break corporate dog-and-pony show. But had his twin tricked him into undergoing an emotional catharsis? Alex, confrontationally: “You never lost your voice, did you?” Matt, cryptically: “I lost mine, you found yours.” Now that’s identical twin love.

One Brother Shy is a charming, affecting book with perhaps one little caveat: Fallis’s tendency to tie up all plot lines with the precision of a daytime soap. A small quibble, perhaps.

Robert Collison is a Toronto writer and editor.

Iceland Writers Retreat next April!

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017

Logo-IWR

What a thrill to be invited to serve on the faculty of the 2018 Iceland Writers Retreat next April. I’ve known other writers who have attended this wonderful and respected retreat and they rave about it and the country. I have wanted to visit this special place for many years now, not just because of the very distinct literary strand that runs through the Icelandic culture, but also because of the 1972 World Chess Championships in Reykjavik, when Bobby Fischer Defeated Boris Spassky (yes, I’m a bit of a chess nerd, though you’d never guess from my play). I’ll be leading two workshops, sitting on a panel, giving a couple of readings, and doing anything and everything I’m asked to do, beaming all the way.
 
The stellar faculty for the 2018 retreat includes famed novelist Allice Hoffman, Pulitzer Prize winner Hilton Als, New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul (who I listen to each week on the Book Review podcast), two decorated Icelandic writers, and others. Registration is now open for the retreat. Why not consider joining us?
reykjavik_cnt_18nov09_iStock_b_1

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)

One Brother Shy on CBC Books Bestseller List

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

CBC Books just released their Canadian Fiction Bestseller List for the week of May 28-June 3. One Brother Shy sits nicely at #3. I couldn’t be happier. Thanks to everyone who rushed out and picked up a copy as soon as it was released.

CBC Books Bestseller List 170607 (smaller)