Well, here you go! As promised, I’m proud to unveil the cover for my fifth novel, Poles Apart, due to hit bookstores on October 20th. I think the design team at Random House/McClelland & Stewart, led by Scott Richardson, have done a great job on the cover. It’s playful and cryptic, and captures the tone and fun of the book very well. My deep thanks to Scott and his crew.
Archive for the ‘Random House’ Category
It’s always nice, even a thrill, to write the words “The End” at the bottom of the page. I finished the manuscript for my fifth novel, Poles Apart, last night. It comes in at just under 98,000 words, and so is a touch longer than my last novel, No Relation. I wish this meant I was well and truly finished. Alas, no. We’re still a long way from seeing the novel on bookstore shelves. But I think of this as, to borrow from Winston Churchill, “the end of the beginning.”
My wonderful editor, Douglas Gibson at McClelland & Stewart, will now go through it, first as a reader, and then on the second, third, and fourth passes, as an editor. We’ll talk about his reaction and suggestions. Then I’ll take another run through it, tweaking here, tightening there. If our first four novels together are any indication, and I hope they are, the editing process ought not to be too onerous (I’m touching wood right now!). But we’ll see.
I’m just happy to have this first major phase completed. If all goes well, expect to see Poles Apart in bookstores in October, 2015. (Fingers eternally crossed…)
This happened a while ago, but the news was just released today. I’ve signed a two-book deal with McClelland & Stewart, under the Douglas Gibson Books imprint. Doug Gibson will still be my editor. My fourth novel, No Relation, is written and edited, and is already in M&S’s hands for copy-editing, layout, and cover design. It will be published in May, 2014. It’s possible I’ll actually have my fifth novel written by then, (he says, optimistically) as I’m now deep into the planning stages of it, and hope to have started writing the manuscript by the end of the year. It’s tentatively called Poles Apart. (I’ll write more about novel #5 later in the summer, when the story is more fully developed.)
It’s an honour to be with McClelland & Stewart for my next two novels. My gratitude to my agent Beverley Slopen, and the great folks at M&S, Ellen Seligman, Doug Gibson, Bhavna Chauhan, Kristin Cochrane, Anita Chong, and of course my tireless publicist, Frances Bedford. Onwards…
So I did. I’ve just returned from a 12-day book tour through western Canada, organized by the incomparable Frances Bedford, my publicist at McClelland & Stewart/Random House. It was really the first time in my writerly life that I’ve spent 12 consecutive days as a writer, without my day job intervening (well, mostly). And it was wonderful. It began in Victoria with a reading at the famous Bolen Books, organized by my friend and fellow writer, Robert Wiersema. It was a great event with a big crowd in a beautiful, big and independent book store. Afterwards, Robert and I had a great time catching up over dinner. The next day, it was off to Calgary for WORDfest, one of the largest writers’ festivals in Canada. I hosted and moderated a session called Lattes, Love and Laughter with Shauna Singh Baldwin, Billie Livingston, and Lorna Crozier. It was a fun event with lots of laughs sparked by these three very talented writers.
That evening, I was driven to the picturesque town of Turner Valley to give a talk and reading at their brand new library. What a great crowd and a great event. I signed a lot of books that night and I’m grateful.
After Turner Valley, it was off to The Banff Centre for four glorious days at what’s called the Summit Salon, communing with fellow writers and getting a big chunk of work done on my fourth novel. As you can imagine, the scenery was breathtaking, and more importantly, inspiring. I found it quite easy to spend large spans of time writing away amidst the mountains. I was also asked to write a guest post for The Banff Centre blog about my podcasting experiences. It was the least I could do. I hope that somewhere in my future is another visit to the Banff Centre.
Here’s a shot taken by Meghan Krauss, a photographer studying at The Banff Centre, to accompany the blog post. If you look past the figure marring the shot, you get just a glimpse of the beautiful scenery
Then after another day in Calgary doing media interviews and signing copies of Up and Down in various bookstores around town, I caught a flight for Edmonton. After a few more media and book signing stops, I gave a reading at the Chapters South Point store. Another warm crowd showed up and we had a good time.
My final event was in St. Albert, a suburb of Edmonton at their annual STARFest, the St. Albert’s Readers Festival. What a fun night it was. The prominent and popular Edmonton Journal columnist, Paula Simons, interviewed me on stage before I did a reading and then took questions from the floor. Paula asked some very insightful, even penetrating questions. I had to be on my toes, but thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Now my western swing is over and I’m trying to get back in the swing of things. But still lots of events to promote Up and Down. Off for readings in Bayfield tonight, and then Flesherton tomorrow night. And so it goes…
I’ve been remiss in not writing sooner about the wonderful launch of The High Road back on September 8th at the Dora Keogh pub on the Danforth here in Toronto. I’ve just been so swamped with work and book-related events that I just haven’t had time to reflect on the great night we had at the Dora. As with the launch of The Best Laid Plans nearly three years ago, I was not as organized as I should have been to have a camera clicking away to record the night for posterity, so there seem to be precious few photos. By the time the launch got started around 6:00, the place was packed with over 100 guests. My good friend Guy Skipworth from Mediaco was very helpful in making the room “launch-worthy” with a flat screen monitor, a podium, and a set of Canadian flags. It looked great. The good folks from Book City on the Danforth took care of book sales with both The Best Laid Plans and The High Road available. My literary agent, Beverley Slopen was on hand too.
Mark Leiren-Young, the 2009 winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour was in the house all the way from his home in B.C. and made a perfect Master of Ceremonies. He did a great job and I’m grateful that he made the trek to be here for the launch. My friend and editor/publisher Doug Gibson (Douglas Gibson Books/McClelland & Stewart) also spoke, telling some hilarious stories before handing the podium to me. (Tough act to follow!) I spoke for a few minutes to thank a number of people who have been supporting my writing for a long time, and then I read a short piece from The High Road. After that, it was back to socializing and signing.
I was amazed that so many people came, including a contingent from McClelland & Stewart and Random House. Johanna from Book City reported that we sold over 100 books to boot. It was such a fun event and a worthy lift-off for The High Road.
Here’s a photo Julie Forrest from Random House took and uploaded to Twitter early in the night.
Update: Guy Skipworth kindly provided a few photos he took at the event.
Mark Leiren-Young running the show.
Doug Gibson making them laugh.
Reading from The High Road.
A couple of weeks ago, Julie Forrest, leading literary blogger, digital maven at Random House, and all-around nice person, passed along a series of 20 questions on behalf of BookLounge, and asked for my responses. I was happy to oblige. If insomnia plagues you, please feel free to check out my not always thoughtful answers. (You can just click on the graphic below to get to the site.)