Archive for the ‘Tim Fallis’ Category

If at First You Succeed is finished

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

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.



One Brother Shy is finished!

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

Typewriter2 (The End)

True to my pledge, I’m doing my best to keep you all up to date on the progress of my sixth novel, One Brother Shy. I started the actual writing of this manuscript back in early March, having spent the preceding six months or so conceiving the story and then mapping it out in what eventually became an 80 page chapter-by-chapter outline. I’m now pleased to report that the novel is finished!

I sent the manuscript to my editor, Doug Gibson, about a week ago. Since then, he’s read it a few times and worked his editorial magic. He complained that I’d left him little to do, which I took as a good sign. I received his editorial suggestions on the weekend and have been working my way through them, page by page, ever since.

And now, it’s finished! One Brother Shy is finished, at least until the manuscript is put through the copy-editing process at McClelland & Stewart. Having made this journey on five previous occasions, I know that copy editing will yield more little changes thanks to minor discrepancies, inconsistencies, and typos that neither Doug nor I caught, even though we’ve both been immersed in the manuscript these last few weeks.

But the important point here is that, at least for a while, the novel is out of my hands while the wheels of publishing grind on. This frees me, and my addled mind, to consider what story might be told in my seventh novel. I have a few ideas, but none has yet grabbed my throat and refused to let go. Soon, I hope.

Still no formal word on when One Brother Shy will be published, but stay tuned. It will be sometime in 2017. When I know, you’ll know.

One Brother Shy is, among other things, the story of identical twins discovering one another some 25 years after they were born. While there is virtually no autobiographical content in this novel, as you can see below, I do know what it’s like to have an identical twin brother. I’ve dedicated this new novel to my identical twin brother, Tim (on the left, below). He’s been big supporter throughout my writing odyssey. This shot was taken when we were about fifteen. I just wish I still had that much hair.

T&T twin photo


My piece in the engineering magazine, The Voice

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Not every one of my friends and acquaintances knows that I actually have an engineering degree, and at one point in my life, planned to make engineering my career. Much has happened since my university days, but I still wear my iron ring with pride. A month or so ago, I spoke to a group of engineers about how I felt my engineering education prepared me for life as a political advisor, public affairs/public relations professional, and a novelist. Those of you who have read my first two novels will understand that even though I’ve never worked as an engineer, engineering is still a part of me. So when the editor of The Voice, the magazine of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, invited me to write a piece about my engineering education, I was very pleased to accept. You can read the article by clicking here, or on the graphic below, and scrolling down to page 14:

Author photo change for The High Road

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

My identical twin brother Tim, an accomplished photographer in off-hours, took the author photo for TBLP and, we thought, took the shot that was originally to have graced the back of The High Road. I quite liked the new photo but some have said that I look a little too serious for the writer of novels that are supposed to amuse the reader. I appear a little serious because I usually look like a raving idiot when I smile for the camera. You think I doth protest too much? You haven’t seen the reams of smiling photos still lying on the cutting room floor. They could scare little children. Enter Clarence Johnson. Clarence is a photographer with an interest in eyewear. He snaps photos of people and their glasses and posts them on his interesting blog, picpu. Clarence happened to be in the audience when I read at Word on the Street in Toronto in September, 2008, shortly after the McClelland & Stewart edition of TBLP was published. I noticed the shot on the picpu blog months later when it popped up in a Google search. Because I didn’t know the photo was being taken, it doesn’t have that posed look that I deplore. Seems a few folks saw the shot on my blog and a consensus emerged that it might in fact be a good author photo as it seems to capture the spirit of humour, laughter, Leacock, etc. So it looks like we’re going with Clarence’s shot as the official author photo. Thankfully, he kindly granted permission. I’ve broken the news to my brother. He lay on the floor kicking his feet and flailing his arms a bit, but eventually accepted the decision. Just kidding. Tim’s been great about it and given what he had to work with, I think his shots are still the best non-candid photos ever taken of me. So my thanks to Clarence and to Tim for their support and understanding. Here’s the photo:

Yes, I know it’s closely cropped at the top, but that’s not a bad thing for a guy with an ever-expanding forehead!

New author photo for The High Road… uh boy…

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

There seems to be no end of little details to address as the new novel makes its way to publication in September. Today, after procrastinating for weeks, I was finally forced to undergo that often humiliating experience, at least for me, of having my photo taken. I need a new shot for the back of The High Road. Just to put it out there, I take terrible pictures. When I see myself in photographs, the words “Do I actually look like this?” often spring to my lips, in the faint hope that I’ll be told “No, no, no, this doesn’t look like you at all.” Yeah right. Anyway, my twin brother Tim is a great photographer, even when I am the subject. He took the photo that adorns the back of The Best Laid Plans and came over recently with his Canon camera to do the deed. After snapping about 2,300 shots in our backyard (okay, I’m kidding– sort of) and then working his magic in photoshop, we’ve finally decided on the author photo for The High Road. For what it’s worth, here’s the head shot that will appear on the back cover. Don’t ask me if I actually look like this. I really have no idea.

Photo by Tim Fallis