Archive for the ‘Zoe Whittall’ Category

I’ve run out of words for “shocked”

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

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…  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.

TBLP makes the “Canada Also Reads” longlist

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

This morning, the National Post‘s Canada Also Reads longlist was released. There was some criticism of the annual CBC Canada Reads selections this year. Not because they weren’t all great books, but because many of them were well-known, already-recognized CanLit offerings. So the National Post, using Twitter, solicited nominations for an alternative program dubbed Canada Also Reads. Nominated books had to have been published in the last two years. There was quite a response from Canadians. The good news is that TBLP made the cut, albeit, along with 60 other books. There are some big name writers on the longlist including: Michael Crummey, Cory Doctorow, Cathy Marie Buchanan, Pasha Malla, Lorrie Moore, Donna Morrissey, Alice Munro, and Zoe Whittall.

The next step, sometime early in the New Year, is the announcement of five finalists, and five panelists to defend the shortlisted books. If you’re interested in being a panelist, just send an email to theafterword@nationalpost.com with the name of the book you’d like to defend. Who knows, your book choice may be a finalist and you could be a panelist. Thanks to all of you who nominated TBLP for the longlist. It seemed to work!

Quill & Quire note publishing deal

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Quillblog on THR

If you’re a Canadian writer (published or unpublished) or an avid reader interested in the book world, Quill & Quire is a great publication. I buy it at the newstand but it’s time I subscribed. They also have a great blog called the Quillblog. Check it out. If you look closely, you’ll see that the very talented writer, Zoe Whittall, has written the brief piece above (I’m honoured!). I just heard the podcast of her great interview with Sheila Rogers on The Next Chapter as I walked to work yesterday.