The One Brother Shy Podcast is here

March 13th, 2017

OBS Podcast image

I’m about to post the first two chapters of the podcast edition of my sixth novel, One Brother Shy. iTunes has already approved the podcast and it should appear in the iTunes store search engine in the next few days. Here’s the iTunes link where you can listen and subscribe.

I hope to upload one chapter each week until the novel is finished. I have some travel coming up that may thwart my ambitious one-chapter-per-week schedule, but I’m going to try.

Hope you enjoy the podcast. One Brother Shy hits bookstores on May 30, 2017.

Nice to be on the Premier’s nightstand

March 11th, 2017

A bookstore in Guelph tweeted this photo earlier this week. I’m honoured that Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, whose judgement I have always admired (now even more so!), decided to pick up two of my humble novels. Proud to be on the Premier’s nightstand.Kathleen Wynne

Lucky me! The blurb parade continues

February 22nd, 2017

Blurb Juby

I’ve been so fortunate to have received several very positive endorsements from writers I respect and admire. The latest is from the 2016 winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, Susan Juby. I’m honoured. Here’s her lovely blurb that will appear somewhere on One Brother Shy when it appears in bookstores at the end of May.

One Brother Shy is funny, heartbreaking, and sensitive, just like its reluctant semi-hero, Alex MacAskill. Terry Fallis has worked his magic again in this story of a young man battered by the fates and healed by his own courage and the kindness of an unlikely assortment of people. One Brother Shy is life-affirming and an absolute joy to read.”

Susan Juby, winner of the 2016 Leacock Medal for Republic of Dirt

Two more blurbs for One Brother Shy

February 20th, 2017

I’m honoured that Joseph Kertes, the Leacock Medal-winning author of The Afterlife of Stars that just received a rave review in The New York Times Book Review has read One Brother Shy and offered up the head-swelling blurb below. As well, I’m also grateful that the hilarious Steve Patterson, host of CBC-Radio’s The Debaters and author of the very funny The Book of Letters I Didn’t Know Where to Send has also provided some wonderful endorsements for the novel. I’m grateful to them both.

Blurb Kertes image

“Mark Twain once observed that the “secret source of humor is not joy but sorrow.” In One Brother Shy, Terry Fallis locates this secret source in a very moving yet often funny story about a young man’s search for lost family, lost identity, lost confidence and lost time. In so doing, the author marries joy with sorrow. The result is a wonderful, powerful tale of pain and redemption. Treat yourself to One Brother Shy—you’ll get to see one of Canada’s finest storytellers at the top of his game.”

Joseph Kertes, Author of The Afterlife of Stars

StevePaterson

“One Brother Shy is what I would describe as “classic Terry Fallis”. A story that you don’t ‘read’ so much as LIVE along with thanks to sparkling dialogue full of so much wit you don’t realize how damn reasonable it is. I recommend this book for everyone who has a twin or wishes that they did. 

To me, the magic of Terry Fallis is dialogue that allows you to eavesdrop on the conversations we all wish we could overhear rather than the ones that are actually inflicted on us in daily society. What Terry writes isn’t just worth reading, it’s worth LISTENING to. [so try to read this where you can read out loud. Which for me meant alone in hotel rooms. Although it’s so good I’m sure the other people on the plane wouldn’t have minded one bit.]

One Brother Shy is another wonderful example of the great gift of Terry Fallis: To make us laugh just enough we don’t realize we’re also learning. My only complaint with his novels is that he can’t write them as quickly as I can devour them.”

Steve Patterson, host of CBC-Radio’s The Debaters and author of The Book of Letters I Didn’t Know Where to send

Stuart McLean 1948-2017

February 16th, 2017

stuart-mclean

It’s certainly a sad day in the humour-writing world after learning that Stuart McLean, the three-time Leacock Medal winner, wonderful storyteller, and creator of the Vinyl Cafe had passed away. To me, he reflected, and perfected, a very Canadian sense of humour that was gentler, often self-deprecating, never mean, frequently moving, and always funny. He explored that terrain where tears meet laughter, and he did it very, very well. When I somehow won the Leacock Medal in 2008 for my first novel, I remember giving thanks in my impromptu acceptance speech for Dave and Morley’s quiet and uneventful year. You see, Stuart McLean did not have a Vinyl Cafe book out that year or I suspect he would have won the Leacock, not I. His legions of devoted readers and listeners are bereft today. I’m one of them.

Here’s the CBC piece that ran on The National last night, including a very brief reminiscence from me.

 

First blurb is in for One Brother Shy

February 1st, 2017

Blurbs barwin-yiddish

I’m thrilled that Gary Barwin, the brilliant and funny author of Yiddish for Pirates, a Giller Prize and Governor-Generals Award finalist, has offered up a lovely blurb about One Brother Shy. At least a phrase or two will likely appear on the front or back covers when my sixth novel hits bookstores in late May. I’m always gratified and humbled by the wonderful support I’ve received from fellow writers. Gary is a lovely, creative, and very funny guy, and I was so happy for him when his extraordinary novel, Yiddish for Pirates was such a hit this past year. I’m grateful to him for these kind words:

One Brother Shy is a two-for-one flight of invention, full of hilarious one-liners. A compelling and surprising tale about the discovery of the abiding importance and inspiration of family is twinned with a rich portrait of characters in keenly observed social contexts. The wit and brio of the storytelling belies its sensitivity and emotional depth and the many secrets waiting in the wings to be uncovered. Terry Fallis has written another fast-paced, incisive, and wry novel that doesn’t shy away from the enjoyably genuine and the genuinely human.”

Gary Barwin, author of Yiddish for Piratesa Scotiabank Giller Prize and Governor-General’s Literature Prize Finalist

Ten years later…

January 5th, 2017

2016-a

Early January is traditionally when I take a reflective look back across the preceding year and give thanks for all the good fortune that still seems to be trailing me around in my now ten year old life as a novelist. I do find it hard to believe that a decade has elapsed since I started this blog and began podcasting my first novel, The Best Laid Plans. A decade! If you’d told me back in 2007 that ten years later McClelland & Stewart would be publishing my sixth novel, One Brother Shy, I’d at least have scoffed if not collapsed in hysterics. Yet here we are.

2016 was another eventful year in my writerly life:

  • I slowed down a bit more on the readings, signings, and talks front. I logged 75 appearances, down from over a hundred in 2015. This wasn’t really a conscious decrease, but just seemed to work out that way. (It’s of course possible that people are growing tired of me.) However, I did seem to travel to a few more exotic locales including visits to Whitehorse, Galiano and Pender Islands, Cape Breton Island, and, of all places, the United Arab Emirates.
  • November was an unprecedented month of travel for me, though only one stint of the voyage was book-related. I happily spent time in New York, Orlando, Paris, and the aforementioned United Arab Emirates. I was in UAE for the Sharjah International Book Fair. I spoke at the American University of Sharjah and then, likely for the one and only time in my life, sat on a panel at the book fair where the language was Arabic and I was given headphones for simultaneous translation. It was a fascinating experience.

I think that about wraps up the highlights of another busy year. I’m hard at work planning my seventh novel as we head into 2017 and hope to be writing the manuscript by the time One Brother Shy is released in May. In March, I’ll be starting to podcast One Brother Shy, chapter-by-chapter, as is my practice. It’ll be available as a free download on iTunes and this blog. I also have some travel coming up later in the spring with a seven day reading tour of the Gulf Islands off BC’s west coast. I’ll also likely be teaching my Humour Writing course at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies starting later this month.

Happy New Year!

On sale date advanced for One Brother Shy

November 28th, 2016

on-sale-date-graphic

I’m pleased to report that the powers that be at McClelland & Stewart have advanced the publication date for One Brother Shy from June 20th to May 30th. Yay! The earlier the better.

 

The cover art for One Brother Shy

November 22nd, 2016

One Brother Shy cover (lower res)

Well here it is, the cover art for my sixth novel, One Brother Shy, due in bookstores in June 2017. Clearly Penguin Random House/McClelland & Stewart is trying to give my novels a certain recognizable look and feel, as this design is similar to the covers of my last two novels. My deep gratitude to the wonderful designer, Five Seventeen (and yes, that’s his name) for this cool and colourful cover.

As for what the feather and scotch tape symbolize, well, I’ll leave it to you to connect the dots after you’ve read the novel.

And yes, I will be podcasting this novel starting sometime in March.

Just to let you know where we are in the publishing process, we’re now in the final copyediting stage. Just looking for errant commas and misplaced periods. Almost there…

 

Coffee with Mariel Hemingway (not kidding)

September 2nd, 2016

TF and Mariel Hemingway 2 (Aug 2016)

A week or so ago I received an email from Linda Leatherdale, the former Business Editor at the Toronto Sun who is now running marketing for Cambria Canada, a major international supplier of natural stone surfaces for kitchens. Linda kindly wrote that she’d read and loved all my novels and had an interesting opportunity to propose. Mariel Hemingway, the Oscar nominated actor who took Hollywood by storm in Woody Allen’s classic film, Manhattan, is a spokesperson for Cambria and was coming to Toronto on a media tour. Linda then suggested that I join the two of them for coffee and that I bring a copy of my Hemingway-themed novel, No Relation for Mariel. I gave her kind invitation careful thought and due consideration and then, four nanoseconds later, responded with “Where and when?”

Given my longstanding fascination with Ernest Hemingway as a literary titan of the last century, it was an incredible thrill to spend time with his granddaughter (Yes, Ernest Hemingway’s granddaughter!). I did my best to simulate a calm and collected demeanour and we had a wonderful time in the restaurant of the Four Seasons Hotel. Mariel was lovely in every way possible. She was down-to-earth and thoughtful and seemed genuinely interested in my writing and me. We talked about the audio versions of our respective books as both she and I recorded them. She kindly inscribed a copy of her memoir for me and I signed No Relation for her. Then we took photos. As you can see, I look a little like a starstruck idiot, but then again, I doubt people will spend much time looking at me in the photo.

She seemed interested to learn that No Relation is currently in development as a feature film. Wouldn’t it be cool to have Hemingway’s granddaughter appear in a film driven, in large measure, by the iconic writer’s life. Hmmm…