Posts Tagged ‘The Best Laid Plans’

McClelland & Stewart to publish TBLP

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008


I’m certain I’ve now exhausted my lifetime allocation of good fortune. Yesterday my wonderful agent, Beverley Slopen, confirmed that McClelland & Stewart will publish TBLP as one of its fall releases. M&S is the heavyweight Canadian publishing house with a long and rich history. What’s more, Douglas Gibson, yes the Douglas Gibson, will not only work with me on the manuscript, but the novel will actually be published under his prestigious imprint, Douglas Gibson Books. To me, this outcome is kind of like aiming to win the high school track meet, but instead ending up going to the Olympic Games and bringing home a gold medal. Doug is probably the most respected editor/publisher in the country having worked closely with some of Canada’s and the world’s leading literary lights including Robertson Davies, Alice Munro, and W.O. Mitchell to name but a few. I am over the moon.

As the Globe and Mail article below mentions, there is some irony in this most welcome outcome. Doug and I are actually friends, because our respective wives are close friends. I’ve so enjoyed the times the four of us have spent together. When you’re a passionate reader and weekend writer, nothing is more enjoyable than listening to Doug’s wonderful stories from his illustrious publishing career. It was a discussion with Doug three or four years ago about three-time Leacock Medal winner Donald Jack that ultimately got me off the couch and writing TBLP. Until last week, I’d never really spoken to Doug about my novel. I can only imagine how often he is accosted at parties or conferences by writers hoping that he’ll review their manuscripts. So I chose not to talk about my writing with Doug so as not to complicate the wonderful relationship we have. But after the Leacock Medal, Beverley Slopen did make an approach and the publishing deal was consummated yesterday. I could not be happier and I’m so looking forward to working with Doug.

The M&S edition of The Best Laid Plans, with new cover and interior design, will be launched this fall. I’m counting the days…

TVO’s Steve Paikin blogs about TBLP

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Back in February 2007, Steve Paikin, the outstanding host of The Agenda, TV Ontario‘s great nightly public affairs program, was kind enough to interview me about the then unpublished TBLP. Here’s the blog post Steve wrote in the wake of the Leacock Medal announcement:

The Funniest Book In Canada

Back in February of 2007, I interviewed a political wise guy named Terry Fallis. Terry has been around the block in the political world. He now plies his trade at an eponymously named consulting firm.

But once upon a time, he was one of those back room boys who worked for politicians and tried to get them elected.

He’s a smart guy and figured there must be a funny book somewhere inside him, given all of what he’d seen in politics.

So he wrote a book, set on Parliament Hill, and followed the travails of a once naïve, now a bit too cynical back room boy who’s seen too much of politics’ seamy underbelly.

His book is called The Best Laid Plans and Terry rolled it out in unusual fashion.

Once a week, he downloaded a chapter of his work into podcast form on his website. He narrates the action himself. He did it this way because no Canadian publisher would print his work. Not a one.

So rather than wait for that, Fallis got the book into the readers’ hands with the newfangled technology so many of us are using these days. And what do you know: he ends up winning the Stephen Leacock prize for humour.

While the credit is all Terry’s, I take a certain amount of pride in saying we were the first program to interview the author, when, quite frankly, no one was beating his doors down to give him any attention.

Video Thumbnail So, to see and hear my conversation with Terry Fallis from last February, about his own political history, and his successful political novel, watch this web-exclusive video and enjoy.

Thanks Steve. You were there at the beginning and I’m grateful.