THE GUARDIANS paperback…out now!

The title just about says it all.

The trade paperback edition of The Guardians is available in stores and on-line (and everywhere else) in Canada and the U.S. on September 13, and though this announcement comes a day early, you can go to your favourite bookseller and politely hound them to bust open the boxes if they haven’t already (or order the damn thing if they neglected to).  Trust me:  booksellers love being hounded.

I am especially psyched about this edition because it feels so good.  You know that slightly rough, grippy paper they use on paperbacks sometimes?  It’s got that.  And the spooky house on the cover is just right.  And my name – though large – isn’t James Patterson-sized.  And the red foil on the title does a shiny thing when you turn it around in the light.  And…I just like it.

Which is not always the case with a book’s design.  Despite everyone’s best intentions, covers can sometimes turn out a bit turdy.  Not this one, my friends!  So hit the streets or hit the web and check it out.  And if you decide to purchase this thrilling and edifying cultural product, you have my gratitude and undying loyalty.

The Guardians’ US release date!

What’s so great about September 13th?  No, it’s not a Friday, so it won’t remind you of those horror movies featuring Jason Voorhees, the unforgiving ghoul with the machete in the goalie mask.  And no, it’s not my birthday (so please no gifts, unless you had a bottle of Redbreast Irish in mind).  I’ll TELL you what so great about September 13th…

It’s the publication date for The Guardians in the US!  And it doesn’t stop there:  September 13th is also the publication date for The Guardians trade paperback edition in Canada.

Mark your calendars!  Clear the day of all meetings!  Wash your sleeping bag and spend the night of the 12th outside your favourite bookstore to be the first in line!  (Okay, I’m excited.  Hyperbole is a side effect).

The Guardians up to #2 on National Bestseller list!

The crappy news?  I feel like I’m getting a cold.  Not unusual for the sunless deep-freeze we call January in Canada.  But still, against all odds, I thought I might sneak through the winter without one.  It’s touch and go still – I’m clinging to the possibility that I may yet be spared (that same faint hope that drives sales of Cold FX…and yes, I’m popping them like M&Ms).

The good news?  The Guardians has made it on to the Maclean’s National Bestseller List for a second week in a row!  Not only that, it’s moved up from #5 to #2!  I’m gobsmacked.

So here’s a question:  can good news (and a hell of a lot of naturopathic voodoo pills) make a cold go away?

The Guardians on the shelves!

You know what I’m going to do today?  I’m going to stroll into a bookstore to see The Guardians on the shelf.  Because they’re there (the interweb told me)!  And there’s nothing quite like that first sight of a pub date book, newborn and shivering, presenting itself to the world.

It’s a complicated moment.  You want to protect it, nudge it out from the corner (“Go on!  Introduce yourself!”), tell it to shut up and you’ll do all the talking.  But even as you’re aware of its vulnerabilities, you always love it.  You love it more because of its vulnerabilities.

So on behalf of The Guardians I invite you to check it out.  If I’ve done my job halfway right, it should take you a quarter of the time as that new Franzen.  And unlike that new Franzen…it’s got a haunted house in it!

The Year Ahead

2010?  Thank you.  You brought me a beautiful chucklehead of a son (born right at the start of things).  You moved us into a new house (and a mortgage of a size and amortization period that brought joy to the cold heart of CIBC).  You delivered a crazy-busy summer peppered with airports and conference calls and a couple weeks at a rented cottage of I’ll-never-forget-those-days quality.  Oh, and thanks for introducing me to Santa’s Village!  I’ll be back!

But, to be frank, you’re looking your age.  Just a few more days and you’ll be off to that place where the ghost years go.  So we look to the year to come – 2011, with its twin towered 1’s pointing hopefully skyward – and, with fingers crossed, count our hopes.

For me, 2011 is jam-packed.  This is highly unusual.  I’m a novelist.  My professional calendar tends to be snowdrift-white for pages and pages, my To Do list little more than “Write novel.”  But this new year happens to be one where many long-long-gestating projects may (and I emphasize may) decide to step into the light.  There’s the new book, The Guardians, of course (in stores the first week of January!)  But there’s other stuff on the go too.  A TV pilot I’ve been hired to write.  The movie of Lost Girls, scheduled to be filmed in the fall.  The movie of The Killing Circle, which has a finished script (not written by me, but a British screenwriter named James Dormer…and it’s effing great).  Two other adaptations in earlier stages of development – The Wildfire Season going to draft, and The Guardians under option.  [NOTE:  It’s the movie business, I know.  Which is to say you never know.  You think the literary life is about rejection?  Try making a movie.  But it will nevertheless be exciting to see how the horse race goes over the next 365 days].

And then there’s another novel to write.  There’s always another novel to write.  A new year!  A new story!

Bring it.