Thanks to all – the sales and publicity and marketing people at Doubleday Canada, the great handselling bookstore folks out there, and you, the Blessed-be-to-God! readers – who have put The Guardians on the Maclean’s national fiction bestseller list for a fifth straight week. It’s at #3 this time out. I’m tickled. (I mean that literally. I’m sitting here tickling myself. Odd, I know. But the days are long up here in the Writer’s Roost…)
Last week, during a post-reading Q&A, I was asked what the main difference between writing novels and writing screenplays is. My answer was instant: “Meetings.” Novelists will sometimes get together with their editors or publicists, and can even force themselves to attend conferences or workshops. But compared to writers in the movie and TV rackets, they’re hermits. The latter industries’ primary product isn’t scripts, but meetings. There are writers known for being “good in a meeting,” and this can be enough to buoy an illiterate’s career for several years. And so much turns on how one feels coming out of a meeting. Analyzing the “vibe in the room” can be Jungian in its density and attention, the meeting studied like a fascinating psycho with multiple personality disorder. A meeting in which “the energy just wasn’t there” can spoil a dozen lunches or more.
It sounds like I’m complaining. The truth is, I get a kick out of these meetings most of the time. If you’re working on a project you believe in with people you believe in, their articulations of how they see the thing you’re trying to realize are crucial. More than this, the shared effort to nail an idea provides company. Writing is a solitary occupation (and I love it for this). But, sometimes, there’s nothing like a good-vibe meeting with a lot of energy in the room to make you feel less alone.
Surprised and happy to report that The Guardians has made a fourth straight appearance on the Maclean’s fiction bestseller list this week. For those who’ve got the book ready to go on your bedside table, I hope you enjoy it. For those who’ve read it already and got the chills (of the good kind), you have my gratitude. And for those who’ve heard about it but are wondering if it’s worth taking the plunge…hell, what else you gonna do in February?
The Guardians makes it on to the Maclean’s fiction bestseller list for a third straight week today! I feel as surprised as the Leafs winning three straight.
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?
So my son (he just turned one) wakes up screaming his fool head off this morning at a quarter after five. That’s early, even for him. I spent the next two hours letting him crawl over me in the basement and play dj (he loves to crank the volume knob on the radio to eleven – sorry neighbours!) By the time I trudge upstairs to the office at nine (were those stairs always that steep?) and check my email, I’m about as perky as a George A. Romero zombie (not to be confused with those 28 Days Later-style speedsters). But then what do I see? An email from my editor at Doubleday Canada saying The Guardians is going into its 2nd printing just two weeks after publication! That’s double-espresso news!
I’m doing a couple readings in Calgary and Vancouver in the days to come and it would be great to see you there. Both events are free, so don’t let the depressing credit card bills from the holidays keep you from a fun, mildly spooky night out.
January 25: Calgary: Pages on Kensington Bookstore, 7:30 PM.
January 26: Vancouver: Vancouver Public Library (Main Branch) w/Amber Dawn and Michael Christie. 7:30 PM.
Just wanted to share the great news that The Guardians is a National Bestseller in its first week out in Canada! It debuts at #5 on the Maclean’s fiction list. Thank you to those who headed straight down to the bookstore to grab a copy. I always hoped you existed, but wasn’t sure…until now.
Officially speaking, I’m a novelist. But I’m really in the sleep disruption business. While it is gratifying when a reader or reviewer provides thoughtful analysis of my books’ themes or ideas or techniques, I always remind myself that the true test of the reading experience (or at least the true test for my reading) is excitement. Does the book in your hand race the heart, get under the skin? And notice the physical aspect that invariably arises when it comes to page-turning metaphors? It’s because a good book (thrilling or quiet, high-brow literary or neanderthal pulp) has to work on the body.
I have had the honour of readers reporting to me lost (or partly lost) nights of sleep at the hands of my books. Nothing delights me more than to hear of lights left on through the night, or altered dreams as a character wriggles into a reader’s slumber-thoughts.
So as The Guardians toddles (creeps?) out into the world, I’d love to know if anyone out there stays up late to finish one of its chapters…then stays up a bit later still to push the events of that chapter out of their head. Tell me if I’ve passed the sleep disruption test.
I’m not going to write a post every time a review for the new novel comes out, I promise. But I was just sent the first major newspaper review for The Guardians at the National Post. I’m relieved to say it’s a really great review. Doubly gratifying because it’s so well-written and (even more rare in reviews) so well structured. So the first question of my day is: How early can I open something bubbly and boozy (even if it’s a bottle of Keith’s)?
Check it out here: http://arts.nationalpost.com/2011/01/07/book-review-the-guardians-by-andrew-pyper/
But what I really want to say is that today is the day that my novel is officially no longer mine. It’s yours. The wide and anonymous world’s. For years the story of my fictional childhood friends and the not-so-empty Thurman house has nested in my head, been batted around in outline and on the page. It’s been a private matter, in other words. And now I wake up to find that it’s left the house in the night, leaving no note behind, and without a goodbye.
I’m happy, don’t get me wrong. And I knew this day would come. But you’d think, after five novels, you’d get used to it when the little punk grows up. As far as I can tell, you never do.