There’s a Readings & Appearances page on this site which has a list of, well, my readings and appearances. But there’s a couple coming up soon I’d like to make special mention of, as they represent “home turf” to me (both are places/hosts I’ve done readings for before, and are close to my heart). First off, on Wednesday the 16th, 7:30 PM, I’m at Harbourfront in Toronto, reading with Roberta Rich and Keith Hollihan. Then on Wednesday the 23rd, also at 7:30, I’m reading with Ian Hamilton at the Princess Cafe, 46 King St. N. in Waterloo, hosted by Words Worth Books. I know these are both mid-week things in godforsaken February, but it would be great to see you.
The first major UK review for The Guardians is out today, and it’s a great one in The Guardian. Laura Wilson writes: “Ambitious…With a well-executed dual narrative, both past and present, strong characterizations and some truly arresting images, The Guardians is a compelling and genuinely creepy read.” Apparently there’s a nice photo of the cover and everything, too.
If you’re in the UK, save me the clipping, would you?
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?
It’s getting so bloggy over here…I can barely see. Get it! “Bloggy” rhymes with “foggy”! Okay. It’s jet lag. Forget it.
I’m back from a fun trip to Calgary and Vancouver for The Guardians and now I’m astride the desk once more, working through the almost weirdly accumulated tasks that existed as only distant vapours a week ago. The good news is that pretty much everything I’m working on these days is stuff that I want to be working on (not always the case…right freelancers?) Among this stuff is guest blogging for the National Post’s on-line book section, The Afterword. I’m there all week. Don’t forget to tip your waitress!
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.
A book tour can refer to any number of realities, from glam 20-city limo-and-executive-class victory laps to a drive through a blizzard to read to empty chairs in a church basement. The book tour I’m on for The Guardians at the moment isn’t Grisham-esque in its length or expense, but they’re keeping me busier than I’ve ever been on these trips, and the truth is I’m having a hell of a good time. Had a really great day in Calgary yesterday, finishing off with a reading to a warm audience at Pages bookstore in Kensington. Today I’m in Vancouver, doing interviews and reading at the Main Branch VPL tonight. Meeting some old friends along the way, and making some new ones too. I’m having a blast, gotta say.
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!