Writing Life: 32
It’s time for another Miscellany post where I cover a few smaller, often unrelated, items that just aren’t significant enough for stand-alone posts. Here we go…
Another cover update for A New Season
Since my last update post on my upcoming ninth novel, wherein I revealed the cover art, McClelland & Stewart has completed the design for the rest of the cover. Here’s the full design showing the spine and back, too. I love the little splash of contrasting colour provided by the crossed hockey sticks on the spine. I can’t stop staring at the cover. Love it.
But wait, there’s more to come on the design front. You see, they’re trying something new with this novel. Instead of having the customary blank, white inside covers on this trade paperback, they’re actually designing them too, so there’ll be colour, imagery, and text on the inside covers, too. I’ve never seen that done before. We’re not quite ready yet to share the inside cover design but I’ve seen early concepts and I think it’s going to look great. I’ll share the final version of the inside covers when it’s been decided. I’m so looking forward to the finished product. Fantastic work (again) by the talented Penguin Random House/McClelland & Stewart designer, Matthew Flute.
Also, stay tuned for news soon about the audiobook edition of A New Season.
A New Season now available to pre-order
Warning: Shameless shilling ahead. Pre-orders are actually quite important in helping a writer—in this case, me—get out of the gate strong and fast come publishing day. Pre-orders can certainly push a novel onto the bestsellers list. If you’re intending to pick a copy of A New Season when it’s out, perhaps you might consider pre-ordering. It usually means the book arrives at your door on publication day. How convenient! Here are the links to make that even easier for you. Just click on the image to pre-order from the online retailer of your choice. Enough said. Thanks so much!
And if you prefer independent bookstores, as I do, you can find one near you by clicking below, then clicking on the Shop Local button, and contacting an Indie bookstore to pre-order.
A fantastic conversation between two Toms on CBC’s Q
I had heard the promo for this unique episode of CBC-Radio’s Q but couldn’t catch it live that morning. So a few days later, while lying in bed early in the morning, I listened to the entire 54 minute conversation between Tom Power, one of my favourite musician/hosts, and the inimitable Tom Hanks. It’s the first time in Q’s history that an entire episode has been devoted to a single guest and conversation. When you listen, you’ll understand why. Both Toms were in stellar form.
(We interrupt this post about Tom and Tom with a brief digression about Tom and Terry.)
When you’re a guest on Q, Tom Power makes you feel like you’re having a conversation on his back deck sharing a beer and a burger. He leads a conversation that seems natural and effortless. I assure you it’s neither. Rather, it’s the culmination of assiduous research and intense preparation. I know because I had the pleasure of being on Q with Tom back in 2017 when my fifth novel, One Brother Shy was released. A year and a bit later, my wife Nancy and I drove him from the Writers at Woody Point festival on the Newfoundland Coast, where we’d both appeared, to the airport in Deer Lake to catch the same flight back to Toronto. He’s a great and talented guy.
(Now back to our regularly scheduled Tom and Tom programming.)
Yes, right, back to the Hanks-Power tête-à-tête. In their conversation, Tom Hanks was filled with good humour, charming humility, enlightening insights, and powerful wisdom that applies well beyond his own realm of film-making. In all my years of listening to CBC Radio and Q, I don’t think I’ve enjoyed an interview more. I didn’t want it to end—and it was long, but not long enough for me. Do yourself a favour and have a listen. Click here or on the graphic below and you’ll be able to play the entire conversation and hear these two consummate pros at work.
An on-stage interview at the London Writers Society
Earlier this month, I was in London, Ontario for an on-stage interview organized by the London Writers Society. It was held at Wolf Performance Hall, right downtown.
It was a lovely evening. There’s something about being in the room with other writers that feels a little different. The event was organized by a team of volunteers led by society President, Ron Couglar, and I was interviewed by the wonderful writer, Elaine Couglar who just happens to be married to Ron. She had thoughtful and insightful questions that I tried to answer with matching thought and insight, though I likely fell short. The audience questions were interesting, too. The good folks from the University of Western Ontario’s bookstore were on hand to sell my backlist, so I signed books afterwards for quite some time. It was a long drive home afterwards, but I still had a bit of a buzz from the event and made it home safely and awake.
I seem to be doing more and more live, in-person events these days, and that’s great news. We’re all still being careful but it sure is nice to get out again to commune with readers and writers. I’ve missed that part of the writing life. But it’s coming back—case in point—read on.
Invited to Calgary Wordfest’s Imaginairium Festival
This is the time of year when the big fall literary festivals begin to plan their lineups. It helps to have a new novel arriving just as the summer ends and the fall begins. Happily, I’ve been invited to Calgary in October for Wordfest’s famed Imaginairium Festival. YeeHaaa!
I’ve appeared at Wordfest a number of times previously—most recently in 2019—and am thrilled to be going back. One of my early visits to Wordfest was in support of my third novel, Up and Down, back in 2012. I’d already been in Victoria for book events before flying to Calgary where my wife, Nancy, met me for the first couple days of the festival before she had return to Toronto. But when Nancy and I pulled up to the Calgary hotel where the Wordfest writers were staying, who did we meet as we exited the taxi? None other than Martin Amis, also in town for the festival. An auspicious first encounter. The memory is more poignant with the sad news of his recent passing, all too soon, at 73.
After Nancy flew back home, I stayed on in Alberta for more book talks and signings including stops in Banff and Edmonton.
All this to say that I’m very happy to be heading back to Calgary in October for at least two appearances at Wordfest’s Imaginairium Festival. Here’s a fun video summarizing the 2019 festival, the last time I was there, when I was promoting my seventh novel, Albatross. The video gives you a sense of how much fun we had during that festival.
We’ll see if any more festival invitations arrive. Fingers crossed. Not all writers love the public part of the writerly life—you know, the travel, being on stage at festivals, signing books, running workshops and smiling for extended periods. But I really love that aspect of being a writer. It’s like a reward for being sequestered alone in my writing space for months at a time, working away on a novel. When it’s finally published and out in the world, it’s as if I’ve been liberated to re-enter society and actually talk to people. In what seems to be our post-pandemic world, I’m looking forward to getting back on the road.
Many thanks for having a look a this post. It’s free and easy to subscribe and then you’ll be sure not to miss future instalments. Many thanks. I’ll be back in two weeks.