I'm pleased to jump back on social media for a few moments to announce that I've signed on with Mark Gottlieb of the Trident Media Group! Mark is a powerhouse agent from a powerhouse agency, so it's exciting to imagine where my work might end up.
For those interested in such things, here's the Coles Notes version of how it happened: for a couple of weeks, I've been querying Canadian/US/UK agents to represent my latest project (working title: BARREN ARM), an upscale near-dystopian/apocalyptic adventure novel ("near" = where epically bad things happen, but the world hasn't ended). Interest has been great and I've had a number of requests for the full manuscript, but Mark read it in less than twelve hours (!!!) and offered representation right away, which I was over the moon about (Trident consistently sits at the top of a whole bunch of submission and deal categories). After chatting with Mark and touching base with the other agents who had the manuscript—who're all great, too—my decision was clear: Trident does serious business, so if Mark is behind my project, that says a lot about its potential. Onwards!
I'm so, so pleased to report that my short story "Bayfront" and my lyric memoir "Gone Supernova" have been picked up for publication by The New Quarterly, which has featured my work in the past and remains my ab-fab Canadian literary journal. "Bayfront" will appear later this year, and "Gone Supernova" will be published sometime in 2019.
Soms shouts-out are in order here: first and foremost, thanks again to Pamela and Susan at TNQ for believing in and supporting my work; second, to authors extraordinaire Michael Christie and Madeleine Thien for lending me a few of their words in "Gone Supernova"; and third, to my UBC fiction peeps, who workshopped "Bayfront" even though it was way too long.
FYI, Michael Christie's If I Fall, If I Die is an amazing novel—get a copy, and be changed. Madeleine Thien's sublime Do Not Say We Have Nothing is fiction to aspire to, and well worth a read.
Writing is a solitary sport, with days and weeks and months often spent toiling away in blissful, heartbreaking, and mostly unacknowledged solitude, often staring at blanks screens and pages.
But not this week. This week has been a corker.
1. I received news that my novel SAINTS, UNEXPECTED has been shortlisted for a Hamilton Arts Council Literary Award. Winners will be announced on Nov. 27, so fingers crossed.
2. My essay "You'll See the Sky" was given an honourable mention for a 2017 Short Works Prize.
3. My short story "Drift, maybe fall" has won subTerrain's 2017 Lush Triumphant Literary Award (best prize name ever!), which nets me a nice cash prize and publication in one of Canada's coolest magazines.
4. I received my contributor copies of the sublime 2017 Short Story Advent Calendar (which is still available for yourself or the story-lover in your life—order by Nov. 15 to ensure delivery by Dec. 1!), got paid for two stories, have been asked to present an award, and am participating in a 6-Minute Memoir event.
It's amazing to have some recognition and a little extra cash to throw at the mortgage, but more importantly, this week I get to call myself a working writer, for which I'm humbled and grateful.
Thanks for the support, everyone.
"Hard Sell" a hybrid piece of fiction centred on real events that took place on a single day, has been published at Litro Magazine, a very cool publication distributed free to London UK commuters. Click here to read the story online.
Readings, booksales, and other literary shenanigans abound on the SAINTS, UNEXPECTED west coast tour! More photos to be added as they become available.
My friends at the UBC Creative Writing Alumni Association have posted to their website a brief interview and an audio recording of me reading the first few pages of SAINTS, UNEXPECTED.
Thanks to the amazing Francine Cunningham and UBCCRAA crew for the nod!
(If you like what you hear, don't forget that, as always, you can buy SAINTS, UNEXPECTED online or at your local bookseller.)
...the day a writer realizes that his biggest literary accomplishment is out there and running.
I've talked about it for months, held it in my hands, read from it in front of eager listeners, and chatted about it at an amazing literary festival, but today is the day my debut novel officially gets launched into the world.
Available at your favourite local bookstore, or
Click here to order from Amazon.ca, or
Click here to order from Chapters/Indigo.ca
Thanks, everyone, for your support—this is quite a ride.
On Sunday night (March 20, 7pm), I'll be doing live radio for the first time in 20 years! (I was a radio junkie/host in a former life.)
I'll be talking with Bernadette Rule, host of ArtWaves, on 101.5FM The Hawk, Mohawk College's radio station. I'll join Jennifer Gillies, the director of GritLit, to read from SAINTS, UNEXPECTED and to talk about the festival, writing, and what it means to find a voice in Hamilton.
If you're in Hamilton, you can dial into 101.5FM on your radio. Alternatively, the show can be live-streamed by clicking here. Finally, the show will be archived at this location, too.
I'm excited to share the cover design for Saints, Unexpected, which will be released on April 15 from Invisible Publishing!
Thanks to Megan Fildes for the stunning design.
(Don't forget: Saints, Unexpected is available for preorder from the Invisible Publishing website.)