I'm so excited to be working with the fabulous team at Dundurn Press on my novel BOY! On Thursday, the novel's cover landed in my inbox, and I couldn't have been more pleased: the design (by the incredible Sophie Paas-Lang) perfectly captures the spirit of the novel. Intense. Fraught. Unsettled. Magical. And with an ounce of hope.
I can't wait to share it with you all—watch this space (and all my social) for the big cover reveal this Thursday, July 25! For now, I've included a little teaser image to the left. So. Excited.
Mark your calendars! Dundurn Press has set the following release dates:
BOY: A NOVEL — May 30, 2020
NOTHING BUT LIFE: A NOVEL — October 31, 2020
I'm so pleased (and stunned, in the best way) to share that Dundurn Press, who recently picked up my novel BOY (to be published April 11, 2020), will also be publishing NOTHING BUT LIFE, a YA novel, later in 2020!
Who's spinning? This guy.
Here's a little bit about NOTHING BUT LIFE: A NOVEL:
How quiet the bells of heaven must be, cold
with stars who cannot rhyme their brilliance
to our weapons. What rouses our lives each moment?
Nothing but life dares dying.
~ from "26," a poem by Rachel Eliza Griffiths (used with permission)
Dills and his mom have moved back to Hamilton, her hometown, looking to start again. He can’t talk about the day his stepdad Jesse came into the Wilkson Middle School library and opened fire. The memories are simply too raw. Plus, it’s hard to think about how many lives Jesse stole and the families he tore apart. Yet Dills doesn’t think he's a monster. Before Jesse became the Wilkson Shooter, he was just a Hero Stepdad, a haunted combat vet who loved his family as fiercely as he fought his demons.
And Dills still loves him.
Months after the move, Dills starts hearing Jesse telling him to come home. But Jesse tried to kill himself after the shooting and is wasting away in a Wilkson hospital bed, so Dills knows that the voice is probably just a product of his own bruised psyche. But what if it isn’t? What if Jesse is somehow reaching out to the only person who could possibly listen? Dills has go back. He owes it to Jesse. To himself. Even if there are no answers to be found.
Watch this space for more details.
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.
Devin Scullion, a 20-year-old Hamilton man who had the ultra-rare genetic disorder progeria, has died. My research into progeria for Saints, Unexpected frequently brought David's story across my desk, and indeed he was loosely the inspiration for Wu, a character in the novel who has the disorder. The Hamilton connection is a strong one, too, as Devin was one of only 200 people worldwide who suffered from the disorder, attracting worldwide interest from geneticists and physicians who traveled to Hamilton to learn more about him and his case.
RIP, Devin—I hope some of your abundant light will live on in the pages of my work.
Link to the Hamilton Spectator article about Devin's passing.
...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.