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.
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.
The Puritan, one of Canada's best and edgiest literary journals, has published "Washed (Or, the Cleanest I Might Ever Be)," my creative nonfiction essay (you might recall that this piece was also longlisted for the 2015 CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize).
They've also done a complete redesign of their website, which looks great!
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.