What strange days indeed.
Two thoughts to share:
1. I'd like to wish you all the best as you navigate the COVID-19 crisis, and I know you're doing your best to stay safe and healthy.
2. Everyone is or will be feeling the financial pinch from COVID-19, and writers are no different. If you haven't already done so, would you consider ordering one (or more, for self-isolation gifts) of my books? First, it supports me as a writer, but it also sends a message to publishers and booksellers that books are still good investments. (Pre-ordering BOY and NOTHING BUT LIFE, in particular, boosts all-important pre-release numbers, which helps sales after publication, too.)
Click on the links below to order.
BOY: a novel
NOTHING BUT LIFE: a novel
SAINTS, UNEXPECTED: a novel
Thanks for your support, and stay strong!
Two bits of news today:
1. As you can see, I have a cover for NOTHING BUT LIFE! This was another fantastic project by one of Dundurn Press's in-house designers, the excellent Sophie Paas-Lang (follow her on instagram and twitter).
2. Preorders are now live for NOTHING BUT LIFE: click on the buttons below.
Thanks, everyone! Your orders and support are much, much, much appreciated.
I'll be sending out proper invites closer to the event, but I'm excited to share that I've booked The Staircase for the Hamilton launch of BOY, my novel being released in the spring!
Date: Thursday, June 4, 2020: 6:30-9:00pm, at The Staircase, 27 Dundurn Street North, Hamilton.
The Staircase is an absolute gem, a mixed arts and theatre space with amazing ambiance, great food and drink, and a stellar pedigree for Hamilton arts events. Watch this space for more updates!
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.
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.
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.)