Monday, November 22, 2010

Man, when things get busy, they get busy. I make part of my living writing books for hire. And I have one of these books due at the end of January. I've been working on it. ANd then my agent sends me back the manuscript for the second novel in my crime series. She has comments and though she doesn't expect an entire rewrite, there is some work. And today my editor has sent me the galley for the first novel in the series, which is coming out March 29. He wants that pretty quick. I must prioritize. So the galley comes first, then the rewrite of novel 2 and then the book for hire. I'll get it all done because that's what I do but man I wish these things would spread themselves out.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

All I can say today is that winter has arrived. Snow and cold, down into the -20s tonight, just like in my upcoming novel, Fall From Grace. But unlike my character Leo, I didn't get kidnapped and dumped in an industrial zone to die of exposure. I went sledding with my kid and we had a hell of a good time. And now I'm ready for winter and anything it's willing to throw my way.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I had another media interview this week. This time it was with Sarah Weinman, the noted crime fiction reviewer. She was doing a story on the state of Canadian crime fiction for Quill and Quire, Canada's publishing trade mag. Although I was a bit scattered during the interview - I hadn't slept well the night before and had to rush to get my kid to school before the bell - I know she'll find something in my disconnected comments and make me sound intelligent or maybe just slightly coherent. Even so this interview will have two major positive results for my book. First, since Q & Q is the trade mag for the publishing industry going to agents, editors, publicists, distributors and booksellers, it will bring my name out to those folks. I already do some freelance work with Q & Q (I offered my services to the mag not just to make money freelancing but to get my name out there), but this article will mention my upcoming novel, Fall From Grace, and its release date, April 1. I also recall making some comments that could be taken as controversial (stuff about literary fiction readers unwilling to read genre fiction) and that could attract attention. Also, Sarah Weinman is a very well respected reviewer of crime fiction in the US and not only does she know who I am now, she will be reading my novel. The hope is that if she likes it, she will mention it somewhere, in a review in an American publication or her blog or on Twitter. And that could help sales.

On another note, a lot has been made about the recent winner of the Giller Prize. Here are a couple links about the controversy.

I've commented much on FB about this. I noted that this story shows how great and how terrible the Canadian publishing industry can be. On the great side, here is a small press taking a chance on a relatively unknown writer, putting out her book (and doing a great job because they treat their books like works of art) and then she wins the biggest literary prize in Canada. Many people have complained that small presses rarely win such prizes so here it is, a small press and debut novelist winning the award. The terrible bit is there is an aversion to success in certain literary circles, that if you win an award, or sell a lot of copies (or hope to sell a lot of copies) of your book and try to reach an audience of "regular" readers, you've sold out your artistic principles. Many people defended Gaspereau Press for not wanting to produce a bunch of books, blaming the Toronto media and publishing types for forcing a small press to compromise its artistic principles. Of course many of these people complain that "regular" readers have no taste and never get a chance to read the great books the small presses publish. But when a chance comes to reach these readers, when they get a chance to show what great work a small press and debut novelist can create, they spurn the chance. I thought Gaspereau's attitude was stupid because while I understand their desire to create great books, not just in the writing but in design and printing, in the end, it wasn't the design and printing of the book that won the award. It was the writing. And to deny your writer a chance to reach a wide audience will not only hurt her but their press. It wasn't a long ago that Gaspereau had to lay off a good chunk of their staff and cut back on how many books they released. Also, I know for sure there are many unpublished writers out there who were watching this and they will not be submitting their manuscripts to Gaspereau Press. I'm glad they came to their senses and decided to allow another publisher to print many copies of the Sentimentalists but I think the damage to Gaspereau will be long lasting.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Today, my US publicist booked my first US media interview. It's for Shelf Awareness's Book Brahmin column. Here are a couple of samples of the column from past episodes.

I won't tell you my answers but I will it will be published in March. It's also nice to get some media started months before the book comes out.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Just got word from editor that Forge is going to push the release date of my novel from March 1 to April. He didn't say that at first. He phoned and told me he had some distressing news. I first thought they were canceling the deal or something like that. But when he told me they were just pushing the release date a month, I sighed. I've been waiting for the publication of my second novel for over six years, so one month is nothing. And the reason why is a good one as well. In publishing, they have these things called ARCs or Advanced Reading Copies. They are pretty much paperback versions of your hardcover book that they send out to reviewers, media, booksellers or anyone else who should get one. At first, at least based on conversations with my editor, they were going to send out B&W ARCs of my novel. But it seems they want to send out full colour versions ARCs of my novel. Which means they want it to stand, which I'm hoping it means they are going to push my novel a little bit more than your average first novel (It's not really my first novel but it's my first published in the US so they are calling it my first).