News for November

Welcome back! Look around: I’ve made a bunch of updates. More readings scheduled for 2016, and more details about both of the books, and more and more and more…

While I’m up for air from the wonderful world of editing and midnight author photos and choosing cover designs, I’ll tell you three things:

1. SubTerrain 71 came out in October. It features my story, “Nate”, from Hamburger.

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2. Great Lakes Review 6 arrived in my mailbox today. Glad to finally see “Nobody Looks That Young Here” (from… well, guess which book) in print!

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Andrea Thompson

3. Come visit me at Brockton Writers Series on November 11, at full of beans Coffee House & Roastery. The final installment of 2015 features Loren Edizel, Terry Fallis, Allison LaSorda and my EW Reading Series buddy Jess Taylor, plus a special guest talk by Andrea Thompson, “From Page to Stage: Spoken Word and the Art of Literary Performance.” Details are here, or on Facebook here.

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Jess Taylor, Loren Edizel, Allison LaSorda & Terry Fallis.

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Double from Nothing

I didn’t exactly exclaim it, but here’s the first thing you need to know: in September, 2014, I had a book accepted for publication.

Finally, Nobody Looks That Young Here, the short story collection I unwittingly began writing in 2009 in night-school courses at George Brown College, is going to meet the world… in 2018.

Four years is a long time. One could be hit by a bus tomorrow. And the publisher, Guernica Editions, has been top-notch in recognizing this from the get-go, saying up front that “I can’t wait that long” would be a perfectly reasonable response.

But for a first-time author in the financially impossible Canadian small-press publishing business, it doesn’t seem so long. I mean, a posse of publishers wasn’t exactly outside my door with a battering ram, crying “Sell us your short stories or else!” I received a good offer, and as a complete publishing noob—I don’t have an agent, and I had questions about everything!—we were well into October before I understood the contract well enough to sign it.

Privately, it was party time—but publicly, it was way too early. Just think of all the things that happened four years ago that you don’t remember. (Trick question.) I put out a Tweet for posterity, and updated my bios, and with the book’s delivery date not till the summer of 2016, I got back to work on the latest project I’d started: a novella about an apartment haunted by a sexy ghost (not joking).

But, see, I had this other book…

Very late in 2013, I had grouped together the 12 stories I’d published in magazines that weren’t part of Nobody Looks That Young Here and sent them off to New Leaf Editions, a special program run by Thistledown Press that publishes first-time authors in 64-page books. The group was a grab bag, some flash and some longer, and I was thinking that if they fit the bill, they’d make me a first-time author sooner… not to mention, clear my plate, so I could spend more time with my ghost.

Thistledown’s reply came in November, 2014. It wasn’t quite the battering ram, but it was pretty great: they wanted to know whether I had more stories, to produce a full-length book.

I had a couple, and I promised the rest by the end of June. I said “See you sometime” to my ghost and wrote some new stories. I salvaged some old ones. May was a furious month. But I finished it.

And today, I’m doubly happy to announce that, in the spring of 2016, my second book, Hamburger, will be my first.

Thank you for all the support along the way. If I count four years in the other direction, we get back to 2011, when so many of you were voting online, hourly, in an attempt to get my first story, “The Expiry Dates”, into Broken Pencil magazine via its Death Match contest.

We lost that battle, but I told you then: you were launching my career as a writer. I hope you’ll forgive the delay in announcing our victory.

Career’s a big word, but I’m getting used to the idea of using it.

(We’ll see how things go with my ghost.)

June

Big news: I turned in my second book! Hamburger, a short fiction collection that starts out with flash and finishes with a 10,000-word monster of a story, is in the hands of an independent Canadian publisher I can’t name yet… Nothing’s ever guaranteed, but I’m thinking July’s post will be jubilant by comparison… stay tuned!

While you’re anxiously awaiting more news about Hamburger (though not as anxiously as I am, I’m sure), you can see me read some of the new material in St. Catharines on June 20, where I’m appearing at the Niagara Literary Arts Festival for the second straight summer. All the event details are here, and thanks again to Jordan Fry and his team for having me back!

Also, Brockton Writers Series is revving up for July 8, our annual Queer Night, featuring Amber Dawn, Trish Salah, Vivek Shraya and Syrus Marcus Ware. The blog’s in full swing–I’ve already interviewed Vivek, and Amber’s guest-posting next #WriterWednesday. You can check it all out here.

Finally, here are some photos from Junction Writes in April, where I had the honour of reading with Alexandra Leggatt, Bruce Meyer and Vanessa Shields, and which I’ll be attending again this Sunday, June 14, to see my pal Adam Abbas read some poetry and to catch up with May BWS guest Jane Woods. You should come along. Details are here.

Welcome!

Thanks for stopping by my online home base! Here you will find updates on my book(s) and other publications, links to my stories and other writing, and news about upcoming events that I’m taking part in… like these two:

  • April 19, at 3030, I’m taking the stage at Junction Reads at 4pm alongside Alexandra Leggatt, Bruce Meyer, Marianne Miller and Vanessa Shields.
  • May 6, at full of beans, I’m co-hosting Brockton Writers Series with Farzana Doctor, featuring our guest speaker (TBA) at 6:30pm and readings by Zainab Amadahy, Ghadeer Malek, Marc Silverberg and Jane Woods starting at 7pm. Q&A with the writers follows.