With a Little Help from Our Friends

I’ve arrived in Calgary for WordFest 2012 and am already having what feels like a time of my life.

There really is something quite special about this festival—a sense of community and energy—possibly because it comes on the cusp of the fall festival season while authors are still a bit giddy about appearances, along with the resulting comradeship that will form over the next week before many of us head to beautiful Banff and the famed Summit Salon, a chance for creators to throw off the formal attire and toss on some fleece, all while talking about the industry-at-large set against one of the most stunning views in the world.

I, personally, already feel as if I’ve forged a few friendships and am grateful for the time I’ll get to spend with fellow authors, as both writers and readers. There’s a genuine sense that everyone wants to help everyone else, less a matter of keeping your enemies closer than genuine support from your peers. There’s no industry of one.

Which brings me to Susan Swan, a known mentor to new writers and passionate spokesperson for writers’ rights. She’s also spent a fair chunk of this morning trying to come up with some press play for our Saturday panel, How Should a Writer Be? (You should come. It’ll be fun.)

While we continue to bump noggins, I thought I’d return the kindness and remind you that Susan’s latest novel, The Western Light, (Cormorant Books) is on your To Buy list.

Below is Projections of The Western Light, a BookShorts video made with collaborator Judith Keenan. Check it out.

And if you’re in Calgary, you can find Susan at the following events: tonight’s Showcase; October 13—avec moi—How Should A Writer Be; and, October 14 for Worldly Words.

With images of Georgian Bay immersing her in an evocative visual landscape, author/performer Susan Swan delivers just enough story to tease the viewer with hints of the father-daughter dilemmas her character Mouse Bradford faces in the novel. It sets the tone of 1959 small town Ontario with a soundtrack that immediately places the viewer in the era. The score brings Susan’s performance into the realm of lyrics to a song, the words of which are, as the reviewers are saying, “poetic descriptions … particularly vivid, and help bring the world of the novel to vibrant life.” (Quill & Quire, October 2012).

For more about Susan Swan, the excellent reviews of The Western Light, and her extensive reading tour, visit www.susanswanonline.com.

For more video book trailers, visit www.movingstories.tv.

Zombie Talk with Corey Redekop, author of Husk (ECW Press)

Yesterday, I sat in front of my computer, and, as luck would have it, so did Corey Redekop. We spent the next half hour talking about Husk, the follow up to his biblio-rrific novel Shelf Monkey.

Husk is the story about everyzombie Sheldon Funk. It’s sharp-witted, gross, “stupid-funny” and astute in its observations on what it means to be alive even if you’re dead.

Husk has received great reviews from the Toronto Star and Quill & Quire (among others), and won the favour of authors such as Andrew Kaufman and Andrew Pyper.

In this chat, we talk zombies, body horror, grotesque humour, the hilariously-inappropriate book trailer (see below), Corey’s upcoming appearance at IFOA, and, finally, who will (un)likely play Sheldon Funk in the sure-to-be-made movie adaptation of Husk. (Hint: He may be a little too beef-cakey.)


Corey will appear in Toronto this October as part of the International Festival of Authors (IFOA).

Visit Corey online to stay in touch.

Event: Julie Wilson appears at Toronto Public Library to discuss Seen Reading

Julie Wilson’s Seen Reading: Tales of a Literary Voyeur
Thurs. Oct 04, 2012
6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
60 mins
Spadina Road
branch of Toronto Public Library

I’ll be joined by Julie Booker, author of Up, Up, Up (House of Anansi Press).

From the event listing: Julie Wilson’s compulsion to observe people reading on streetcars and subways led to Seen Reading, a collection of microfictions based on these sightings. Who is the reader and what does a book tell us about him or her? Wilson and Julie Booker, author of Up, Up, Up, offer answers to those questions.