15 March 2008

A long-ago book launch

James at This Ain't the Rosedale Library — still my favourite indie bookstore in the city — sent me a copy of this photo I haven't seen in many years.

Dateline: 1982
Place: In front of This Ain't the Rosedale Library, then on Queen Street East
Event: The launch for my novella Father, The Cowboys Are Ready To Come Down From The Attic
Photographer: Michael Koen

From left to right: Mark Laba, Stuart Ross, James Carlisle, Lillian Necakov, jwcurry, Roman Pawlyshyn, three guys I should remember but just can't, a writer whose name is on the tip of my tongue, Crad Kilodney, Tim Keele, Charles Huisken (owner of This Ain't).

This was my second-ever book launch, after the strange little 1976 launch for The Thing In Exile, a book of poetry published by Books By Kids (later to become Annick Press) and featuring me, Mark Laba, and Steven Feldman.

Father, The Cowboys Are Ready To Come Down From The Attic was written for Pulp Press's 2nd Annual Three-Day Novel-Writing Contest, but it was declared a no-win year. However, Tom Walmsley and D.M. Fraser at Pulp were enthusiastic about my book. Fraser gave it a vicious edit. My first vicious edit. And then I wound up in Vancouver where I used Pulp's equipment to typeset the book.

I printed 1,500 copies and sold most of them on Yonge Street. It was a minor hit at This Ain't, where it sold 125 copies. (I've still got a few that I'll part with at $15 each plus S&H. I can also bundle it with my second short novel, Wooden Rooster, for an extra 10 bucks.)

It's chock full of sex and violence. I wrote it when I was 20.

Over and out.


At March 16, 2008 5:27 am , Blogger peter darbyshire said...

Did you dye your hair?

At March 16, 2008 2:59 pm , Blogger rob mclennan said...

nice; i remember reading that novel of yrs a few years ago & really liking it (even attempted a novel a while back, where one of the characters carrys it around in her backpack);

cool photo; ive forwarded to a few folk around ottawa for the sake of mister john william curry.

yer pal,

alberta rob

At March 23, 2008 12:43 pm , Blogger John MacDonald said...

nice to see this photo. would be great if more people would scan their old negatives and upload more vintage event photos. by vintage I don't mean to imply your old or anything...


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