27 April 2010

A few days left to vote for Cigarettes! Plus two new nominations!

OK, here I am in the little cabin in New Denver, B.C. Just about dusk. Raining pattering on the metal roof. Slocan Lake, which I see out my window here, is choppy and beautiful.

Came out west a couple weekends ago, first to Edmonton, where I took part in a panel organized by the Alberta Readers Choice Award people. Strange experience, but a lot of fun. Even if the champion for one of the other books dismissed Buying Cigarettes for the Dog as "fluff." Simone Lee, of Calgary's Pages Bookstore on Kensington, who has championed my book, was a blast to hang out with. And she acquitted herself well on the panel, which ended up splintering into a non-fiction-vs.-fiction wrestling match after award shortlistee Myrna Kostash fired the first volley over fiction's bow.

Three of the five shortlisted books are non-fiction.

You can still vote for me every two hours until midnight on April 30 right here! When we were last allowed a peek at the voting results, I was neck and neck for the lead with one other title. I need all the help I can get. The award was juried all the way from the 200-plus eligible titles down to the final 10 and then the final 5, but now it's this internet voting thing.

Meanwhile, got the news last night that Buying Cigarettes for the Dog has been shortlisted for two more awards, this time from the Book Publishers Association of Alberta's Alberta Book Awards! It's one of three titles shortlisted for Best Cover (thanks to Fidel Peña of Underline Studios) and one of only two titles shortlisted for Best Trade Fiction book.

The results of both the ABA and the ARCA will be announced on May 14. Have I mentioned you can vote for Cigarettes right here?

Great short visit to Edmonton, and the spent my first week in New Denver polishing off my novel so I can hand it in to the publisher. Also helped out a bit, as driver, two documentary filmmakers — Moira Simpson and Catrina Longmuir — who were here working with the New Denver students on an amazing doc project. This second week, I've begin working in schools: yesterday spent all day at Nakusp Secondary School, and today working with elementary school students at Lucerne.

It's always such a great experience.

Over and out.

16 April 2010

So Sue Me: A video reading

Just arrived in Edmonton this afternoon for tomorrow's Alberta Readers' Choice Award Publishers' Fair at the Stanley A. Milner branch of the Edmonton Public Library.

Also gonna hang out with Wayne Arthurson and with Mark McCawley and hopefully other people too.

Then: off to the Kootenays!

In the meantime, you can still vote, every day until April 30, for Buying Cigarettes for the Dog right here. I'd be mighty grateful if you did.

Also, in the meantime, here's another video reading from the book:

Over and out.

06 April 2010

"Three Arms Less" — a video reading

Over and out.

02 April 2010

"The Engagement" — a video reading

Over and out.

01 April 2010

Cigarettes' Champion

It was Calgary bookseller Simone Lee who ushered by short-story collection Buying Cigarettes for the Dog from the Top 10 shortlist for the Alberta Readers Choice Award to the Top 5, and thus to the public vote.

Simone owns the great and friendly indie bookstore Pages on Kensington. Here she is talking about Cigarettes.

And here's where you can vote. Every day till April 30.

With the help of my publisher, Freehand Books, as well as the Edmonton Public Library, I'm going to be able to attend the ARC Awards Publishers Fair on April 17. I'll be sitting on a panel with three of the other four shortlisted writers (one of them is long-gone), as well as the "champions" of each of the five books.

Over and out.