Hey everyone! Hope summer life is super. I am spending these dog days editing, preparing to do some narration work, and basically trying to pretend my book isn’t sitting with a bunch of amazing readers, that I’m not excited/terrified of their thoughts….
I have let go of my manuscript and it’s in the hands of beta readers. Really, all I feel right now is terror.
So let’s focus on this week’s show, then!
Author Casey Plett is our guest this week. Little Fish is a wonderful book and we’d met at Grit Lit two years ago. I’m so glad she agreed, we had a great talk. If you haven’t read it yet, get to it – it also won the 2019 Amazon.ca First Novel Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Fiction. Enjoy the show!
Yesterday, I finished a draft of my new novel. The working title is A Matter Of Water – which I don’t love, it’s a little pretentious and doesn’t necessarily fit the book, but hey, that’s ok – and I’m sending it out to beta readers already. Pretty exciting. Not sure what will happen next, but I’ll keep you updated! I’m lucky to have a lot of friends who are willing to read and give me solid advice.
Today’s guest is Hamiltonian Sally Cooper. She’s officially the first guest returning to GET LIT to talk about a new book, so I guess a/ she writes quickly or b/ we’ve been on the air a while! Her newest, With My Back To The World, is available through Wolsak & Wynn. Check out the interview and enjoy.
It’s another greenhouse-hot day in Hamilton, Ontario. Hope you’re enjoying your summer so far, folks.
On a personal note, it’s looking like an interesting time for yours truly. I am about 50 pages of edit away from beta readers, a few weeks away from starting to narrate the audiobook of The Captain of Kinnoull Hill, and I’ve already started my first gig as a fiction editor. On top of that I’m helping to organize the Hamilton Literary Awards for 2019. It’s all pretty great. Now, if only it paid well enough for me to quit this day job.
Hey folks! Happy summer!
If you’re from the Hamilton area and you’ve published a book in 2018, you should quickly get on submissions to the Hamilton Literary Awards. Deadline July 12th! Check here for details.
A few weeks ago I got to host a live event with Aleksandar Hemon. His newest book is actually two – My Parents, a memoir about his parents journey from Bosnia to Canada, and This Does Not Belong To You, a collection of memories from his childhood. They’re packaged together in a dos-a-dos binding, so the layout is as uncommon as the quality of the work. I didn’t know Hemon’s writing until I read this, and now I want to go pick up all his books. He is incredible. Our event was at the Hamilton Public Library in Hamilton, ON – where I live and so do Aleksandar’s parents, ever since they fled Bosnia during the war. The event was filled with friends and family, and I managed to ask some not-entirely-dumb questions, so it was a great night all around.
This recording isn’t the greatest quality, but it isn’t the worst either. Please forgive the background hiss – and the random clapping of the audience in the next room. Extra thanks to the always fantastic Jaime Krakowski from Epic Books, Rita Bozz from the HPL and Nicole Winstanley from Penguin Random House.
I HAVE A DRAFT.
It’s kind of a fourth draft, and it’s kind of a first draft. Depends on what chapter you’re reading. But it’s done, and it tells the story tip to tail, and I’m thrilled. Now, to fix up the blatantly awful sections and send to beta readers. Thank you for letting me share.
Now back to the show! This week we talk to activist and author Dave Meslin about his book Teardown: Rebuilding Democracy from the Ground Up. Ever thought hey, why are politics just the worst? Why’s it so hard to get involved? Why do witless buffoons always win when most people don’t seem to like them? How could this whole damned thing be better, friendlier, easier to engage with, and more representative of voters’ beliefs? Dave has some thoughts. They’re good thoughts. Recommended reading. Enjoy!
Anakana Schofield is a magnificent writer, and her latest, Bina, is great. She’s also a fun interview. So fun, however, that my ability to keep things to time – which I’m usually very good at – failed. As a result this show is 12 minutes longer than usual. It’s all entertaining, though. Side note: afterward, she thanked me for my intelligent questions. I think she gave me room to ask, like, two questions lol. That’ s not a dig, though. It was great. You’ll enjoy.
Some personal updates you didn’t ask for, to kick off this week’s post.
First, had a fantastic event with Aleksandar Hemon last night here in Hamilton. Any gig where a/ my voice doesn’t give out b/ I get paid c/ I get to talk to an amazing author d/ I get to see friends e/ I get a tote gift bag and f/ the publisher of Penguin Canada gives me her personal copy of the author’s book…well…that’s a good gig.
Second, re: the voice comment, I apologize if I sound strained on any upcoming programs. Eight months, several doctors, a speech therapist and several scopes later, and no one is any wiser as to why my larynx gives out so easily. Hopefully I fake it well enough. I am headed to two separate voice clinics this summer…someone will surely know what’s what.
Third, I am excited to say that my new novel (with the tentative and probably brief working title of A Matter of Water) is finally close to what I’ll call “a first complete draft.” Parts of this have been rewritten and edited a half-dozen times, and they shine; parts are just freshly written, rough and fairly terrible. However, within the week I will have a MS that actually tells the entire story tip to tail. So. That’s exciting.
Finally, the show! The last (for now) of the run of poetry I read back in the spring. We talk to Souvankham Thammavongsa about her recent collection Cluster, and to Kaie Kellough about his own collection, Magnetic Equator. Both wonderful works. I’ll stop here and let you listen. Enjoy!