Happy Thursday! Time for another edition of Get Lit. Shanthi Sekaran is a Berkeley author whose latest, Lucky Boy, came out with Putnam/Penguin Canada. I enjoyed this book immensely, I hope you do as well.
Finally, Get Lit is available at jamietennant.ca!
In case you have no idea what that means, an introduction. In November 2016 – on my 47th birthday, for some reason – I started Get Lit, a weekly 30-minute literary program on 93.3 CFMU FM (Hamilton, ON) and online on Soundcloud. We feature authors, booksellers, publishers, poets – anyone related to books and literature.
I’ll post the show here on a weekly basis, and try to upload some past episodes as well. This episode features GritLit’s Jennifer Gillies and author Marnie Woodrow. Marnie’s exceptional book Heyday won the Hamilton Literary Award for fiction in 2016.
Welcome to my blog at jamietennant.ca
This is the first blog I’ve written for my own website.
That’s boring as hell.
What’s hilarious is in the photograph. This is the first long-form story I ever wrote. Inspired by Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang, I did what any budding storyteller would do. I shamelessly ripped off the great Mordechai Richler, stole his characters, and then, always one to live vicariously through fiction, turned his characters into me and my friends. I figured he wouldn’t mind.
I found this recently, as I was searching for a long-lost manuscript about demons from other dimensions (as one does). Written on a plastic portable typewriter in my parents’ kitchen at the age of about 10, it reminded me that inside, I’d always known I would be a novelist. Adult life wasn’t proving it – from the ages of about 25 to 35, in fact, I wrote tens of thousands of words but nary a clause of fiction. Now, rounding that last bend to middle age, I’m published and have caught the bug again. It began with this 4,000 word riff on Intrepid Shapiro and Fearless O’Toole.
This blog will be about…well, tons of things, I’m sure. I’m a music nerd, a father, a husband, a pop culture geek, an author, a community radio program director…it might get unwieldy here. It might go off on tangents. I will be posting episodes of my soon-to-air radio/podcast, Get Lit, as well as some short videos, if I can stomach looking at my own face during the editing process.
Hopefully, you’ll come see it.
Hey folks! Bonus show time! I realize my first 10 episodes were never posted to the website, so I’m going to do them backward. Here’s E10 featuring Amanda Leduc, talking about Miracles of Ordinary Men. Her new book should be with us soon! She also works for the Festival of Literary Diversity, which just recently wrapped for 2018. Click and dig.
In the early days of this program, I wasn’t swamped with wonderful reading material as I am today. This is one of the few examples of a filler – i.e. when I took a past interview and “turned it into” an episode of Get Let.
I had the distinct pleasure of working, however briefly, with Sean Michaels. As he runs the music blog Said the Gramophone, he’s considered a music journo; as Program Director at CFMU and freelancer, I am the same. As such, we’re both on the jury for the Polaris Music Prize. In 2013, the year of the “controversial” Godspeed You! Black Emperor win, both Sean and I were on the grand jury. He was “working on a book” at the time and was remarkably modest about it, even though that book turned out to be the fabulous Us Conductors. If you watched the Gillers that year, that look of shock on his face when he won? 100% genuine. A humble fellow and a cool dude.
Anyhow, I interviewed him a propos of nothing, and here it is now, repackaged as episode seven of Get Lit. Dig!
If you’re doing a Hamilton-based literary show/podcast, you have to talk to Noelle Allen. Wolsak and Wynn is the city’s premiere independent publisher and it was a pleasure to talk to Noelle about the house. Noelle is also a tireless supporter of the Hamilton lit scene and is actually the reason I’m published!
You see, Noelle’s one of those publishers who actually takes the time to help you out even though she can’t publish your book. When I first sent The Captain of Kinnoull Hill to publishers (after all the nation’s agencies turned me down, of course), I was overwhelmed at the number of publishers. I decided, for my own sanity, to start local and move outwards. Noelle wasn’t able to publish me, but she thought there was something there, and suggested publishers A, B and C. I sent it to A. A made me an offer. So, Noelle clearly rocks.
Hope you dig.