Posts by Chris:
Joining me will be authors Maya Merrick, Connie Guzzo-McParland, Claudio Gaudio, Su J. Sokol and Caroline Vu. Admission is free and everyone is welcome. Wine, juice and finger food will be served throughout the evening, compliments of Deux Voiliers Publishing.
For more information, check the Facebook event page.
They’re standard size – 4 x 6 – with the cover of the book on the front and a short description on the back. There’s a place for a stamp and an address and a message, and I am mailing them out to people and places across the country.
So far I have probably mailed out about 100 – to literary festivals, journalists, gay and lesbian associations, bookstores. I love getting mail and I thought sending a personalized postcard might be a unique way of introducing the book to people who don’t know me.
I particularly wanted to let Canada’s independent booksellers know about a special treat I am offering people who buy the book from their local bookseller (UPDATE: This offer is now over).
If you buy my book locally you are invited to contact me and send me a copy of your receipt. You can then select one of two options: snail mail or email. If you choose snail mail I will mail you a personalized thank you postcard from Montreal. If you choose email I will email you a short personalized video shout out from somewhere in the city.
It’s a small offering, but one I hope people will see it as a unique experience.
So far I have already heard from Bookmark bookstore in Halifax. They love the idea and have ordered extra copies of the book. I’m working with them to provide notes for each of the copies they have.
I love this! It’s exactly what I hoped would happen. I don’t know if time or money will allow me get to Halifax in the near future, but at least I can have this interaction with a local bookseller, this interaction with potential readers.
If you are a bookseller and want to find out how to participate, write me.
More information on the offer can be found here.
I finally have a date for my book’s party. The Geography of Pluto will be launched on Thursday, May 8 at Cabaret Mado. If you’re in Montreal, please join me.
It took me a while to find a suitable venue. My first choice turned out to be unreliable. The owners/managers would never get back to me. In the end I went with a place I could trust. I know Cabaret Mado’s co-owner Denis from back when I worked at Divers/Cité. I met with him last week and he was open to what I wanted to do for the launch.
I want my launch to be more than a typical book launch. Book launches tend to be boring. They’re quiet, small and sparsely attended. Montreal’s bookstores aren’t really designed for events either, so it’s hard to do something special or unique with their locations.
I want my launch to be a party. A real celebration of the culmination of years of work.
Last week Greg and I met up with our friend Craig who has offered to create original visuals for the launch. Craig is a filmmaker and animator and I am excited to see his interpretation of the book.
A friend asked me if I thought the literary community might not come down to the Village for a book launch. It never crossed my mind. For some it will undoubtedly be their first time in a gay bar (and a drag bar at that), but it was important for me to hold the launch in the Village. It’s where it’s set. It’s where it began and grew.
If someone has a problem coming here, they’ll probably have a problem with the book too.
The Geography of Pluto will be launched on Thursday, May 8 at Cabaret Mado, 1115 Ste. Catherine Street East, from 6 to 8 PM. More details to come…
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On Wednesday morning I went to the Blue Metropolis press conference. I attended partly for CBC Radio, where I work as an editor for Canada Writes, and partly because I’m a guest writer at this year’s literary festival.
I used to work for Blue Met. For eight years I was their publicist. This was back in the festival’s early days. Back when I was beginning my freelance practice. It was one of my favourite contracts. I loved it because it inspired me. It kept me surrounded by writers: some whom I knew, others who I discovered.
I took many a taxi with literary superstars, chauffeuring them to their interviews. Writers like A.S Byatt, Julian Barnes, Carlos Fuentes and Margaret Atwood. You learn so much by making small talk, going from point A to B. At some point conversation would turn to “So what do you do?” and often times many of them had encouraging words for an aspiring writer like me.
So here I am now, ten years after working for the festival for the first time, attending as an author whose first book is about to come out. I have two events on May 3rd. One is called “Becoming a Writer”, which also features Alix Ohlin, Padma Viswanathan, Zoe Whittal and my good friend Daniel Baylis (more info on my events an be found here). I’m looking forward to it immensely.
CBC TV spoke with me at the press conference about appearing at the festival. You can watch the video below.
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On Friday the first review of my book was published. It appeared in the spring edition of the mRb (Montreal Review of Books). You can read it here.
Reviewer Rob Sherren did a great job. It was three months ago when the two of us sat down over beers and whiskey to discuss my characters. It was a thrill to talk with him then, and it is a thrill to read his article now.
Normally I don’t like reading book reviews. Generally, I’ll only read the first and last paragraph. Some reviewers give away too much in their summations and if I really want to read the book I want to be surprised. But Rob gave nothing away. He talked broadly about what the book was about, capturing its spirit and ambition, without giving away the plot. I appreciated that.
Friday night I got to read the first chapter of the book at the mRb launch. There were less people there than my reading the week before, but many more familiar faces. I read alongside other writers who were featured in the edition – fellow Cormorant author Ann Charney and mRb covergirl Elaine Kalman Naves. I was more relaxed this time. And I tried to add more emphasis and life to what I was reading.
I’m thankful to the mRb for inviting me to read when my book still isn’t out yet. Cormorant informs me that it should be out in 3-5 weeks (in fact it went to press the morning of the reading).
Last week I got to see the final front and back cover of the book, and the French flaps too. It’s quite exciting. The product looks beautiful. I had no idea what the book would look like when I was writing it, and now it has the perfect image (thanks to my friend Vincent and Cormorant’s designer Angel). I could think of no other, better, representation for the book. I can’t wait to hold it in my hands.