Tuesday, December 6, 2016

My favourite novella eva

I am so excited for Corrado Paina, my friend and former boss. He has written a truly brilliant, hilarious and heartwarming novella, Between Rothko and 3 Windows. Translated from the original Italian by Damiano Pietropaolo, Corrado’s essential perspective on the Italian “immigrant experience” is unlike any I have ever read. He’ll probably hate me for using that phrase, “immigrant experience.” He’s probably rolling his eyes and swearing as he reads this. But dammit, Corrado, I am not a poet like you! 

Of course, Between Rothko and 3 Windows is so much more than a novella about an Italian immigrant in Canada. Pick it up if you’re looking for a book that: 
  • Brings the city of Toronto alive; makes you nod and sigh and smile at the places/faces you know
  • Spins the CanLit immigrant archetypes on their heads
  • Makes you laugh
  • Is written by a brilliant, original man who infuses poetry into everyday life
  • Muses on art, culture, racism, making a living at a dying newspaper, the pressure of community, of conforming, of family, fatherhood, health, aging… 
And never mind all that. If you just want to read a twisty-turny murder-mystery… THIS IS THAT BOOK TOO.

If Between Rothko and 3 Windows doesn’t win the Toronto Book Award, I will eat my hat.

For more on this novel, visit Quattro Books here.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

A little help from my friends

Anne made signs! How cute is she?

Unless you have connections, it's challenging to get the word out about a first novel. My publisher has been exceptional -- going above and beyond to get my novel noticed. But it's tough out there. Especially in the fall when I'm up against the biggest U.S. and UK books, and the Canadian prize winners. I've been trying a few things on my end. Tweeting, blogging, shaking hands, attending festivals, doing readings, etc. Some attempts have worked better than others. At a book party in September, for example, I worked up the nerve to initiate a conversation with a big name in Canadian publishing -- only to get shot down. It was a classic humiliation. He turned, gave me a "you are a Zero" stare, and promptly introduced me to the lonely expanse of the back of his plaid shirt.

So it's a grand understatement to say that I've been grateful for the support I have received. Whether it's posting book reviews online, showing up en masse for my book launch, buying more copies than they need, displaying copies at their desks, or writing letters of recommendation for my various pipe dreams, my friends and family have been behind me 100%.

A week ago, one of these supportive humans did a wonderfully generous thing: She threw a book party for me. It wasn’t a book club so much as a night with a bunch of smart, well-read women who value books, yes, but who value supporting each other even more.

I did a brief, nervous reading, answered some questions and sold a bunch of books! Then, as the party wrapped and I hoovered the crackers and hummus, us stragglers sat around and gabbed and drank and laughed. Oh! And I got to pet a dog!!

Thank you for opening your home to me and my novel, Anne. It was a perfect night. And thanks to all of my other friends, family and blog readers who've been supporting me and my little book. I'm lucky to have you. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Goodreads giveaway!

Want a free copy of my book, The Weather Inside? The Goodreads giveaway is live until December 7. Check out the link here and tell your friends! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

We've been incubating....

When I'm not writing book(s), watching Vanderpump Rules, snacking, or trolling you on Instagram, I'm writing screenplays. This year, I was lucky enough to take part in Women On Screen's incubator. To mark the end of the program, we're having a showcase on December 11. It'll be such fun; you should come if you can. Here's some more details...

2016 Web Series Incubator Final Showcase

This year, eight female-identifying screenwriters were chosen to take part in the incubator, developing their web series pilots with such exceptional mentors as Amy Cameron (Mary Kills People), Jessie Gabe (Mr. D), Samantha Wan (Second Jen), Stephanie Kaliner (Schitt's Creek), Melissa D'Agostino (Tactical Girls), Mackenzie Donaldson (Orphan Black), etc.

On Sunday, December 11th at The Garrison, come see live readings of excerpts from these pilots, performed by some of the most talented actors Toronto has to offer. Entry is PWYC (suggested donation of $10) and there will be complimentary snacks and a cash bar.

Even more details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/107670269720811/

Sunday, November 20, 2016


I did a fun Q&A over on Rob McLennan's blog:


While you're there, have a look through the other "12 or 20 Q&As". It's quite the collection of interviews with Canadian writers -- great job, Rob! -- and I'm happy to be part of it.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Mini book tour to Edmonton and Calgary

My publisher, Freehand Books, was kind enough to bring me out to Alberta for a mini book tour last week. I was too nervous/excited to take good photos, but every now and then I'd think to pull out my phone. Here's a few.

Google Maps abandoned me halfway through my sojourn into downtown Edmonton.
This little stretch of neon was a happy discovery.
This vegan lentil loaf was not an accident;
I'd been planning on eating it for a week, and it did not disappoint.
(The Blue Plate Diner in Edmonton)

Me outside of Audreys Books in Edmonton.
It's cozy and brimming with books and shelves and readers
-- everything you'd want a bookstore to be. 

Good turnout for the reading at Audreys Books!

My biggest regret? Only taking one photo at the Freehand Fall Bash in Calgary. 
I couldn't really sleep -- my hotel-room neighbours were very much in love --
so thank goodness for TLC. After watching Toddlers and Tiaras for three hours,
I feel like I understand how Trump won the election.

Monday, November 7, 2016

My first book review is out...

... and hallelujah it’s a good one. You can read the review here.

Question: Was I nervous to read this review?
Answer: I ate my lunch at 10:00 a.m.

To read the rest of my interview with myself about experiencing my first book review, click here.

In other news, if you're in Edmonton or Calgary, OMG me too! Freehand is holding two events this week -- on Wednesday and Thursday. I'll be there, and so will Clea Young and Ann Eriksson. More details about these event can be found here.