My dear friend Susin Nielsen and I will be appearing on CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers today at 1:00 PST. Hope you’ll tune in or check out the podcast when it’s posted. We had a lively discussion about YA, the teen years and their discontents, and about our books. It is always a pleasure to be interviewed by Shelagh.
I’m back from my trip to the Vancouver Writers Fest where Hal Wake and his team put on another memorable book lovers’ extravaganza-thon. I shared the stage at different events with Susin, Trevor Cole, Charles Demers and Bill Richardson, to name just a few worthies, and they made me laugh until I cried. Cried, I tell you. I’ve come home with all of their books and when this latest round of revisions is done I’ll be tucking into them like a much anticipated dessert. Except for Bill’s book, The First Little Bastard to Call Me Gramps. I started that one at the festival and finished it on the ferry home. It’s an illustrated collection of poetry about aging and its discontents. Funny and sharp and sad, sometimes all in the same poem. That book is going to be in everyone’s library.
There were so many highlights at the festival. I spotted several famous writers and, like the social genius I am, hid from their view. But it was good to see old friends, like superstar Ken Oppel, whose latest novel, The Nest has garnered about 57 starred reviews and a rave in the New York Times, and to meet some new ones. Perhaps the person who caused the greatest fan-feelings to break out in me was Cybèle Young. She’s an artist and writer who creates paper sculptures, books and short films. I’m obsessed with her work.
Before the Writers Fest, I attended StarFest in St. Albert. I was interviewed by Gail Sidonie Sobat, a celebrated writer for all ages. She’s a delight. Entirely gracious and thoughtful and doing all sorts of interesting work. The Edmonton cultural scene is certainly richer for having her in it. Thanks to all the people who came out to the event and to Heather Dolman for hosting.
The night before my reading I attended the Nick Cutter/Craig Davidson reading. In his Nick Cutter incarnation he’s a horror writer. In his Craig-carnation he’s something of a CanLit star. Charming in both modes, I also appreciated the rock-and-roll vibe he brought to the reading. Beer onstage, tattoos, candour and an engaging eloquence in conversation with Todd Babiak (please have a look at Todd’s website. The photo! It’s genius! And so are his books).
So that’s it for now. I need to get back to the revision. I’d planned a light copy-edit. Then I started doing this to it.
[Full confession: This is a page from the last round of editing. Imagine it with only about 2/3 the ink. It’s a wonder I ever finish anything.] That said, I’m enjoying this one. It’s dear to my heart because it combines many of my obsessions: fashion, striving, failing and identity. At the moment it’s called The Fashion Contestants. Look for it in early 2017. But don’t look for any of the words pictured above. They’ve all been changed twice.
And for Woefield lovers as well as Woefield likers, you’ll be pleased to hear that the book was featured in The Art of Doing Stuff blog. I appreciated that Karen has The Woefield Poultry Collective on the top of the pile and that she has a cat relaxing on her chest as she reads. The sign-up page for her blog features a photo of her looking chic while holding a chicken. This is a woman who knows how to do stuff! Thanks, Karen!
There is some good news on the film/TV side for Woefield. I’ll post it here when I have new details.
If anyone needs me I’ll be manhandling manuscript pages.