Monday, September 28, 2009

dancing writers and apparitions of atwood at WOTS

when i published black snow, i thought: no dull readings and Q&As for me! i'm going to revolutionize the book launch! here comes the rock n roll, literary world. then, i actually tried it. the result was a disaster.

i have since done a lot of readings, and Q&As, and have decided that asking an author to get on stage and do a presentation of his book is like asking a painter to dance about her latest piece. let's just say it's a different skill set, and the results are not guaranteed to flatter the artist. there is a reason us writers chose a profession that sees us sitting alone in a quiet room, making up worlds with words, for eight hours a day.

so at word on the street yesterday, i stuck to the basics. i was mysteriously in the 'flavours of the maritmes' tent, which meant the woman before me had a cook book and brought chocolate treats and the man after me was sauteing fresh food live! i was reading BS. still, a few people turned up and we had a pleasant little time. it's great fun to be with people who love books as much as i do, and to play author for a bit with all the other writers i admire. i hung out at the pottersfield shop front with steven laffoley and am looking forward to reading his new book, death ship of halifax. why didn't i use that title?

steven reached the herald's No. 2 spot with his last book, hunting halifax - like me, he was kept off the top spot by that freakin' puzzle book. rummaging in boxes behind us, our publisher lesley choyce noted it's hard to beat puzzles. maybe i should put a crossword in the second addition of BS.

all of us small-time hacks were outshone when her majesty, margaret atwood, turned up on TV from toronto. it was humbling, to lose your audience to a writer a thousand miles away. i wonder if she's still alive. i mean, with her virtual pen and virtual appearances, who would know? maybe she's been dead ten years, and just keeps up appearances.

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ps: here's an article i wrote for metro about buzzwords. my expert was fun to talk to, and had some interesting ideas about why some buzzwords catch on, and others die painful deaths. anyone remember the information superhighway?
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