Category Archives: News

What’s Happening? Some Stuff.

I haven’t been updating much lately. Gotta do something about that, so here we are.

Some stuff of note:

I’ve also started a new trend: publish a book, you get a cake.

Launch

You are invited to the Hamilton launch of Brendan’s Way, published by Bundoran Press.

I’ll be hosting a very informal gathering in downtown Hamilton on Saturday, May 27, at 7:00. I’ll be reading from the book and signing copies, and light refreshments will be served. I’d love to have you there to celebrate the launch too!

The Nathaniel Hughson Gallery
27 John St. N.
Hamilton, ON L8R 1H1

If you can’t make it, but would like to get a personalized copy, please contact me any time and I’ll get one in the mail for you.

Hope to see you there!

Brendan’s Way Launches Tomorrow!

Well, the big day is almost here. Brendan’s Way launches tomorrow at 9pm at the Ad Astra convention.

All are welcome to the launch – you don’t have to be registered for the convention. It’s in Suite 1070 at the Sheraton Parkway North in Richmond Hill.

It’s been a long, long time coming! I hope I’ll see you there.

Brendan’s Way: the Title

I’ve always had a bit of trouble titling my work. Once in a while, the title is the inspiration for the work: “Unrest Among the Smart Cows” sprung to mind and I wrote a story to fit it. The Punk Book was an inside joke with my longtime bandmate Jonathan.

But usually I agonize over titles, and I often don’t think they’re very good, even after they’re published. But Brendan’s Way surprised me.

The surprise isn’t that the title worked, or that it’s a good one (I think it is). It’s that from the moment I conceived of the novel, I’ve known that was the title; and no one has ever second-guessed me on it. The title fits. It works. It sounds good. It’s right.

But I know next to nothing about titles. So where did it come from?

It started with the inspiration for the book: the song “Saint Brendan’s Way” by the Lowest of the Low. (How many times am I going to link to that song? Many many times. It’s an awesome song.) The song is about Irish immigrants coming to Canada in the 19th century, and how they were following the legendary path of St. Brendan, the famous Irish monk who sailed his leather-bottomed boat across the sea.

In my book, Brendan is an Irish farmer in the late 23rd century, who lucks into a trip to the newly colonized world of Ellis. Just as Irish immigrants filled leaky boats across the Atlantic, Brendan is taking a dangerous trip across space. So the pattern repeats again: following his Irish forebears, he’s taking a trip across a vast and perilous nothingness, purely based on the hope for a better life in a new world.

But it still amazes me that my little ship of a book has sailed through the writing and publishing process without a single question – or even comment – about the title. And it gives me a bit of hope: maybe this book will make it, too.

Or in the words of Ron Hawkins and the Lowest of the Low:

Our fortunes are fleeting
And our passage in steer
And God knows if I’ll perish
In my twenty-fifth year

In this ship full of scurvy
With my bride at my hand
And I shall kiss her tenderly
In this great new found land

And it’s hope that we follow today
If we dare follow St. Brendan’s Way

Brendan’s Way: the Cover

It seems like forever but it’s been less than a year since I announced the upcoming publication of my next novel, Brendan’s Way, with Bundoran Press.

A little bit of history: It was July, 2011. I was struck by an idea as I walked to lunch with my headphones on, listening to the song “Saint Brendan’s Way” by the Lowest of the Low. Space immigrants. One’s a country rube, one’s a deadly assassin. I sat down and got to work on an outline.

I finished the outline – 9,000 words of it – in two days. The third day I started writing, and I pounded out 1,000 to 2,000 words almost every day until I finished the thing in November. Just over five months to complete a 90,000-word book – the longest book I’d ever written, finished in the shortest time ever.

I went through the entire manuscript with my editing circle. I had multiple friends provide input. I rewrote and rewrote. I had a seminar at CanWrite! with Robert J. Sawyer that helped clarify some weaknesses. And in the fall of 2015 I submitted the finished manuscript to Bundoran Press – the first publisher I offered it to in its completed form.

They liked it.

They bought it.

So here, at last, is the cover for my soon-to-be-released novel, Brendan’s Way.

 

Brendan’s Way – Promo Trailer!

The excellent folks at Bundoran Press have been busy preparing for my launch of Brendan’s Way on May 6. Check out the amazing book trailer they’ve created.

Coming soon: the finished cover!

Short Story Published: 100 Voices, Volume 2

My latest publication credit: Centum Press’s new short-short fiction anthology, 100 voices. They selected my short piece “The Tether” for inclusion in their new volume of flash fiction (or near enough to it). I’m insanely pleased to have the story placed there.

You can order the book here, although you should use my special discount code when ordering it: 100V2V51. Check it out today!

Big news! Brendan’s Way!

I am ridiculously late in posting this, probably because I had already plastered this on social media. But the big news is, Bundoran Press (of Ottawa, Ontario) made an offer for my book, Brendan’s Way. And guess what I accepted.

Hooray for everyone!

The book is slated for publication in April next year – blazingly fast for the print publication world. I’ll be working on the publisher’s suggested rewrites all summer, and we’ll be doing production etc. in the fall. The launch will be at the Ad Astra conference in Toronto.

I’m thrilled – I hadn’t offered the book to any other publishers, and have a very high opinion of other books that Bundoran has put out. I’m looking forward to this whole process. Updates will be coming much more frequently as we move towards the publication of Brendan’s Way!

Coming Very Soon – The Taste

thetaste-800I have spoken once or twice about writing my merry little novel marathons. (Hey! The next one is coming up in August! You can support me here!)

Last year, I went in with an idea of some bad things that could happen, and a couple of disturbing images in my head. By the end of the weekend I had the awful little novella you see here.

I’ve never written horror before – I’m not even much of a horror reader. I even got slightly uneasy making the fake blood you can see on the cover. But I like the book, and I hope others will like it too.

It releases on Friday, April 29, coinciding with my appearances at the Ad Astra convention. If you’re there, come say hi. And feel free to buy the book

  • On Kobo
  • On Amazon
  • On Barnes and Noble, Apple iBookstore, And whatever other purveyor of fine e-books you tend to shop at. (If you don’t find it at your favourite ebookstore, let me know so I can get it up there!)

Oh, and by the way, if you sponsored me for the Toronto Novel Marathon in the past, I will gladly send you a copy of The Taste absolutely free. Just contact me and I’ll get you a copy in the format of your choosing.

ABNA Quarterfinalist

Brendan's Way - ABNA 2013 EntryMy SF novel Brendan’s Way has been selected as a quarter-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Woo! It is one of 100 SF/fantasy/horror novels selected as a quarterfinalist, which is a list whittled down from 500 second round selections.

The quarterfinalist entries were selected on the basis of a 3000-5000 word excerpt from the novel. If you’re interested for any reason, you can download mine to your Kindle-enabled device here. And you can also add your reviews to the excerpt as though it were a real, live, Amazonian book. Please do so, especially if you have five stars hanging around looking for somewhere to go.

I’d love to share the enthusiastic and, I admit, embarrassingly orgiastic comments that the reviewing judges provided for my excerpts; unfortunately, they are not yet available, because of some kind of error on Amazon’s site. But when they appear, and provided that they are as unequivocally positive as I am assuming, I will post them here.

In the interest of pedantry (and no one is more interested in pedantry than am I), I note that quarterfinalist should be hyphenated. I don’t like this unhyphenated compound word, no, not one jot. It’s spelled correctly in the contest rules but they’ve removed the hyphens on the announcement web page. Odd. As long as I make it to the semifinals or semi-finals, though, I will withhold my complaints to the management.