Cover for The Word of Traitors

by Don ~ June 15th, 2009

I’ve been remiss in posting this for all to see — it’s actually been available for a couple of months now — but in case you haven’t already seen it, feast your eyes on the glory that is the cover for The Words of Traitors!

Once again, I think Michael Komarck has done an amazing job!

Confessions of a First-time Stripper

by Don ~ June 1st, 2009

Get your minds out of the gutter.

I stripped books for the first time tonight at my part-time bookstore job. For those of you who don’t know, mass market books are “returned” to the publisher by tearing off the front cover, returning that for credit, then recycling the rest of the book. Yes, horribly wasteful, etc. etc. but this was the first time I’ve done it myself.

And it was books from the SF/F section (Chadwick, I know you’re reading this — don’t worry, we were careful but we desperately needed the space!), so I knew a lot of the authors. To everyone whose covers I stripped and whose books I destroyed tonight: I’m sorry.

On the other hand, with a few authors (who I didn’t know) it was strangely cathartic. Mwa-haha…

What’s been happening

by Don ~ April 18th, 2009

As seems to happen every few months, I just looked at the last time I posted and realized it’s been a while. Such things happen — it’s been a busy period. So what’s been happening?

Well, probably of interest to the majority of people visiting the site, I’ve been working away on The Tyranny of Ghosts, as well as the various little odds and ends that come at the tail end of the publishing process for The Word of Traitors. I hope to have a cover image for Traitors┬áthat I can post here soon. If it’s anything like the draft I saw, it should be spectacular.

I’ve also been working on developing a couple of other projects (nothing I can talk about or that is ready to be talked about) but probably the two biggest events of the last month+ have been the purchase of a house (hurray!) and starting a new part-time job with a new bookstore in Toronto. Writing full-time isn’t exactly a social activity so I’m looking forward to getting out of the house (old or new) a bit. The fact that I’ll be surrounded by books and getting a bit of spare cash out of it doesn’t hurt either! Unless I start spending all that cash on more books…

The store opens next week, so right now it’s all lugging boxes and slinging books, but I’m working with some great people and I’m looking forward to it immensely!

A weird feeling

by Don ~ March 3rd, 2009

Okay, so I had something weird happen to me yesterday. I was having a chat with someone who’d kindly read over the first few chapters of the original novel I’m working. She was talking about the characters and suddenly I got this very peculiar sensation, like we weren’t talking about characters but real people.

It was distinctly strange and the feeling stuck with me for a while. Just now, though, I think I realized what was strange about it: I almost never actually hear my characters’ names spoken by someone else. My contact with editors is virtually always by email. I mutter character names to myself when I’m stuck on a scene or plotting something out, but that’s not the same thing. My relationship with the characters is almost entirely visual–they exist in words on the page. Having someone else speak their name gives them a form of reality.


March Madness – Book Style

by Don ~ February 2nd, 2009

This is fun. HarperCollins Canada has launched the 2009 edition of their March Madness literary smackdown. Basically it’s a championship for books. Fun and you have a chance to win all 64 featured books. Go in and check it out!

Here are some of my favourites – you may notice a slight bias to genre books over literary.

  • Cecelia Ahern, PS I Love You vs Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude: Ahern (co-producer of Samantha Who?) is cute as a pill. Can Gabriel Garcia Marquez say that? I don’t think so.
  • Jane Fallon, Getting Rid of Matthew vs Ann Patchett, Bel Canto: Fallon is the partner of Ricky Gervais and nearly as funny as he is. Getting Rid of Matthew is hilarious. Bel Canto, not so much.
  • JRR Tolkien, The Children of Hurin vs Neil Gaiman, American Gods: Not offense, JRR, but American Gods kicks your sorry posthumous ass.
  • Robin Hobb, Forest Mage vs Joe Hill, Heart-Shaped Box: Tough call, but I liked Forest Mage.
  • Raymond Feist, Flight of the Nighthawks vs Kim Harrison, For a Few Demons More: Kim Harrison all the way.
  • Kevin J Anderson, The Last Days of Krypton vs Guy Gavriel Kay, The Fionavar Tapestry: Superman’s backstory against a fantasy that turns all Arthurian in the end. I’ll go with Krypton, please.
  • Laura Lippman, What the Dead Know vs Stuart MacBride, Dying Light: Stuart MacBride is Scottish and insane and knows things about cheese graters and weasels no oen should ever know. Lippman will crawl away from this.
  • Christopher Moore, Lamb vs Conn Iggulden, Wolf of the Plains: Another tough one. Moore is crazy but I’ve had beer with Iggulden. Plus he did his research by actually travelling to Mongolia. I’m going with Wolf of the Plains. Khaaaann!!


by Don ~ January 20th, 2009

Well, I’ve just watched Barack Obama’s inauguration. That was quite an inspiring moment. Great speech, nice pageantry without being over the top.

I’m pleased I watched it live. People talk about remembering Kennedy’s assassination or whatever. This is one I’ll remember.

Oh my god – I’m just listening to Frank McKenna, former Canadian ambassador doing commentary on CTV, pointing out that in Governor General Michaella Jean, Canada has a woman of colour and former refugee as head of state. I think he was trying to say something about two progressive countries working together, but honestly Frank — NOT THE TIME. Not even remotely comparable, either. I am so freaking embarassed.

Try it. You’ll like it.

by Don ~ January 5th, 2009

Have I said enough good things about Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange? No? If you don’t believe me, check out the sample online at HarperCollins here.

(And by the by, today’s subject line is brought to you by the labels my grandfather always put on his homemade wine.)