Monday, September 24, 2012

Word on the Street

It's hard to wear more than one hat, yet sometimes that's what it takes.

Yesterday, at Toronto's Word on the Street, my hat just happened to be a kitchen colander with a rat tied to each handle. Oh, yes, and I was painted green.

This was in my Little Witch Press personae, a.k.a. Sandi Witch (and illustrator Elizabeth Todd Doyle), and I was at the book fair to perform. I was also there to sell books, but I never worry all that much about selling books at events like this -- they tend to sell themselves when you're painted green and have a colander on your head.

Because we were reading/performing at the festival, we had automatic entrance to the VIP lounge, which was where Big Name Authors such as John Ralston Saul and David Suzuki and (be still my beating heart) Jian Ghomeshi were supposed to hang out.

As you imagine this scene, please keep in mind -- I am painted green.

So while I made an immediate and (perhaps) lasting impression, I still came across as a lunatic of reportable proportions.

The most famous person I saw while in there was Dave Bidini, who, while incredibly talented and clearly a Big Name Writer, is also one of those ubiquitous Torontonians that I've fought to get the server's attention at places like La Hacienda since the late 1980s. So I was more or less thisclose to asking him if he wanted to swap his trademark fedora for my equally-fetching colander. I think he noticed me eyeing his hat, because he friggin' FLED the VIP lounge.

I may have told Allison Baggio, who was sitting at my table, that Susan and I were writers of erotica.

However, when I opened newspapers this morning, I didn't notice that any of the Big Name Writers (lookin' at you, Jian Ghomeshi) had their photos  plastered across the broadsheets. And, well. I did. Apparently in The Toronto Star as well.

It ain't easy being green, but sometimes, it gets you noticed.

Friday, September 14, 2012

It's Good to Be Scared

Really, it is. It's good to do things that scare the shit out of you.

Take the Phone Call. It's my agent, Sandy, whom I love in ways that are really quite unreasonable. I'm driving, right? I'm driving and I still take the call. I'm turning into the parking lot of a Home Depot (forever etched in my brain), and I'm finally stopping because my agent is giving me The News.

Night Shade Books wants me. Or, more specifically, they want Deadroads. They love it. They love the original version, with the original suckerpunch ending, because they see where it's going, which is a continuing series.

This is, without a doubt, the scariest friggin' thing I've ever heard in my life. It's like getting a rock lifted from you and the sunlight is nice -- dear God, it's nice -- but it's also illuminating. I'm exposed. Is my slip showing?

You bet it is.

So, forthwith: Night Shade Books is going to publish Deadroads, likely in spring of 2013. God and my editor willing, and in whichever order they give me comments.

This has meant spending the whole summer, or at least the last couple of weeks, telling people about it. The response usually goes like this:

Me: So, uhm, yeah, it's been a good summer.
Friend/Family/Stranger: Really? The weather's been terrible. Though you spent all that time at that wonderful cottage, right?
Me: Yeah. The cottage, it was great.
F/F/S: I wish I had a cottage like that. Did you see any movie stars up in the Muskokas? I hear Goldie Hawn has a ...
F/F/S: (pause) You've written a novel?


ETA: grammar, folks. A sentence needs a verb.