Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015


Zoe T. Leroy Praises the 2007 IFOA line-up

Note: I didn't have a great corresponding photo to go with this entry, so I attached a snap of myself as a child sitting in a wagon with a lamb. You know, just to reach out to my fellow former sheep farmers.

Zoe T. Leroy asks author about Britney, Chris Crocker, David Miller, Unicorns, Babies and her First Novel!

When I was a newly signed novelist editing the final drafts, I met up with an acquaintance at a party, also newly signed. We had the same excited/terrified glow about our saturn-return era faces. We quickly divulged how we'd recently experienced colossal panic attacks related to certain first-novel fears - what it will mean to finally have a novel, and what do you do if you wake up every morning at 4 from a dream about accidental plagiarism, or reviews that confirm your worst fears about yourself? I'm thrilled to report we made it through unscathed. I interviewed the Toronto author over email.

ZW: Your first novel, Be Good, is out this November. Can you tell me what it's about?

Zoe T. LeRoy Interviews Hot Shot ECW Author Brian Joseph Davis about His New Novel "I, Tania"!

Brian Joseph Davis is launching his novel I, Tania tonight! You should be there in about one hour from now. I have to go vote and then collapse, as per my hell day at the small press publishing mines, but I'm doing my part by telling you all right now to go buy the book and follow his every innovative move on his website which shows without a doubt, he's cooler than I'll ever be.

ZW: Ok, Mr. Davis, because you asked me to be harsh - what exactly makes this book so great, huh? Who do you think you are?

BJD: Well, as an object it's great to look at. One of the best designs I've
ever done. As far as its literary greatness, that's highly subjective. I

Launch of Toronto Youth Street Stories Website

This spring I lead a writing workshop for street-involved youth in Toronto supported by the Youth Pathways Project. Emily Pohl-Weary, d’bi young, and Lynn Crosbie also taught workshops and the group is now launching a website of writing and art work that grew out of the project. You can click here to read their work.

In other more self-involved news, I'm very excited about a review of Bottle Rocket Hearts that appeared on today. Ahem, "Those who grew up in the nineties will appreciate the book’s references to Doc Martens, the 1995 referendum, Sonic Youth and the Spice Girls. If Leonard Cohen and Mordecai Richler immortalized the Montreal of their generation, Whittall immortalizes the Montreal of ours."

From the Mixed Up Files of Zoe T. Leroy

In Todd's final entry he wrote, "Every writer in the provinces wants to be in Toronto. I cannot live in Toronto, of course, because I have no money and I am scared of smog." It is true that I am currently broke and frequently undone by pollution-related chest colds, but nevertheless fairly happy with my Toronto digs. I joined a Facebook group (shut up) called Actually...I Like Toronto, and that pretty much sums up my current relationship to the much-maligned grid-city. An initially reluctant attraction turned comfortable marriage. I must admit to being Winnipeg-curious, with an affection for Nova Scotia. But Toronto is where it's at for the extroverted writers, especially this past weekend, with both Word on the Street and Nuit Blanche.

Goodbye, Toronto, Goodbye

Every writer in the provinces wants to be in Toronto. I cannot live in Toronto, of course, because I have no money and I am scared of smog. But the Open Book Toronto virtual writer-in-residence program allowed me to pretend I lived in Toronto. I was at the Alberta Literary Awards gala last night, where one of my novels was shorlisted for the novel prize — it didn't win — and I met people from all over Western Canada.
"So where are you from?" one stranger said. Her eyes were pretty.
"Toronto, at the moment," I said.

I am a blurber. I blurb now.

I am in the midst of writing a blurb.

It's the first time I've been asked to write a blurb, so of course I'm feeling pretty proud of myself. I'm trying to slip it into conversations at dinner parties.

For example:

Guest A: This is excellent paella.
Guest B: Thank you. I marinated the meat.
Guest C: Is there saffron in the rice?
Guest A: Oooh, saffron is expensive.
Guest B: You're all very important to me, and therefore worth the expense.
Babiak: Someone asked me to blurb his MF book!

Yes, it's an important step, moving from non-blurber to blurber. The agent and the publisher can say anything they like about you. Awards shmawards. Until someone, preferably someone awesome, asks you to review his or her book, you're nobody.

For my last novel,

A major television series

My first two novels, Choke Hold and The Garneau Block, were nominated for literary prizes. Both won a prize.

I was thrilled, of course. Thrilled!

Only other writers were impressed by these prizes, and they were probably being sarcastic. After all, we aren't talking about the Giller or the GGs here.

With the actual reading public, the most important measure of success seems to be film and television adaptation.

Lessons from Gail Anderson-Dargatz, author of Turtle Valley

Last night, I participated in a literary reading with Gail Anderson-Dargatz. She is one of Canada's grandest literary stars, so I studied her approach meticulously. Like all young writers, I too would like to be one of Canada's grandest literary stars, and one ignores the qualities of grandness at one's peril.

I made notes afterward.

Note the First: Make it personal.

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