Very proud to announce that BAD THINGS HAPPEN has won the 2017 ReLit award for Short Fiction! It comes with a ring that will let me spell out various 4-letter words. If you can think of any for me to try out, write them in the comments below.
Alexander and I are very pleased to unveil the cover of the sequel to THE CASE OF THE MISSING MEN, a story called THE CURSED HERMIT, coming in fall 2019!
Please tell all your friends about it!
My illustrator Alexander Forbes and I are very excited to have received our first copies of The Case of The Missing Men, a 300 page graphic novel published by Conundrum Press. The book is available in select stores and will be available nationwide and across North America in November 2017!
We are so pleased with how well it turned out, and with early press, such as this one from Corey Redekop from Atlantic Books Today. We also made it onto CBC's list of "Graphic Novels We Can't Wait For".
This book represents years and years of hard work and dedication from my partner Alexander Forbes, and it's truly breathtaking to see the result. Making and publishing this series has been a dream of ours for nearly a decade, and we are especially excited to announce that our publisher let us put this neat little symbol on the spine. The number one.
This means that yes, there is more to come.
Look back for tour dates in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Brooklyn, and elsewhere!
I'm pleased to announce that BAD THINGS HAPPEN was a finalist for this year's Alistair MacLeod Short Fiction award, and has won The Danuta Gleed award from The Writer's Union of Canada. A very special thanks to the Gleed family, and to the judges--Caroline Adderson, Judy Fong-Bates, and David Bergen--who had something very nice to say:
I found out that I had won while at work, sitting in the basement office of my bar, measuring liquor bottles and preparing a till for the morning shift. I was quite surprised I had won, since I was up against some terrific competition (including the Winner of the Alistair MacLeod award, my friend Kerry-Lee Powell):
I went upstairs, told my wife and coworkers, had a beer to celebrate, and then went back down to finish my work. I thought about how I might commemorate this moment. I thought about taking a picture of myself, but decided instead to take a picture of where I was. Without being too dramatic, I would really like to make it known to other people like me--who might be toiling away at some foolish project---that it is possible to make a great leap forward, even while sitting in a place like this:
Thank you all so much for your kind messages.
I am very proud to announce that the graphic novel I (and my longtime friend and artist Alex Forbes) have been working on for years and years finally has a home! THE CASE OF THE MISSING MEN is going to be published in Fall 2017 by CONUNDRUM PRESS. This represents our first foray into the world of comic books and graphic novels, and the culmination of a dream--to write and draw stories together--some 25 years old.
The Case of the Missing Men is the first part of an ongoing mystery thriller set in a strange and remote east-coast village called Hobtown. The story follows a gang of young teens who have made it their business to investigate each and every one of their town’s bizarre occurrences as The Teen Detective Club (a registered afterschool program). Their small world of missing pets and shed-fires is turned upside down when real-life kid adventurer and globetrotter Sam Finch comes to town and enlists them in their first real case—the search for his missing father. In doing so, he and the teens stumble upon a terrifying world of rural secret societies, weird-but-true folk mythology, subterranean lairs, and an occultist who can turn men into dogs.
Alex's artwork for this project is truly breathtaking, drawing inspiration from old Stratemeyer Syndicate illustrations (such as Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and others) and combining it with unique style, careful line work, and expressive, articulated characters. I'm continually impressed by his ability to take my script and show me things inside of it that I didn't even know were there.
Here's a sneak peek!
(All artwork by ALEX FORBES)
I'm happy to announce that my book is being launched at BEARLY'S HOUSE OF BLUES on February 29th at 7PM! Roger Howse will play some music, Alexander MacLeod will say some nice things and Oland draught will be $4! I hope you can make it!
MARCH 2nd: VANCOUVER BC @ INCITE Writer's Festival 730pm
MARCH 3rd: VICTORIA BC @ Russel Books 7pm
MARCH 4th: CALGARY AB @ Shelf Life Books 7pm
APRIL 12th: WINDSOR ON @ Biblioasis 7pm
APRIL 13th: TORONTO ON @ Ben McNally Books 6pm
APRIL 14th: KINGSTON ON @ Novel Idea Books 7pm
APRIL 15th: OTTAWA ON @ Ottawa International Writer's Festival
Details are still being finalized for more readings, so check back to stay in the know!
Biblioasis is getting ready to push my book BAD THINGS HAPPEN into the literary ocean to see if it floats, or takes on water and sinks down onto a pile of forgotten short story collections. It's going to be on shelves nationwide February 23 and will look like this:
This means I’m getting written up in places places like MAISONNEUVE, and THE TORONTO STAR (who named me—and good pal Andrew Sullivan—as one of the top up-and-comers to watch in 2016). I received an absolutely fantastic starred review from QUILL & QUIRE, who said that BAD THINGS HAPPEN is:
Brash (in the best possible sense), intriguing, and consummate without being showy, these are terrific stories in a strong, diverse, and fascinating collection.
You can read that review here.
My story COWAN can be purchased in this month's WALRUS MAGAZINE (October 2015). This is my second story published with the Walrus, the first being THE EVICTION PROCESS. I'm happy to have placed it with them, and very pleased to have artwork supplied by the enormously talented Jillian Tamaki (featured below) which is amorphous and strange and exactly perfect for this story.
COWAN is about a group of kids who have selected one of their own to be their scapegoat, to absorb all the punishment and abuse they've been saving up in themselves, and the boy who willingly accepts it from them. It's about the unpleasant side of growing up, when you're still part animal and haven't yet understood the consequences of what you're doing.
I wrote COWAN while staying with my brother in Belleville Ontario, where new developments were being carved out of old growth forests to accommodate the men and women who worked at a nearby factory. I'd grown up in a semi-rural environment, and so was unaccustomed to rows of identical houses, all pristine and off-gassing the same smell into the neighbourhood, all built by the same contractors, all occupied by the same kinds of people. It was strange to me.
It was even stranger after dark when there was nothing to light your way except the glow of TVs from big bay windows and a couple of triggered security lights, and I started to see people walking down those freshly paved roads. After some time worrying that they were burglars (Belleville, I was told, had more home invasions that anywhere in Ontario) I realized they were teenagers. Around this time I had been trying to write a story about something i'd noticed, about the way that a gang sometimes has a friend that isn't really a friend at all. When I saw those kids, lingering around an unlit house, I finally felt like I had something.
You can read Cowan here.