As many of you know, part of this long process of getting a book done is reaching out to other writers to see if they’ll be willing to tolerate reading all your hillbilly murder stories (with feelings), and perhaps lend some support in the way of a line or two of blurb, or in actual other support by telling people you are not crap. Sometimes you get excellent people who do both.
Over the past few years I’ve had some kind words put up by the likes of A.F. Moritz, Lindsay Clarke, and Tamas Dobozy. Those were mostly during the early days when I had only a few publications and an agent trying to utilize them. Now I have many more of the former, and entirely none of the latter, but this kind of support is a little more crucial with the book on the way. In some cases, it could mean the difference between whether or we might get certain eyeballs on the work that would’ve not given it a chance otherwise. In the US, perhaps, for this Canadian collection of short fiction, it will help our US distributors/sales staff decide how far they can push the book in that much larger pond.
So, I just thought I’d take a moment to thank three writers who have taken the time to read Debris this far ahead of publication, while they are all busy with their own writing and life obligations. All of whom sacrificed time to read the book, and thought it non-terrible enough to let me hand over their blurbs to my publisher, Biblioasis.
Craig Davidson was a jury member for the Journey Prize last year when I had a story in the anthology, and actually offered his support, and, given that he’d read a number of the stories before, was able to rush out a few lines for the Biblioasis catalogue that they took overseas. This guy put something together on just a few days notice, and his words helped get the attention of some publishers in the UK and Europe, who might take a good look at the collection.
Tamas Dobozy was another writer I met through the Journey Prize, when we were finalists for the JP and Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, respectively. We were paired up for an interview in the National post, and Tamas was the eventual winner of the WT Fiction Prize for his collection Siege 13. Tamas has supported my work since, and has really helped me out more than once. His latest words are specifically for the collection and replace an earlier blurb. He is a hero.
Finally, and not at all fictionally, I met John Irving through a series of interesting events that I’ll not spell out here, but he did like my one story, Montana Border, recently published in The Walrus, and agreed to receive an ARC of Debris, even though he is up to his neck in his own new book, Avenue of Mysteries, also to be published this fall. I left it with Mr. Irving just to see if he had the time, and, somehow, he managed to get a read in and gave me the quote you see on my section about what people say about the work. I have not always had the best of luck over the years, but this series of events that led to even getting the book to John was very, very lucky. That is not lost on me at all.
In the end, it is pretty heartening to know that these writers, who have done considerable work in their careers, and who know far more than me, do not think I should quit this and spend the last of my knee-cartilage doing crime. I am very grateful to all of them, and to everyone who keeps publishing the work and asking me questions about it.
Anyway, the early opinions on the book are all up there in the part about “what people say about the writing.” You can go to that tab or click this whole line to have a look at them, and see who has sullied their good name in support of this pile of stories.
More to come soon. Cheers.