A couple days ago I got back home after a little west coast tour, put on by brave publishing house, Biblioasis. They sent me and stately, non-plump Kris Bertin out to Vancouver, Victoria, and Calgary on the heels of the release of Bertin’s first book, Bad Things Happen. I lent moral, spiritual, and literary support in reading from and drinking around my first book, Debris (September 2015).
Jess Taylor of BookThug and Pauls notoriety also joined us for the Vancouver and Victoria readings, and she brought her fightface and also the panel-talk revelation that she is generally happy with a first book, whereas me and Bertin have hollows in us that are not yet filled nor may they ever be. 😥
Massive thanks in Vancouver to Hal Wake and Clea Young and the Vancouver Writers Fest, as well as the Vancouver Public Library. We read at the central branch for the Incite Reading Series, and to many more people than first book writers usually read to. Bertin opened up with the Kris Bertin comedy hour and livened up the room, then Jess read, and I closed that thing with a nice little segment of the story Montana Border, full with dislocated elbowbones and incisors stuck in fists. People were very moved.
The next day we ferried over to Victoria, and were hosted at Russell Books by Vanessa Herman, legend of the fall. A number of writers and friends that we’ve known mostly through the internet, and sparely in person (such as Julie Paul, Dave Brock, Erin Frances Fisher, Jenny Manzer, and Will Johnson), came by to watch us lip each other between sets and eventually read some stuff. And they came to drink all the beer in town afterward. Thanks to all you weirdos for showing up. Also, thanks to Will for taking the reading photos you see here, as I’ve stolen them from a blog post he wrote about the tour.
If you ever go through a security checkpoint for a domestic flight, it may surprise you that they will not let you through with cans of beer, knives, and bottles of rare liquor in your carry-on. Me and Kris learned this is a very FUBAR-like way, and to great hilarity for the YYJ staff. But don’t worry, because we drank them beers the next night in Cowtown and I believe Bertin smuggled his liquors back to Halifax a day later.
Calgary was our last stop, and we did a reading there at Shelf Life Books, hosted by owners JoAnn McCaig and Will Lawrence. They generously laid out wines and cheeses for their guests, and entertained a lively Q & A after the readings. We had a great little crowd there, including cousins of mine, and local writers Kim McCullough and Rea Tarvydas, who have long supported us and stepped it up a notch when Kim drove us to the beer store.
Me and Kris did not make the complimentary breakfast at our hotel. Never did we ever make one in the days before. Believe in your dreams…
All in all, it was a great bonus round of mini-tour for me (and Taylor), and a damn good start for Kris. He gets all Hannibal Buress in the opening remarks, but then reads like a pro, even on days when he misses the daily growth and weight status updates of his dog. Jess always reads good and does other stuff good too, like standing on a ferry with disgruntled-face men while she shows genuine enthusiasm.
So, that is what I had to report. I’ll update this post with more things over the next day or so, and will share more news and happenings as they occur. Until then, thanks to all the people who showed up for us out west, who hosted us, and who shared our crap on the internets and by other communications mediums. You are all my heroes…