One Saturday last summer, I was at my local nursery, pleasantly hung-over, and feeling optimistic about the fact that this time I would for sure keep the new basil alive (spoiler: I did not). It was one of those sunny, hopeful mornings. And then, while in line, I made the mistake of checking email.Read More
Hello. It’s 2019. Is it passe to say Happy New Year?
It’s been radio silence here for the past four weeks because…drum roll…I’ve been writing! As in actual words and sentences and paragraphs and scenes and things that could possibly even be called CHAPTERS. Every time I manage to get words on a page it really does feel miraculous.Read More
TWENTY EIGHTEEN! What a tornado of a year! In this, my debut year as an author, I have learned a good many lessons, many of them the hard way. So if you are an aspiring, emerging, or about-to-become debut author allow me to be of service.Read More
Back in April I did a Q&A with a group of highschool students. How much do you make from a book, they asked. Is being a novelist a realistic career choice? I think the teachers were slightly mortified but I found the candid questions refreshing. Frankly, these teenagers were a hell of a lot more pragmatic than most adults.
The answers, by the way, are: not much and no, not really. As I told the teenagers, most writers have day jobs. Because even if you hit a jackpot like the Giller, you have to make that windfall last until you sell the next book. And books take years to write (I started The Boat People in 2013, 4.5 years before it came out). Advances, even when they are generous, don't amount to a whole lot when spread out over the gestation and infancy of a book.Read More
Rebecca wrote this dark comedy of a blog post recently and I was all “SING IT, SISTER.” It’s about the indignities she has endured in her years as a writer. Rebecca has been writing and publishing longer than I have so she’s had to grin and bear more, but I share indignity #4 on her list.
Anyway, like Rebecca, I’ve mostly had wonderful experiences and I know I’m incredibly lucky to even be a writer and have work published but there are also moments that make me want to shake my fist. Please enjoy some dark humour…Read More