Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Ottawa Book Award Nominee 2020!

 Bad Ideas is nominated for an Ottawa Book Award! Things are a little different this year. The ceremony on October 21st will be a video call instead of a party (though I will do my best to make it into one) and instead of reading at the ceremony, nominees were asked to make videos. A really nice person from the City of Ottawa came downtown and recorded me standing in the park near my house, reading. There were kids playing, people milling around, trucks driving by, and one persistent wasp. Buzzing around my head and then crawling all over my hand while I read. And the nice person stood six feet away with a video camera, smiling behind his mask. Bless him.

Here is the result! Pretty good, all things considered.

Monday, 14 September 2020

Together We Read!

I am delighted that Bad Ideas has been selected for Together We Read Canada. What does that mean? Together We Read is a digital book club. Participating libraries across the country are offering the e-book and audiobook with no wait-lists from September 3rd to 17th. That way, communities can read a book at the same time and talk about it. Online, these days. 

Bonus: the audiobook for Bad Ideas is read by Aurora Browne of the Baroness von Sketch Show! 

You can find out more about Together We Read by following the link below. You will also find an author letter from me and a self-recorded video interview, featuring my living room and my snoring dogs.

I also wanted express some gratitude for some excellent CanLit sites that provided me with some space to talk about my book over the last year. Some examples are here:

Happy reading, everybody. Take care of yourselves and others. To the best of your ability. Sending love to all.


Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Beautiful Miramichi!

A lovely first review of Bad Ideas in the Miramichi Reader. Absolutely perfect that the reviewer saw the Hell Riders in Kingston as a kid.

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Book launch on May 5th!

Thrilled to be launching my new novel, Bad Ideas, as part of the Plan 99 series at the Ottawa International Writers Festival. If you are in Ottawa, please join us on May 5th at the Manx Pub at 5pm. It is going to be a beautiful night!

Monday, 24 September 2018

Hey, good looking!

Here it is! New book coming in April 2019 and available for pre-order now, if the spirit moves you. Very grateful to the wonderful people at ECW Press for bringing it to life and making it look so lovely!

You can order it in all these ways:

- direct from the publisher:

- from your favourite independent bookseller:

- from Indigo:

- from amazon:


Saturday, 18 August 2018

This is what my new novel is about. Bad Ideas. Coming April 2019.

Inline image

Ode to Wilco

Some things I love; some things I hate.

I love thinking about my favourite music. I think about it all the time and in endless variations: favourite live albums, favourite cover songs, top five songs about complete bastards, top five songs written from a complete bastard perspective, and so on. You name it, I will give it some serious thought. One thing I don't love so much are those super-limiting social media challenges about top tens. So many rules. Just post the cover. No comment. Albums that "influenced you". But Kevin MacDougall, my best music friend, did it and challenged me to do it, so I did it. I broke the rules. I commented. I think, in the end, I posted 32 records instead of 10 and I still agonized. I am still agonizing.

But playing along led me to this sweet memory of discovering my favourite band.

Here is my day 10 post. It definitely contains a comment and four Wilco albums instead of one. Not sorry.

Day 10. Kevin MacDougall challenged me to post 10 albums that influenced me, without comment. Well. Instead of a comment, here is a story. And instead of one album, here are four.
On August 24th 1999 I heard Wilco for the first time. Seven months earlier I had split up with my husband. My kids were 2 and 5. I was as tired and rattled as I have ever been. A ghost. I took the train to Toronto to see REM at the Molson Amphitheatre. I was sick with a cold that was becoming something worse, probably bronchitis, and by the time I got to Toronto I had a fever. I sat on the grass feeling weird and happy, sweating in the cool evening breeze. Wilco was the opener and was touring Summerteeth. They started slow and then played Nothingsevergonnastandinmywayagain followed pretty closely by Shot in the Arm. I remember cocking my head to the side like a dog and thinking I had never heard anything like it. When I got home I went out and bought the album and the clerk put the fat pad of his index finger on Jeff Tweedy in the band photo on the back cover and said “This guy can do no wrong.”
I bought everything. I buy everything. I see them every chance I get. They are my favourite band and unlike so many favourites, they just get better. As a live band, it is hard to imagine their equal. My real top ten would have nothing else in it. When trying to pick a favourite, this is as narrow as I can go.
For the record, REM was in top form that night, crazy light show, high energy. Michael Stipe talked about what a great songwriter Mary Margaret O’Hara was, which made me feel like the universe made sense and that everything would probably, eventually be OK.

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