On Friday October 9 at 7:00 PM on the second floor of the Le Forte Centre at St. Mary’s University, located in Fish Creek Park in south Calgary, I will be reading from my novel The Piano Teacher. To bring some musical artistry to the even, my friend Morag Northey will be helping me out. Morag is one of the finest cellists in the land. We first worked together on my play Queen Lear, for which she created a musical score and performed every night in the original production of the play.
I’ve been involved with St. Mary’s in one way or another since 2005 when we took a small production of my play Closer and Closer Apart there one winter’s evening. I loved the “boutique” nature of the place — a small (but ever-growing) student population, small class sizes, excellent faculty. In my mind it offers a liberal arts education the way it’s meant to be done and I’ve been proud to be associated with the place these last 10 years.
So, if you want to check St. Mary’s out — it’s a beautiful campus off of Bannister Road near Fish Creek — and you would like a signed copy of my novel, and even the chance to hear me read from it, and of course hear Morag as well, please come by Friday evening.
Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, everyone!
Thanks for reading.
So there I was, bleeding at the War Memorial in Kensington.
My front tire had hit a ridge where the pavement gives way to the planking of the Memorial and I went down in an inglorious heap. It truly was an inelegant moment in the history of cycling.
My first thought was of my ribs – I had a fall last summer and broke a rib on my left side (#8, I believe it was). Let me tell you, that hurt like stink. So I sat there and although my hip hurt and my arm was bleeding and my knee was bleeding and my ankle was bleeding, at least my ribs seemed ok.
My second thought was of the precious cargo on my bike rack. This cargo was the point of the journey, after all. Ten copies of my novel The Piano Teacher destined for Pages in Kensington book store. The books seemed fine and so I breathed a sigh of relief.
But I remember thinking at that moment that this was a situation unique to self-publishing where you have to do everything yourself. Maybe, just maybe, when I finish my next novel I’ll shop around a little more seriously to find a publisher who would do such things for me.
Then there was a lovely moment as a person of the street came up to me and helped my on my feet and got my bike up and make sure I was all right before sending me on my way. It was a little act of kindness, generosity of spirit, that took some of the sting from my minor injuries and put things in perspective for me.
So my book is now available at Shelf Life Books, Pages in Kensington, Owl’s Nest Books, and Reid’s Stationers, all in Calgary. If you are further afield than this, you can order it from Blurb.ca which is a print-on-demand service that I use. They put out a nice product, their books are virtually identical to the ones I have printed at Blitz Print here in Calgary. (The direct link to Blurb is here: http://www.blurb.ca/b/6423475-the-piano-teacher)
If this seems too much for you, for whatever reason, let me know and we’ll figure out a way to get you a copy of the book.
I’m happy to report that The Piano Teacher was #3 on Calgary’s best sellers last week. (As of September 12.)
Finally, I have arranged to give a reading at St. Mary’s University in south Calgary, where I am the writer in residence, on October 9 starting at 7 PM, but more on that anon.
I hope you enjoying the transition from summer to fall. It’s beautiful here in Alberta, but as we discover year after year, all so brief. Enjoy the colours while they last!
Thanks for reading . . .
We have a good problem, I suppose – there are currently no copies to be had except on-line through Blurb.ca. (I will provide the link below.)
A recent article on the book and on me by Eric Volmers in the Calgary Herald sparked renewed interest but alas there are no copies to be had in any of Calgary’s book stores.
I printed what I assumed would be enough copies to last through the summer back in May when the book first came out and was launched at Shelf Life Books. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your point of view I suppose, we have exhausted that first run.
It was drawn to my attention that there were a number of typos in the book – sorry about that! We have now expunged those (or at least corrected them) and the book is back at the printers and we now eagerly await the error-free second edition. I would put the date for the book to be back on the shelf (as it were) hopefully around August 29.
I prefer whenever possible to support locally owned businesses, and so at this point in time the book will be available at Shelf Life Books, Pages in Kensington, Owl’s Nest Books as well as Reid’s Stationers, all in Calgary. That’s how it stands now, but that could change if other book stores decide they would like to carry it.
The book is also available through the Calgary Public Library. They recently ordered extra copies (through Blurb) to keep up with the demand. (Wherever you may live in the world, you can always ask your local library to order the book and they usually do. One book at a time is how it goes . . . )
But as I say, it is also available if you order it through Blurb.ca, which is essentially a print-on-demand service. It takes a few days for the book to arrive and it costs a little extra for shipping, but it is the same book you would get at any of the above bookstores. (I actually make a greater royalty this way, so please don’t be shy. It’s just like ordering a book through Amazon, only I don’t like what Amazon is doing to the world and so you won’t find it there. But that’s another story.)
The link for buying the book is currently rather wobbly, so the best course of action to take for now is to visit blurb.ca (or dot-com outside of Canada) and go from there. Thanks! (Ahhh, technology!)
If you would like to have a signed copy, then you just have to get in touch with me and we will find a way to make that happen. Looking ahead, there will be a launch/celebration of the book at St. Mary’s University in south Calgary where I am writer in residence sometime this fall.
And then all those other things I don’t know about yet . . .
So there you have it. Now you know what I know. Before I leave you with the link to Eric’s piece, I’d like to thank my designer on this project, Jackie Bourgaize, for her excellent design and patience and my brother Tom and his wife Alison for their immense support – without them, there would be no book, plain and simple.
And thank you as well to everyone who has bought the book so far, and for all the nice things you have said to me on Facebook and in person. It has been a very gratifying experience so far.
It almost feels like I oughtta write another one!
Thanks for reading!
Here’s Eric’s piece . . .