Thursday, May 31, 2012

When Getting Seen Reading Scores!

Earlier this week the Kobo street team and some folks from Harper Collins Canada joined Julie Wilson, author of the amazing Seen Reading to surprise Toronto commuters who were seen reading with Julie's awesome new book, Seen Reading (which was inspired by the thrill book nerds like myself get when they see someone reading in public)

The surprise was a free Kobo Touch eReader pre-loaded with Julie's book.

How cool is THAT?

I managed to snap a pic of some of the team assembling early in the morning before their fun outing.

Check out the cool video . . . Love Your Commute.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Blocking Up The Scenery, Breaking My Mind

I'm one of those people who get frustrated when others use your rather that you're or their instead of they're within the proper context.

It hurts my brain, and, of course, it is becoming as commonplace as seeing teenage boys wearing pants that hang halfway down their ass, revealing their underwear (that hurts my brain almost as much, BTW).

But I get a kick out of signs, and often snap a pic when I find one that hasn't been proof-read.

I've long been an advocate that writers, even top notch pro writers, always benefit from a good editor.

So I wonder, then, how signs like this, from a small Canadian pizza chain - and a fantastic one to boot -- (I cut the part of the sign that shows their name) could make it through such a professional production for multiple locations and nobody GUARANTEED that it was free of typos?

Or is this their way of pretending to guarantee something, but not really? (Would this be like promicing something -- because if you don't deliver, you're not really breaking a promise, merely a promice)

Granted, these hand-written signs can be forgiven (at least a bit).  But they do make me shake my head.

Even this sign seems a little out of service.

Cheken breast? Is this evidence that the meat is over-processed? Or perhaps the sign isn't indicating a special price, but rather a special type of chicken . . .

But it's true, Virginia, even sign-makers need a good editor, or at least a solid proof-reader.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

August Event: Here Be Dragons

I am delighted to be a part of a very special event taking place in Orillia, ON on August 11th at the Stephen Leacock museum.

My friend Julie Czerneda is hosting a "Here Be Dragons" event called "An evening of fantasy with Julie Czerneda and friends" -- it is part of a weekend celebration at Swanmore Hall which will be featuring a photo exhibit by Roger Czerneda entitled:  "Look. Magic!"

The friends are Adrienne Kress, Anne Bishop and me. 

There will be a mingle and greet at 5 PM, a BBQ at 6 PM ($12 / person), and then at 7:30 a presentation and reading, followed by a reception.

The poster is below.

This will be the first occasion where I do a public event in support of my forthcoming Haunted Hamilton: The Ghosts of Dundurn Castle & Other Steeltown Shivers, which will be released in August. (And since it has been a while since I've seen Julie and Roger in person, it'll be a great opportunity to spend some time with them)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Seen With Seen Reading And Seen On Stage With Julie

I had dinner last night with Anita Windisman, a friend I met through the print on demand and social media worlds.  I wanted to learn more about the awesome work she is doing helping people properly leverage LinkedIn (she runs One of a Kind Marketing) as well as her book (and some forthcoming book projects).

I, of course, had to show her Julie Wilson's Seen Reading and snap a picture of her holding it.

We then remembered that Julie, Anita and I (along with Nina Lassam) had all participated in a panel together at Word on the Street back in 2010, talking about social media for writers.  (I blah blah'd about it a bit on my blog here and in a post entitled Top Social Media Tools for Authors)

Here's a picture of us that I tweeted prior to us going onstage . . .

And one taken from the crowd . . .

Anita is the author of Business Lessons I Learned from Barbie (Kobo eBook, Amazon Paperback).

Successful. Beautiful. Powerful. A role model for every successful modern woman, Barbie loves her work and dares to dream big. She can do anything, and shows that with passion and determination, you can do anything too. Since 1959, when she was introduced by Mattel, Barbie has been a market leader, innovative and in tune with the times. This book offers seven business lessons from Barbie.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Delighted To Announce Tesseracts Sixteen Contributors

I am not only honoured to be the latest editor of the award-winning Tesseracts anthology series, but am absolutely delighted with the line-up of authors who will be featured.

Selecting stories and poems for Tesseracts 16: Parnassus Unbound was not an easy process.  Just ask any of the contributors who patiently waited for me as I struggled to stay on track and on time with this one.  (Or ask the incredibly patient Brian Hades of Edge Publishing, who, miraculously, didn't release bloodhounds to come find me while I kept plugging away in the final throes of manuscript completion)

One of the main reasons it wasn't easy is that there was an incredible amount of phenomenal material submitted.  I had so much great material, in fact, that I could have easily put together two or three volumes.

Alas, I ended up having to reject a lot of really good material -- this was extremely difficult, because I wasn't just looking at great writing, but I was trying to have the pieces all fit together in a way that they either played off one another, acted as contrasting approaches to a similar theme, or merely flowed well back to back.  I also tried to ensure that as many different elements from art, literature, music and culture were represented, so that the pieces themselves created a wondrous mosaic of the talent flowing through the Canadian speculative landscape.

But I am delighted and thrilled with the result.

Tesseracts Sixteen: Parnassus Unbound will include fiction and poetry by:

Neil Peart & Kevin J. Anderson, Robert J. Sawyer, Ryan Oakley, Steve Vernon, Hugh A. D. Spencer, Sandra Kasturi, Michael Kelly, Rebecca Senese, Randy McCharles, Chadwick Ginther, Stephen Kotowych, Carolyn Clink, J. J. Steinfeld, David Clink, Robert H. Beer, Leia Getty, Scott Overton, Sean Costello, Virginia O'Dine, Melissa Yuan-Innes, Derwin Mak, Kimberly Foottit, Matthew Jordan Schmidt, Adria Laycraft, Jeff Hughes.

And, I'm in awe of the absolutely gorgeous cover that Jeff Johnson created.  It perfectly matches the theme of this great collection.

Tesseracts Sixteen: Parnassus Unbound will be released in September of 2012. The paperback will be listed at $15.95 US and the eBook at $9.99.

It is already available for pre-order at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound and McNally Robinson.  Of course, you can always request it from your friendly neighbourhood bookstore.  Better yet, request two, so you can buy one for someone you love.

Sign up for my monthly newsletter and I'll share the entire TOC with you.  I'll also reveal some interesting trivial details related to Tesseracts 16 that you might find interesting and you'll have a chance to win a Tesseracts Sixteen 6 X 9 notebook, which are in extremely limited supply.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Digital Storytelling 360°

Tomorrow (Saturday May 5th) I will be talking at the 2012 Ontario Writer's Conference which is taking place at the Deer Creek Golf and Banquet Facility.

I will be doing a plenary session with Cynthia Good, Director of the Creative Book Publishing Program at Humber College.

Our overall topic is called Storytelling 360°: Storytelling in a Digital Age and the description is here:

Publishers have already begun to embrace the notion of multiple platforms by casting off those expectations we’ve grown up with – that a story is… text on a page, actors on the stage, special effects on the screen or a narrator reading. In our digital and connected world it’s now a natural step to dictate how we want our stories delivered – whether we want to read, listen, watch or ‘do’.

This is an era of abundance. Choices for readers, for publishers – and for writers. The traditional physical book still retains its primacy, but electronic publishing offers opportunities that we had never dreamed possible.

Our session runs between 11:30 and 12:30. We be speaking for about 20 minutes each and then offering some time for questions and comments from the audience.  Cynthia and I discussed how we would split this up to ensure that we didn't cover the same ground and I'm looking forward to the experience.

I will be talking a little bit about the overall evolution of storytelling, offering a few examples of trans-media storytelling, multi-platform storytelling experiences, how apps, and various social media tools are allowing authors and publishers to both promote their work but also offer readers exciting new ways to discover and experience the worlds they are creating.  I will also draw from a few of my own experiences as a writer that fully draw on the concept of 360°.

And I will, of course, also be talking about how digital reading allows for a fully immersive reading experience, the interesting ways that ebooks companies are engaging readers, as well as some new opportunities that Kobo offers which allow authors to connect with readers in bold and dynamic new ways.

The presentation will be fun -- but the real joy will be getting to spend the day with so many writers.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Fatherhood Fact #87

Lunches taste better when sandwiches are in the shape of the Millennium Falcon or a Tie-Fighter.

This has been Fatherhood Fact #87 - a public service announcement.