My Keycon 31 Schedule

Are you coming to Keycon 31? I hope so! It’s shaping up to be a good one. Author guests include: David Gerrold, Tanya Huff, and Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Robert J. Sawyer will be attending, as well as a bunch of awesome local folks, such as: S.M. Beiko, Gerald Brandt, GMB Chomichuk, Karen Dudley, Shayla Elizabeth, Lindsay Kitson, and Sherry Peters.

If you’re around, here’s where you’ll find me:

  • Reading (with Samantha Beiko) – 9pm Friday
  • Locally Grown – 12pm Saturday
  • Using Setting & Culture to Shape Characters – 1pm Saturday
  • Sparking Creativity – 4pm Saturday
  • Autograph Session – 12pm Sunday

Do come and say hello!

 

2013 Manitoba Book Awards

I was absolutely thrilled to attend the 2013 Manitoba Book Awards gala and for Thunder Road to be the recipient of the Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction (the award is presented every two years). Michael Van Rooy was a good friend as well as a mentor, so this award means the world to me. To be able to share the ballot with my friends Karen Dudley and David Annandale who were also close with Michael made the nomination even more special.

Michael Van Rooy Award

(Photo by Angeline Schellenberg, I’m pictured with THIN AIR director, Charlene Diehl who presented the award)

Yes, I had to pretend to be one of the Sand People so that I didn’t break down in tears (and even then, it was a very near thing by the end of my acceptance speech).

Congratulations to all the award winners, and to all of the nominees for a great slate of books. Thank you, THIN AIR the Winnipeg International Writers Festival, Prairie Fire magazine, and The Writers’ Collective for sponsoring the Genre Fiction Award. And thank you to the Manitoba Writers’ Guild and the Association of Manitoba Book Publishers for putting on a great event.

This year’s award winners in thirteen categories are:

 
Lansdowne Prize for Poetry
Prix Lansdowne de poésie

  • Tether by Laurelyn Whitt, published by Seraphim Editions


Best Illustrated Book of the Year
Meilleur livre illustré de l’année

  • 300 Years of Beer: An Illustrated History of Brewing in Manitoba by Bill Wright & Dave Craig, published by Great Plains Publications, design by Relish New Brand Experience Inc.


Manuela Dias Book Design of the Year
Prix Manuela-Dias de conception graphique en édition

  • 100 Masters: Only in Canada by Stephen Borys and Andrew Kear, published by the Winnipeg Art Gallery, design by Frank Reimer


Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book

  • Breathing Life into the Stone Fort Treaty: An Anishinabe Understanding of Treaty One, by Aimée Craft, published by Purich Publishing Ltd.


Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction

  • Thunder Road, by Chadwick Ginther published by Ravenstone (an imprint of Turnstone Press)

Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award
Prix littéraire Carol-Shields de la ville de Winnipeg

  • Stuck in the Middle: Dissenting Views of Winnipeg, photographs by Bryan Scott, text by Bartley Kives, published by Great Plains Publications.


Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction

  • The Insistent Garden by Rosie Chard, published by NeWest Press

 
Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction
Prix Alexander-Kennedy-Isbister pour les études et essais

  • “Indians Wear Red”: Colonialism, Resistance and Aboriginal Street Gangs by Elizabeth Comack, Lawrence Deane, Larry Morrissette & Jim Silver, published by Fernwood Publishing

 
John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer
Prix John-Hirsch pour l’écrivain manitobain le plus prometteur

  • Jonathan Ball

 
Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher
Prix Mary-Scorer pour le meilleur livre par un éditeur du Manitoba

  • Manitoba Butterflies: A Field Guide by Simone Hébert Allard, published by Turnstone Press


McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award

YOUNGER CATEGORY:

  • Powwow Counting in Cree, by Penny M. Thomas, published by HighWater Press (an imprint of Portage & Main Press)

OLDER CATEGORY:

  • The Fall, by Colleen Nelson, published by Great Plains Teen Fiction

 
McNally Robinson Book of the Year

  • Kisiskatchewan:The Great River Road, by Barbara Huck, published by Heartland Associates Inc.

The full list of nominees can be viewed here: http://www.mbwriter.mb.ca/

 

Thunder Road & Tombstone Blues Shortlisted At Manitoba Book Awards!

I’m very excited to say that both of my books are shortlisted for awards at this year’s Manitoba Book Awards, Thunder Road for the Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction, and Tombstone Blues for the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award. I’m also very pleased to see so many of my friends on the shortlists as well: congratulations David Annandale, Samantha Beiko, Anita DaherKaren Dudley and Janice MacDonald!

Being nominated for the genre fiction award is especially wonderful, as Michael was a friend and mentor when I was getting started on the writing path. One of my first blog posts was about what Michael means to me. If you haven’t given his Monty Haaviko crime novels a chance, please do, you’re in for a treat.

Congrats to all the nominees, and see you at the gala!

Write on!

Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-FictionPrix Alexander-Kennedy-Isbister pour les études et essais

Breathing Life into the Stone Fort Treaty: An Anishinabe Understanding of Treaty One / Aimée Craft / Purich Publishing Ltd.

Canadian Policing in the 21st Century / Robert Chrismas / McGill-Queen’s University Press.

The Constructed Mennonite: History, Memory, and the Second World War / Hans Werner / University of Manitoba Press

“Indians Wear Red”: Colonialism, Resistance and Aboriginal Street Gangs / Elizabeth Comack, Lawrence Deane, Larry Morrissette & Jim Silver / Fernwood Publishing

Best Illustrated Book of the YearMeilleur livre illustré de l’année

300 Years of Beer: An Illustrated History of Brewing in Manitoba / Bill Wright & Dave Craig / Great Plains Publications / design by Relish New Brand Experience

Confessions sans pénitence / Lise Gaboury-Diallo / Les Éditions du Blé / graphiste Philippe Dupas /  illustrations par Denis Devigne

Itty Bitty Bits / Anita Daher / Peanut Butter Press / illustrations by Wendy Bailey / design by Melanie Matheson, Blue Claw Studio

Would Someone Please Answer the Parrot! / by Beryl Young / Peanut Butter Press / llustrations by Jason Doll / design by Lee Huscroft

Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book

Breathing Life into the Stone Fort Treaty: An Anishinabe Understanding of Treaty One / Aimée Craft / Purich Publishing Ltd.

Happiness Threads, The Unborn Poems / Melanie Dennis Unrau / The Muse’s Company, J G Shillingford

The Lake and the Library / S.M. Beiko / ECW Press Ltd.

Carol Shields Winnipeg Book AwardPrix littéraire Carol-Shields de la ville de Winnipeg

Rebel Without a Pause: A Memoir / Nick Ternette / Roseway Publishing, an imprint of Fernwood Publishing

The Silent March / by C.M. Klyne / Self-published

Stuck in the Middle: Dissenting Views of Winnipeg / text by Bartley Kives, photographs by Bryan Scott / Great Plains Publications

Tombstone Blues / Chadwick Ginther / Ravenstone Books, an imprint of Turnstone Press

The Wittenbergs / Sarah Klassen / Turnstone Press.

John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer

Jonathan Ball

Melanie Dennis Unrau

Laurelyn Whitt

Lansdowne Prize for Poetry | Prix Lansdowne de poésie

Sûtra /  J. R. Léveillé / Les Éditions du Blé

Tempo / Barthélemy Bolivar / Les Éditions du Blé

Tether / Laurelyn Whitt / Seraphim Editions

Manuela Dias Book Design of the YearPrix Manuela-Dias de conception graphique en édition

100 Masters: Only in Canada / Stephen Borys with Andrew Kear / the Winnipeg Art Gallery / design by Frank Reimer

300 Years of Beer: An Illustrated History of Brewing in Manitoba / Bill Wright & Dave Craig / published by Great Plains Publications /design by Relish New Brand Experience.

Confessions sans pénitence / Lise Gaboury-Diallo / Les Éditions du Blé / graphiste Philippe Dupas / illustrations par Denis Devigne

Pīsim Finds Her Miskanow / William Dumas / HighWater Press (an imprint of Portage & Main Press) / design by Relish New Brand Experience Inc. / illustrations by Leonard Paul

Powwow Counting in Cree / Penny M. Thomas / HighWater Press (an imprint of Portage & Main Press), design by Relish New Brand Experience Inc., illustrations by Melinda Josie

Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction

The Insistent Garden / Rosie Chard / NeWest Press

Sebastiano’s Vine / Carmelo Militano / Ekstasis Editions

Ten Lords A Leaping / C.C. Bennison / Doubleday Canada

Wolf River / Margaret Riddell / Self-published

The Wittenbergs / Sarah Klassen / Turnstone Press

Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba PublisherPrix Mary-Scorer pour le meilleur livre par un éditeur du Manitoba

300 Years of Beer: An Illustrated History of Brewing in Manitoba / Bill Wright and Dave Craig / Great Plains Publications

Condemned to Repeat: A Randy Craig Mystery / Janice MacDonald / Ravenstone, an imprint of Turnstone Press

Manitoba Butterflies: A Field Guide / Simone Hébert Allard / Turnstone Press

The Wittenbergs / Sarah Klassen / Turnstone Press

McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award – Younger Category

A Walk in Pirate’s Cove / Marisa Hochman / 36 Peonies Publishing Inc.

Powwow Counting in Cree / Penny M. Thomas / HighWater Press (an imprint of Portage & Main Press),

Surviving the Hindenburg / Larry Verstraete / Sleeping Bear Press

McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award – Older Category

The Fall / Colleen Nelson / Great Plains Teen Fiction

The Gypsy King / Maureen Fergus / Penguin Canada Books Inc

Pīsim Finds Her Miskanow / William Dumas / HighWater Press (an imprint of Portage & Main Press)

McNally Robinson Book of the Year

The Constructed Mennonite: History, Memory, and the Second World War/ Hans Werner / University of Manitoba Press

Kisiskatchewan: The Great River Road / Barbara Huck / Heartland Associates Inc.

The Secret Mask / Rick Chafe / Playwrights Canada Press

Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction (2012/2013)

Food for the Gods: An Epikurean Epic / Karen Dudley / Turnstone Press

Gethsemane Hall / David Annandale / Dundurn

Thunder Road / Chadwick Ginther/ Turnstone Press

The Manitoba Writers’ Guild would like to thank this year’s awards sponsors:

Canada Council for the Arts
Friesen’s
Manitoba Arts Council
McNally Robinson Booksellers
Manitoba Tourism, Culture, Sport and Consumer Protection
Prairie Fire Press Inc.
Winnipeg Arts Council
The Winnipeg Foundation
Winnipeg International Writers’ Festival.

The 2013 Manitoba Book Awards take place Sunday April 27, 2014 at the West End Cultural Centre. Doors open at 6:30 pm and the ceremonies begin at 7:00 pm. Admission is FREE.

Three Great Events

I’ve definitely been a busy bee since Tombstone Blues escaped the printer. I had a few events in such short order (and I’m happy to say, I’ve more to come) that I just can’t give each their own roundup post.

Tombstone Blues Launch:

Tombstone Launch4

It was another packed house at McNally, (thanks for coming back guys!) and while nothing can compare to the first launch, I have to say I might have enjoyed this one a little bit more. I’ve done several readings in the interim, talked to crowds that were not filled out with friends and family, and that definitely took some of the edge off the performance jitters.

Also, there was cake.

Tombstone Launch8

Tombstone Launch10

Tombstone Launch3

Huge thanks to everyone who came out to support me!

The Ravenstone Monster Mash:

Monster Mash1

On October 23rd, I was joined at McNally Robinson by my friends and fellow Ravenstone authors David Annandale, Karen Dudley, and (visiting from Edmonton) Janice MacDonald. We all got together to share spooky pieces from some of our latest works. If you were there, you got a tease from one of my forthcoming short stories, as I realized I read my favourite scary scene from Tombstone Blues a week early at the launch.

Monster Mash8

David Annandale, Karen Dudley, Janice MacDonald, Chadwick Ginther

Monster Mash3

Books! Karen Dudley’s Food for the Gods, David Annandale’s The Valedictorians and Gethsemane Hall, Janice MacDonald’s Condemned to Repeat, and from yours truly, Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues.

Word on the Water:

Kenora’s growing literary festival was a lot of fun. Guests included Robert J. Sawyer, Charles Wilkins, Gail Bowen, Duncan Weller, Mike Grandmaison, C.C. Benison, Catherine Hunter, Karen Dudley, Samantha Beiko, and Sherry Peters. Thank you to Elizabeth Campbell Books, who was on hand selling copies of the attending authors’ books.

WOW2013 Introducing Rob

This was taken on the opening night of the festival. I had the pleasure of introducing my friend, Robert J. Sawyer, one of this year’s guests of honour. Rob delivered a fantastic keynote address and reading and then I had the pleasure of moderating the audience Q&A portion of the event. There were many great and thoughtful questions, you guys made my job easy!

WOW2013 Sam talking wise

On the future of publishing panel with Duncan Weller and Samantha Beiko, moderated by Daniel Klein (who I know from Twitter, but finally had a chance to meet in person).

Next up was the Reality Made Fantastic or Fantasy Made Real, moderated by Kenora’s Rick Brignall. A spirited discussion on real places becoming fantastic and the creation of secondary worlds with Karen Dudley, Samantha Beiko, Robert J. Sawyer and myself.

Remember my “Grumpy Cat” photo from the Manitoba Book Awards? I think it’s been topped…

WOW2013 Tired Chad

Don’t blame me, I’ve got a condition. Seriously though, I hadn’t slept well, and had a fierce headache all day Saturday, but I did have fun on my programming, so I hope it wasn’t at least constantly obvious that I had a monkey trying to chisel out of my brain.

WOW2013 Centerpiece

Saturday night it was Charles Wilkins‘ time to shine. The Thunder Bay author introduced his latest work, Little Ship of Fools, did a short reading and then we had a screening of the film Big Blue (about Wilkins’ journey across the Atlantic chronicled in Little Ship of Fools) before the Page Turner gala dinner.

But this is not the end, more great events are coming up in short order!

C4 (Central Canada Comic Con): I’ll be selling copies of Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues, handing out swag, and staring at Ron Perlman. Come by Booth 140A and say “Hi.”

Tombstone Blues launching in Morden: Very happy to be giving book two a hometown kickoff. I wrote the first fifty pages of Thunder Road in Morden, and I discovered the Norse Myths in the very building where I’ll be doing my reading. Hoping for a very special night.

Eat, Drink, and Be Literary: I’ll be joined by David Bergen, Carolyn Gray and Kelly Hughes in this fundraiser for the Manitoba Writers’ Guild.

Reading and Signing in Saskatoon: I’ll be part of a multi-author book launch along with E.C. Blake, Sean Cummings, and Derryl Murphy at McNally Robinson Booksellers.

Lots to do and hopefully more to come.

Write on!

My Keycon 30 Roundup: AKA Best. Con. Ever.

A bold statement, “Best. Con. Ever.”

But I’m going to stand by it.

Keycon 30 was a multiple anniversary, celebrating thirty years of the convention, fifty years of Doctor Who, and 100 years of H.P. Lovecraft (In another anniversary of sorts, or at least a cool coincidence, I am celebrating my one hundredth post on the blog with this roundup).

This was my first con with a book out (yeah, yeah, I know, World Fantasy and Pure Speculation were a part of my tour, but Thunder Road was just released then, and few folks had had the chance to read it yet). I was blown away by the number of people who came up to me to tell me that they loved the book. And I swear, I didn’t pay first time Keycon attendee, Shayla Elizabeth to sport a Thunder Road tattoo on her cheek all weekend. 

DSC_0006

The only complaints I heard were about the brief period when the elevators had stopped working, but seriously, people complain about the elevators at every convention I have ever been to. And you can hardly blame acts of Cthulhu on the convention. This was the biggest and best Keycon I can remember. The guests hit on all cylinders, even the ones I wasn’t familiar with before the con. I didn’t see half of the folks I wanted to, and they time went by too quickly with those I did see. But I did make many great new friends.

Hats off to Brian Mitchell and Levi Labelle, the 2013 ConChairs. They deserve your Aurora nominations next year. As does the programming team of Sherry Peters, Lindsay Kitson, Anna Lauder and Charlie Lauder.

This year the book table was manned by some Chapters and Coles staff. I’ve tweeted about how awesome they were all weekend, but it deserves to be said again: Sydni, Stephanie, Dana, you ROCK! They knew their stuff (and knew my book!) and were lots of fun. I signed all the stock of Thunder Road they brought with them, and I hope to see them back at the con next year.

DSC_0004

I never get to see everything that I want to at any con. Invariably, one must see (at least, must see for me) panel is in conflict with another, but I particularly enjoyed Lee Moyer’s presentation on bad book covers and the crowdfunding panel Lee shared with Sylvia Moreno-Garcia and Steven Barnes.

As for my side of the programming, I had a great time sharing a reading slot with David Annandale. We decided to tag team and trade off several short readings rather than each doing one long one. I think it worked well and kept our audience interested. David read from Gethsemane HallDeath of Antagonis, and Yarrick: Chains of Golgotha. I read the openings from my short stories “First They Came for the Pigs” (natch, Silvia was my editor on that story) and “Back in Black”, finishing off the slot with the opening pages of the second book in the Thunder Road Trilogy, Tombstone Blues. 

Next up, I was moderating the Hour with an Author panel, featuring Author Guest of Honour, Ann Aguirre. Things got off to a slow start due to some location confusion (our original room had been partially flooded by a busted sprinkler head–R’lyeh Rising, terribly appropriate for a Lovecraftian Keycon) so I had a great chat with Ann before attendees filtered in to start asking questions. Ann is a great storyteller, and I’m in the middle of reading her Corine Solomon novels at the moment and really enjoying them (I’ve also been told that if you like Firefly you’ll like her Sirantha Jax novels–and I love me some Firefly, so I’m excited to start those too). Because our panel started late, we ended a little late, and Ann only had 45 minutes to eat before her next slate of programming started. Knowing from experience that the Radisson restaurant would not make that kind of turnaround, we hustled out of the hotel and into the rain. The closest restaurant was La Bamba, so yes, we took the author from Mexico City to eat at a Mexican restaurant in Winnipeg (her verdict: good–and more authentic than she usually finds in the States).

My final panel was a discussion of Mythology and Folklore with Karen Dudley and Leia Getty. Technically, the panel was about the “reemergence of Greek and Norse mythology in fantasy fiction” but after talking about how those stories have never really gone away, we started branching out to talk myth in a more general way and about using it in fiction. It was  a great turnout for a Sunday afternoon panel. I had a lot of fun.

I checked out the Filk room, aka The Dandy Lion, run by Morva Bowman and Alan Pollard (who are nominated for an Aurora Award for their concert at FILKONtario 22) with Samantha Beiko and Clare Marshall. Clare rocked the blue fiddle she borrowed from Sam (the blue fiddle she was hoping to sneak home in her luggage) through a number of songs before Morva and Alan started their concert. I’ve never been much into the filk scene at cons, but I had a lot of fun.

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Things got a little meta when Canadian Author Guest of Honour, J.M. Frey read a fantasy short story set at a fantasy con during the Dead Dog party. Ryan Roth Bartel from Rampant Design made a custom mask for Lee Moyer. GMB Chomichuk drew a wicked version of Nyarlathoteph in his crawling chaos shape for Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I love Gregory’s work, and so to see him create an original piece was a treat I won’t soon forget.

DSC_0012

You can see the finished product in all its eldritch glory in Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Keycon post.

A whole gang of us spent the night of the Dead Dog in the Clockwork Club hospitality suite holding a seance that summoned only popcorn. Stories were told and plots were hatched. Oh, and we may or may not have formed a secret society. But I can’t talk about that.

It’s a secret, after all.

Where You’ll Find Me At Keycon 30

Tentacles,Tardis, and bison, oh my!

Keycon 30 is almost upon us! I’m really excited about this year’s convention. It’s my first Keycon with a published book under my belt, and a lot of my out of town friends are coming in for the event. All signs point to an awesome weekend. If you’re attending and want to see me, here’s where I’m guaranteed to be:

Author Reading with David Annandale and Chadwick Ginther

Ambassador C 11 11:00:00 Saturday

David Annandale and Chadwick Ginther read from their latest works.

Saturday Autograph Session Hour 2 

Terrace East 13 14:00:00 Saturday

I’ll be signing along with Ann Aguirre, David Annandale, Eileen Bell, Marie Bilodeau, Karen Dudley, Richard Hatch, Billie Milholland, Robert J. Sawyer, and Hayden Trenholm.

An Hour with Ann Aguirre

Ambassador B 11 15:00:00 Saturday

I’ll be moderating the question and answer period with Keycon 30 Author Guest of Honour, Ann Aguirre

Mythology/Folklore

Terrace East 13 14:00:00 Sunday

The re-emergence of Greek and Norse Mythology in Fantasy Fiction.
My co-panelists are: Karen Dudley and Leia Getty

There’s also a very good chance you’ll spot me in the Dealer’s Room or attending one of the other fine panels. If you do, please say hello.

Not only is Keycon 30 shaping up to be a stellar con, but you’ve got two options for an early kickoff. Thursday night, May 16th Clare C. Marshall will be reading and signing from her YA novel, The Violet Fox at McNally Robinson and Eileen Bell, Marie Bilodeau, Karen Dudley, and Billie Milholland will be reading their work, and discussing women in Canadian science fiction and fantasy at the Millenium Library.

Write on!

May Goals

It’s time for another monthly goals post. I’m not shooting for the moon in May, but with Mother’s Day coming up, a convention to prep for (Keycon 30! W00T!) and my presentation at Inside Publishing behind me, I think I’m going to go light on the goals. Besides, it’s revision season, and the next round of edits on Tombstone Blues could drop in my lap at any moment.

May Goals:

  • Write at least 31000 words on the third book in the Thunder Road trilogy. Why 31000? It works out to 1000 words a day. 1K a day for May. I like the way it sounds. Also, somewhere around 30000 words is when a work in progress starts to actually feel like a book to me. My first drafts are usually in the 60K range (Thunder Road was 68000 in first draft, and Tombstone Blues was 62000 words in first draft), and so this will take me to roughly the halfway point of the novel (though I have a sneaking suspicion that Book 3, will be the longest of the trilogy)
  • Prepare for my Keycon 30 panels. I’ll be interviewing Ann Aguirre and moderating audience questions as a part of the “Hour with an Author” program. I’m also doing a panel on Myth and Folklore with Karen Dudley and Leia Getty, and sharing a reading slot with David Annandale.
  • Draft a new short story (I’m told there will be a post-Keycon write-off with some of my writing chums, and I always get lots of work done at these things, so what the hell, let’s add this to the mix).

So how did I do in April? Not too shabby…

  • Finish the first draft of my current (and newly untitled–man I hate thinking of titles) urban fantasy Work in Progress.
  • Look at my short fiction not currently on submission and send those stories to new markets.
  • Finish my latest review for Quill and Quire
  • Finish my latest review for The Winnipeg Review
  • Finalize my soundtrack for as-yet-untitled book three of the Thunder Road Trilogy(The soundtrack is the first step of my novel writing process–its essentially my first rudimentary outline).
  • When I finish reading or watching something that I really like, say something about it here on the blog.

Colour me as surprised as you, but I did indeed finish the first draft of book one in an entirely new urban fantasy series. Lots and lots of work left in this one before I’m ready to send it out, but I think it has promise (even if it still doesn’t have a name). Probably the darkest thing I’ve written so far, and skirts closer to horror territory than anything I’ve written in the Thunder Road trilogy so far.

I didn’t get all of my short fiction back out into the world, but I did resubmit most of it. There were a couple of stories I wrote for theme anthologies that I decided to take a long second look at before resubmitting, and a couple stories came back, one with a rejection and one with a rewrite request that threw a spanner in the delicate work of juggling stories between markets that are open and stories that have already been submitted to those same markets. All in all, of my stories that were sitting fallow, five were resubmitted, three consigned to the rewrite pile (one at editorial request), and one more ready to go out.

My review of Barbara Fradkin’s The Whisper of Legends was turned in to Quill and Quire, it’s not online yet, but you can read my review of Guy Gavriel Kay’s River of Stars on the Winnipeg Review website.

The soundtrack for Thunder Road book 3 is currently in regular rotation in my car, good thing, because I’ve started to write that book! I won’t reveal the tracks just yet, but the soundtrack for book 2, Tombstone Blues, will be revealed this summer.

I did finally post a review of J.M. Frey Triptych, on the blog, and a couple of brief reviews on my Goodreads account, so I’m counting that last one.

Looking forward to next month, I’m going to try and get my June goals up before the first week of the month is over. But that’s a goal for June. 😉

Write on!

Manitoba Book Awards Shortlists

The Shortlists for the 2013 Manitoba Book Awards were released yesterday and I was (and remain) absolutely gobsmacked to see Thunder Road show up three times. I am trying to be realistic about my chances. I mean, I share the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction shortlist with three former Book of the Year winners and two of this year’s Book of the Year nominees.

I’d like to give big congratulations to my pal Karen Dudley and my editor Wayne Tefs on their nominations, as well as to Jamis Paulson and Sharon Caseburg for making Thunder Road look as good as it did. It is also great to see so many of my fellow Turnstone Press authors nominated for their excellent work.

Finally, congrats to all the nominees, I am honoured to be in your excellent company, and thank you to the jurors, it’s not an easy job having to choose who makes up those shortlists.

If you’re reading this, I hope you can attend the awards. I’d love to share a drink of commiseration/celebration with you.

For Immediate Release – March 14, 2013

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA – The Manitoba Writers’ Guild and the Association of Manitoba Book Publishers are pleased to announce the Manitoba Book Awards shortlists. The awards will be presented at the Manitoba Book Awards gala, on Sunday April 28th at the West End Cultural Centre and hosted by Ismaila Alfa.  Doors open at 7:15 p.m., with the ceremony beginning at 8:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The shortlists and recipients are selected by a variety of juries, comprised of writers, publishers and other book industry personnel from across Canada.

And the nominees are…

McNally Robinson Book of the Year

  • The Age of Hope by David Bergen, published by Harper Collins Canada
  • Dating by Dave Williamson, published by Turnstone Press
  • The House on Sugarbush Road by Méira Cook, published by Enfield & Wizenty, an imprint of Great Plains Publications
  • Imagining Winnipeg: History through the Photographs of L.B. Foote, by Esyllt W. Jones, published by University of Manitoba Press
  • Monstrance by Sarah Klassen, published by Turnstone Press
  • Whitetail Shooting Gallery by Annette Lapointe, published by Anvil Press

Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction

  • Creation and Transformation: Defining Movements in Inuit Art by Darlene Coward Wight, published by Douglas and MacIntyre and the Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Dams of Contention by Bill Redekop, published by Heartland Associates    
  • On the Fly: A Hockey Fan’s View from the ‘Peg by Wayne Tefs, published by Turnstone Press    
  • Racialized Policing by Elizabeth Comack, published by Fernwood Publishing

Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry/Prix Lansdowne de poésie

  • Marchand d’intensité by Laurent Poliquin, published by L’Harmattan
  • Monstrance by Sarah Klassen, published by Turnstone Press
  • The Politics of Knives by Jonathan Ballpublished by Coach House Books

Best Illustrated Book of the Year

  • 7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga by David Alexander Robertson, illustrations by Scott B. Henderson, design by Relish New Brand Experience, published by Highwater Press, an imprint of Portage & Main Press.
  • Imagining Winnipeg: History through the Photographs of L.B. Foote, by Esyllt W. Jones, design by Doowah Design, published by University of Manitoba Press
  • Mike Grandmaison’s Prairie and Beyond, photographs by Mike Grandmaison, design by Jamis Paulson, published by Turnstone Press
  • Romulus + Remus: Issue 1 written, illustrated, and published by Scott Ford

Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award

  • The Age of Hope by David Bergen, published by Harper Collins
  • Dating: A Novel by Dave Williamson, published by Turnstone Press
  • Imagining Winnipeg: History Through the Photographs of L. B. Foote by Esyllt W. Jones, published by University of Manitoba Press
  • What You Get at Home by Dora Dueck, published by Turnstone Press

Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book

  • All Things Considered by Joan-Dianne Smith, published by Goldfish Publishing
  • Sonar by Kristian Enright, published by Turnstone Press
  • Thunder Road by Chadwick Ginther, published by Ravenstone, an imprint of Turnstone Press

John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer

  • Kristian Enright
  • Kevin Marc Fournier
  • Katherena Vermette

Manuela Dias Book Design of the Year

  • Bedtime Stories for the Edge of the World by Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan, design by Lisa Friesen (Winnipeg Art Gallery), calligraphy by Nicole Coulson, published by ARP Books
  • I Know Who You Remind Me Of, stories by Naomi K. Lewis, design by Relish New Brand Experience, published by Enfield & Wizenty, an imprint of Great Plains Publications
  • The Marsh Keepers Journey: the Story of Ducks Unlimited Canada by Bruce Batt, design by Jeope Wolfe, published by Ducks Unlimited Canada.
  • Warehouse Journal Vol.21 co-edited by Nicole Hunt and Brandon Bergem, designed and published by the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Architecture

The Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction

  • The Age of Hope by David Bergen, published by Harper Collins Canada
  • Eleven Pipers Piping by C.C. Benison, published by Doubleday Canada
  • The House on Sugarbush Road by Méira Cook, published by Enfield & Wizenty, an imprint of Great Plains Publications
  • The Only Man in the World by Faith Johnston, published by Turnstone Press
  • Thunder Road by Chadwick Ginther, published by Ravenstone, an imprint of Turnstone Press
  • What You Get at Home by Dora Dueck, published by Turnstone Press

Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher

  • Dams of Contention: The Rafferty-Alameda Story and the Birth of Canadian Environmental Law by Bill Redekop, design by Dawn Huck, published by Heartland Associates
  • Food for the Gods: An Epikurean Epic by Karen Dudley, cover design by Doowah Design, published by Ravenstone, an imprint of Turnstone Press
  • Imagining Winnipeg: History Through the Photographs of L.B. Foote by Esyllt W. Jones, design by Doowah Design, published by University of Manitoba Press
  • Mike Grandmaison’s Prairie and Beyond, photographs by Mike Grandmaison, text by Jan Volney, design by Jamis Paulson, published by Turnstone Press
  • Thunder Road by Chadwick Ginther, cover design by Jamis Paulson, interior design by Sharon Caseburg, published by Ravenstone, an imprint of Turnstone Press

McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award – Older Category

  • 7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga by David Alexander Robertson, published by Highwater Press, an imprint of Portage & Main Press
  • The Green-Eyed Queen of Suicide City by Kevin Marc Fournier, published by Great Plains Teen Fiction
  • The Last Song by Eva Wiseman, published by Tundra Books

Le Prix littéraire Rue-Deschambault

  • Les enfants de Tantale par Lise Gaboury-Diallo, publié par  Les Éditions du Blé
  • Poème Pierre Prière par J.R. Léveillé, publié par Les Éditions du Blé
  • La Révolution Tranquille par Raymond M. Hebert, publié par Les Éditions du Blé
  • Li Rvinant par Rhéal Cenerini, publié par Les Éditions du Blé

The administrators of the Manitoba Book Awards gratefully acknowledge the support of the following Book Awards partners: Aqua Books, the Canada Council for the Arts, Friesens, the Manitoba Arts Council, the Manitoba Foundation for the Arts, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, McNally Robinson Booksellers, the Winnipeg Arts Council, and The Winnipeg Foundation.

The full shortlist will also be available at:http://www.manitobawritersguild.com

For more information please contact:

Natasha Peterson

(204)-944-8013

natasha@mbwriter.mb.ca

My World Fantasy Convention Roundup

Another World Fantasy Convention has come and gone, and as my blog readers seem to enjoy these reports (if my site stats are to be believed) here’s the WFC2012 report.

Better late than never, right?

World Fantasy is my favourite convention, hands down. Maybe I imprinted on it somehow, World Fantasy 2008 in Calgary was the first away from home conference I ever attended. I talked comic books with Tad Williams, football with George R.R. Martin and Hemingway with Joe Haldeman. I met tons of people who became good friends. That is bound to make an impression on a guy.

This year’s convention was also held in Canada, so I knew I’d also have a lot of friends to meet up with. It was an early start for me, as I flew off Thursday morning with friend and fellow Turnstone Press author, Karen Dudley. We’d hoped to meet up with another Manitoba writer, Shen Braun, who was arriving at the same time as us, but on a different flight, and split a cab from Pearson airport to the conference hotel (it was quite the jaunt as World Fantasy Toronto was actually in Richmond Hill, or so I kept being told). Unfortunately, Shen didn’t get in on time, but Karen and I did share the plane with Winnipeg writer Gerald Brandt. Even more luck, our mutual friends Eileen Bell and Ryan McFadden were on route to the conference and near the airport, so they swung by to pick us all up. It was a tight squeeze with five writers and their luggage in a Toyota Corolla, but we made it work.

Arriving at the hotel was a homecoming of sorts. Every time I turned around, there was someone else I knew. A great feeling. Over the weekend, I not only connected with friends who are scattered across the continent, but met many new friends.

After ditching our bags, we had to hustle to get through registration and grab our swag bags (the swag at WFC is truly epic, this is only what I could fit in my luggage, I left at least this much behind on the trade table.)

We had to hustle because Thursday night, Turnstone was sponsoring the Ravenstone Books Launch Party for Thunder Road and Food for the Gods. I’m glad the party was Thursday, it meant I didn’t have it hanging over my head for the entire weekend. I know the way I roll, and there was no way I’d have been able to relax and enjoy the convention until the launch was over. Marie Bilodeau from Ottawa served as our host and Bakka Phoenix was there to sell copies of our novels. We managed to get the room set up, and just finish having a bite to eat before it was time to open the doors and the worrying began. What if no one shows up? What if everyone shows up? Fortunately, we had just the right mix, the room was full, but not so packed that we couldn’t move about and mingle. I had a great time, signed a bunch of books, and met a few people I’d only know through Twitter or Facebook. It was over too soon, but it did teach me how stressful organizing an event can be. My hats off to people who do it all the time.

Friday:

I took in Julie Czerneda’s reading from her forthcoming fantasy novel, A Turn of Light. I’ve been curious about this one for a long time, as I’ve always had my feet deeper in fantasy than in science fiction, looking forward to reading the whole book. The samples Julie read were enough to entice me to read the book when it releases.

At my very first World Fantasy Con, I met Chandra Rooney. She was on a panel about writing tie-in fiction. I read her Tarot Cafe novel, The Wild Hunt, and interviewed her here. It was great to be able to chat for a bit after her reading. The samples Chandra read are unpublished right now, but you’re in for a treat when they do see the inside of bookstores.

I think the only panel I took in this year was Sandra Kasturi’s interviewing World Fantasy special guest, Tanya Huff. Sandra’s a riot and Tanya is also funny as hell, and a consummate pro to boot. She shared some great stories from her career with a packed and eager room. Good times.

Every World Fantasy Convention also includes a mass signing, putting every author in one big banquet room for two hours, and lets the signature hounds go wild. It was a better experience than I was expecting. I did actually sign some copies of Thunder Road, despite Fantasy giants like Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss being in the same room. I handed out a bunch of my temporary tattoos and had fun chatting with Neil Godbout from Prince George (who’s debut YA novel, Disintegrate, is well worth checking out) and Robert Sawyer.

After the signing had concluded I made my way up to the hospitality suites and flitted between the EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Fall launch, the Tor Books party and the Con Suite. I happened to be around when it was announced that James A. Moore had wrote a story about Dr. Doom and Barbie. There was a bet of some kind involved, I never did suss out all the details, something about 55$ and popcorn. James joked it was the best per word rate he’d received to date. Christopher Golden read the story aloud to a dozen or more listeners. The story, about 1200 words, complete with a beginning, middle, and end, was evidently written in about 45 minutes. It was amazing. James promised to put it up on his blog at some point. As soon as it surfaces, I’ll link to it, because it’s too good not to read.

I picked up a copy of Shanghai Steam (complete with an awesome story by my bud, Shen) and read the first five minutes of “Back in Black” from Tesseracts 16, joined by fellow contributors Michael Kelly, Sandra Kasturi, Adria Laycraft and Randy McCharles.

Saturday was mostly spent taking in readings:

James L. Sutter, author of Death’s Heretic and fiction editor at Paizo did a short reading, and then led a fun Q&A about writing and gaming with his audience. I’m still holding out hope that Paizo will let him write a novel set in his Distant Worlds Pathfinder Campaign setting. It’s may be a bit of a fringe product, but it was one of the coolest game accessories I’ve seen in years, and it was obvious James had a real passion for it.

Another Paizo author, Dave Gross, had the room next. Dave read from Queen of Thorns. It was a saucy reading for 9:30 in the morning. Man, I love the character of Radovan! I picked up Dave’s previous book, Master of Devils after Dave’s reading at When Words Collide 2011 in Calgary, and have been looking forward to his next book ever since.

Suzanne Church won the Aurora Award for her short story “The Needle’s Eye” so I wanted to check out her reading (also, she promised candy). Suzanne read snippets from a few different stories (bought her issue of Clarkesworld while I was picking up my “rejected by Clarkesworld card), all very different, but all excellent.

I had to run to make Helen Marshall’s reading from her new collection, Hair Side, Flesh Side, but it was worth it. A very intriguing story, and perfect delivery in the reading.

I made it back from supper in time for the epic ChiZine party. I’ve met so many of the ChiZine authors, and they’re all awesome people in addition to being great writers, but the gravitational pull of that much awesome in one room made for a very crowded party. So I wandered the halls roaming between the consuite party, ChiZine party, and the hotel bar.

It sounds bad, but I mostly behaved (mostly). I had to be up at 5 to get ready for my flight home.

I survived the weekend on two hours of sleep a night and managed not to pick up any con crud despite seemingly being surrounded by coughers and flu carriers (Looking at you, Mrs. Dudley). It was also quite the change of gears to go from drinking bourbon with friends for four days and being on no one’s schedule but my own to plunging back to the incessant ringing of telephones and vague requests for “that blue book, you know the one.”

Next week the western leg of the tour starts! Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, I am coming for you…

Write on.

The Next Big Thing Week 11

Thank you, Rhiannon Held, for tagging me in The Next Big Thing. The Next Big Thing is a weekly blog post where the tagged authors talk about a work in progress.

What is the working title of your book?

Tombstone Blues Book Two in the Thunder Road Trilogy is my current work in progress. Book One launches on Thursday, September 6th and Tombstone Blues will release Fall 2013.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Tombstone Blues happened organically from events leading up to the climax of Thunder Road. I’d sketched out a rough outline for this story to write someday, not intending it to be next, but as soon as I wrote: “Hel is jealous and strong. She will not be pleased.” I also knew this book had to be next.

What genre does your book fall under?

Urban Fantasy, with heavy Norse mythological influences.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I would have said Brett Favre for Ted (at least before all that texting business…), but as I’ve only seen him play himself in Something About Mary, I’m not sure he really counts as an actor. Instead, I’m going to say Ray Stevenson. Perfect height for Ted, and he has a gift for onscreen profanity and violence. Tilda would be Adrianne Palicki. Again, she’s the perfect height. I liked her in Supernatural, and she seems drawn to superheroic/fantasy roles. Loki is a shapeshifter, so he could be (and should be) played by multiple actors (and actresses). It feels like a cheat to say Tom Hiddleston, but I liked him so much in Thor and The Avengers. He might play his Loki a little more sinister than I wrote mine. Hel would be Tilda Swinton, because she does layered madness very, very well. Finally, Thor would be Liam Neeson. He’s big. He punches wolves, and he’s played gods before. What more can you ask for?

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Hel’s army invades Winnipeg trying to reclaim Thor’s hammer from its new wielder.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

My book will be published by Ravenstone Books, an Imprint of Turnstone Press. Currently, I am not represented by an agent.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

A little less than three months for the first draft, but as I wrote it immediately after finishing Thunder Road, it sat after its first round of revisions until I sold the first book (a strategy I am somewhat regretting at the moment as my delivery deadline creeps closer).

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

J.A. Pitts’ excellent Black Blade Blues mixes Norse Myth with the locales of his home state. And while I hesitate to mention Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, which has won every award and is simply a breathtaking book, it also has strong mythological elements–particularly Norse Myth.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

As I said above, the broad events of Tombstone Blues grew out of Thunder Road, but the biggest inspiration for the book was my home city of Winnipeg. It’s history geography and folklore make the book what it is. I just hope Winnipeg forgives me for all the damage my characters are doing to it!

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I write an appendix of handy-dandy explanations about the gods and creatures of Norse Mythology, all done in Loki’s best snarky voice.

Tag! You’re it!

David Annandale

GMB Chomichuk

Karen Dudley

Erika Holt

Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Rules:

***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress) ***
Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them. It’s that simple.
Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:
What is the working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?