Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Celtic Lightning strikes author in hardcover, renders him shameless

The finished hardcover arrived today. And, all right, I stand besotted. The folks at HarperCollins Canada, led by Patrick Crean, have outdone themselves. Check out the final touches on the cover: the raised lettering, the glossy finish on the maple leaves, the tartan trim on the spine. The quality paper stock makes a big difference, especially to the 65 images inside, most of them shot by Sheena Fraser McGoogan. And, oh, the endpapers! The map, called A Celtic Perspective, is by Winnipeg designer Dawn Huck. We are talking gorgeous. See photo adjacent. Okay, okay. I won't go on. On September 22, Celtic Lightning hits the bookstores. Subtitle: How the Scots and the Irish Created a Canadian Nation. Spreading the word will involve a series of events along these lines: -- Sept. 27, Toronto: Word on the Street. -- Oct. 1, Toronto launch: Ben McNally Books (bagpipes + kilt). -- Oct. 3, Westport, ON., Writers Reading (with  Frances Itani, Eric McCormack, & Alison Pick) -- Oct. 6, Calgary: Owl's Nest bookstore. -- Oct. 8, Winnipeg: McNally Robinson. -- Oct. 23, Fort Erie, Ontario: Ridgeway Reading Series. -- Nov. 12, Toronto: Eh List, Toronto Reference Library. Nov. 15, Montreal: Paragraphe Books & Breakfast -- Nov. 18, Halifax: Central Library. Nov. 20: Winnipeg: St. Andrew's Society Dinner. -- Dec. 1, Hamilton: Different Drummer Books. If you've read this far, I say come on down for at least one of these events!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Halifax gets a dazzling library to go with a ground-breaking MFA

Hello, Halifax!
Your new central library really is spectacular. It wasn't here when I visited last August. I'm especially
excited to see the Paul O'Regan Hall, in which, on Nov. 18, I will present my new book, Celtic Lightning: How the Scots and the Irish Created a Canadian Nation. Clearly, given the name O'Regan, that hall is the perfect venue. I'm here to do some teaching in the country's first MFA program in Creative Nonfiction. So everything is coming up bookish. . . One more shout-out: Yo, Atlantic News! Just a couple of blocks from the library, it's thriving as a quintessential magazine and newspaper vendor . . . . Call it old-fashioned, but one man who works there says the store is four decades old and still humming.  Awright!