You may have wondered why I let my blog slip in recent months. The answer is the best one possible, for me, at least. I’ve been busy writing a new book.
This was a major surprise to me. Whenever friends, or interviewers, asked me if I had another book up my sleeve I would answer honestly, saying ,”Look, Stories About Storytellers is about my forty years in publishing,I don’t think I’ll live long enough to come up with material for another book So no, I don’t think I’ll ever write another book.”
But then, to promote that book I turned the book into a one-man stage show, and decided to see where it would go. It went everywhere. And roaming the country from this Festival to that University, to this neat bookstore or that Library , with Jane as my “lovely and talented assistant”, we came across dozens of stories. Too good not to share. Enough for a book.
So, in September 2015 our friends at ECW Press will bring out ACROSS CANADA BY STORY: A Coast-to-Coast Literary Adventure.
It will remind you of my first book, because I’ve persuaded Anthony Jenkins to enrich it with his caricatures, once again. This time there are no fewer than 30 of his superb drawings, of our major authors. With this book I’ve widened my range beyond just those authors that I edited, to include major figures like Margaret Atwood, Marshall McLuhan, Guy Vanderhaeghe, Carol Shields, Michael Ondaatje, and dozens of others.
As a Literary Tour the book will take you from Newfoundland to Haida Gwaii, and from Moose Jaw to Grand Manan, as we visit all ten provinces. It will set your feet itching to travel ,as I recall exciting events we enjoyed roaming around cities, small towns, mountains and islands . And as the books and authors spill out in the stories you’ll find that you’ll be tempted to read — or to re-read — dozens of our best books.
You heard it here first.
How “old man” pathetic is this nonsense? Do you not hear yourself?
Sent from my iPod
I am truly looking forward to the new book, because I so enjoyed the first one. More than that, I am grateful and in no small way surprised to have found in you, Doug, something of an abiding, silent, absentee, yet internalized muse and mentor. This comes much to my surprise (and will surprise you to hear, I imagine) as this most welcome inspirational effect on me as a writer transpired quite instantly and unbidden. It began right after I spent just a few hours in a Denman Island writing workshop with you, shared a brief conversation to follow, and then attended your show at the Denman Writers Festival the next evening. A spark of renewed playfulness and passion for working with words was somehow ignited in this writer’s heart by simply being with you in person, talking to you, and reading your stories. Go figure: All I know is that a palpable muse/mentor effect has happened since I met you, it is still happening, and my current project is bound to be all the better for it. Having been infused by the sheer joy of writing and storytelling that somehow transferred itself from you to me is a totally unexpected blessing, not to mention a great deal of fun. Thanks, Doug! May many others delight in your humour, your accumulated wisdom, your economy of words, your admiration and genuine respect for fellow authors, and your own inimitable way of telling a story.
Ahhhhh – Denman Island!
What a perfect place for a relaxing Writers’.Festival. I vividly remember the writing workshop, and the mounting excitement as we went around the room, hearing about stories that were eager to burst out into books. What an amazing group we were.
I’m very grateful to you, Susan Jane, for reminding me of those exciting times, and for saying such kind things about me being helpful.
I hope that your writing continues to be inspired!
This is wonderful news! I can’t wait to read it. And I’m already wondering about the possibility of a new one-man show about a book about a one-man show tour…
Alison, how nice to hear such encouragement from someone who knows a lot about transforming an interesting read into a dramatic stage show.
I’m amused that you’ve caught the picture-of-a-man-carrying-a-picture-of-a-man-carrying-a -picture-of-a-man aspect to all of this. I promise not to turn the next tour into a new book, followed by a new stage tour, followed by..