An excerpt on W.O. Mitchell on the Canadian Encyclopedia blog

Your weekly dose of Stories About Storytellers continues at the Canadian Encyclopedia blog. This week, Doug presents W.O. Mitchell, performer and mischief maker. To read the excerpt, head over to the Canadian Encyclopedia.

(Have you missed the previous excerpts? You can still read the selections on Morley CallaghanPaul Martin, Barry Broadfoot, Brian Mulroney, Mavis Gallant, Robertson Davies, Alistair MacLeod, Pierre TrudeauStephen Leacock and Alice Munro.)

An excerpt on Morley Callaghan on the Canadian Encyclopedia blog

Enjoy another selection from  Stories About Storytellers at the Canadian Encyclopedia blog. This week, Doug remembers reading a new Morley Callaghan manuscript under the author’s close supervision. To read the excerpt, head over to the Canadian Encyclopedia.

(Have you missed the previous excerpts? You can still read the selections on Paul Martin, Barry Broadfoot, Brian Mulroney, Mavis Gallant, Robertson Davies, Alistair MacLeod, Pierre TrudeauStephen Leacock and Alice Munro.)

An excerpt on Paul Martin on the Canadian Encyclopedia blog

Sample another story from Stories About Storytellers this Friday at the Canadian Encyclopedia blog. This week, Doug gives his take on what went wrong when Paul Martin was PM. To read the excerpt, head over to the Canadian Encyclopedia.

(Have you missed the previous excerpts? You can still read the selections on Barry Broadfoot, Brian Mulroney, Mavis Gallant, Robertson Davies, Alistair MacLeod, Pierre TrudeauStephen Leacock and Alice Munro.)

An excerpt on Barry Broadfoot on the Canadian Encyclopedia blog

There’s more Stories About Storytellers to enjoy on the Canadian Encyclopedia blog. This week share in Doug’s “Hollywood moment” as he’s presented with a manuscript he knows is a bestseller. To read it, head over to the Canadian Encyclopedia.

(Have you missed the previous excerpts? You can still read the selections on Brian Mulroney, Mavis Gallant, Robertson Davies, Alistair MacLeod, Pierre TrudeauStephen Leacock and Alice Munro.)

“A hell of an interesting life” — The Globe and Mail

The Saturday, October 29th edition of the Globe and Mail contained Linda Leith’s positive review of Stories About Storytellers. Leith concludes,

“Gibson is an engaging and on the whole a modest figure and a very fine raconteur. He, too, has had a hell of an interesting life. His book makes for great reading, and he makes his life in publishing sound like great fun.”

Read the full review here.

The Saturday Globe also published several short excerpts from Stories About Storytellers. Read them here.

An excerpt on Brian Mulroney on the Canadian Encyclopedia blog

Get another sneak peek of  Stories About Storytellers this Friday at the Canadian Encyclopedia blog. This week, Doug shares his experiences working on Brian Mulroney’s memoirs. To read the excerpt, head over to the Canadian Encyclopedia.

(Have you missed the previous excerpts? You can still read the selections on Mavis Gallant, Robertson Davies, Alistair MacLeod, Pierre TrudeauStephen Leacock and Alice Munro.)

An excerpt on Mavis Gallant on the Canadian Encyclopedia blog

Sample another morsel of  Stories About Storytellers  courtesy of the Canadian Encyclopedia’s weekly feature. This week, get the story behind the enigmatic cover quotation — Mavis Gallant exclaiming, “I’ll kill him!”  To read the excerpt, head over to the Canadian Encyclopedia.

(Have you missed the previous excerpts? You can still read the selections on Robertson Davies, Alistair MacLeod, Pierre TrudeauStephen Leacock and Alice Munro.)

An excerpt on Robertson Davies on the Canadian Encyclopedia blog

The Canadian Encyclopedia has more Stories About Storytellers for you this Friday. In this week’s excerpt of the Robertson Davies chapter, find out more about the man behind the formidable beard. To read the excerpt, head over to the Canadian Encyclopedia.

(Have you missed the previous excerpts? You can still read the selections on Alistair MacLeod, Pierre TrudeauStephen Leacock and Alice Munro.)

The Zen of Authordom

I was pleased to see that this Sunday’s Toronto Star ran an excerpt from my Epilogue, which consists of Awful Warnings to new authors about the terrible things that will happen to them when their book is published. My piece is very cynical, and outsiders to the book world find it very funny, and totally unrealistic. Interestingly, the Star’s Insight Editor takes a different view. Under the title “Authors, be warned . . .” his subtitle runs “Book publisher covers a glorious CanLit career in a new memoir, including bang-on author advice.”

“Bang-on”? My cynical description of all of the possible review horrors seems to Dan Smith to be “bang-on”? And Dan was the Star’s Book Review editor for over a decade. Very interesting.

One of the good things in an author’s life is that, if you are very lucky, your book may produce fascinating new information from readers. For example, Ralph Hancox, who worked with Robertson Davies at the Peterborough Examiner, elaborates on my line about the great leap forward in Davies’ work to Fifth Business:

“I asked him,” writes Ralph from Victoria, “what had brought about the change . . . his study of the works of Freud, Jung?”
“No,” he said. “I could not have written such material before my mother and my father had died. I would have
been a sorry outcast to them both.”

We all shake our head at the thought of Davies, aged 57 when the book came out, until that point being constrained by what his parents would think.  And then I realize that at 67, I (as my W.O. Mitchell chapter reveals) am still subject to what my 98-year-old mother will say when she encounters “bad language” in my book.

So you’ll find me chickening out of a Bill Mitchell line by saying “. . . well, let’s just say the term Bill used resembled ‘sock-kickers.’” There’s room for a really useful Ph.D. Thesis here. And what, dear reader, would you do?

One of the bad things in an author’s life is that eagerly-awaited reviews don’t appear because book review editors plead that they don’t have enough space to run all the reviews they have. This produces unworthy thoughts in unworthy authors. Thus my first reaction, on hearing that the authorized biography of Steve Jobs has been rushed through to come out late in October, was to lament the fact that the line-up for review space had just got more crowded, dammit. I will have to try for a more zen-like approach to this author business.

— Doug Gibson

An excerpt on Pierre Trudeau on the Canadian Encyclopedia blog

It’s Friday, and with it comes another excerpt of Stories About Storytellers on the Canadian Encyclopedia blog. This week, find out how Doug was tested by Pierre Trudeau. To read the excerpt, head over to the Canadian Encyclopedia.

(Have you missed the previous excerpts? You can still read the selections on Alistair MacLeod, Stephen Leacock and Alice Munro.)