News for Fall

Well, once again, at this point it's more like news from fall, but....BXTLghbCIAAIXsQ

Let's see. The big news for the next few months is that the small paperback version of Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World will be available in Canada in January. Not only does it have a fantastic new cover and a cheaper price, there are also bookclub questions in the back and an interview! (Okay, that part's not so exciting, but I'm very happy with it and hope it'll do well back in my beloved homeland.)

Meanwhile in Ireland...

...a collection of non-fiction stories on the theme of childhood memories is for sale in fine bookstores everywhere. It's called If I Was a Child Again and the aim is to raise money for Barnados educational programmes. I've got a story in it called 'Rocks for Sale' about my little sister's attempt to sell rocks to the neighbours from our front yard. Find out more about this fine book here.

Looking back at the fall, in September I did a reading at the Irish Writers' Centre with Niamh Boyce, which went very well, and I also got to read on the radio for Rhyme and Reason on South Dublin FM, which was cool because they also res-pb cinnamon toast and daleklet me choose songs to play. (No points for guessing which ones. The Smiths, The Cure, Big Country. Of course.) I'm still trying to scare up a podcast.

In October, my hero and countrywoman Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Yahoo! One evening shortly after the announcement, I arrived home, checked my email and saw a message from Hachette Canada. Could I come up with 150 words on my favourite Alice Munro story? So that it could appear in the Toronto Star alongside blurbs by all kinds of brilliant literary figures including Margaret Atwood? And could I do this by 2 pm Toronto time? Gleep. I hadn't checked my mail all day. Two o'clock in Toronto was happening in an hour and fifteen 9781842236000minutes, and all my best Munro books were in a box in my Dad's garage in Nova Scotia. I went a bit mad. But then I started remembering some good Alice Munro moments in my life. I chose my favourite, scaled the whole thing down to a hundred and fifty words exactly and sent it in eight minutes before the deadline. I didn't even stop to take off my bike helmet. You can see the results of my efforts here.

A week later I was off to the International Festival of Authors. I had a fantastic time, which I've written about on the blog. I did readings alongside some pretty big names, almost got rained out of a round table discussion and had dinner with Stephen King. Okay, he was at the other end of a very long table and I never actually spoke to him, but still. Got to see him chew food. 

res-ifoa creemoreI was also able to go home to Nova Scotia for a few days while I was in Canada, at the best time of year to be there. I did a reading at my old university, King's College at Dalhousie, which was very relaxed and informal, especially considering that my mom made up a sizable percentage of the audience. Oh, well. Later that week I went back to my home town of Bridgetown in the Annapolis Valley (population 949) and gave a reading at the town library. Bridgetown is...well...almost the setting for Cinnamon Toast, so this was pretty special. And a bit nerve-wracking. Fortunately it went very well.

Back in Dublin I was able to take part in the wonderful Dublin Book Festival in November and had a very interesting reading and discussion with Niamh Boyce (The Herbalist) and Gavin Corbett (This is the Way) at the Irish Writers' Centre. To help drum up publicity for the festival, I'm proud to say I got slagged on national TV. Check it out, if you dare.

While I was in Nova Scotia I took part in my first book club visit, at a friend from high school's home in Dartmouth. I liked the experience so much that I decided to try res-bridgetown library signsomething new: visiting book clubs by Skype. Next week I'm going to try it out. I'll be talking to a library book club in New Zealand, tuning in on Skype at 9:30 on Tuesday night in order to catch their weekly meeting on Wednesday morning, NZ time. Exciting stuff! I've also made plans to Skype a young readers' book club in Vancouver a few days afterwards. If this works out, I could easily see myself making it a regular thing. So if you've got a book club and you're interested in reading Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World and having me sit in by Skype, just drop me a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I'd be happy to arrange something. I can also visit bookclubs in person if you live in the Dublin area.

Now the next step is getting the second book finished. And how's that going? Awful! Not that the book is awful, although it's not much to look at now. I just haven't been able to settle down and get to work on it. Between demands of the day job, worrying about Cinnamon Toast, chasing publicity, getting ready for Christmas, getting depressed and mopey over the early darkness, and plain old fear, I haven't been able to make much progress at all over the past few months. But that's going to change. I have a cunning plan. More later...


Get your copy of Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World here Ireland and the UK 

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In the U.S.A.

In Canada...or try here. Or go independent.

"...astonishingly good....a juicy coming-of-age story...also an important read." The Globe and Mail

"...poignant...heart-wrenching. This stunning debut will surely appeal to both teenage readers and adults." Quill & Quire, starred review

"Witty, devastating, with a melancholy humour..." Sunday Business Post

", top drawer stuff..." BGE Book Club

"...warm, witty, heartfelt and utterly engaging..." The Irish News

"A stunning debut. I loved it." The Irish Examiner