Not Exactly News

Not Exactly News!doublerainbow

Just because most of this happened months ago…

To start off with, I’m beyond happy to say that Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World has been picked as a top ten choice for the American Library Association’s 2015 Rainbow List. This is a “a bibliography of books with significant gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender content, and which are aimed at youth, birth through age 18” chosen by the Rainbow Books List Committee. I found out several weeks after the announcement had been made.

This wasn’t because I didn’t know anything about it – extensive googling showed me I was on the long list several months before – but on the day the final choices were released, I scrolled through the titles, somehow missed seeing Cinnamon Toast, and spent the rest of the day sulking in the grey Irish rain. Later on I found out the truth and felt very silly. Never skim articles, folks. Being on the Rainbow List is a tremendous honour, especially as I've always been nervous about how LGBT readers would react to this story. So hooray!

(Also this means someone in the U.S. actually saw it. While the book is technically available there, it has no widespread distribution that I’m aware of, and if you go by the Amazon sales rankings….whoa. If any libraries pick it up, I'll be a happy lady.)

Here, in no particular order, are the other nine books in the top ten. I’m gobsmacked to be included and am looking forward to reading them all. If you want to see the full list, please click here.

Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Far From You by Tess Sharpe
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
Secret City by Julia Watts
Sweet Tooth by Tim Anderson
We Are the Youth: Sharing the Stories of LGBT Youth in the United States by Laurel Golio and Diana Scholl
Not Every Princess by Jeffrey Bone and Lisa Bone
This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman, illustrated by Kristyna Litten

So what else is new? Well, first off I haven’t updated the website in year. A YEAR! Not that big of a deal, perhaps, but I remember every second Tuesday I used to work myself into a blind panic if there wasn’t a blog post ready to 10409719 10152486286366047 8017640613297205500 ngo. But one day I was looking at this site and realising that between the blogs (five of them at one point: News, 65 80s Songs, Literary Love Fest, What Goes on Tour, and the regular Bla Bla) and the articles, I had at least 70,000 words up here and…um…about 8,000 readable words on the next book. So, priorities.

About that book… I have two drafts done, which I call Draft Barf and Draft Drool. Draft Barf took me about four months and weighed in at approximately 270,000 words and 900 pages. Draft Drool was more manageable, but at 150,000 less-than-well-chosen words, it wasn’t something I would let anyone without a gas mask near either. As for this draft…

10505449 10152486289176047 5303936398941540746 nIt's taking bloody forever and I’m expecting it to be less than half the size of Draft Drool. Like Cinnamon Toast, it’s set in Nova Scotia in the late 1980s, in fact a lot of it takes place in the same town as Cinnamon Toast. I’m about five chapters from the end.

And then there will be many more drafts while I try to figure out if it’s publishable. I have not sat down and read the whole thing, and won’t until I’m done. Wish me luck.

So while I was farting around for a year not updating anything, I spent five months in Bridgetown, N.S., (a small ex-town which is sort of the setting for Cinnamon Toast), and had a wonderful time floating around the (highly polluted) Annapolis River on a pool noodle and reconnecting with my family. I also went to the Atlantic Book Awards 2014 (didn’t win, but Turn Us Again did, and it’s a really great book) and appeared at Word on the Street in Halifax, where I sold about one and a half books but gave a really good reading and met some fine people.

photo0233Then I went back to Ireland and realised I was totally broke after taking five months off with no grant to cover me, and will continue to be broke for quite some time.

Oopsie!

But no matter. It’s spring, for crying out loud! Time to skip around smelling daisies. Write and read loads, and if you live in Ireland, please vote YES on the upcoming referendum on marriage equality. It is the side of truth and justice, and they also have the best cupcakes. (Pictured: slightly squished purchase from The Cupcake Bloke, Dublin.)

The other pictures are scenes from my beloved Bridgetown, including that drink of champions, Beep. And there's a nice pic of rainbows in Ireland that I kind of...um...stole.

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

...in Ireland and the UK 

51U3E6BPgnL  SL500 AA300  Cinnamon Toast pb cover low res

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

"...page-turning, top drawer stuff..." BGE Book Club

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

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