Legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Paul Anka will be signing his highly anticipated autobiography, My Way, and celebrating the release of his latest album, Duets, at the Indigo Eaton Centre store in Toronto, at 12pm today!
Paul Anka 'My Way' Signing
12pm April 16, 2013
Indigo Eaton Centre
220 Yonge Street Toronto, Ontario
T: (416) 591-3622
In 2011, Canadian writer Hilary Davidson won the Anthony Award for her debut novel The Damage Done. The book also earned a Crimespree Award and was a finalist for the Arthur Ellis and Macavity awards.
I met Hilary a year later when she came to back Toronto to promote her second novel The Next One to Fall. I was positively taken aback that someone quite so charming and successful spent so much time thinking about how to dramatically kill people! Appearances can be deceptive, apparently...
Now a resident of New York, Hilary is a travel journalist and the author of 18 nonfiction books and countless short stories. You can also find her all over the web, including on Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Pinterest and Twitter.
With the release of her Evil In All Its Disguises tomorrow, Hilary (being so nice and all) kindly agreed to answer a few questions for the Raincoast blog about her writing, travel, social media and more. Just remember, however lovely Hilary seems while you're reading this, she is out there secretly plotting something dastardly. Take my word for it...
Do you remember when you first became interested in becoming a writer?
If you ask anyone who knows me, they’ll say it’s a lifelong obsession. When I was in elementary school, I won a short-story writing contest in Crackers Magazine. It was called “Ameteafear’s Tomb,” and I blame it for putting me on this dark and twisted path. That, and Nancy Drew books, or course. They’re the gateway drug to crime novels.
What was your first writing job?
Paid or unpaid? I started early, founding a newspaper at my elementary school when I was in Grade Five. In high school, I worked on the student newspaper, which was rather appropriately called The Cuspidor. At the University of Toronto, I worked on a couple of newspapers and interned at the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, writing for its newsletter. But it wasn’t until I started freelancing while I was on staff at Canadian Living magazine that I made money from writing. The first cheque I earned was for writing a travel piece about New Orleans’ cemeteries for the travel section of The Globe & Mail.
What was the appeal of travel writing?
I’ve always learned so much when I travel, and I want to share that when I come home. I remember visiting Pompeii and being amazed by the brothels there. They have some very vivid murals on their walls! That was a kind of delightful surprise, and it turned into another travel story for The Globe & Mail. A few years ago, I spent three weeks in Peru, and that gave me a tremendous amount of inspiration, both for fiction and nonfiction. I’m obsessed with Inca history and culture, and my second novel, The Next One to Fall, let me explore that in great detail. Killing a (fictional) tourist at Machu Picchu was an unusual way to show my appreciation, but I was struck by both the grandeur of the site and the danger there when I visited.
Where are you going next?
My upcoming travels are all related to my tour for Evil in All Its Disguises. I start at the Tucson Festival of Books, then hit Scottsdale, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Denver, Colorado Springs, Austin, Houston, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Toronto. After that, who knows? Last year, I did a weeklong tour of BC with Ian Hamilton, Robin Spano, and Deryn Collier, three of my favourite crime writers, and we’ve been talking about doing something similar this year, possibly in Ontario. Last year, I was lucky enough to visit Israel and Argentina. I don’t know if I’ll be able to go anytime soon, but I’m dying to visit Cambodia.
How has your journalism informed your fiction?
Being a journalist teaches how to grab your audience’s interest quickly, and it makes you shameless about asking questions to figure out how things work. Even though I’m writing fiction, my books are set in the real world, and I like to get the details right. That’s made me do things like go to a gun range to shoot targets, because I wanted to feel the weight of a gun in my hand before writing about it.
What else inspires your crime writing?
Sometimes things that have happened to me or someone I know have a way of getting into my work. Evil in All Its Disguises is the third book featuring Lily Moore, but it’s a standalone mystery about the disappearance of a journalist in Acapulco. It’s the first time that the scenario for one of my books was directly inspired by real-life events — in this case, the disappearance of a Frommer’s Travel Guides editor who vanished while on a press trip to Jamaica in 2000. The book is a work of fiction, but the circumstances around her disappearance have always haunted me, and I wanted to explore that.
Who are some of your favourite crime writers?
It’s such a long list! Some classic favourites: Jim Thompson, Patricia Highsmith, Dorothy L. Hughes, and Donald Westlake. For contemporary crime fiction, it includes Laura Lippman, Walter Mosley, Megan Abbott, Ken Bruen, Linda Fairstein, Kate Atkinson, Chris F. Holm, Dennis Tafoya, Jennifer Hillier, Louise Penny, Denise Mina, and Dennis Lehane.
What is your next book about?
It's the story of a wealthy, adulterous couple who go away together for a weekend and are abducted. The strange behaviour of their kidnappers makes one of the victims wonder who they’re really working for. After the couple’s bodies are found—apparently killed in an accident—it's up to the dead woman’s brother and one of the kidnappers to figure out what really happened that weekend.
When can we expect Lily to return? Readers are going to miss her!
I definitely have more plans for Lily! She will be back. My first three books — The Damage Done, The Next One to Fall, and Evil in All Its Disguises — follow her through a short space of time. They’re set just a few months apart. When readers see her again, more time will have elapsed.
Are you still writing short stories?
Absolutely. Short stories let me explore all kinds of characters and voices and scenarios that I wouldn’t necessarily want to follow throughout a book. I also love writing short fiction because it’s helped me reach audiences who wouldn’t necessarily have picked up my books otherwise. I’m up for a Derringer Award right now for a story about a couple whose relationship is falling apart because one of them wants to visit a dominatrix. I’ve got stories coming up in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and in a new publication from Macmillan called the Malfeasance Occasional.
When did you become interested in vintage fashion?
When I was fourteen, I started shopping in Toronto’s Kensington Market, so I got hooked on vintage early. My mom and grandmother were always very stylish dressers, so they inspired me. I love the idea of wearing clothes that have a history — it’s like they have their own stories to tell.
Who are some of your fashion icons?
A few years ago, I saw an exhibit about Elsa Schiaparelli, and I instantly fell in love. Her approach to fashion was just so irreverent and playful. For instance, she designed a pair of glamorous, elbow-length black evening gloves with pointed gold talons attached. They look like bear claws! To me, that’s the ultimate in chic.
You’re very engaged with social media. As a writer do you find being online a help or a hindrance?
The best thing about social media is that it introduces you to a lot of interesting people. The worst thing is that some people mistake it for a megaphone, and they think it’s just a means to publicize their own books. For me, it’s all about the social — I get into a lot of interesting conversations with people, and I was invited to the first-ever QuebeCrime conference thanks to Twitter. It’s definitely a help, but I have to limit myself, because otherwise I’d be online chatting with people all day instead of getting any work done!
When we’ve finished reading Evil In All Its Disguises, what should we read next?
I’m looking forward to reading Brad Parks’ latest, The Good Cop, and Andrew Pyper’s The Demonologist, which I’ve heard wonderful things about. My TBR (To Be Read) pile just keeps growing and growing. That’s true for everyone who loves books, isn’t it?
Cory will be discussing his new book and, knowing Cory, whatever else he feels like talking about on the night! The event will be held in the downstairs meeting room at library. Doors open at 6pm, the event will start at 7pm. Bakka Phoenix Books will be selling books.
If you haven't had chance to read Homeland yet, it picks up a few years after the events of Little Brother. California's economy has collapsed, but Marcus Yallow's hacktivist past has landed him a job working for a crusading politician who promises reform. But trouble — in the shape of a thumbdrive from his former nemesis Masha — is not far behind...
photo: Jonathan Worth
New York Times bestselling author Marissa Meyer is coming to Toronto!
Marissa Meyer Book Signing + Q&A
12:00pm, March 9, 2013
3401 Dufferin Street Unit #29
Toronto, ON M6A 2T9
News / February 01, 2013
The Canadian book industry was in uproar earlier this week.
A short online report by Susan Cole in Toronto alt weekly NOW Magazine revealed that the Globe and Mail's long-standing book editors Martin Levin and Jack Kirchhoff would be moving on, "leaving the national newspaper without a literary editor." The sadness that the two well-liked editors were departing, mixed with anger as the attention-grabbing headline 'Globe slashes book section' led many to believe that the newspaper was cutting its book section entirely—a claim furiously denied later by the Globe and Mail's Editor-in-chief John Stackhouse.
Describing the report as "hogwash," Stackhouse confirmed to the Quill and Quire (subscription req'd) that the Globe was actively looking for a new editor for the books section, but attempted to reassure readers saying, "we will continue to publish what I hope is an outstanding weekly books section but also hope to develop … the most engaging books coverage in the country."
The announcement of Martin and Jack's departure did not come as a complete shock. I had spoken to Martin a few weeks previously and he had told me, in his manner-of-fact way, that he and Jack were leaving. It was typical of Martin to tell me in person, and I'm sure many others in the industry had already heard directly from him before the news broke.
I first met Martin not long after I moved to Canada. He was, even then, an established and well-respected presence in Canadian books (he has been the books editor at the Globe for 17 years). He would regularly browse the shelves of the bookstore I worked in, stopping to chat and, if I remember correctly, buy the odd New York Times here and there.
Some years later, Martin was gracious enough to say he remembered who I was when I started to harass him in my new job as a publicist. I'm not sure how many of my books he reviewed back then. It wasn't many, that's for sure. But he was always kind about it and tolerated the pestering of a junior publicist far more than he had to (a fact I didn't appreciate until much later!).
I learnt that he had a way of finding common ground with you even if the books you were pitching didn't much interest him. With my predecessor at Raincoast it was horror movies. With me it was comics and, funnily enough, England—a country he visits more regularly than me these days I suspect. I came to look forward to our meetings, and not just because it always involved eating better than I had in days.
Jack has been working with Martin for goodness knows how long, but I didn't actually meet him in person until very, very recently. I consider myself one of the fortunate few. Not one for events, schmoozing or social media, Jack has always been... well, 'enigmatic'! There are a lot of people who have worked in publishing longer than me who still don't know what he looks like.
But if Jack wasn't at the parties, he made up for it other ways. Always quick to respond to an enquiry, and always willing to give things a second look, he helped me to get my job done more often than I can count. He never understood why I thanked him for reviews ("it's what we do"), and I will miss him more than I can say without losing all professional dignity.
Despite John Stackhouse's reassurances, the future of the Globe and Mail's book section suddenly feels much less certain than it did with Martin and Jack at the helm. Book reviews have never attracted much advertising—only the big publishers and booksellers have ever been able to afford it—and, as consequence, newspapers across North America have been greatly reducing their coverage in recent years.
But, if the death of print reviews seems inevitable at times (and it does seem strangely ironic that Martin has moved from books to obituaries), I remain cautiously optimistic. Morley Walker is a stalwart supporter of book reviews at the Winnipeg Free Press, and I'm encouraged by the recent appointment of Laurie Grassi as book editor at Chatelaine. I am also in awe of what the indefatigable Mark Medley has been able to achieve almost single-handedly at the National Post. I don't know when he sleeps, but his enthusiasm and curiousity are inspiring to behold.
And if change is scary, it brings opportunities with it as well. My hope is, of course, that the Globe and Mail is serious about its commitment to books, and whoever is appointed books editor will bring the kind of knowledge that Martin and Jack have always brought to the job. But I also hope that the new editor is encouraged to experiment and given the chance to succeed. If it is to remain relevant, the section cannot be an afterthought. Nor can it focus on 'scoops and celebrities.' It must engage with readers and become actively involved in the wider conversation about books and culture. That's defined less by the number of pages devoted to reviews, and more by kind of newspaper the Globe wants to be—and that, in the end, might be the greater challenge. I'm not saying it will be easy, but then when was it ever?
Who Are You Meant To Be? is the first book to integrate recent breakthroughs in brain science with a fresh take on how personality affects behavior. Based on ideas already embraced by Oprah Winfrey, the book introduces an entirely new and comprehensive approach to unlocking our true capabilities.
Join authors Anne Dranitsaris and Heather Dranitsaris-Hilliard this Thursday from 5:00pm to 8:00pm, for the North American launch of Who Are You Meant To Be? at the Verity Club in Toronto.
Who Are You Meant To Be? Launch
Thursday January 10, 2013, 5:00pm-8:00pm
Verity Club - Toronto Room
111d Queen Street East
Toronto, ON M5C 1S2
Art & Photography / November 22, 2012
The following night (Saturday November 24), Julie will be at Librairie D+Q in Montreal for an "evening of beautiful art, good conversations, and the occasional book signing."
Julie Morstad in conversation with Anabela Piersol
Friday, November 23 2012
6PM, with Q&A at 7PM
TYPE Books, 883 Queen Street West, Toronto
Julie Morstad at Librairie D+Q
Saturday, November 24 2012, 7PM
Librairie D+Q, 211 Bernard Ouest, Montreal
DIVINE VINTAGE Book Launch
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Toronto School of Theology
47 Queen's Park Crescent East Time: 4:30 p.m.
Board Room 1
With thanks to IWEG (Independent Wine Education Guild)
Download invitation (PDF)
If you can't make it to Oakville this evening, novelist, blogger and activist (and all-round nice guy) Cory Doctorow has a string of other Canadian events to promote Pirate Cinema and Rapture of the Nerds (co-authored with Charlie Stross) this fall.
Tomorrow night he will be at Bakka Books in Toronto. Then he's off to the US for a few weeks, but he's back in Canada in mid-October for events in Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria and Toronto (again!). The man just does not stop working!
Here's a list of Cory's upcoming Canada appearances:
- Sep 27 Bakka Books, Toronto at 7pm
- Oct 19 Pages Workshop, Edmonton Public Library (registration required)
- Oct 20 In Conversation with William Gibson, Vancouver International Writers Festival 2pm (Tickets available from VIWF)
- Oct 20 "What if?" panel with Margaret Atwood and Pasha Malla, Vancouver International Festival 5pm (Tickets available from VIWF)
- Oct 21 Reading at West Point Grey United Church with Vancouver Kidsbooks, 7pm
- Oct 22 Reading at Bolen Books, Victoria, 7pm
- Oct 25 Reading, International Festival of Authors, Toronto, 8pm (Tickets available from IFOA)
- Oct 26 In conversation with China Miéville, International Festival of Authors, 8pm (Tickets available from IFOA)