Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Announcement: My next novel, The Slip, forthcoming from Dundurn

A not-atypical page from The Slip's
first draft. (My markups, natch.)
Well, this news found its way into Quill and Quire recently so I thought I should also announce it here on the blog. Yes, I will have a new novel out next year. The lovely people at Dundurn Press, who published my last novel, Sad Peninsula, will release The Slip in the spring of 2017. This will mark – good gravy – four books in four years for me, which is a fact I still haven’t wrapped my mind around yet.

Anyway, here is the back-cover copy for The Slip to give you a sense of what the new book is about:

Philip Sharpe is one bad morning and two regrettable comments away from going viral for all the worst reasons. 
In his wickedly funny new novel, Mark Sampson introduces us to the ultimate absent-minded professor, Dr. Philip Sharpe, who teaches philosophy at the University of Toronto and is one of Canada’s most combative public intellectuals. But when a live TV debate with his fiercest rival goes horribly off the rails, an oblivious Philip says some things to her — some heinous and wildly inappropriate things — that he really shouldn’t have. 
As a clip of Philip’s “slip” goes viral, it soon reveals all the cracks and fissures in his marriage with his young, stay-at-home wife, Grace. While the two of them try to get on the same side of the situation, things quickly spiral out of control. 
Can Philip make amends and save his marriage? To do so, he’ll need to realize the true nature of his on-air comments, and to conscript a band of misfits in a scheme to set things right.

Me, signing the contract for The Slip last July.
Like most of the literary news I announce here, I’ve known about this forthcoming publication for a while. I signed the contract for The Slip last July after Dundurn accepted the book on the strength of a proposal and three chapters. While I’ve had the idea of this novel and its characters since at least 2007 or 2008, I began working on manuscript in earnest in the fall of 2013, and submitted the full manuscript last February. I’ve been telling people who’ve asked that this book is in many ways the polar opposite of Sad Peninsula. That last novel was a deeply dramatic narrative about an uncomfortable part of twentieth century history, set over decades and told from two alternating perspectives. This new book is, by contrast, a wildly comic novel told from just one point of view and – with the exception of flashback chapters – set over just nine days in November of 2015.

The announcement in Quill and Quire.
The Slip is already available for pre-order (and has been since before I submitted the full ms, which was weird!) from the usual suspects, including Amazon, Chapters-Indigo, McNally Robinson and, of course, Dundurn’s own website. Naturally, I will keep you all posted on other developments – including cover design, launch dates and such – as they arise over the coming months.

Finally, a big thanks to Dundurn, and especially editor Shannon Whibbs, for taking another chance on me. I’m very excited that this book is coming out and can’t wait until you all get to meet Philip Sharpe for yourselves.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Another upcoming Toronto event

June is shaping up to be a busy month. On top of the reading I'm doing on June 10 with Kyp Harness and Matt Cahill, I'm happy to announce I'll be taking part in another book launch one week later, on June 17. My friend Mike Knox is releasing his new novel, Harshly Purring, with Now or Never Publishing in Vancouver, and he has asked me and Aaron Tucker to take part in the celebration. It's going to be a night of excellent readings and celebratory pints. Here are the details for those of you in Toronto who can make it out:

Where: The Burdock - 1184 Bloor Street West, Toronto.
When: Friday, June 17.
What time: 9 pm.
Who: Mike Knox, Aaron Tucker and me.
The Facebook event.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Another upcoming event: June 10 in Toronto

Well Toronto folks, if you couldn't make it out to the Black Swan on Tuesday night to see me read from my debut poetry collection, Weathervane, at the Art Bar reading series, you have another chance. I'm happy to announce I'll be part of an event on June 10 with two other authors: Matt Cahill (The Society of Experience) and Kyp Harness, who is launching his debut novel, Wigford Rememberies.

This event is a joint production between our respective presses: Nightwood Editions, Wolsak & Wynn, and Palimpsest Press. The venue, the Belljar Cafe, will be contributing some delicious vegetarian food to go along with the evening of literary frivolity.

Anyway, here are the particulars:

Where: The Belljar Cafe, 2072 Dundas St. West, Toronto.
When: Friday, June 10th.
What time: 7 pm.
Who: Kyp Harness, Matt Cahill, and Mark Sampson
The Facebook invitation.

Some come out if you can!


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Upcoming event: Art Bar Poetry Series

Hey Toronto: Just a quick note to say I'll be reading from my poetry collection, Weathervane, at the Art Bar Poetry Series next week. Here are the details if you're looking to come out.

Where: The Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Avenue
When: Tuesday, May 10
What time: 8 pm
Reading with: Liz Worth and Sneha Madhavan-Reese

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Reminder: Reading tomorrow night in London, ON

Just a friendly reminder to anyone out there in the London, Ontario area: I'll be in town doing a reading tomorrow night along with my fellow Palimpsest Press authors, Dorothy Mahoney (Off-Leash) and John Nyman (Players). Here are the specifics:

Where: Brown & Dickson Books, 211 King St., London, Ontario.
When: Thursday, April 28, 2016
What time: 7 pm
Facebook event page

Come on out and say hi if you can!


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Publication: CNQ 95

So yesterday I received in the mail my lovely contributor's copy of the new issue of Canadian Notes & Queries (CNQ), which contains my review of Mark Anthony Jarman's most recent short story collection, Knife Party at the Hotel Europa. This was on the same night that I attended the Toronto launch party for this issue, which introduces the magazine's new editor (Emily Donaldson, one of Canada's busiest book reviewers) and also takes on the theme in its feature articles of games and gaming. It looks like a fascinating issue. You should go check it out.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Reminder: Poetry launch tonight in Toronto

Okay, Toronto peeps: Just a gentle reminder that I'll be launching my debut poetry collection, Weathervane, tonight at Another Story Bookshop on Roncesvalles Ave. I'll be reading alongside fellow Palimpsest Press authors Shawna Lemay (Rumi and the Red Handbag) and John Nyman (Players) starting at 7 pm. There will light refreshments and riveting conversations, so if you can make it out I would love to see you there.