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.



  1. Whoa, dude. Like, whoa. You write your books faster than I can read them! Sad Peninsula is still on my nightstand! HOW????
    (P.S. - Congratulations on your latest!)

    1. Hi Emily,

      Thanks so much. Yeah, the books have been just flying out of me as of late. Speaking of such things, really looking forward to yours in the fall. Please let me and RR know about launch parties and such. Best - Mark