I'm excited to announce my debut collection of short stories will be coming out in May 2019 with Exile Editions. Thanks to my pal Adam Winnik for the announcement art and cover teasers. As far as working with your friends go, this one was a no brainer. And an absolute pleasure from start to finish.
It's been a long road to get here. I wrote the first stories for Cracker Jacks for Misfits in 2013 and workshopped them at the Humber School for Writers Fall Workshop at the IFOA in 2014. By the end of the week (and after a pep talk from my workshop leader) I was like, Okay, I have a book here. Now, how to find it?
There's no way I could sum up the journey of writing a book. Certainly not a book with a fragmented narrative, made up of interconnected shorts. I may have bit off a lot for this whole first book thing, but at least I can say I did it. And it took me a long time. It took guts and fear-facing and confronting self-doubts with teeth out. I still have that self-doubt. Though, as YA novelist Teresa Toten recently told me, "You're always going to be insecure. Now, get to work."
Hard work is something I've always known it would take to be a writer. As far as takeaways go, I can say this: there's no way to know how to write a book. You figure it out as you go.
I brought the book and my characters, Naomi, Joanne, Marce, and Jake, with me everywhere, through the apartments of my twenties. They lived with me at College and Ossington, in the Annex, in Little Italy, and finally, with me, Chris and June in High Park.
They've been with me every day. I collected them in notebooks, on cue cards, scrawled their words on the whiteboard in my bedroom. Now it's time to let these most persistent ghosts free. Or at the very least, blast the announcement of their existence all over social media (I joke but please, follow me on Twitter).
So, what can you expect between now and May? Some more cool content in the works. I happen to daylight in the world of Content (yup, capital C and all) and I’m cooking up some ways to introduce the book and the characters in it to the world.
I hope, that in getting to know the world of CJ4M, you’ll want to read it in the spring, and you’ll see a bit of yourself in it. I think fiction works when it talks about the big, ugly truth of being human. Even better if it captures the “stuff of life” in small moments. In Cracker Jacks for Misfits, you’ll meet an a boy who lives in a room underground, an artist who believes she’s growing wings, grown up kids addicted to their phones, a dad who means his very best, and a love story that feels like a bullet in your neck.
That’s it for now, but check back soon for more. I’ll be blogging about the publicity process for a first-time author. I have some experience in marketing, but truthfully, in the book promotion world, I’m as green as it gets.
Until next time.