This week I received an advance reading copy of Poplar Lake from my publisher NON. Very nice to have the physical specimen in my hands after so many rounds of electronic manuscripts. NON is distributing these advance copies to various media and potential reviewers. Small presses and obscure authors (let’s be frank ) have a difficult time getting reviews – there are fewer and fewer newspapers, and those that remain have dramatically cut back their book sections – but I remain hopeful.
Poplar Lake will be released on October 15.
Coming in the fall of 2018: Poplar Lake, from Now or Never Publishing .
Now or Never Publishing produces works by new and established authors from across Canada. Since 2005, NON has published 45 original titles, and its catalogue continues to grow with its annual spring and fall list releases. NON is a member of the Association of Canadian Publishers and the Literary Press Group of Canada.
Publisher Chris Needham commented in 2017 on NON’s acquisition of Poplar Lake: “Poplar Lake is a darkly subversive novel, compelling, poignant, and multi-layered, whimsical and wry in observation, a feat of imagination—and Ron Thompson’s voice is honest and assured in the telling. This book is going to resonate with readers when it hits bookstores next fall.”
About Poplar Lake:
A young writer brings his girlfriend home to meet his family, introducing her to the vivid, sometimes dark history of his prairie hometown, while concealing the painful secrets of his own past.
Poplar Lake is a darkly satiric tragicomedy about families and relationships and the day-to-day lies that sustain them.
If Guy Vanderhaegh and Margaret Laurence had a love child, it would be Poplar Lake. Little Big Man would be its godfather, and M. Night Shyamalan would direct the movie adaptation.
The Hundredth Meridian, as any fan of the Tragically Hip knows, is where the Great Plains begin, and this week APOL began its tour there as it crossed into the mixed-grass prairie west of the Mississippi River. The area is known to history as the Missouri Territory; more recently it has been disparaged as “fly-over country”; but APOL will have none of that. Seven states, ranging from the Dakotas in the north to Texas in the south, straddle the Hundredth Meridian, and they have a combined population of 38 million. That’s a lot of potential readers. What’s more, in a region where you can sit on your porch and watch your dog run away for three days, they’re easy to spot.
The Missouri Territory performs a cameo in Poplar Lake, APOL’s sequel, which will be released in fall 2018.
Note: “APOL” is the anthropomorphic version of my satirical novel A Person of Letters, which has gone on tour without me (with a wink and a nod to magical realism). Follow APOL’s quixotic world tour here or on my Facebook Author Page, and read about all of APOL’s (mis)adventures in sequence on this tour archive. For information about the book, go to Martin Scribler Media.
On Thursday March 24 I had the honour to address the monthly meeting of the Ottawa Women’s Canadian Club at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa. The club was founded in 1910 and over the century of its existence it has been addressed by prime ministers, governors-general, justices of the Supreme Court, and many other accomplished and notable visitors, including the Shah of Iran. So it was with some trepidation that I prepared my speech, the theme for which was “Becoming a Writer: My Long and Winding Journey,” and stood to deliver it.
It was a winding journey for everyone in Ottawa that day, as the city was hit by a late winter storm, but we had a large turnout for the event. The audience was welcoming, kind, and receptive, and I enjoyed interacting with them in the Q&A session following the speech. At the conclusion of the discussion, the club graciously presented me with a copy of the history of the OWCC, which I will cherish, and made a generous contribution to Wounded Warriors of Canada on my behalf.
Many thanks to the OWCC, especially to Program Chair Ann Blair, President Elaine Hickey, board members Connie Gowling and Mary Townson, and everyone else who made me welcome, even staffing the book table and selling books. I was very pleased that my friends Lorna Clark and Brenda Fawcett were able to attend the event, particularly given the weather.
Later that day, I had a fantastic meeting with a local book club, facilitated by member Cathy Wiley. Thanks to Cathy and to all the members who braved the snow and contributed to an enjoyable discussion on A Person of Letters. It warms the cockles of this author’s heart to meet such avid readers and to discuss their impressions of the book and their take on the characters who sprung from his imagination.
Photos by Ottawa Womens Canadian Club, with the exception of the Chateau Laurier photo by StupendousMan 2008 (Own work, Creative Commons CC BY 3.0).
A Person of Letters has launched its own book tour – inexplicably, without its author. I’ve recently received reports of sightings and photos of the book in various salubrious locations around the world. In this picture, for example, APOL is seen lounging poolside in California, happily unrecognized by the paparazzi pack. Reports indicate APOL is enjoying the tour, meeting interesting people, seeing the sights, and hamming it up shamelessly. (I’m not bitter at all. Really.)
Over the coming days I’ll post additional photos of its travels and adventures. If you spot APOL somewhere, please let me know and send me a shot. I will post those I receive here and on my Facebook Author Page..
Ron Thompson’s A Person of Letters, a satire on writing, publishing, love, obsession, and guilt, is available in print and eBook format. Follow the author on Twitter (@thompsron) or Facebook for direct updates and notice of future appearances and events.
In a touch of magical realism, A Person of Letters will launch it’s own world tour (without its author) in January 2016. “We anthropomorphize toys, cartoon ducks and rabbits, even Lego blocks,” Ron says. “Why not books?” “And so the novel A Person of Letters has morphed into the louche and sodden huckster APOL, which will do anything to grab a reader’s attention. The book has already been sighted in various locales in Canada, the U.S., and around the world. Ron will post about his creation’s travels and shenanigans on his blog – follow it here. Needless to say, he’s having fun with the project.
In March 2016, Ron will address the monthly meeting of the Ottawa Women’s Canadian Club at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa. His topic will be, “On Becoming a Writer: My Long and Winding Journey.”
Ron is currently working on a prequel to A Person of Letters. Poplar Lake is a tale of home town, family, and the secrets they keep.
Watch this space for updates.