The Return of Buying on Time

I was working through galleys of one of my books last weekend, and while this is not so unusual an activity for a writer, what is unusual is that the galleys were for a book that came out in 1997.

Porcupine’s Quill is doing another printing of that collection of stories, which has never ben out of print, I might add.  But the films were so old the proces had to be done again.  There is also an ebook of Buying on Time now available at the Porcupine’s Quill site.

I hadn’t read this material for fifteen years and it was a delight to read it again. I had even forgotten some of the jokes and laughed anew (I don’t usually laugh at my own jokes).  Publisher Tim Inkster warned me to resist the urge to rewrite. That was very hard to do because I am a rewriter by nature.

But Tim did permit me a few corrections – oddball things. The book had already been through four reprints, but I still found a couple of details we had all missed. I called sandwich meat “baloney” for 150 pages, and then somewhere around page 180 I elevated it to “bologna”.

Most writers do not reread their works, and I never do once they are in print, so this was instructive. The lesson is that a work of fiction is never finished to the writer – one could keep on writing forever, but editors and publishers wisely forbid us to do that.

National Post Calls Underground “Irresistible”

Philip Marchand reviewed Underground in the National Post Today.

The hard copy of the newspaper has a large sketch of me  labelled “Irresistible”. It’s a page I wish I could send to some of the girls I admired in high school.

To critique the critique, the review does insist that I am not writing humour – it insists a bit too much because I am indeed not writing humour in this novel – it’s about a fight to the death without a lot of laughs, but perhaps some tender moments.

But there is dark humour in the tone, a bit of “what fools these mortals be”.

Where is the writer who will agree wholeheartedly with a critic’s assessment? He also called the novel compelling and layered, and that’s pretty good.