The Internet Review of Books

Bob Sanchez reviewed my novel, Murderous Roots, today for the Internet Review of Books.
The Internet Review of Books is a great source for information about both fiction and non-fiction. Check it out before making your next run to the bookstore, or the download site. Murderous Roots is my first novel, and I’m grateful for the review.
My short story, Freddie’s Athabaska, was published today in The Other Herald, an arts broadsheet from Northern New York state.
I’ve finished editing the galley proofs for the print-on-demand version of Murderous Roots, coming soon to Write Words Inc.
Amazon has been granted the right to a “bricks and mortar” facility in Ontario. This is a warehouse they will use for their Canadian customers. As I live in a small town, I’ve used Amazon frequently(except during the period when our son owned a bookstore). I can appreciate the problems of the small bookseller who faces the competition from giants like Amazon and Chapters. When you buy the book from these guys, remember that they have used their vast buying power to bully the publisher into a 40% discount, while your neighbourhood bookseller is paying the full wholesale price.
The publisher and the author pay for your convenience.
All that being said, the publishing trade is in a state of flux, with the fastest growing segment that of electronic books. Does this mean the days of books in paper are coming to an end? I hope not, at least for the small format paperback that is the easiest to read in bed! I read for many reasons: to be entertained; to be informed; to learn my writing craft; to pursue an interest in the arts. Most of these are better served by a book on paper, I think now. I’m going to have a look at a friend’s ipad today, and perhaps my view will change.

Gifts for the writer, gardener, birdwatcher, reader…

Poking around here and there on the Net, I found some great gifts for the passionate writers, gardeners, readers and birdwatchers on your list. Okay, gifts for me. Gifts for writers are up first, naturally, so check out Margaret Atwood’s suggestions on her Blog. 4 and 10 are the gifts I would choose, and can recommend 1 and 2 from personal experience.( My little book is the moleskin variety.) While you’re on Margaret’s blog, read her 15 book Tour packing tips. It’s hilarious.

Ben McNally, (of McNally Robertson) has a blog on Book Lounge, with his list of gifts for readers. He’s recommending Peter Ackroyd’s Venice: Pure City, a book I would like to read, mainly because I fell in love with the city last fall, and because he did such an outstanding job on London.

Susan Reimer writes a column, On Gardening for the Baltimore Sun. Her list of gifts for gardeners includes some of my can’t do withouts, like Felco pruners and gardening gloves. Lee Valley has some that are even warm on those nasty spring mornings, which can include rain freezing rain and wind in April, in Ontario.

Our Little Acre Blogspot has some unusual gifts for gardeners. I can recommend the Velcro plant ties, also available at Lee Valley. I’ve used them for years, especially for tying climbing roses to their supports.

For the birdwatcher, check out Squidoo. The site’s a bit wonky but worth it. What about birdsongs for the iPod!

All these blogs are listed to the right. Have fun!