It’s been several years since I’ve updated this blog. Now I am old and Clinging to the Wreckage seems a vastly more appropriate title for my increasingly doddery musings. Alas the prospect of figuring out how to develop a new blog with a different name — the plethora of themes and widgets, etc. — has so confounded me that, rather than retreat in complete disarray, I’m just going to just forge on. The thing is: I have a new novel to promote and, as my past several publications have driven home to me, the darn things don’t promote themselves. O, for the halcyon days when publishers handled all the marketing and authors just had to show up and not be too drunk! Those days, it would seem, are kaput. No basking in glory for me. I must not only bake the bread and churn the butter, I must also sing for my supper.
Which is unfortunate because I am so bad at it.
I am not shy, but I have always been a bit awkward — an elbow of a person. I am not good at schmoozing. I can’t work a room. I fail to network even when cornered. I even managed to screwed up my LinkedIn account so badly that I can’t access it, forcing me to ignore myriad invitations, which, in turn, makes me look very unfriendly to all the nice people who, for some unknown reason, want to say they know me. Or know of me. Half the names I don’t recognize. But don’t get me wrong. I like people. I really do. Just not too many and not all at once and not all the time. And I’m nice, just in a reclusive sort of way.
And then there’s sixty one years of cultural conditioning to deal with: Don’t call attention to yourself! Don’t put yourself forward! Don’t blow your own horn!
So, here it is. My new novel, Surface Rights, published by Dundurn Press, will be available just in time for Christmas 2013! Why not buy one for yourself and that favorite aunt of yours and anyone else you can think of?
Middle-aged Verna Macoun Woodcock returns to the family cottage for the first time in thirty-eight years to scatter the ashes of her husband, father and twin sister. At first she is alone except for her dad’s dog, the lake, bitter memories and a barely hidden drinking problem. But soon Verna is forced to open up her tightly shut world to others: strong-willed handywoman Winonah, the neglected children of her sister, each lost and broken in their own way, even the ghost of Winonah’s dead brother Lionel, who can’t seem to make it to the Sky World.
Just as Verna is starting to accept this newfound family, she discovers a mysterious and menacing prospector who posts a notice on the cottage door, stating his intention to dig for ore. As it turns out, the Macouns hold the surface rights for the land, but not the mineral rights. For the first time in her life, Verna has something to fight for and family at stake.
And it’s funny! Really! And kind of heart-warming too. Plus it has ghosts. And monsters. And mermen. And it’s set in Northern Ontario. What’s not to love?