Monday, September 29, 2008

Photos from Mabel's Fables and The Word On The Street '08

Mabel's Fables

On Friday September 26, Charles Pachter (author of the hit Canadian alphabet book M Is For Moose) did a reading and signing at Mabel's Fables in Toronto. The event came on the heels of Charles's fantastic interview on 96.3 Classical FM on Thursday morning, and drew a great audience of the young, the old, and the undecided. Thanks to everyone who came out to see us!

F is for flag.

Left to right: Eleanor LeFave (owner of Mabel's Fables), Charles Pachter, moose

Even Mabel the cat loves our book.

The Word On The Street

The 2008 edition of The Word On The Street Book & Magazine Festival (Toronto) took place on a sunny Sunday afternoon. As I stated many times to the people visiting our booth, it was "perfect weather to not be standing under a tent in".

A great day was had by all. We managed to give away every single one of our catalogues, and - best of fall - of all the boxes of books we brought to sell, we returned to the office with only one and a half left unsold.

In my opinion, however, the most important thing about WOTS was that it gave us as publishers a chance to just sit down (or stand up) and talk about books with our readers. Numbers are plenty useful but it's only through this face-to-face communication that we can get a sense of what people love about books and reading - information that's vital in helping us maintain perspective.

A big thank you to the organizers of WOTS, the many helpful volunteers, and most of all to you folks out there who bought our books or even just stayed and chatted for a while.

Many thanks also to the Cormorant authors who took part in the festivities and dropped by our booth to say hello (including but not limited to): Sally Gibson, Charles Pachter, Hélène Dorion, Neil Bissoondath, Elspeth Cameron, Michael Rowe, Joseph Boyden, Zoe Whittall, Darren Greer

And now photos!

I attribute our success to the scrumtrelescence of this sign.

Sally Gibson, author of Inside Toronto, in discussion with Toronto mayor David Miller.

The intrepid Charles Pachter signing copies of M is for Moose at our booth.

Elspeth Cameron, author of And Beauty Answers.

Neil Bissoondath, author of The Soul of All Great Designs, speaking truth to power.

Hélène Dorion, author of Days of Sand.

Coming soon: A Q&A with Kathlyn Bradshaw, author of The Frankenstein Murders (one of the hits of the festival!)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Previews: The Frankenstein Murders, Distantly Related To Freud, The Soul of All Great Designs, Operation Rimbaud

And a good day to you all.

Today we've got a tetralogy of terrific tasters to tantalize you with. That's right - we're talking about PDF previews of four of our fantastic Fall titles, for your reading pleasure:

The Frankenstein Murders
by Kathlyn Bradshaw

Three years after the events recounted in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the father of one of the victims of 'the Monster' comissions an English investigator named Edward Freame to discover the true story behind his son's death.
Read the preview

Distantly Related to Freud
by Ann Charney

The coming-of-age story of Ellen - a girl who, as an infant, escaped with her mother from the horrors of the Holocaust to settle in Montreal. Follow her search for herself as she navigates from beneath a history she barely knows - as well as more everyday problems, like school and boys.
Read the preview

The Soul of All Great Designs
by Neil Bissoondath

It starts as a love story between the daughter of immigrant parents and a man whose life is built on secrets and lies. It ends as one of the most indicting criticisms of "Canadian identity" put to print in recent memory.
Read the preview

Operation Rimbaud
by Jacques Godbout

What do you get when you mix a Jesuit special agent, Haile Selassie, a pair of sacred Judaeo-Christian artifacts, and the cultural turmoil of the 1960s? Operation Rimbaud, that's what.
Read the preview


Check out the Cormorant website for more previews of our books.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Word On The Street (Pre-Game Show!)

The wheels are in motion. Our phones are ringing off their hooks. Our email inboxes are full to bursting. Our awesome button-maker is on the verge of falling apart.

It's that time of the year again.


On Sunday September 24th, Cormorant Books will be participating in WOTS in Halifax and Toronto. It'll be a packed day at both events, so if you're in either city on Sunday, stop by.

Here's our schedule:


Elspeth Cameron, author of And Beauty Answers: The Life Of Frances Loring and Florence Wyle
2008 City of Toronto Book Award shortlist readings
City of Toronto Tent 11:15-11:45

Sally Gibson
, author of Inside Toronto: Urban Interiors, 1880s-1920s
City of Toronto Tent 11:15-11:45

Charles Pachter, author of M is for Moose: A Charles Patcher Alphabet
Children's Activity Tent 12:15-12:45

Neil Bissoondath, author of The Soul of All Great Designs
Bestsellers Stage 1:15-2:00

Hélène Dorion, author of Days of Sand
Proud Voices Tent 2:30-3:00

Zoe Whittall, author of Bottle Rocket Hearts
2008 Dayne Ogilvie Award shortlist readings
Proud Voices Tent 3:30-4:00


Mark Blagrave, author of Silver Salts
BPIDP Atlantic Authors Stage 12:30-1:00

Carol Bruneau, author of Glass Voices
CBC Festival Mainstage 1:00-1:30


Cormorant will once again have a booth (130) at The Word On The Street Toronto. Come pay us a visit. We'd love to talk about books, politics, the local sports team of your choice, or anything else you'd like. And if you decide you want to buy a good book, hey, we've got plenty of those.

Make plans!

One of the intrepid volunteers from WOTS 2007 Toronto

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Soul of All Great Designs, Words Alive Literary Festival

Neil Bissoondath at La Maison Anglaise

For those of you in Quebec City, Neil Bissoondath will be appearing in support his fantastic new novel The Soul of All Great Designs at La Maison Anglaise. Go and see him - he's an outstanding, extremely intelligent speaker who never fails to be interesting.

For more info on the event, visit the website of La Maison Anglaise.

Words Alive Literary Festival

September 21st is the second annual Words Alive Literary Festival in Sharon, Ontario.

Cormorant authors Beverly Stone (No Beautiful Shore) and Peter Unwin (The Wolf's Head) are guests at the festival.

If you can make it out, do so - it promises to be a very literary day, and all at the cost of $4.

Photos (M Is For Moose Pre-Launch, Eden Mills Writers Festival)

Some more images here for you.

First up, the Quill and Quire has posted some terrific pictures from the M Is For Moose TINARS event down at the Gladstone in Toronto on Tuesday. Hop on over to the Quillblog and have a look!

... And in case you were wondering, the young lady in the second photo with Charles is not, in fact, Grace Kelly.


We've also got a couple more photos from the Eden Mills Writers' Festival for you, this time from friend of the blog Rob McLennan. Thanks Rob!

... Did we mention it was wet?

Jenny's Cottage, where all the authors stayed until their readings.
Just imagine the conversations that took place there ...

Karen Houle, Patricia Claxton, and Edeet Ravel.

For more photos from Eden Mills, check out this post and that post.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The M is for Moose Event: Great Success!

On Tuesday, September 17th, we celebrated Charles Pachter's fabulous new alphabet book M is for Moose at The Gladstone Hotel in Toronto.

The turnout for the pre-launch was outstanding. The room booked for the event was filled to capacity, and many of us had to wait outside before we had a chance to get books signed by the man of the hour.

Speaking of Charles, his performance during the on-stage interview with Betty Ann Jordan was a thing to see. He was at once charming, insightful, passionate, funny, and always earnest about his love for Canada. This is the Charles Pachter who created M is for Moose, and that was the Charles Pachter who was up on stage for everyone to see.

And now a brief mention of numbers: We're proud to announce that we sold well over 200 copies at the pre-launch, which is a record for all TINARS (This Is Not A Reading Series) events thus far. But the most important thing is that so many people came out last night, and are genuinely excited for the book.

Thanks to: Pages Books & Magazines, EYE Weekly, The Gladstone Hotel, Betty Ann Jordan, and every single person who came out to celebrate with us.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pages 'M is for Moose' Window Display

The official M is for Moose ad.

If you recall, last week we posted about the window display at Pages Books & Magazines for our new children's book, M is for Moose by Charles Pachter. The photo of the display that we had provided in that post was, apparently, fraudulent.

Would've been cool though.

Pages has been kind enough to send us photos of the actual window display. So if you missed it the first time around, here's how it looked:

Don't forget about the launch/This Is Not A Reading Series event 7:30 pm tonight at The Gladstone Hotel in Toronto. We're counting on everyone to come out and have a great time as we celebrate the release of M is for Moose. The doors are open to everyone!

Monday, September 15, 2008

An Author’s Wilderness Adventures

As promised last week, we present to you this post from Jeffrey Round author of The P-Town Murders, writing about his recent visit to the idyllic community of Turkey Point, Ontario.

Turkey Point Beach

By Jeffrey Round

I’ve been to Hollywood, I’ve been to Redwood, and now I’ve been to Turkey Point. Where, you may well ask, is that? And better yet, what was I doing there?

I’ll tell you.

Turkey Point lies 24 km south west of Port Dover on the north shore of Lake Erie. The Point is home to Ontario’s only national park with a nine-hole golf course, and an elite campground for gay men. I went to the latter. Not your everyday camping experience, it’s a set designer’s dream of fabulously decorated trailers, cabins and tents, where a tame ocelot or a pair of peacocks tut-tutting through the gardens would not be out of place.

The last weekend in August I arrived at the Point to participate in an afternoon of author readings with my recently published Cormorant novel, The P-Town Murders.

When my first novel, A Cage of Bones, was published ten years ago with an English publisher, I expected to receive invitations to read all over Canada. I didn’t get one. So when my second novel came out, I was ready. I made sure I was invited all over the map: Hollywood, Palm Springs, New Orleans, Vancouver, Toronto, and New York, among others. Every chance I got, I asked: would you like me to read?

Admittedly, I hit a few heights. So when a friend asked recently if I’d been to Turkey Point, one of my first questions was: do they host literary readings?

He didn’t know, but it was relatively easy to find out. Being a haut couture campground, there is a Turkey Point Events Committee. And yes, as it turns out, they do host readings and were happy to have me as a guest. Gay men love their sexy mysteries, culture and humour. The P-Town Murders has plenty of all three.

Among its other amenities, Turkey Point boasts a newly designed Garden of Memories, dedicated to the campground’s late-owner. With an elegant arbour and mini-Stonehenge of circular benches set beside a pond, it makes for a perfect auditorium in the wild.

Come the day, Mother Nature was at her most spectacular, end-of-summer finest. Two authors read before me, leaving me for the main event. A sizeable number of listeners turned up to hear us read. I’m thrilled to report I sold more than enough books to pay for my trip. Not only that, I’ve been invited back to read from the sequel, Death In Key West, in 2009.

While I was there soaking up local colour, I couldn’t help wondering whether anyone had ever set a mystery at Turkey Point. Apparently not. Don’t be surprised when Murder at the Point turns up at your local bookseller.

Jeffrey Round is author of The P-Town Murders: A Bradford Fairfax Murder Mystery (Cormorant Books) and A Cage of Bones. Forthcoming books include Death In Key West and The Honey Locust (2009). He was artistic director of Best Boys Productions, an independent queer theatre company, and the founding editor of The Church-Wellesley Review, Canada’s first annual journal of LGBT creative writing. His short film, My Heart Belongs To Daddy, won awards for Best Director and Best Use of Music. He has traveled the world, but currently lives in Toronto.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Moose is Loose!

Charles Pachter's fantastic new children's book M is for Moose is all set to be released in stores in a couple of weeks. It's a uniquely Canadian take on the alphabet book, from one of the country's most celebrated visual artists, and one that is already looking like a hit for us.

Want a copy early? Visit our friends at Pages Books & Magazines at 256 Queen Street West (right on the corner of Queen and John). There are only a few copies available for now, so get 'em while they're hot!

Or you can come down to the launch/TINARS event down at the Gladstone Hotel on Tuesday the 16th at 7:30 PM. If you attend the TINARS event, you'll not only be treated to good company, fine drinks, and an on-stage interview with Charles Pachter - signed copies of the books will be sold there! So why not come down? You never know who you might run into.

Pages is currently featuring 'M Is For Moose' in its window display.
This is not what that display looks like. Not in the least.

Coming Soon: Jeffrey Round visits Turkey Point, a Q & A with Kathlyn Bradshaw

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Jeffrey Round reviews No Beautiful Shore, Other Men's Sons

From time to time we'll be posting reviews of our titles. Standard, right?

Not quite.

What makes our reviews special is that they'll be written by other Cormorant authors, offering a perspective you won't get from your typical book review.

Generously providing us with our inaugural reviews is Jeffrey Round, author of The P-Town Murders. Without any further ado, here's Jeff:

The intrepid Jeffrey Round

No Beautiful Shore
By Beverly Stone

Jeff: God, I love a woman who can swear! And Beverley Stone is right up there with the best of them. This beautiful, disturbing book is one of the most honest tales of contemporary Newfoundland I’ve come across. Part-Trailer Park Boys and part-Thelma and Louise, it’s an account of teenagers Bride Marsh and Wanda Stuckless’s attempt to leave out-port Newfoundland for life in Toronto, a challenge much bigger than it sounds. Bride is the sexy one who gets hit on by men, while Wanda is the entrepreneurial tomboy who sells dope to make her passage ‘away.’ Both prove hindrances to their goal. A sharp blend of the comic and tragic, Stone’s story is filled with wisdom, insight and some very deft writing.

Other Men's Sons

By Michael Rowe

Jeff: Other Men’s Sons is the 2008 Randy Shilts Award-winning book of creative non-fiction by Torontonian Michael Rowe. The writing is intelligent and witty and the subjects varied—from the title essay about Michael and his partner’s attending the wedding of their "adopted" straight son (whom they met when he was 19), through an essay about a young woman who grew up in a supportive gay environment and had to learn to contend with other people’s homophobia, to the story of Pvt. Barry Winchell, murdered by a fellow soldier when it was discovered Winchell was dating a transsexual. Each of these pieces is insightful and beautifully written but, perhaps best of all, the book is uplifting despite its sometimes tragic themes.


Thanks, Jeff! If you'd like to read more of his reviews, blog, and other projects, check out his official site.

Coming soon: A Q&A with Kathlyn Bradshaw, author of the fantastic upcoming horror-mystery, The Frankenstein Murders.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The 2008 Toronto Book Awards Shortlist

This morning we attended the 2008 Toronto Book Awards shortlist announcement that took place at the Toronto Reference Library.

The event was hosted by Mayor David Miller, who kicked things off by making an impassioned plea for more arts funding.

The intrepid Mayor David Miller

We're proud to announce that one of the five books shortlisted for the award is a Cormorant Books title: Elspeth Cameron's And Beauty Answers.


From left to right: Elyse Friedman, Mayor David Miller, Elspeth Cameron, David Chariandy

The finalists will all be reading at Word On The Street on Sunday, September 28, and the winner will be announced on Friday, October 17, at a gala taking place at the Toronto Reference Library.

For more information on the awards and the finalists, visit the 2008 Toronto Book Awards site.

Congratulations, Elspeth! My souvenir and I salute you.

More Photos

The intrepid Elspeth Cameron, reading from And Beauty Answers

Writing Outside the Margins

The humble Cormorant table.

The intrepid Jeffrey Round, reading from The P-Town Murders

The intrepid Zoe Whittall, author of Bottle Rocket Hearts

Monday, September 8, 2008

The 2008 Eden Mills Writers' Festival

On Sunday September 7th, the Cormorant Books crew went out to the village of Eden Mills to take part in the 20th annual Eden Mills Writers' Festival.

First, let's put the spotlight on Eden Mills:

"Eden Mills is an Ontario village nestled in the Eramosa River valley housing around 350 people. It is very close to the university city of Guelph and only a little over an hour’s drive to downtown Toronto with the wind behind your back and the highway traffic calm." -

An authentic scarecrow.

Aside from being home to the Writers' Festival, Eden Mills is also important in its ambition to become the very first carbon neutral community in North America.


The village is in the backyard of the University of Guelph, about an hour's drive west from Toronto. What the place lacks in facilities (such as a public phone), it more than makes up for in personality. Behold:

All hail pantaloons.

Above are the Town Crier and the Town Piper. In spite of the rain, the two of them together opened the day in grand fashion.

Ah yes, the rain. Quite a few people managed to turn out for the proceedings even though the sun didn't begin to shine until mid-afternoon. It was great to see that spirits were not dampened. Unlike everything else.

The butter chicken was fabulous.

Cormorant Books was represented wonderfully by Patricia Claxton, translator of Operation Rimbaud, and Elspeth Cameron, author of And Beauty Answers. They read to the troopers who braved the wet and the cold, and by all accounts they didn't disappoint.

The intrepid Patricia Claxton.

We thank everyone - authors, publishers, booksellers, volunteers, and festival-goers alike - for coming out and braving the elements for what turned out to be a great day of books and literature!

Stay tuned for more photos from Eden Mills, as well as shots from Writing Outside the Margins which took place on August 24th.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Best Foot Forward

Just wanted to extend a happy new Fall season to everyone. It's an exciting time here at Cormorant Books. Great changes are afoot, and that always makes for interesting times.

We're pleased to announce that a couple of new people have joined the Cormorant team:

Bruce Walsh will look after sales, marketing, and non-fiction acquisitions for the firm starting on September 2nd. A two time winner of the Libris Award, Walsh was formerly Vice President of Marketing at LongPen and prior to that, Director of Marketing and Publicity at McClelland & Stewart. He is on the Board of Directors of PEN Canada and Markets Initiative.

Anne Pilkey, a recent graduate of the Humber College Creative Book Publishing Program, will be an intern with Cormorant Books, assisting Bruce Walsh in publicity.

Bryan Jay Ibeas, also a graduate of the Humber College Creative Book Publishing Program, will be joining Cormorant on a full-time basis; his internship is sponsored by the Supply Chain Initiative of the Book Publishing Industry Development Program. Ibeas will also work with Bruce Walsh, providing electronic marketing and sales support.

With this new infusion of talent, we look to continue the Cormorant tradition of publishing the very best in new Canadian literature - but with a fresh outlook and a brand new pair of shoes.