Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015


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8. Who do you have to blow in this country to get reviewed in a national paper?

Am I going to have to pull a Brittany to get some attention? I have hair I can shave, but who is going to lend me a baby to sit on my lap while I drive to the grocery store? This strategy presumes that I am being pursued by a pack of rabid paparazzi, hoping to capture my shorn nether-region on film.

Sadly, it ain’t so.

I’ve been talking to people and reading online articles about the process of getting reviewed. I know that experienced authors claim that they don’t read them, but for novice wallflower writers like me, a review says somebody noticed. There are apparently services that will review your book for a fee, but paying for it seems so sad.

Book reviews, especially fiction reviews, are being cut to reduce costs at the large papers. However, I pick the Canadian newspaper that I have had delivered to my door each day for more than 10 years because it has the best arts coverage, including book reviews. Lately, that book section has become skinny. It doesn’t even take up a ½ cup of Saturday morning coffee before I’ve finished it. The reason for choosing this paper over the other national paper with the poor arts coverage gets less compelling. I can read any paper to see who has launched a hostile take-over bid for whom. Not everyone is going to tell me which new writers are the ones to watch and which established ones are just mining the same old shaft.

So yet again, this is invisibility issue that I am experiencing in the press is not about me or my novel, but I am taking it kind of personally. Maybe I could get a gig dancing in hooker-wear on national television and people could comment on how fat I look in leather shorts. That might increase my visibility.

Or maybe I’ll just sit back and wait.

(*Remember, I am cheating with this blog. Because nothing much happens to me on a daily basis, this blog is a diary. Some of the events and insecurities I am blogging about are historical.)

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Beverley Stone

Beverley Stone grew up in outport Newfoundland before moving to Toronto to attend Osgoode Hall Law School. Her first novel, No Beautiful Shore, is published by Cormorant Books (2008).

Go to Beverley Stone’s Author Page