Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Implied Author Part VIII: Never Enough Attention: Becoming a Monster

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The Implied Author Part VIII: Never Enough Attention: Becoming a Monster

From the Cormorant Books blog. This is the eighth installment in a series of posts by Silver Salts author Mark Blagrave.

Six months after the publication of Silver Salts, I can finally get up (most) Saturday mornings without racing out to buy the Globe and Mail. In another six months, I suppose I will have gotten over the feelings of neglect and resentment that come with not being reviewed. I know I didn’t write the novel so it could be reviewed in the Globe, but there’s still that provincial feeling that if it wasn’t noticed there then maybe the book wasn’t real at all. Or perhaps I just want my grade six teacher to read the paper in her nursing home and think ‘that name rings a bell.’

And it couldn’t hurt sales, could it (there being no such thing as a bad column-inch)? Or maybe I have just become a monster. What happened to that pledge to a life of obscurity I took when I finished my Ph.D.?

Review-envy is only one of many symptoms of my new-found egomania. They range from mild and common to strident and unforgivable.

First, there’s Googling myself. I always include the book title as a limiter in the search; I’m not that far gone yet. Fortunately, the threat of endless returns to those undead blogs that chronicle their writer’s struggle with my opening chapters keeps that practice down to a minimum.

Then there’s moving the books around in stores, making sure the face of mine is out, thereby ‘spining’ somebody else’s precious creation; or sometimes adding a pile of mine to the bestseller table. When I have confessed these Darwinian practices to other writers, they have guiltily admitted to doing the same or worse. And I don’t get into that many bookstores, so I’m protected from myself a little there too.

When I do get into bookstores, and when I am not changing their displays, I have been known to offer to sign copies. Actually, my wife is the guilty one with this, sidling up to managers with a copy and whispering that she has the author handy if they’d like him to deface their stock. She puts it more temptingly than that. And it looks like it’s her devotion talking more than my ego, so they say yes. Similarly, our local indie (even after I sent them a panicked, mildly harassing, e-mail when our local MLA reported he couldn’t get hold of a copy in town) has agreed to her request to display a small sign advertising the book. Sometimes, in airports, I get Sheila to ask for the book, knowing they don’t have it but hoping that (if we fly enough) they will bow to consumer pressure.

Courtesy of Cormorant Books. Read the rest of Mark Blagrave's The Implied Author, Part VIII at the Cormorant Books blog.

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