Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015


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Dear Stephen Colbert
I know it's inexcusably tardy to be sending you a Christmas card in March, but, honest, I couldn't find your address. Then, when I heard last week that my Globe and Mail colleague Carl Wilson had got invited onto your show on March 4*, I thought Hey! Someone up there really wants Stephen to have his card.

So here it is. The card depicts a WORLD WAR TWO FRENCH GINGERBREAD FARMHOUSE. Building this bombed-out gingerbread house with my two sons was the best Christmas Day therapy ever (next to watching A COLBERT CHRISTMAS, of course).

I mean, what do you do when you open the IKEA gingerbread kit and realize half the roof is gone? Break out the plastic soldiers, of course!

We kept the house until New Year’s Eve, when the children got to bomb it to smithereens and then everyone shared the rubble, right down to the marshmallow snowdrifts, cinnamon dirt and sugar blood. I now keep the soldiers in the cupboard along with my regular baking supplies.

Next year, if you like, we’ll make one for you and your staff.

Merry Christmas
From Sheree-Lee and the boys

*So why, a year after it was published, is Carl Wilson getting invited to talk to Stephen Colbert about his book on Celine Dion? (It's called LET'S TALK ABOUT LOVE: A JOURNEY TO THE END OF TASTE, and it's part of the 33 1/3 series of rock criticism,

Carl can thank the award-show effect. This effect is known to exalt everything from swag-bag vacuum cleaners to red-carpet hair extensions to red-hot status, and it reaches a fever pitch around Oscar time. When a TV interviewer asked brainy actor James Franco (MILK) on the Oscar red carpet about his current GUILTY PLEASURE, he replied that he was reading Carl’s brainy book. The bit hit YouTube and the blogs, and no one was more surprised than Carl Wilson.

(When Stephen asks what Carl is reading, I hope he’ll say Sailor Girl. Seriously, dude. Just lie.)


Genius gingerbread house!

@Pierre: why not? It's already happened before -- after all, there's those book posters encouraging students to read that feature celebrities and their favourite books. Seems like a great idea.

Amazing, I knew about the Franco comment but didn't know about the Colbert invitation for Wilson. Award-show effect, indeed! Maybe authors and publicists should start focusing on "product placement" with celebs, just like the hair extensions companies, jewellery makers, etc. Practical...or sad?

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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Sheree-Lee Olson

Sheree-Lee Olson is a Canadian novelist, poet and journalist. Her first novel, Sailor Girl, was published in 2008 by The Porcupine's Quill.

Go to Sheree-Lee Olson ’s Author Page