“The moment authors saw their debut books”

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Deborah Dundas did a nice little write-up in the Toronto Star on 13 debut authors who have or will be appearing at the 2016 International Festival of Authors (IFOA), which runs until this coming Sunday, October 30, down at Harbourfront Centre. If you’ve never been to the IFOA, go! It’s a rockstar event for readers and writers alike.

Ms. Dundas asked the 13 men and women what it felt like to finally (my emphasis) have their “baby” (my word) in their hands, and the answers were, not surprisingly, pretty similar: Like, totally-shitballs-out-of-this-world-I-can’t-believe-this-has-happened-and-it-feel-as-if-my-hair’s-on-fire-amazinglynessawesomeful!!!!!!!! (Completely my paraphrase and destruction of the English language.)

First of all, congratulations to David Brock (Everyone is CO2), Nick Drnaso (Beverly), Rowan Hisayo Buchanan (Harmless Like You), Liz Howard (Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent), Amy Jones (We’re All In This Together), Lynne Kutsukake (The Translation of Love), Chris Oliveros (The Envelope Manufacturer), Molly Prentiss (Tuesday Nights in 1980), Alexandra Risen (Unearthed), Eric Beck Rubin (School of Velocity), Laurence Scott (The Four-Dimensional Human), Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan (Sarong Party Girls), and Ayelet Tsabari (The Best Place on Earth).

While I have yet to grace the stage at IFOA with my cornucopia of corny one-liners, I do remember that sunny afternoon I signed my first publishing contract (might have been fist-pumping the pristine air of Seoul when I walked out of the office) and then the day I actually touched my book in published form (as a manly man, there were no tears of joy, falling to one’s knees, screaming at the heavens, or holding of a ghetto blaster above my head while “In Your Eyes” played. No. Definitely and most certainly not).

Quite simply, it was a pleasant day.

For all you aspiring authors out there, I can assure you that more than the “drive to Burlington,” it’s worth waiting for that moment your little bundle of literary magic is born in printed form – no matter how long it takes.


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