Saturday, July 20, 2013

Cataract City Excerpt

Hi All,

If you'd like to read 2000-odd words from the new book—a section detailing the abduction of the two main characters, Owen and Duncan, by their childhood idol—then it's here to be read, courtesy of Boulderpavement. Thanks to Zach Alapi and the rest of the editors for giving it a nice showcase.


All best, Craig.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Art based on article

Hi All,

I thought this was interesting. I've had illustrations based on something I've written from time to time, but usually those have been commissioned by the publication putting out the piece. This was just an artist who decided to do something on his own time, under his own inclination. I think it's cool to get a look at the process, too.


All best, Craig.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Book Covers

Hi All,

One thing I've always been interested in is book covers. I'm fascinated by how they come together, the interplay between artist and writer (actually, there's very little of that; more like between artist and editor/publisher/marketing reps) to come up with a cover that conveys what the book's about, maybe, or else hits on certain sweet spots for the designated market or demographic.

I came across an interesting piece on that topic, linked to below:


It got me thinking about those 70s and 80s science fiction covers I used to love; I often found them more appealing and understandable than the words lodged between them. We used to have a huge box of them in our basement when I was a kid; I don't know how they got there, as neither of my parents were sci-fi lovers.

They didn't get read much, but I'd dwell on those covers forever. There were ones where it  seemed as though an immensity was going on—I remember one cover in a green patina, this endless phalanx of insectoid warriors trundling out of one of those typical sci-fi cities—spires corkscewing up to platelike living quarters, buildings canted sideways, everything beggaring both physics and gravity. There were ships zipping about in the air, alien zeppelins floating about; the entire cover was just seething with activity and it was kind of dizzying to look at. You really felt that whoever had drawn this, envisioned it, saw the world on a completely different level than the rest of us, the way some writers can envision scenarios that wouldn't dawn on 99.99999999% of us.


I also love Clive Barker's Books of Blood covers, the ones he drew himself. So much going on. I used to read the stories then stare at the covers, trying to pick out who might be the yattering, which person might be Clive himself, trying to find the cenobites or whoever. Great covers.

PS: I think that's Clive in the tattered photo, the one held by the grinning dude with the knife in his melon.

PSS: Clive Barker's a genuis.

Of course, there are my own covers. For Cataract City, there were two main covers, shown below.

They both dwell on different aspects of the book. The first touches on the fact that the narrative concerns two boys, friends, who are in ways mirror images of each other; so there's the Janus angle, I guess. But we couldn't use that image. So the other, final cover deals with greyhound racing, which is another aspect of the book. Two very different images.

I also came across this recently, posted below. It's the website of John Vairo, an illustrator and graphic designer who does a lot of book covers. Clicking on any cover and scrolling down will show you the different iterations a cover went through before a final, definitive image was settled on.


EASTER EGG: a book of mine is amongst those covers.

All best, Craig.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cataract City Canadian Tour Stuff

Hi All,

Are you champing at the bit (some use "chomping," but my highfalutin' English research has indicated that "champing" is actually how you phrase it—weird, no?) for novel news?

Of course you are!

You can't wait, can you? You're all aflutter! You're practically urinating yourself, you're so excited! Every day you wake up, "X" off another day on the calendar and say: Only a few more days until Cataract City comes out on September 3rd! Goodie goodie gumdrops!

And then, as the day draws nearer yet stays so tantalizingly far away, you despair, wondering if you can soldier on until that impossibly-far date. You consider suicide, as is natural. You consider building a sophisticated time-portal to bend the laws of God and physics—would you use this great advance to go back in time and kill Hitler, or stab Lee Harvey Oswald outside the book depository? No, you'd go AHEAD in time, but only a few scant months, to buy a warm fresh copy of Cataract City.

Of course that's what you'd do, because you're just so danged excited!

Okay, clearly nobody's doing any of that. But the day approaches nonetheless, and so why not give a heads up as to where I might be wandering this Fall?

Here you go!

October 2 – PORT HOPE (event with Mary Swan and Anthony De Sa)
October3 – WATERLOO (event with Mary Swan and Anthony De Sa)
October 14 – 20 – CALGARY (part of the WordFest. Exact events dates to come)
October 24 – November 3 – TORONTO (IFOA)
November 21 — Fanshawe College, LONDON
January 24, 2014 — Western University, LONDON

There may be an Ottawa date chucked in there, too. Or maybe not. As to the bookstores in Port Hope and Waterloo where the readings will occur, I really don't know yet. But that info will pop up here when I do.

So sleep well, my Canadian darlings, safe in the knowledge that you'll be able to see my clownish, sweaty self reading from the novel at some time over the ensuing months.

All best, Craig.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Walrus Podcast

Hello All,

Want to hear me natter on and on like a fool? Well, you're in luck! Check out The Walrus's podcast. Many thanks to Matt McKinnon and Chris Berube at the magazine for setting it up and asking me some great questions.


All best, Craig.