Look Out, I’m Coming At Ya [updated April 25th!]

Late April/early May is going to be busy with appearances! First up, I will be participating in the 35th annual Ad Astra Convention (happening April 29-May 1 in Toronto). UPDATE: I’m appearing on Sunday the 1st of May at 2pm on the panel The Trials and Tribulations of Writing About Time Travel (along with fellow authors Kari Maaren and Kelly Robson).

Then, on Saturday April 30 I will be taking part in Authors For Indies Day, working the floor at Type Books during their 10th Anniversary (Queen West location) from 12pm to 1pm. Come by and I will help you find books!

Lastly, I will be reading in Ottawa on Tuesday May 3rd at Patty Boland’s (101 Clarence Street). UPDATE: I’m appearing at 7pm, alongside authors Chadwick Ginther and Mark Shainblum. Event listing here.

Like I said: it’s busy!

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A Sweet Deal For Book Clubs

So, it appears The Society of Experience is becoming popular with book clubs in Canada and parts of the United States – this is wonderful news. As a token of my appreciation for this interest, I’m offering the following to anyone part of or organizing a book club: if you decide to add The Society of Experience to your book club’s reading list I will gladly make myself personally available to answer any questions you may have about the book, or writing in general. If you are in the Toronto area, I’m willing to make a personal appearance (time limited of course – please book early), otherwise I’m happy to connect with your group via Skype/Facetime or just plain ol’ email.

Get creative – throw me an idea! And remember, The Society of Experience is available in paperback and now eBook.

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Book update

My debut novel, The Society of Experience, is a mere month away from being available in print (the exact date, I’m unsure of). I’m supremely excited. I’m particularly pleased with the two endorsements I received:

“Matt Cahill’s debut novel The Society of Experience explores the dangers of magical thinking in a most entertaining way. Both thoughtful and humorous, twisty and fun, this is transporting storytelling (in more ways than one).”
Andrew Pyper, author of The Demonologist and The Damned.

“A swirling confident debut, supported by crisp prose without misstep, and containing many more original ideas than books three times its slender size. Sly and slippery fun – I thought of Ben Marcus and JG Ballard… writers who say don’t worry I know what I’m doing as they break from the pack.”
Tony Burgess, author of Pontypool Changes Everything and The n-Body Problem

I’m going to be presenting The Society of Experience at Toronto’s Word On The Street festival, on September 27th. This year it will be at Harbourfront, which I think is a wonderful new environment for it.

The official launch will be October 8th–details to come. My author site will also have details on this and other works.

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Too Much Change

So much has happened…

– sold house (add to this: renovated house)

– bought condo (add to this: mourning house, moving)

– moved psychotherapy practice to newly-leased office (add to this: find office space, renovate, move)

– had my application to the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario accepted

– began intense revision process on novel (coming out in September)

So there you have it. I also hope to have a new short story published around the time my novel comes out, so yeah. All hands on deck at the moment.

I leave you with the cover for my novel, The Society of Experience:

 

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So, Another Year (A Needle Pulling Thread)

2013 was good to me, which is not to say that it was without challenges. I suppose it was a cluttered year, and I will take that over barren, even if I’m feeling exhausted.

I had two articles published, on two topics that I took personal interest in: the shape of Kensington Market, and the 10th anniversary of SARS. They both involve Toronto, but aside from that they don’t hold much in common. I took great pride in writing them and each provided healthy challenges for me as a writer.

The biggest news, for me as a writer and an individual, was having my novel picked up by Hamilton publisher, Wolsak & Wynn. Of course, there is a lot of work to be done until its publication date in 2015, but it’s about the biggest milestone for me as a writer that I could have asked for (a big shout-out to my agent, Kelvin Kong, with The Rights Factory).

And yet it was also a year where my psychotherapy practice grew and broadened. This February will mark the completion of two years of private practice and I could not be happier with it, though like starting anything new and independent there are always going to be challenges. I began working with couples in the summer and found myself liking the dynamic very much, though working with the energy in the room can be taxing.

I’m not completely out of the woods with respect to the film industry. I started work on Bruce McDonald’s new feature, Hellions, as a post supervisor/consultant. It’s difficult juggling this type of work with therapy – two different parts of my brain which don’t always play well: the anticipatory, structure-based, logic-seeking left brain vs the open-ended, empathetic, creative right.

I would like to top 2013, but I don’t know if that will happen in 2014. I would certainly like to complete the first draft of my new novel. But it’s a tough nut to crack and doesn’t want to be rushed. My greatest challenge as a writer with respect to new work will be combining the worlds – and words – of therapy and writing: finding a project in which to write from the viewpoint of a therapist. I see this as an inevitability and I would prefer to jump in the pool rather than be pushed. I look forward to the days to come.

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Kensington Market Essay in BlogTO

For those who don’t live in Toronto, there’s been a lot of discussion about my neighbourhood, Kensington Market, in the news. Much of it is about preservation vs development. I offered to write an op/ed for BlogTO and they published it today. I’m quite pleased that they kept the essay intact (you never know what an editor’s going to do sometimes). You can read it here.

It feels good to work on my non-fiction chops, and even better when something gets published.

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Residue

In the end, all you have are memories.

I say this as someone who has lived in Toronto since 1995. I’ve seen many changes: the mainlining of Queen West into a retail stripmall, the slow existential irreverence of Church Street/Boystown, the awkward moral reclamation of Yonge Street by the city, the evolution (and perverse deflation) of Ossington Avenue, the current “yuppy tension” in Kensington Market. To name just a few.

One thing you learn in Toronto (and perhaps most large urban centres) is that it was always cooler before you got there. It was always more fun. There was more leniency. Less rules. This is bullshit, of course, but it makes the people who were around back then feel important.

You live somewhere long enough and, whether you expect to be in this role or not, you end up being the person who points out what used to be at certain addresses: clothing stores, book stores, record shops, dance clubs, their lovely fucked-up people, long gone (and missed).

We go through life somewhat arrogantly or narcissistically thinking it’s all being recorded – it is the modern age, after all. But it’s not. The only thing recording it is your head. Your eyes. Your nose, your brain. When it’s all been taken-over, torn-down, or burnt to the ground by corrupt real estate developers, you – yes, you and your memories – are the only record of that thing having existed.

If there is something we share, I suppose it is that we all become storytellers after a while.

 

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