"Edson’s vivid portrayal of the urban area, as well as the working class and underclass, creates a vision of Saint John that highlights the discrepancy between the pre-modern idyllic notion of life in Atlantic Canada and the more complicated reality of the region."

-The New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Judge's comments on THE MOON IS REAL ...

The 2013 Richards Prize was judged by Halifax novelist Ian Colford. Here is what he had to say about the story:

This is an accomplished piece of fiction by an author who knows how to create morally complex characters, give them credible motives, and place them in situations that are dramatically compelling. A narrative told from multiple points of view, it patiently builds tension and suspense, forcing the reader to turn the page. The writing is carefully crafted to appear simple, but it is rich in metaphor and flows in a seemingly effortless fashion. This is smart, polished work that deserves an audience.

Check out Colford's latest novel by clicking HERE.

Friday, April 26, 2013

THE MOON IS REAL wins 2013 Richards Prize

The manuscript for The Moon is Real has won the 2013 David Adams Richards Prize. The annual award is handed out by the Writers' Federation of New Brunswick. An earlier version of the manuscript earned an Honourable Mention last year, but I was smack in the middle of a major rewrite and so I'd sent a version that has since been much improved. The work has paid off.
My fourth novel, The Goon, was shorlisted for the ReLit Prize in 2011, but this is the first award I've won, and it's special not only because of that, but that it has the name David Adams Richards attached to it. Richards has been one of my literary heroes for quite a few years and it's cool to me that this is the first thing I win.
I'm not big into prizes, or least I try not to be. My editor, the brilliant Dilshad Engineer, recently summed up why I write: 

You're writing for you, first and foremost, and anything else, whether it's being published or finding an audience, is a bonus. You write because you want to, because you have to. You write because you must. You write in the same way people (like you and me) read: because it's unthinkable not to, because it's like eating or breathing. You know that. If you had no hope of anyone other than yourself reading what you write, you would still write, because it's who you are. Don't get hung up on what happens at the other end of the writing because it'll get in your way. You know you're going to write until you run out of stories and even then, you'll go on writing and someone like me will tell you when you're 90 that it's time to stop, and you won't because you can't. It's as simple as that.
Nonetheless, I'm pretty happy about winning. Thanks go to the WFNB for putting on this competition every year, and congratulations to the winners in the other categories.    

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Hemingway at his peak

Smile Please: Hemingway having fun with the camera

I love this photo. Here is Hemingway at his peak, mentally and physically; it's my favorite time period for him. He's somewhere in Spain in the late 1930s. He was there covering the Spanish Civil War for the North American Newspaper Alliance. But what he was really doing (whether he knew it or not) was filling his mind with what he needed to write For Whom the Bell Tolls, my favorite novel and I think the very best ever written.