Sunday, January 14, 2007

You never forget your first time

AuthorsAloud will be featuring three talented first-timers from disparate parts of the map over the next couple of weeks. All of these writers have been widely published, but there's something about getting your first novel or short-story collection on the bookshelves that says, Yeah, I'm legit. First up is Montreal's Neil Smith, whose debut collection, Bang Crunch, has received wide praise and a couple of international publishing deals. In his AuthorsAloud reading, he takes on the persona of a severed right foot. You won't forget it.

Next is Betty Jane Hegerat, a mother of three and a social worker from Calgary. She describes her first novel, Running Toward Home, as a love story featuring the unusual triangle of two women and a twelve-year-old boy.

Last of these is Megan K. Williams, a Pulitzer-fellowship winner based in Rome who contributes frequently to magazines as well as broadcasting outlets o'er the world, including the CBC, NPR and the BBC. You can tell by Megan's reading not only that she is used to being in front of a microphone, but that she's used to taking care of herself in foreign locales.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Learning Humility

Maybe it comes from being the son of an actor, but I truly enjoy getting up in front of an audience and reading from my work. I frequently encounter some very good readers at these events, but there was one time, while sitting and waiting for my turn, when I found myself, as they say, gob-smacked at another author's performing talent. That was at Toronto's Harbourfront Reading Series, when Adam Lewis Schroeder got up and read from Empress of Asia. Not only is the book terrific, but Adam truly brought it to life. He was every bit the actor up on stage, and the audience ate him up. I was, I don't mind admitting, pretty envious of his ease on stage.

So it's a pleasure to be able to include a short reading by Adam, recorded by Holley Rubinsky, in AuthorsAloud. Enjoy.