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Hi Altona!
Had the opportunity to travel to Altona, Manitoba last week and take a tour of FriesenPress’ plant where Remy’s Dilemma is printed. Proud to do my small part in helping support more than 500 jobs in the town of just over 4,000 residents. Thanks again for the tour, Dana and Tammara!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas Remy’s Dilemma fans!
Thanks again for all of your support since the release of Remy’s Dilemma.
To help spread some holiday cheer and show my appreciation, here’s a little Remy-related holiday fun. Happy reading and writing everyone!

‘Twas the night before GlamBam

‘Twas the night before GlamBam, when all through my pad

Not a raven-rat was stirring, I killed them, my bad;

Our stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

But I forgot to put out the fire, it burned the raven-rats’ hair;

 

Rose was nestled all snug in her bed,

While naughty visions of her danced in my head;

With Rose in her thong, and I in my cap,

We drank all night and were down for a nap;

 

When out on my balcony there arose such a clatter,

The raven-rats are back and they’re stealing my pancake batter!

Away to my smoking pad I flew like a flash,

Tripped on my folding chair and fell on some trash.

 

I knocked down my ashcan towards the new-fallen snow

Giving an ashy look to the objects below,

I spotted an old fat man, and yelled “Ash can, look out, tubs!”

And what did I see with him, but eight grizzly moose cubs!

 

With so many antlers, so pointy and thick,

I knew in a moment they belong to St. Dick.

St. Harold De Bam, patron saint of GlamBam,

Had them tied to his sleigh, a brand-new Fraud Wham;

 

“Now, GREEDY! now WRATHY! now, LUSTY and GLUTTONY!

On, PRIDEY! on ENVY! on, SLOTHY and FARTS-IN-FULL-ELEVATO-”

Unfortunately St. Dick couldn’t finish his call,

‘Cause my ash can hit him, causing him a great fall.

 

I went downstairs to see if he’d awake from his wack,

But it took me while, I was a little bit slack,

When I reached him all that was left was his pack,

The grizzly moose had decided to make him their snack.

 

His pack was filled with presents for little girls and boys,

That lived the Glamerican way, those who worshipped their toys.

This stuff is crap, I told the grizzly-moose bunch,

What people really want is a yummy pancake brunch!

 

I ran back upstairs making a bunch of clatter,

Grabbed my battery-powered pan and my pancake batter.

But now I was winded from all of my smoking,

“Hey guys,” I yelled below. “Come get me, I’m croaking.”

 

The grizzly-moose huffed and laid on the snow,

Until I yelled, “Pancakes!” to the creatures below.

They jumped to their hooves and flew into the air,

I hopped onto the sleigh, cooking pancakes with care.

 

After feeding each creature, a small stack with some maple,

We flew across the city to share my favourite brunch staple;

I dropped stack after stack into chimneys below,

Some houses caught fire, and had a red glow.

 

“A small price to pay,” I said as I kicked up my feets,

To ensure everyone will wake up with delicious, good eats.

When we were done, I was dropped off back at my pad,

And said goodbye to my furry friends, I felt a bit sad;

 

But then Rose appeared, scantily clad,

It made the junks in my trunks incredibly glad;

She peered through our window in her tiny attire,

And said, “Remy, it looks like the city is on fire”;

 

I shrugged my shoulders, and handed her a stack,

Of golden brown pancakes, giving her bum a light smack.

We spent the rest of the night eating, watching the fiery sight,

HAPPY GLAMBAM TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!

 

Remy’s Dilemma is on the air!

Check out my first live TV interview discussing the book on the CJFC Midday show! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZSsNC4On1I

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Photo with Stan Lee!!!
Thanks to everyone who came out to FanExpo and purchased a copy of Remy’s Dilemma, and to everyone who took the time to drop by my table and let me know how much they enjoyed the book! It was great to hear all the positive reviews, it just fuels my desire to get the second book in the series written even faster!

The other highlight of FanExpo for me this year was getting a photo with legendary comic book creator Stan Lee!
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Thanks, Chapters Square One! Now, on to FanExpo!
A big thank you to Chapters Square One for hosting my book signing yesterday in Mississauga, and to everyone that came out and picked up a copy of Remy’s Dilemma, like Annette! Hope it gives you a few laughs.
I’m looking forward to exhibiting the book at FanExpo at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from Sept. 1-4! Come on out and get a signed copy of the book and a Remy’s Dilemma T-shirt. Look forward to seeing everyone there!

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Remy’s Dilemma hits 700 copies!
Thanks for having me Chapters Vega, and thanks to everyone who came out and picked up a copy of Remy’s Dilemma on July 30! An extra thanks goes out to Heather, who picked up the 700th copy of the book while I was packing up for the night.

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BOOK II Update!
Hit 20,000 words this weekend on the second book of the Remy Delemme series. Still a long ways from the finish line but I’m getting there. No rest for the wicked!

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Remy’s Dilemma hits Prince George!
Hey there Prince George bookworms, I have donated copies of Remy’s Dilemma to both the downtown and Nechako branches of the Prince George Public Library. A big thank you to Jeff at the downtown branch for helping me find a few good homes for my book!

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Writing with children
After 13 months of running around from bookstore to bookstore doing signings and promoting my book, Remy’s Dilemma, I have noticed there is one common question that keeps being asked by the people I encounter. Here’s a basic rundown of the conversation that typically leads up to the question:

Person: “So, is this your full-time job? I’d love to write but can never seem to find the time.”

Me: “No, but I am a professional writer and editor by trade (trying to ensure them that the book is worth picking up). I’m an editor on Canadian Forest Industries, Canadian Biomass and Rock to Road.”

Person: “All three? Sounds like a lot of work. You have kids?”

Me: “Yup, two beautiful girls. They get their looks from their mother.”

Person: “So you have kids, work on three magazines and do book signings to promote and sell this book. Are you also writing more books?”

Me: “Yup.”

Person: “Wow, so where do you find the time?”

I typically have this conversation one or two times every book signing. I don’t mind having this conversation. I just don’t typically have the time to go into detail about what I do to manage my time with the person that’s asking the question. So, here’s my secret…

No rest for the wicked, or writers…
It’s currently 5:15 a.m. and I really want to sleep. But instead, I am sitting in my living room sipping coffee and eating my three-year-old’s goldfish crackers she left in a cup on the floor last night. Not the best combination, but I wouldn’t dare operate the microwave or the toaster at this hour and risk waking up the little ones. Daddy loves you both more than anything, but Daddy needs to write. I’ve experimented with different ways to open up my schedule to fit more creative writing into my life, but it seems 99 times out of 100, if I want to write while I’m at home it’s happening while everyone else is sleeping. I wrote a significant portion of Remy’s Dilemma before I had children. After my first was born, the majority of the rest of the book was written waking up between 5 and 6 a.m. on my days off, allowing me to have a couple of hours for the book. Now that I have two little ones, it’s more important than ever for me to wake up early to get some writing done. Of course, it’s also exponentially harder to get my butt out of bed any earlier than required.

I’ve tried doing my creative writing after my wife and I have put the kids to bed, but I’m just too tired, physically and mentally. I have a tough enough time not falling asleep in my toddler’s bed beside her while reading her a bedtime story (this has been the cause of many wake-ups with a sore back and neck – but hey, at least I get some Daddy-daughter cuddles). Besides, this is the rare and always appreciated Mommy-Daddy time slot, and I don’t really want to sacrifice any of this.

The road
Anytime I need to travel for the magazines my creative writing comes with me. To me, this is a fantastic opportunity to get those creative juices flowing. I typically travel to a remote area in Canada, which just inspires me to write more Remy-related adventures (I don’t like to write him into an area of Canada unless I’ve been there myself).

The dresser in the hotel that holds the television is where I typically store all my gear and luggage while I’m on the road. This is because the television doesn’t get turned on, ever! This is a rule I’ve given myself to stay productive with my downtime. Nothing makes it harder for me to write than television. I’ve literally sat on a bench at the side of the road and written an article for a newspaper with a parade stomping by and had less trouble concentrating on my work.

Be the “hot mess”
I love my family and cherish the time I get to spend with them. So on my days off, sometimes finding an extra thirty minutes to write before the girls wake up means not making it into the shower. You know that Daddy that usually shows up a little bit late to your kid’s activity class or brings his kids for breakfast in a torn hoodie and is already drinking a coffee on his way into the restaurant. C’mon, you know who I’m talking about. His hair is a mess, he’s unshaven and he’s wearing two different socks. Yup, that’s this guy! Keep in mind when I say “hot mess” that the emphasis is on mess. On days where I don’t need to be at work and am not doing a book signing, I’m typically not a pretty sight unless my wife has told me to clean myself up because we’re going somewhere that day that I’ve likely completely forgotten about (sorry baby, love you!) But have no fear, you don’t need to dread me sitting next to you at breakfast. I also hate being smelly Daddy, so I’ll at least wash the pits and put on some deodorant before heading out the door. After all, no one likes to smell another person’s body odour while trying to enjoy his or her pancakes. And ruining someone’s pancakes is just wrong!

Well, that’s about it. I wish I had more advice for finding time to write but these are pretty much all of my options. I don’t mind, really. I’m a happily exhausted proud father and husband before I’m a writer. After all, life is about balance and prioritizing what’s important to you. And I’d rather have my books take longer to find there way on to the shelves of bookstores than miss out on spending some quality time with the family. Not to mention if I didn’t have the support of my amazing wife, I’m not sure how I’d get any creative writing done at this point.

Happy writing everyone!

 

Remy’s Dilemma is one today, let’s celebrate with free stories!
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the release of Remy’s Dilemma! I wanted to do something special to thank everyone who has purchased the book and helped the spread the word. So, I have decided to create little shorts about Remy and Rose’s adventures from before his quest to answer man’s greatest question, while I work on the second book in the Remy Delemme series (Note: These short stories will make more sense if you read the first book prior to reading the shorts). So next time you’re looking for a quick read that will give you a few laughs, visit the Random Scribbles section of my website and read the first entry of “A little R & R: The adventures of Remy and Rose.”

A little R & R: The adventures of Remy and Rose
Entry 1: Baked goods

After grabbing hootwich-muffins and coffees at our local Tim Hooters, Rose and I jumped on the 407 PUTB (pay-up-the-butt) toll highway and quickly drove eastbound across Toronto.

“You ready for a hell-a-trip to SF?” Rose asked as we drove down Highway 7 towards Smiths Falls.

“I was born ready,” I said as I took a drag from a bent cigarette and admired Rose’s apparel. She was wearing a pair of green short shorts, white flip-flops that showed off the pink nail polish on her ten tiny toes and a tight yellow t-shirt with a picture of a smiling cartoon meatball on it. I love that shirt. It shows off her boobs. After quick deliberation based on what smelled the least, I decided my outfit would consist of a pair of blue jeans and one of my classic rock tees for our trip.

“Stop staring at my goods, perv’,” Rose said as she put her foot down on the gas and sped down the highway.

Embers from my smoke broke off and fell onto

my Lowest of the Low t-shirt, forcing me to wave my arms frantically in an effort to sweep it away. Rose looked at me and giggled.

“You and your mouldy oldies music, Remy. You kill me,” she said.

Rose always insisted on doing the driving during our road trips since I was technically not allowed to drive due to a two-year-long suspension I was serving. One of the reasons Rose enjoyed this drive so much was because it reminded her of her childhood. Despite very much being a city-loving gal, she actually grew up on a tobacco farm in the Simcoe area. In addition to the Toronto nightlife she instantly fell in love with when she moved to the area to pursue her degree in biology and chemistry in her late teens, she also loved the country and spending time outdoors; whether it was to go camping, hiking, play ice hockey, go horseback riding or go skinny-dipping with her lady friends. In truth, she never told me about the skinny-dipping, but I’m sure it happened at some point.

“You sure you don’t want me to do some of the driving, Rose?”

Rose just gave me a cold, hard stare.

“Fine, be that way,” I said in a huff.

“Cheer up, Remy. We’ll be in SF soon.”

Between its world heritage site, beautiful waterfront and bustling economy, Smiths Falls had become a hot spot for employment and tourism over the past 20 years. The town served as a shining example to the other rural towns across Ontario as a place where the residents came together and overcame its high unemployment and shortage of social services. So many towns across the province still suffer from those issues due to a combination of the relentless urbanization of the Glamerican people and the gutting of small-town manufacturing.

“I love SF,” I said as I kicked my feet up on the dashboard.

“Yeah,” she said. “When you’re craving the baked goods it really can’t be beat.”

“Agreed. Wake me up when we get there,” I said as I closed my eyes for a nap.

Classic tunes from Clunk 106: The best in classic punk, filled my ears as I fell asleep.

I awoke to Rose jabbing my ribs as we drove towards the outskirts of Smiths Falls. A big, sensational green welcome sign that read “Smiths Falls, home of the world’s greatest golfers and baked goods,” greeted us as we entered the town and drove past the Staples Arena. I never understood why it was called that.

“Rose, why did the town name its arena after office supplies?” I asked, scratching my head as we drove past the home of the NHL’s latest expansion team, the Smiths Falls Brownies. The team’s logo, a brown bear with a big toothy smile, was displayed on a massive sign that hung from the green walls of the 15,000-seat arena.

“I’m sure it wasn’t named after office supplies, Remy,” Rose replied.

“Well, it shouldn’t be. And if it was, it should be named the ‘Photocopier Arena.’ Now that’s an office supply!”

Rose laughed as we waited for a light to change at the intersection of Cornelia and Elmsley Street.

“No one uses photocopiers anymore, Remy. You just like to sit on them and make copies of your butt.”

“You loved your Christmas card.”

“Fair enough,” Rose replied as we headed into Smiths Falls’ downtown core, which boasted some of the finest luxury shopping in the Ottawa Valley. Beautiful, old restored wood and brick buildings lit up the downtown area. Decades ago, the town had experienced significant challenges adapting to the loss of its manufacturing sector, but those days were ancient history. Real estate in the town is some of the most valuable and sought after in the Ottawa area. And it’s all thanks to two companies setting up shop in town.

We parked in front of Grapesquasher’s Finest, the town’s award-winning winery Rose and I came to love and frequent during all of our visits to the town.

“Let’s wake up our taste buds before we take our tour,” Rose said as she hopped out of the car. “Remy, do you have any change for the parking meter?”

Stupid parking meters, I mumbled to myself as I dug through my pants and pulled out a couple of Glamoonies and a Glatoonie and fed the meter.

“Four dollars for ten minutes?” I said in shock as the dial on the meter barely moved from my payment.

“We’re in one of the biggest tourism-driven towns in Ontario, Remy. Stuff costs what it costs,” Rose said as she opened the door to the winery.

As we walked inside, “The Grapesquasher” himself greeted us.

“Welcome to Grapesquasher’s,” said Johnny Bunches, better known to wrestling fans around the world as The Grapesquasher, fifteen-time, world heavyweight champion of the Glamerican Wrestling Federation. He stood six feet and seven inches tall and was as fit as he was twenty years ago. “What can I get you two?”

“Hey there champ, how’s everything in the wine biz?” I asked.

“Phenomenal. What can I get you, little man?” Johnny asked.

“How about some tickets to the show?” I said with a smile. Rose looked confused. Johnny knew exactly what I was referring to.

“What show?” asked Rose.

“THE GUN SHOW!” Johnny yelled as he posed for his famous flex. The sleeves on the 300-pound giant’s t-shirt tore as he flexed his bicep muscles, which grew to an inhuman size. Rose was caught off-guard by Johnny’s loud scream and giant biceps and fell backwards on to the floor.

“Yes!” I yelled. “You still got it, champ!”

“Damn right I do!” Johnny said as he helped Rose to her feet. “Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you.”

“No worries, that was impressive,” she said as she dusted herself off. “When Remy does that it’s more like the potato gun show or maybe even a water pistol.”

“That’s why he’s the champ,” I replied. “Hey! Wait a …”

“Now what can I get you, miss? We have a special sale going on right now with our vintage collection. You can get a bottle of Grapesquasher’s Finest circa 2010 for only $99.99. Feel free to try a sample,” Johnny said as he handed Rose and I little plastic wine cups and poured us a little of his special vintage. Rose and I both took swigs and became flush instantly.

“Whoa, this is powerful stuff,” I said, as I felt a little burning in my throat. “Tastes kind of like whisky.”

“Grape whisky. That’s what makes it age so well,” Johnny explained.

“Cool, we’ll grab two bottles,” Rose said as she pulled out her credit card.

After thanking Johnny for the wine and posing for a few selfies with the champ, we hopped back into the car and drove towards our final destination. We turned on to Hershey Drive and parked in the lot of our final destination: the Brownie Town Factory. A massive cartoon image of a chocolate brownie smoking a cigar covered in rolling papers plastered the majority of the wall that faced the parking lot. The sign was just one example of the company’s marketing genius.

“I love Brownie Town!” Rose said as she tugged on my arm and pulled me towards the visitor’s entrance.

After paying our admission fee, we walked inside and were given some samples to eat during our tour: a piece of chocolate, a cookie and one of their world-famous Lil’ Tokes mini-brownies.

The tour guide, “Willow” according her name tag, herded Rose and I into a group of about 20 tourists and we made our way through the factory.

“Let’s begin with a little history,” Willow said, as she walked us on to the floor of the busy factory. “Brownie Town Factory actually started as Pot Spot, a facility that was contracted out by the government to supply doctors with medical marijuana for their patients. After suffering a significant decline in revenue from an influx of competition from overseas, the company realized it needed to diversify its operations and entered into a partnership with Gladbury, the country’s leading chocolate and baked goods producer.
“Gladbury had been eyeing the former chocolate plant for expansion when Pot Spot purchased it, so when the marijuana dispensary came calling, the factory was already on the chocolatier’s radar. After a year of negotiations and two years of retrofitting the factory, the two companies agreed to a merger where half of the medical marijuana would be used to supply the production of chocolates and baked goods at the plant.
“The timing couldn’t have been better since the government had just passed Bill 420, making marijuana legal for the public to purchase for personal consumption. The company’s new product lines became so popular that people flocked to Smiths Falls in droves to purchase them. The two companies rebranded its joint venture as the Brownie Town Factory and began offering tours to the public. The factory was transformed into a combination of marijuana dispensary, theme park and world-class bakery. With more than one thousand people employed by Brownie Town, and thousands more employed through indirect jobs stemming from the increase in tourism and re-opening of the local rail yard, the town’s economy was revitalized. Since then, property values have soared and the town has grown into one of the most sought-after communities to live in the Ottawa area. Now, are there any questions before we enter the taste test centre?”

The crowd, including Rose and I, started to giggle uncontrollably. I love Lil’ Tokes!

Willow ushered us into the testing area where the Lil’ Tokes were being given a final quality check before being packaged.

Despite eating all my samples, my appetite seemed to grow exponentially. I began to salivate at the sea of brownies flying down the production line. I decided to take a closer look while Willow finished her speech.

“Now everyone,” Willow continued. “Due to some complications that arose when we first opened our doors to the public, the company has enforced a policy that no customer may eat more than two brownies off the production line during the course of a tour. Also, anyone craving a game of hacky-sack must do so in the designated hacking area. Are there any questions?”

An older, unwashed-looking white woman in a pink and yellow flower dress with braided blonde hair raised her hand.

“If the company put that policy in place then why does that guy get to have more than two?” she asked as she pointed in my direction.

“Zoinkin’ ziggies!” Willow said, exasperated, as she stared at me. “Call security, he’s got the munchies madness!”

“Remy!” Rose yelled as she slapped her forehead with her hand.

My hunger must have got the better of me as I made my way to the production line. I didn’t realize I was shovelling Lil’ Tokes down my gullet non-stop. My body was overcome with a warm and fuzzy feeling. Inner peace, perhaps?

Unfortunately it was short lived as a burly security guard quickly descended on me, hitting me with a viscous spear-like tackle that crushed my inner peace into inner pieces. Saliva-soaked chunks of brownie spewed out of my mouth. The delicious chewy bits landed all over the security guard, members of the tour group and the assembly line. My head snapped back and crashed on to the floor of the plant. Everything went dark…

I awoke to the bouncing of tires off the potholes offered up by Highway 7. As I opened my eyes I realized I was in Rose’s car and she was behind the wheel driving us towards home.

“You shouldn’t eat and drive,” I said, reminding her that one cannot eat Lil’ Tokes and get behind the wheel. I wasn’t entirely certain that the words made sense to her. My mouth was so pasty.

“Nice to see you’re not completely brain damaged,” Rose replied.

“No eat and drive,” I said, repeating myself.

“Remy, I’m perfectly fine. You’ve been asleep for sixteen hours. I had to drag your carcass into our hotel room.”

“Did you take advantage?”

“You wish!”

“I do. Water?”

“Ha! Got the pasties, do you? Well, serves you right. Not only did I have to pay for the brownies you scarfed down, but you also got us banned from Brownie Town for a year.”

“Damn. Water?”

“Oh, Remy,” Rose said, shaking her head. “I guess it’s sort of my fault for bringing you there off-leash. I know how little self control you have when it comes to baked goods.”

“Doughnut?”

“Sorry. All we’ve got right now is a handful of brownies and the whisky-wine from Grapesquasher’s, and you’re not opening a bottle of wine in the car.”

“Fair enough,” I said as I unwrapped one of the brownies and took a bite.

Rose gave me a concerned look.

“Don’t worry, I’ll only eat one.”

Rose shook her head, turned up the radio and let ska music fill our ears the rest of the way home.

*All characters and places mentioned in this story are fictitious or are used in a fictitious manner.

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Thank you Toronto ComiCon fans!
A big thank you to everyone one at Toronto ComiCon that dropped by my booth to learn more about Remy’s Dilemma, I appreciate your support! It was a ton of fun to chat about the book and take in all the amazing costumes people come up with. It’s really enjoyable to exhibit in such a positive atmosphere filled with talented and creative people who are passionate about their hobbies and their art. I have already rebooked for 2017 and look forward to exhibiting again!

It was also really enjoyable to chat with the people who already read Remy’s Dilemma and decided to drop by and let me know what they thought of the book. I’m really happy to hear you liked the book, stay tuned in April for some fun Remy-related freebies!

To those of you who asked about the second book in the series, I am working hard to try and put the first draft together by the end of the year. My hope is to have Book II ready for purchase sometime in 2017.

Like my Facebook page for updates on the book.
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Thanks again for picking up a copy of Remy’s Dilemma, and happy reading!

500!

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Thank you book lovers!
Thanks to the great staff at the Indigo Chapters Erin Mills location for an awesome book signing!
And a huge thank you to Dechen for purchasing the 500th copy of Remy’s Dilemma and to everyone before and after her who purchased a copy!
The support I’ve received to this point from friends, family, book lovers, bookstores and reviewers has been truly amazing! Thanks again everyone!

Made the shortlist!
WOO-HOO! Remy’s Dilemma has been chosen from hundreds of submissions to be shortlisted for an Indie Spotlight this spring/summer at the Literary Lightbox! Fingers crossed!
http://www.literarylightbox.com/indie-spotlight-16-1/

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Back to school
Thank you to Sheridan College for allowing me to speak about my experiences during your 40-year anniversary celebration of the General Arts & Science program. And double thanks for letting alumni know about Remy’s Dilemma! Read Sheridan’s article here:
https://www.sheridancollege.ca/alumni/news/celebrating-the-start-of-their-academic-journey.aspx

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One of the highlights of my night at Sheridan College was being able to chat with my a few of my former professors, including one of my favs, Bill Adcock.


ATTENTION CHRISTMAS SHOPPERS!!!

Looking for stocking stuffers for friends and family?

Pick up a grizzly moose t-shirt and a copy of Remy’s Dilemma for only $20 plus shipping!

Shirts are available in a variety of colours and sizes. Email snookbooks@gmail.com to learn more.

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Great review for Remy’s Dilemma from Writer’s Digest’s 23rd annual Self-Published Book Awards!
Just got back my judge’s commentary and evaluation for Remy’s Dilemma from Writer’s Digest’s 23rd annual Self-Published Book Awards. Didn’t win but got a pretty sweet review. Check it out below!

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Judge, 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards
Entry Title:
Remy’s Dilemma
Author: Andrew Snook
Judge Number: 70
Entry Category: Mainstream/Literary Fiction

Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”. This scale is strictly to provide a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect ranking.

Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 4/5
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 4/5
Production Quality and Cover Design: 5/5
Plot and Story Appeal: 4/5
Character Appeal and Development: 4/5
Voice and Writing Style: 4/5

Judge’s Commentary:
What struck me first about Andrew Snook’s REMY’S DILEMMA is its delightful and smart cover design, which looks professional and eye-catching and actually reflects the content of the novel (not all of the above is uniformly the case in many self-published novels). Happily, the book’s content matches its cover. Remy Delemme (nice resonance with the title) believes that the world is coming to an end, and he sets off to conquer his bucket list while being pursued by cops who think he’s a killer. This daffy plot surges along, and what’s best about it is that Snook seems utterly confident, and makes the reader feel confident, too. All too often, much self-published fiction lacks authority, and readers do not feel as if they are in safe hands. Snook’s ability to juggle the absurdities of his plot make me trust him completely. The book is nicely paced, has satisfying, funny dialogue, and characters who are offbeat enough just to push the envelope, but never quite too far. I have almost no complaints about the book, apart from the very tiny fact that once in a while the humour wears a bit thin, but never so thin that I wanted to give up. Snook’s novel is an impressive entry, and I look forward to more work from him.

Wonderful road trips
My latest blog entry is fuelled by my experiences as a professional wanderer. Enjoy 10 awesome places in Canada:
https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/ten-awesome-places-in-canada-guest-post-by-author-a_snook-travel-canada-satire/

Thanks Smiths Falls!
Big thank yous to everyone who came out in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lanark County and to everyone that helped promote the event. And an especially big thank you to hosts John Maloney and Maria Casale Maloney at The Rideau Winery. We were able to raise $100!

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Remy’s Dilemma is on the air!

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Snapping a photo with Christa, my favourite Valley Heritage Radio DJ

Thanks to my super-colossal awesome former boss, Jason Marshall, I was able to land my first live radio interview discussing Remy’s Dilemma and my upcoming charity book signing in Smiths Falls.

You can check it out here:


How the little things inspire us

Some people say it’s the little things that kill. Personally, I think the littlest things can act as inspiration for creating fun fiction. I’ve often found myself inspired by the smallest, most trivial experiences. One that comes to mind is a restroom stop I made more than a decade ago at the Cobequid Pass Toll Station off Highway 104 in Nova Scotia.

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More than a decade ago I was driving with my father from Wolfville, Nova Scotia to Mississauga, Ontario after my first semester at Acadia University.

On the way to Wolfville, my father and I drove past one too many rest stops and ended up in a “pee-mergency” on Highway 104. We were both desperate for a bathroom break so we stopped at the next place with a bathroom, Cobequid Pass Toll Station – not that we had a choice, you had to stop to pay the toll.

I remember the mad scramble as we parked my old, decrepit Ford Taurus, jumped out of the car and starting our respective pee-pee dances towards the restroom. To our horror, there were three other people in front of us – all doing dances of their own.

We waited close to 20 minutes before the door to the restroom opened, and when it did, I almost wished it didn’t. A foul stench slapped us in the face as an elderly gentleman exited the room looking quite satisfied.

The man at the front of the line hurried inside the restroom and did his business in a timely fashion, as did the next two. When we got to the front of the line I rushed inside, held my breath and let loose. As I relieved myself, I realized I was standing in a puddle of urine left by one of the people before me. Mixed feeling washed over me once I finished. I was happy to no longer worry about my bladder bursting, but a little peeved at the lack of aim displayed in the restroom.

This story is far from unique. I’m sure similar situations have happened to almost everyone at one time or another – maybe not on a toll road, but definitely somewhere. I’m also certain that I’ve had similar situations occur at least a few times before my stop on the Cobequid Pass and a few times since then. But for whatever reason, this particular experience stuck with me. And about six months later when I was back living in Wolfville working on my first novella, which I re-wrote years later into Remy’s Dilemma, I remembered the toll station. I ended up using my trivial experience at that rest stop as my inspiration for a handful of silly scenarios in my book.

So next time you find yourself annoyed that you’re stuck doing a mundane task or in a slightly annoying situation, just remember, it might make for some fun fiction down the road.

 

 

My first book review!

Kindle author, editor and indie book reviewer MJ Meads recently posted a review of my Remy’s Dilemma. Check out what he had to say about my debut novel at the link below.
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!
http://www.mjmeads.com/2015/06/review-remys-dilemma-andrew-snook.html

 

My first author interviews!

Check out my first Q&A author interview with book lover N.N. Light and my interview with Smiths Falls Hometown News.

 

© Peter Monfero, 2015Fiercely Canadian!

As a member of Canada’s struggling publishing industry, it is important to me that I do what I can to support our country’s writers, editors and designers.

After writing the first draft of Remy’s Dilemma, I spent 15 months in the proofing and editing stages of the book. During that time, I also read about marketing opportunities for people with little or no budget, the best routes for publishing as a new author, and sourced out every service I could for the book within Canada.

I’m very proud of the final product that is my book, and I’m even prouder to say that almost every aspect of the book was sourced within my beautiful country. I hired two professional editors to do proofreads for the book. One was located in Elgin, Ontario (just outside of Ottawa), and the other was based in Toronto.

The artist that created the cover art and artwork inside the book was based in Mississauga, Ontario.

The design and publishing team that formatted the print book, the eBooks and takes care of managing my online sales reports is based out of Victoria, British Columbia. I also used their printing facilities just outside of Winnipeg, Manitoba, to do the bulk print run for the book (which now takes up every closet, nook and cranny in my house – thanks for understanding, baby!)

The wonderful author website that you’re reading this blog entry on was created by PDG Media in Smiths Falls, Ontario (thanks for putting up with my constant harassment to change things).

The only services I was unable to have done in Canada were my professional line critique – so I reached out to the fine people at Writer’s Digest south of the border; and the one-off print book orders, which are also done in the U.S. This option suits me just fine. I’ve always believed we should support our industries first, and if you can’t buy it in your own country, buy it from one of your allies.

I know my book is a tiny drop in the bucket when it comes to supporting Canada’s publishing sector, but if enough drops hit the bucket, it will fill up, eventually.

If you’re working on any sort of publishing project and are looking for a talented Canadian, feel free to contact me and I will do my best to point you in the direction of one of our many beautiful, bright and talented people. I can be reached at snookbooks@gmail.com.

Happy writing and reading,
Andrew