How to Sign Your Name Like a Celebrity

A peculiar thing has happened this past year. Slowly but steadily, I have noticed an increase in the number of people visiting my website after googling “How to sign your name like a celebrity”. This is a search string for which I am randomly the number one result, owing to an anecdote I put up here ages ago.

At first I just laughed at these visits, and greeted them with almost the same amusement that I enjoyed “girdle mature danger video” (for which I also rank high). But gradually, their frequency has increased to a point where I now receive a significant number of weekly visits purely from people searching for this piece of advice.

So if you, dear visitor, happen to be among these people, I now feel honor-bound to offer you some guidance; to at the very least send you off in the right direction so that your visit isn’t a complete waste of time.

The steps required to sign your name like a genuine celebrity are actually very straightforward. First, acquire an extraordinary amount of renown in the public pursuit of your choice; building this to a level where a large number of people want to take away proof-positive of having encountered you. Then, at each and every request, sign your name. Do it over and over and over again. On books, on scraps, on caps, on napkins and dollar bills, on bare skin and on bras; it really doesn’t matter. Just do this over and over, and before you know it, you will be signing your name like a celebrity.

Thanks for the visit. And take comfort that there are many, many of you out there

The Sinister Party Scene

Well, that’s it. SINISTER SCENES is out now! Hopefully a copy awaits on a retail shelf near you or is currently winging its way to your doorstep via some reliable delivery service.

Which means it’s a wrap! THE JOY OF SPOOKING trilogy has officially come to an end. Having spent the past four years working on it, I’m feeling both elated and deflated. Elated, I say, because my favorite part of working is of course being done working. But deflated, I say, because I will forever miss exploring the life and times of its heroine, the intrepid Joy Wells as well as her various friends and foes. Luckily, all these characters will live on in the imaginations of my readers for some time to come and for that I feel immensely grateful.

I don’t know. I still feel glum about it. But I guess that’s just the way I’m wired. Perhaps a party will cheer me up; a loud and raucous party celebrating the end of the series. Yes, I think I’ll throw one.

And guess what? You are invited. You’re invited, that is, if you read this in a timely enough fashion and have the means to make it to Montreal, Quebec. In that case, may I suggest you point yourself towards Shaika Café, 5526 Sherbrooke Street West, and proceed on that heading in time to arrive on Saturday September 17th at 7 pm? Unless your journey was long and fraught with considerable danger, I promise you will not regret it. Because booksdrinks, and live music from Stroboscopica will be on offer.

Wow, I don’t know if it’s the bold-faced type, but I’m feeling less sad already!

If you have facebook (and let’s face it, you probably do), then head over here to make sure you’re nice and reminded. Or cooler still, press the right doohickey on your smart phone and then point its lens at the image below. You’ll be glad you did!

PJ in PG

This is the PG Man, who watches over the city of Prince George, British Columbia, just outside my hotel. He’s painted to look like he is made of wood (this is a serious pulp and paper town!), but he’s actually made of iron.

I’m in PG touring as part of the TD Canadian Children’s Book Week, an annual festival that sends authors all over the country. I was very lucky to get sent here, to this stunning province, for the very first time in my life.

After one day, I’ve done three presentations at three schools and seen hundreds of great kids. It’s been really fun with thunderous applause and a shout of ”EPIC!” in the case of at least one girl.

Yesterday while touring the town on my day-off, I also saw a Boston Pizza on fire. You know, it’s quite something to look into a restaurant and see all its tables aflame. A Blockbuster video store was also destroyed, I’m told.

That’s all the news from Prince George for now. Here’s the PG Man again, watching the Boston Pizza burning in the distance.

Back from BC with Big News


So I’ve just returned home from British Columbia, where I was touring as part of TD Canada Children’s Book Week. I had a great time out there, and managed to squeeze in a bit of a holiday hanging out with friends down in Vancouver and Victoria. Here is a picture of me kicking back at a curious watering hole in Victoria known as Big Bad John’s:

The place is a bit of an institution, I’m told, with its motif of stained old money and dangling bras (I am not making this up for once). The floor is completely strewn with peanut shells (which I helpfully contributed to) giving the joint the feel of a hillbilly’s secret nest. It got even better: with a secret nod to the barmaid from one of my companions, a rubber bat was somehow triggered to fall in front of my face. Luckily I don’t startle too easy, and managed to maintain the neutral expression held above.

But sadly, some if not all good things come to end. That said, I am happy to report some pretty exciting news that I received while crossing the channel to Vancouver Island on the ferry. We have a deal for my latest publishing project! It’s called CRYSTAL FALLS, which is being described as “a high-concept YA thriller surrounding a 16 year-old boy who survives going over a waterfall only to discover his town suddenly transformed and his reputation inexplicably sinister.” It’s a serious head-trip, but a bit more mature, so make sure to get parental permission before reading when it comes out…

It is scheduled for Fall 2012, I’m told, to be released by Doubleday Canada. For any and all fans outside of this country, I’m afraid I can’t tell you much just yet, but hold tight.

I can say this: I read the opening to hundreds and hundreds of kids and teens during book week, and their faces were quite literally melted in front of me. So I’m really excited. Things got quite ugly and uproarious actually when I refused to let them in on the secret… I did however enjoy entertaining their many theories however, only one of which came anywhere close. (That kid was pretty sharp actually, but I just scoffed in her face to throw everyone off.)

Anyway, it’s been a great couple of weeks. Thanks again to the Canadian Children’s Book Centre for sending me out to beautiful BC, and to Andrea and Carrie for all their work coordinating my visit. And a special thanks to everyone I met in Prince George; you were all so welcoming and delightful, and I hope to come back someday.

For now though, it’s back to work!

A Sinister Scene

Well, I unlocked the door to a stranger earlier today, and was subsequently taken by complete surprise…

For it was a deliveryman, bearing the Advance Reader Copies of SINISTER SCENES!

And as was my delicious wish, their covers have been printed using the bloodiest ink available. As such, I thought a crime scene would best show them off.

For anyone unfamiliar, ARCs (as they are better known) are preview copies of an upcoming title that are given away to booksellers, librarians and a host of other wonderful freeloaders in an effort to create buzz. Considered utterly disposable, they are printed not upon the luxurious paper stock that will comprise the final bound product, but simply slapped upon swan skin in order to save costs.

Because ARCs are created from early printing proofs, they are also famously riddled with grammatical, typological, and/or factual errors which the author and editors subsequently address for the better enjoyment of the purchasing public. For example, in the ARC of SINISTER SCENES shown above, the character of Joy is often referred to as Jot owing to an injury I sustained to my right index finger midway through the work.

Okay, now I am just making things up, like I always do whenever I am overwrought. Which is always, I suppose, which incidentally may be why I chose this profession in the first place.

However the swan skin thing is true, I swear.