Featured Post

Three new e-books

Quite some time ago I started Big Wheel Books to publish e-books of some of my earlier titles. (You can read more about it on my site, cary...

Thursday, January 12, 2017

First reviews for 'Wolfie and Fly'

Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review): "A promising first outing for this memorable odd couple." * City Parent: [A] classic story of imagination, friendship and adventure told by a master." * Reviews in Chalk: "Splendid beginning for a series! Renata is so lovable in her own way...I am already looking forward to more Wolfie and Fly's adventures."

Monday, January 9, 2017

New course: Writing Picture Books

On January 30 I start my course on writing picture books for University of Toronto Continuing Education. The location is at College and St. George. I love teaching this course and the participants are always passionate and interesting. So if you need some help kickstarting the creative impulse of yours, or finishing a manuscript, please join us. * http://learn.utoronto.ca/interactive-course-search#/profile/1718

Friday, December 30, 2016

What I'm Reading Now

"For that moment, she only knew the empty ache beside her, the void where her sister was supposed to be." -Katherena Vermette, The Break

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Indie Book Fair

We had fun yesterday standing, leaning, slouching, and sitting behind our table at the Meet the Presses Indie Book Fair in Toronto. We (me, Rebecca Comay, Bernard Kelly) were there for our chapbook press, espresso. I picked up a nice haul of small books and chapbooks, which you can see in the third photo. (The first two were taken by Bernard.) We ourselves
sold 30 books, which was quite satisfactory. The owner of a new bookstore in Dundas Ontario, The Printed Word, bought copies of all our titles for his store. We wish this brave young man much luck and hope to visit it in the not too-too distant future.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Jarrett Lerner on 'Danny Who Fell in a Hole'

The writer Jarrett Lerner has posted a review of 'Danny Who Fell in the Hole' that is the most thoughtful response to the book I've seen. My thanks to him. You can read it at https://jarrettlerner.com/2016/10/13/danny-who-fell-in-a-hole-by-cary-fagan/.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Cleaning house

Cleaning out stuff from my parents' house I came across this manuscript, which I wrote in (I think) 1979. I'd gone to see Timothy Findley, then the writer in residence at the University of Toronto where I was in my last undergraduate year. Tiff (as his friends called him) read a short story manuscript of mine called "Vienna Street" that was loosely based on the street I grew up on until the age of about twelve. He liked it and suggested that I turn it into a script for the CBC. I had my doubts but didn't see any harm in trying. This is the manuscript, which I haven't seen or thought of in decades. Someone at the CBC did read it and say nice things but, of course, passed on it. Timothy Findley, however, continued to be kind in several ways. He introduced me to his agent (who ignored my attempts to get in touch) and later praised my work during a television interview, based on a small chapbook that I'd self-published (100 or so copies). I used that quote on my first books before finally retiring it. Of course I was hardly the only young writer Tiff helped. He was a generous and warm-hearted person who believed it his duty to give the next generation a lift up whenever possible. Timothy Findley was a fine writer and a fine man.

Monday, October 24, 2016

A cover that wasn't to be

Just over six years ago my novel Valentine's Fall was published by Cormorant Books. I really liked the original cover design for this novel about a man meeting his old high school friends again. As I happened to come across it today I thought I'd post it here. The problem was, by coincidence the cover turned out to look remarkably similar to a very recent book about a tragic subject. I'm posting that cover, too. So it had to change and fast, as the book was about to go to print. The cover that replaced it, shown last, captures some of the more comic aspects of the book and has its good points but I was sorry to have to lose the original
. It's an interesting example of how a designer can go in very different directions for the same book. Which one do you like best?