Talking Lit on The Strip

Las Vegas 2016

APOL’s quirky world tour rolled into Las Vegas recently where the opportunistic opus worked the Strip, searching for risk-takers.  “Hey, you looking for a long shot?” it whispered to savvy-looking gamblers. “I’m talking, dark horse. Odds in the stratosphere, but a winner, guaranteed. I’m talking, debut novel.”

Passersby were more interested in mainstream best-sellers than risky newcomers. “Everyone crosses the street in a crowd,” APOL sighed to itself, before switching into pitch mode. It nimbly brought up several well-known Vegas-related books: Elmore Leonard’s Get Shorty, The Stand by Stephen King, and APOL’s favourite, Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. “Great books, those,” it told the crowd slyly, “but if you’re looking for a book about a huge gamble–” (it began to flip its own pages seductively) “–try something a little more . . . out there.”

Recently APOL has behaved in exemplary fashion but it fell off the wagon during its stay in Sin City, partying with a doctor named Gonzo and a gaggle of show girls. It left town next day after a stop at the MGM Grand to place  a very large bet — on itself.

A note to readers: APOL is the anthropomorphic version of my novel A Person of Letters, gone walkabout without its author (with a wink and a nod to magical realism). Follow APOL’s quixotic world tour here, or on my Facebook Author Page. For information about the book, go to Martin Scribler Media.

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Spring Training for APOL

APOL - Florida, Blue Jays

This week the APOL express rolled through the Sunshine State, where it stopped in at the Toronto Blue Jays’ spring training facility at Dunedin. APOL basked in the Florida sun atop the dugout before joining the players for a private party. “No autographs,” APOL told fans who approached it for the traditional signing rite. “I don’t mind a picture, but today it’s about the guys.  Take a look at my cover, fellas. You just know I bleed Blue.”

Throughout its stay atop the dugout APOL was in fine spirits – no flipping of bats or birds this day. Instead it entertained fans with the plotlines of its favourite baseball books by beloved writer W.P. Kinsella. “Shoeless Joe – now there’s a classic. ‘If you build it, they will come.’  What a line! It inspires me still. ‘If your write it, they will read,’ I told Watz-His-Name, and look what it did for him. Wonderboy, I call him. ‘The best there ever was.’” Observers were confused if the always-on, always-selling APOL was making a slick reference to its own author, or to another of its favourite baseball books, Bernard Malamud’s The Natural – also a debut novel.

A note to readers: APOL is the anthropomorphic version of my novel A Person of Letters, gone walkabout without its author. (A wink and a tilt of the hat here to magical realism.) Follow APOL’s quixotic world tour here or on my Facebook Author Page. For information about the book, go to Martin Scribler Media.

Alpine APOL

APOL - Austria, Warth2

APOL is in Austria where it was spotted at the resort of Warth-Schröcken in the Arlberg range, relaxing on the terrace apres-ski with a Swiss lass named Heidi. The unassuming and ever youthful Heidi is one of the best selling books ever written; more than 50 million copies have been sold. APOL was on its best behaviour, apparently not even bothered by the fact that the locals were more interested in the timeless Heidi than its arriviste companion. It turns out that the literary newcomer was looking for advice. “Fifty million is a lot of clams,” it was heard telling the Swiss sensation. “How’d you do it?”

Of course, times have changed, but Heidi gamely threw out a few ideas. “I suppose I could yodel,” APOL mused. “But lederhosen? Wouldn’t that put me, you know,” (and here APOL’s cover wrinkled) “in an iffy genre?” Heidi took mild offense but APOL recovered smoothly by spontaneously leading surrounding tables in a chorus of Edelweiss. In the end, a happy smile was brought to Heidi’s cover. Proof, once again, that APOL will do whatever is needed to sell itself.

A note to readers: APOL is the anthropomorphic version of my novel A Person of Letters, which is on tour without its author (with a wink and a nod to magical realism). Follow APOL’s quixotic world tour here or on my Facebook Author Page. For information about the book, go to Martin Scribler Media.

 

 

APOL In Sunny Cartagena

APOL - Cartegena 1

APOL’s quirky tour has landed in Colombia to follow in the footsteps of magical realism’s godfather, Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  Gabo, as he was known, first arrived in Cartagena as a student, defying pressure from his father to study law, to become a writer instead.  This makes Garcia Marquez something of a hero to APOL, an admirer of persons of letters above all others.

APOL arrived with high hopes for a breakout in the Spanish language market. “I won’t be lost in translation,” it assured a local publisher.  Later APOL was sighted at Cartagena’s plaza Santo Domingo, cozily enveloped in the embrace of sculptor Fernando Botero’s magnificent Beatriz. “I am SO over Vicky,” it was heard to mutter.

While his book enjoys its eclectic world tour, APOL’s envious author subsists on second hand news, corny puns, and literary allusions. Did the Maytag repairman entertain himself thus?

A note to readers: APOL is the anthropomorphic version of my novel A Person of Letters, gone walkabout without its author. (A wink and a tilt of the hat here to magical realism.) Follow APOL’s quixotic world tour here or on my Facebook Author Page. For information about the book, go to Martin Scribler Media.

March 24: The Ottawa Women’s Canadian Club

OWCC - program

On March 24th I will be speaking at the monthly meeting of the Ottawa Women’s Canadian Club at Ottawa’s Chateau Laurier.

The OWCC is a century-old service organization dedicated to public service, culture, and international understanding. Every month it hosts a luncheon and invites a speaker to address its members on a topical issue. I’m honoured to be included on this spring’s program, which includes distinguished Canadians such as journalist Rosemary Thompson, former Senator Sharon Carstairs, and former RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli. I will be speaking about writing and publishing in the digital age and reflecting on my own influences and experience as a writer.

For updates, follow my Facebook Author Page.

 

APOL Sighted in Okanagan

APOL - Vernon

After its tumultuous breakup with Vicky in Honolulu, the heart-broken APOL retreated to parts unknown. Unknown, that is, until Valentine’s Day, when it was spotted in Canada’s Okanagan Valley (wine country, of course), pining like a Harlequin at the end of a dock. The moody manuscript was gazing out at frigid Kalamalka Lake, all alone and crooning along to a current hit. “Hello from the other side,” it warbled, its plaintive first-person voice echoing the length of the valley. To observers, APOL seemed dangerously close to the edge.

But this book is not one to be shelved for long. After a few days of rest APOL bounced back and resolved to reboot its tour, setting out immediately to promote itself in local bookstores. It returned late in the day, having found none. “Sign of the times,” it mumbled, its mood again dark. It repaired to the dock where, after nightfall, someone (never identified) was heard belting out a passable rendition of Nate Rateliff’s “SOB”.

Next morning, the hard-driving APOL was gone (apparently back on tour) and Jack Daniels was found floating in the lake.

A note to readers: APOL is the anthropomorphic version of my novel A Person of Letters, gone walkabout without its author. (A wink and a tilt of the hat here to magical realism.) Follow APOL’s quixotic world tour here or on my Facebook Author Page. For information about A Person of Letters, go to Martin Scribler Media.

APOL-ha Aloha

APOL - Hawaii, Waikiki on Oahu 1

The APOL tour has swept ashore in Hawaii where the book was spotted hitching up Diamond Head with an accommodating hiker. Returning to Waikiki, APOL closed down the Sheraton’s Rumfire Bar then lingered on a table in the lobby with a Victoria Secret catalogue, the two seeming on very friendly terms. Again next morning, they were observed canoodling on a beach towel, reminiscent of Lancaster and Kerr in the famous beach scene in From Here to Eternity, although both were careful to avoid the surf.

The steamy affair was not to last. That very afternoon APOL discovered Ms Secret poolside, scantily clad and in the grasp of a newly-arrived GQ. There are reports of a clash between the rival romancers in which one or both got dunked in the whirlpool. Whatever the truth, APOL was seen that night boarding a redeye for the mainland, looking blue and visibly pulped. Observers believe the party-hard playbook is headed for rehab, hoping to dry out once and for all.

The book on which From Here to Eternity was based – call it FH2E for convenience – was author James Jones’s first published novel. The parallel with APOL’s own status as a first novel has led to buzz that the Oahu dustup was a publicity stunt, and that A Person of Letters film deal is in the works.

The book’s befuddled author can neither confirm nor deny the rumour, having, it seems, lost the narrative.

A note to readers: APOL is the anthropomorphic version of my novel A Person of Letters, gone walkabout without its author. (A wink and a tilt of the hat here to magical realism.) Follow APOL’s quixotic world tour here or on my Facebook Author Page. For information about the book, go to Martin Scribler Media.