Fantastically adventurous new book by Zachary Thomas Dodson

Goodreads interviewed author/designer Zachary Thomas Dodson about his debut book, Bats of the Republic: An Illuminated Novel. It looks and sounds like a stunningly crafted multi-layered adventure set in the past and the future.

As the Goodreads article says,

With hand-drawn illustrations, meticulously detailed maps, a novel-within-a-novel, and even a sealed envelope the reader must not open until the final moment, Zachary Thomas Dodson’s debut novel is a feast for the imagination.

Read the article for some fascinating insight into Dodson’s process.

Snuggling up to a Neanderthal

I’ve been posting a lot about my Embodied trilogy of Young Adult books lately, but today here’s a quick throwback to a major element in my Adult Contemporary psychological mystery, The New Sense. Research by scientists in Germany has more accurately pinpointed the date when humans and Neanderthals first, you know, dated. One of the two main characters in The New Sense, a mysterious out-of-towner known only as B―, has a theory that he possesses a new physical sense. He attributes it to having inherited a higher than normal incidence of Neanderthal DNA in his genes.

Hey, baby! Is that a Neanderthal bone, or are you just happy to see me?

Hey, is that a Neanderthal bone, or are you just happy to see me?

Just like the evidence of dark matter announced last week, it’s great as an author to see a book’s subject matter appear in the mainstream news. I mean, fiction is made up, but there’s a palpable tinge of excitement that surges in my breast when one of my stories brushes up against the latest scientific discoveries. Or is that feeling just my Neanderthal side, itching to go hunt a mammoth? Wait, it’s lunchtime – maybe I’m just hungry!


Photo credit: e_monk / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

There’s no way of saying this without innuendo…

Does size matter? Where novels are concerned, I mean. Unless you’re using it as a doorstop, the number of pages in a book shouldn’t really be related to its quality, right? I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s read stupendously long novels that were unputdownable and skimpy volumes that seemed like a total waste of my time.

I guess when something is good (like my favourite novel, Don Quixote, or War and Peace) you never want it to end. But British author Ian McEwan (who wrote another of my favourite novels, Atonement) made the case to the BBC last week that shorter is better and that American authors in particular apparently feel the irresistible need to plonk a hefty tome down on their editor’s desk. Blam! “There it is. Another Great American Novel. And don’t you dare cut it down…”

War and Peace and Bull_20140905_225341

My copy of War and Peace next to my latest, considerably shorter, literary opus.


McEwan makes a good point about how enjoying an entire novel at one sitting leads to a similar sense of satisfaction as watching a great movie. His newest book, The Children Act, is about 55,000 words long, even shorter than the first draft of my sequel to Silent Symmetry, Starley’s Rust. I’m therefore in good company. And I firmly believe that when it comes to The Great American Young Adult Novel, shorter is sweeter. What do you guys think?

Click here to read the full article on Ian McEwan’s BBC interview, as it appeared in the Daily Telegraph.

The New Sense – free on Amazon!

My psychological mystery The New Sense is a free Kindle download today. Montrealers who read it will recognize a host of places (and maybe even some people).

The New Sense cover_72dpi

I have to get back to promoting the promotion now but if you want to know more, either click on the cover to read an excerpt on or watch this interview I did last year: LINK TO ME TALKING IN FRONT OF MY BOOKCASE.

If you’re looking for the Canadian Amazon link, click here.

For the UK Amazon link, click here.

And, what the heck, if you’re in Japan, click here.

The New Sense is a new ebook

I hereby announce the soft launch of The New Sense, my contemporary fiction novel in the form of a blog by a young woman named Sara who is trying to find (and discover the mysterious true identity of) the father of her unborn child.

Right now, The New Sense is available on Amazon in Kindle format, but of course you can download the free Kindle software for iPad, iPhone and PC if you don’t have a Kindle.

Click here or on the cover below to read a free sample on Amazon.

But shhhh… it’s a soft launch.

The New Sense cover_72dpi