My Heart Is Not My Own Toronto Book Launch

6 Sep







My Heart Is Not My Own hits bookshelves…

5 Aug

Michael’s book hits bookshelves across Canada starting tomorrow, and I cannot stress how beneficial it would be to you and your bookshelf if you were to acquire a copy of My Heart Is Not My Own.

I think it’s safe to assume that everyone who worked on this book is super excited to see the end result hit bookstores tomorrow. Beyond the excitement, I know we are all (Penguin, and The Rights Factory) of the opinion that this book is special and deserving of attention, and we are hopeful that the readers will share in our enthusiasm. I truly do foresee great things for Michael and this book!

To better promote My Heart Is Not My Own, Penguin has launched some book events out West. As his agent, I wanted the book to receive some coverage in the Toronto area, and so our agency is hosting a book launch for Michael at Type Books on September, 23rd. If you are interested in attending the event at Type, please drop me a line at and I will add you to the mailing list for the official evite.

To further promote the book, Michael is going to be a contributing editor to the National Post for four articles starting August 6th and running until August 9th. I will be posting the links on here and via Twitter.

I am just so thrilled for Michael, and am so happy that we’ve had this opportunity to work together. I am also incredibly grateful to Adrienne Kerr over at Penguin for spotting the potential in M’s work and taking the time to work with Michael to make the book the best that it could be. I will no doubt be rushing into several of Toronto’s bookstores tomorrow to see where the book has been placed (and maybe pulling a Celeste, and moving the book to the staff picks area) and have already pitched the book as a fall read for multiple Toronto based book clubs who seem eager to get their hands on a copy.

My Heart Is Not My Own can be found in all good Canadian bookstores starting August 6th, 2013. The book will also be available for purchase on Amazon. But I would urge you to buy a copy from your favourite indie bookstore. Please support the independents, and keep the indie bookstores doors open.

Speaking of independent bookstores, this is a video Type Books created last year. I think it is going to be the perfect venue for the launch!

Introduction to Global Chorus

1 Aug

Besides my obvious love of literature, another one of my passions in life is the environment. In everything I do, I strive to lead a sustainable lifestyle. As of late, it has been a dream of mine to represent more non-fiction projects. Specifically, non-fiction works that deal in some way with the environment. 

So you can imagine my joy, when I was approached to rep a book that deals directly with the topic of the current state of the environment, and whether or not there is hope that our planet will still be inhabitable for generations to come. 

From the Global Chorus website:

Today we are confronting the greatest challenge ever faced by a group of beings in the 4 billion year history of this planet: how to ensure not only the survival of the human race but the preservation of the rest of life on Earth.

Little by little, we have broadened our understanding of humanity’s role in determining the fate of the planet and its species. But this awareness hasn’t clearly translated into collective action. We have yet to bring together into one boundary-crossing book the visionaries of our times, our brightest minds, our most influential leaders, our most passionate voices. And now more than ever we need to hear their counsel on the future of the planet.

Global Chorus: A 365-Person Anthology of Worldwide Concern and Enduring Hopewill give us this chance.

How it is being done is simple. 365 people from all over the world are in the process of being contacted with invitations for responses for Global Chorus. The invitation list includes writers, environmentalists, spiritual leaders, politicians, professors, doctors, athletes, businesspeople, farmers, chefs, yogis, painters, architects, musicians, TV personalities, humanitarians, children, concerned students and senior citizens, carpenters, factory workers, activists, CEO’s, scientists, and essentially those who have something passionate and insightful to say about humanity’s place upon Earth. Well known people on the list include environmentalists such as David Suzuki, Paul Hawken and Jane Goodall; scientists such as Stephen Hawking and Edward O. Wilson; celebrities such as Robert Redford, Oprah Winfrey, and Bono; humanitarians such as Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu; political figures such as Mikhail Gorbachev, Prince Charles and Elizabeth May; writers like Dave Eggers and Eric Schlosser; and spiritual leaders like The Dalai Lama, Eckhart Tolle, and Thich Nhat Hanh.

Each contributor will provide a one-page response to the following line of questioning:

 “Do you think that humanity can find a way past the current global environmental and social crises? Will we be able to create the conditions necessary for our own survival, as well as that of other species on the planet? What would these conditions look like? In summary, then, and in the plainest of terms, do we have hope, and can we do it?”

Responses will be framed as a set of 365 daily meditations, thereby providing a practical means for readers to ingest this diversity of thoughts and ideas. In this way, Global Chorus is sure to be both shocking in its truths and predictions as well as inspirational in its messages of hope and optimism.

The man responsible for bringing this awe-inspiring project to life is Todd MacLean. Todd is a writer, freelance journalist, and musician based out of P.E.I. I have been working with him for a few months now, and it has been such a pleasure participating in this project. 

To promote GC, Todd is being interviewed tomorrow morning on Island Morning on CBC 96.1 at 8:15 am Atlantic time. If you are unable to catch it live, there should be a podcast made available so that you can tune in that way. 

It is our hope that this interview (with more to come in the future) will spread the word on just how timely and important Global Chorus’ message is. To learn more about the project/book, go to the Global Chorus website:

The book is currently out on submission, with interest from a lovely publisher from out west. We are hopeful that a partnership will soon be forged, taking GC to the next level. 

My Heart Is Not My Own

1 May

It’s official, my author Michael Wuitchik’s debut novel will be out on bookshelves this August!,,9780143187981,00.html?MY_HEART_IS_NOT_MY_OWN

If you might recall, the book had originally been under the title Three Stone Fire. The renaming of the novel came about after a lovely phone chat between myself, Michael, and his editor Adrienne. It was our mutual feeling, that the current title did not do the story justice. Michael’s wife Shelley had made reference to a particular line in the novel, and it was unanimously agreed that she had hit upon something special.

It was in that instant, the emotionally charged, and perfectly apt title My Heart Is Not My Own was born.

As soon as I heard it, I knew it was the right title for Michael’s novel. In my mind, a title like this speaks to readers on both an emotional and cerebral level. Not only does it immediately tug on the heart strings, it also leaves the meaning of the contents of the novel open to subjective contemplation. Adding a level of mysteriousness to the novel; piquing the curiosity of the readership.

And if the title is not enough to spark your interest; the lovely endorsements that are coming in for Michael’s novel should suffice in persuading the readers of the world to dive right in.

“My Heart Is Not My Own is not an easy read. But books that compel us to leave
the comfort of our worlds to understand the humanity of others seldom are. It
is a testament to the strength of Wuitchik’s courageous characters that we are
not left without a sense of hope. This is a book worth spending time with.”
—Yejide Kilanko, bestselling author of Daughters Who Walk This Path

As will the gorgeous cover that Penguin has designed. Visually, it is stunning. (see above link)

All in all, I think Michael’s book contains all of the key elements that make for a great book.    I am just so grateful I had the opportunity to work with him on it, and see it through to publication. It’s been such an amazing journey, and I look forward to keeping on down this path with him.

Poetry Central

24 Apr

If poetry is your thing, then it is in your best interest to be in Toronto over the next few days. Spring may not be in the air, but poetry certainly is. And even with the weather being less than desirable, the promise of an onslaught of new poetry is more than enough to get the literary crowds together to celebrate all that is poem-like. 

There is the Wolsak & Wynn Spring Poetry launch taking place tonight at The Garrison, starting at 7:30 and running until 10:30 pm. The event is launching new works by Tanis Rideout, Ken Howe, and Chris Pannel. 

Tomorrow evening Anansi is hosting their Poetry Bash at The Garrison. Michael Crummey will be reading from his new collection, and that in itself is enough reason to get yourself out to the party. M.C. is a personal favourite of mine, and I am terribly excited to hear him read some of his new work. The event starts @ 7 pm. 

On Monday, the CanBPA is hosting a Poetry Karaoke night at Tequila Bookworm, and I must confess, this is the event I am looking forward to the most. Drinks + Karaoke Poetry sounds like the perfect way to pass an evening. I will have my Nick Laird, Yeats, and Anna Akhmatova poems in hand. I have decided to read Laird’s poem Light Pollution, and will probably not do it justice. If you want to hear it as it should be read, click on the link below

To wrap up this post, here is one of my favourite poems of all time. It’s by the Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova

Broad and yellow is the evening light
Tender the April coolness
You are so many years late,
Nevertheless I am glad you came.

Sit here close to me
And look on joyfully:
Here is a blue composition book
With the poems of my childhood.

Forgive me that I ignored the sun
And that I lived in sorrow
Forgive, forgive that I
Mistook too many others for you.




The woes of a book-aholic

10 Apr


Being an avid follower of Oscar Wilde, and all of his sage teachings, I have lived the better part of my life by the maxim “Resist everything, but temptation”

And my fervent devotion to this rule grows ever apparent when confronted by the promise/trappings of a used book sale. 

It should come as no surprise that a literary agent would have a weakness when it comes to book buying. What may surprise my readers, is that I purchase books compulsively, even when I have nowhere to store them, and no hope of ever reading them. It would be an understatement to say that I merely purchase books. The truth is, I hoard them. But not just in one place. I hoard them wherever I happen to be living at the moment, or visiting, or travelling to. There are literally stacks of books in the four corners of the planet (slight exaggeration on my part) that have my name on them. Just waiting for me to come and collect them. Sadly, odds are they will be waiting a long time. If not indefinitely. 

I am the first to recognize, and admit, just how ridiculous this ‘habit’ of mine is. Every time I walk by a bookstore, especially a used bookstore, I have to enter. I tell myself that I really must stop doing this, or at least I need to learn how to ‘book browse’ and not purchase. I’ve nearly successfully adopted this browsing practice when it comes to the bigger chain bookstores. As I use the excuse that I really ought to not be purchasing books from these big box stores anyway. On more than one instance, this line of thinking has helped diffuse what could have resulted in a nasty case of book binge. Nevertheless, I still struggle daily with the luring appeal of the smaller indie bookstores and/or used bookstores. So you can just imagine what happens to me (what kind of state I am put in) when I catch wind of a used book sale. It’s tantamount to the releasing of the bulls in Spain. If you ever see me hurtling down the street at neck break speed, it is undoubtedly due to a book sale that is taking place in that neighborhood. And even when I have nowhere to house these books, I will still emerge with a bagful (sometimes even a box full) of books. 

Perfect example, would be my early morning jaunt today. I was making my way through Camden, with an armload of groceries, when I noticed a sign in a consignment shop window that read: Big Book Sale Today 10 am- 6 pm. I literally dropped everything on the shop’s floor, and started to peruse the hundreds of books lining the shelves. The whole time I was there, I was reminding and reprimanding myself that a) I had no more room in my luggage for books (as it stands, I was already  having to leave books behind) and b) had no time to read these newly acquired books. Even with this knowledge at hand, I continued to browse. I decided then and there to select the ones I knew my cousins would like/read, so that I could still follow through with my need to purchase the books, and could also rest assured that these books would find a loving spot on their bookshelves. We won’t even mention the fact that there are already quite a few titles that I have donated to these shelves, from my last visit in London. 

I have already made a pact with myself, that under no circumstances am I to acquire any hand outs at the London Book Fair this year. Absolutely none. As I type this, my head is shaking in agreement. 



22 Mar

As you well know, I was recently in Germany for a few days. In the city of Leipzig to be exact. I had visited L. for a few days last year, and so I was already familiar with the city.  The purpose of my trip was to quickly check out the Leipzig book fair, and to see if this was a book fair our agency could ever benefit from by attending.

The verdict: It was great to suss out, but unless we represented our fair share of German writers, there really isn’t any point in TRF attending it in a professional capacity. Like the BEA, the Leipzig book fair is very much geared towards the promotional side of things. Whereas the Frankfurt book fair is all about negotiating international publishing rights. It is the largest trade fair for books, and so it makes more sense for TRF to attend the FFBF. 

But by no means was my trip to Germany a lost cause. Not only did I have fun checking out the fair, I also had the opportunity to meet with a writer that I had been hoping to sign for quite some time. She had approached me with an idea for a non-fiction project, and we had been writing one another back and forth for nearly six months. I convinced her to meet me in Leipzig for the day, and we spent the entire afternoon walking and talking around the city center. Her name is Liv, and she is a wonderfully bright and engaging woman. We’ve decided to work together, and I couldn’t be happier for it!

This was my second visit to Germany, and I must confess that I am a bit smitten. Perhaps even more than smitten? Granted, I have only visited three cities in Germany (Berlin, Leipzig, Frankfurt). Nevertheless, there is something about the rhythm and aesthetics of that country that I find very appealing. Enough so, that I might be able to get past their wretched climate and undesirable cuisine if the opportunity to move there ever presented itself.

Keeping with my current German-y obsession, I am looking to get my hands on a copy of Simon Winder’s Germania. The reviewers refer to his book as an entertaining and strange overview of the last 2,000 years of German history. It sounds fantastic!

But enough about Germany. I fly out to Italy tomorrow. I land in Venice, where I will be spending a mere 24 hours and then it is on to Bologna via train. I must confess, I am terribly curious to see what the children’s book fair is all about. I am also beyond envious that they get to congregate in tantalizing Italy each spring while the rest of the publishing industry is banished to a rain sodden England. Depending how this visit goes, I may be looking to sign more children’s authors…