Since I can’t go on an actual book tour, I’ve decided to take Fake It So Real on a Virtual Canadian Book Tour!! We’re going to start in Victoria and work our way east across the country, meeting FISR readers and the local independent bookstores who might have hosted us. If you’d like to participate as one of my readers, just send me a message using the contact form on my site. Here we go …
Fake It So Real Virtual Canadian Book Tour: November 24, 2020
Kyeren and Chris in Victoria, BC
This Chris, the less camera-shy half of Kyeren & Chris, looking fiiiiiiiine in his Fake It So Real T-shirt with their copy of the book. I first met Kyeren ages ago (maybe 10 years?) in the Malahat Review office. I was the circulation and marketing assistant and she was in the midst of doing her MFA at UVic and sitting on the poetry board. It wasn’t long before we started meeting on our own time for what we named Ladies Coffee, as well as for play dates in which her daughter was enamoured with my son for the way he dusted sand from her feet but equally repelled by the way he smushed her playdough colours together (and who could blame her!). The last pre-COVID book launch at Munro’s I attended was Kyeren’s, for her book of poetry, Cult Life.
Kyeren wrote a lovely review of Fake It So Real on Goodreads, and I’ll share some of it here: “This book broke my heart over and over again, and I relished in the breaking. It feels like my life—even though it doesn’t resemble my life in its events at all, it FEELS like life feels. … You’ll wear it like an aura for days afterwards.”
Since Kyeren is originally from Australia, Chris and Kyeren may have ventured up the peninsula to Canada’s answer to Australia: Sidney, BC (also Canada’s only Booktown) to Tanner’s Books, to purchase their copy. Tanner’s currently has one copy of Fake It So Real in stock!
Fake It So Real Virtual Canadian Book Tour: November 19, 2020
Jamie in Victoria, BC
Jamie and I were brought together by books. The very first time I met him, he cut my bangs at Hive and told me about his friend Darrel McLeod’s book Mamaskatch (but what I really remember about that encounter was that when he took off his scarf, it got caught in his nose ring and he had to leave the room to sort himself out). We met again at the launch of our mutual friend, Mike Bond’s book of poetry, Bad Meanings, where he noticed that I’d recently given myself a bang trim with a less favourable outcome. Nevertheless, I enticed him to the launch of Kyeren Regehr’s book of poetry, Cult Life a week later. After that, Jamie read chapter 13 of Fake It So Real, “After Gwen,” which had just been published online in the Minola Review, and he was hooked. If I recall, his exact words were something along the lines of “I surrender.” He’s been my number one fan ever since.
Jamie’s favourite part of Fake It So Real comes from chapter nine, “Chorus”: This would be the time to touch him. Not a shuffle-past in the hall, but to touch him. To save her marriage, like a drowning puppy or an allowance. To crack herself open like a dry-glued paperback. To moan for him in her highest octave. To rip off his skin and wear him like a cloak.
I totally get this part, Jamie says. It’s really honest and hard and true and for some reason impossible to do. Like what stops us? I mean all those words are really powerful, the last part like holy fuck. That’s how you save something. That’s how love conquers everything: “to rip off his skin and wear him like a cloak.”
Jamie got his copy of the book in Victoria, but, when it was safe to do so, he might have ventured over to Galiano Island Books on our favourite Gulf island, to pick up a copy. The owners of Galiano Island Books, Lee Trentadue and Jim Schmidt have shared their love of reading and independent book stores with tourists and locals alike for over 20 years now. The bookstore also founded the Galiano Island Literary Festival, on hiatus for now, but which normally occurs on the island every February. You’ll find new and used books as well as rare treasures (such as the one copy of Fake It So Real they have on their shelves!!) at Galiano Island Books.
Fake It So Real Virtual Canadian Book Tour: November 17, 2020
Kathy in Victoria, BC
Today, we start really close to home with my former neighbour, Kathy. Kathy used to live above me in our building, which houses “below market-level” families and tends to be populated with single mothers, hence Kathy’s name for it: the Heartbreak Hotel. In the tenth chapter of Fake It So Real, “What is Good,” the Heartbreak Hotel (but, I must add, NOT Kathy or any of my real neighbours) is featured, along with the picnic table out front, upon which we really did bitch about our ex-husbands and the poor selection of available men in Victoria.
Of the book, Kathy says: I just finished the “Angling” chapter. Wow!!! I love your book. All of it. I thought “Sock Daddy” would be my favourite but now I think it’s a tie with “Angling.” Honestly Susan I’m in a good mood today because I feel like: YES finally some honesty!
It looks like Kathy got her autographed copy at Munro’s Books in downtown Victoria. Munro’s first opened in 1963 by Jim Munro and his first wife Alice (yes THAT Alice Munro) and is now housed in the former Royal Bank of Canada building, built in 1909 and refurbished in its neo-classical style by Jim Munro when he bought the building in the 1980s. Munro’s has been a big supporter of Fake It So Real, and at this moment, I believe they have eighteen autographed copies in stock, along with many other fine books and, so I hear from my poet friends, an incredible poetry selection.
November 4, 2020:
Fake It So Real Book Launch – The Most Fun You Can Have During a Pandemic!
On November 4, 2020, we were lucky enough to celebrate the publication of Fake It So Real in person at the Victoria Event Centre. I read from the book and we played music bingo with a playlist inspired by the novel.