Verbatim: A Novel

Notes on an unconventional book

Do book tours ever end?

Or do they just stop one day when you get tired of them? I’m not there yet, and was very pleased to be invited by the Writers’ Association of Newfoundland and Labrador to take part in their Spring Reading Series. Myself and a friend, the novelist (and short story writer, poet and playwright) Michelle Butler Hallett (photo below taken by Beth Janzen), had a fine time reading on 17 June at The Ship Inn pub. That place hasn’t changed much since the 1980s. Michelle read with her usual intensity from her newest book, deluded your sailors, while I read a couple of speeches from my book, along with a letter from a cranky editor, wandering among the audience while speaking like those teachers who would come by your desk to see if you were working. In this case the audience could interrupt and call out things, which is always fun and, in a pub, unpredictable. So as long as the element of disaster and/or audience participation exists, reading aloud will be an adventure.

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