WOW! It’s the 1-year anniversary of the release of my second novel, SEBASTIAN’S POET! I can’t believe it. Where did the time go!?
It seems quite a few potential readers of Sebastian’s Poet are a bit worried the novella might be about a poet…or poetry. NOT THE CASE. (-: Turns out it may be a scary title for some. I can assure you, though, that no poets were killed (or harmed in any way…or uplifted in any way, for that matter) in the making of Sebastian’s Poet. The ‘Poet’ in Sebastian’s Poet is actually a 1970s folk singer. Teal Landen is his name and he is completely fictional. But I did ‘borrow’ him from reality.
Growing up, I had an ‘uncle’ who often spent the night on our couch. In fact there is one scene in Sebastian’s Poet that is directly autobiographical. This ‘uncle’ of mine was (is) a HUGE Toronto Maple Leafs fan. In the 70s, they weren’t quite as hot as that decade’s formidable Montreal Canadiens. There is a scene in the novella where Teal Landen talks hockey with the narrator, Sebastian Nelson (Nelson is a town in New Brunswick, Canada, where a lot of my relatives live. You will also find Nelson in my first novel, Summer on Fire. Nelson is the town that book takes place in). Teal would often bet with Sebastian on hockey games–Teal would take Toronto and Sebastian would take Montreal. Every morning, there would be a pile of change on the coffee table–Sebastian’s take from the bet. Because in those days Montreal always won. That scene was right out of my life growing up with an ‘uncle’ Gerald. I can’t tell you how many times his bets ended with him emptying his pockets of change. When they didn’t, my brother and I would still get a cash grab…there was always change inside the couch after Uncle Gerald stayed over.
In that way that writers have of making characters out of composites of many, I formed Teal not only as a tribute to my ‘uncle’ but also as a tribute to Leonard Cohen. Theft is SUCH a strong word. The character is neither Leonard nor Gerald…but there are glimpses of both in Teal. If you take recipe ingredients, smash them together in a mixing bowl–incorporate them into each other–you will have something new. Most often the new thing won’t resemble any of the ingredients. But the hint of those ingredients will be found in the resulting mixture. That’s Teal Landen. He’s part Gerald, part Leonard, part imagination.
I promise you…there is no poetry in this book. (-: It’s the story of a famous man crashing at this kid’s place…and of how involved he becomes with the kid and his family. And of how he changes the family as they change him. Teal just happens to be a Canadian icon. There’s even a scene where he does a duet with the real life Canadian icon, GORDON LIGHTFOOT.
Here’s the book trailer for SEBASTIAN’S POET:
If poetry scares you, give Sebastian’s Poet a try…it contains not a word of poetry. (-;
Click on the cover:
This novel was written during the 2007 Muskoka Novel Marathon – in a 48-hour period. It took home the BEST ADULT NOVEL AWARD for that year. (-: I’m heading up to the marathon in another 3 weeks or so. I have no idea what will come out of that marathon…but if it’s 1/3 as fun a ride as Sebastian’s Poet was to write, I’ll be more than happy!
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