The Dybbuk's Mirror will be available early 2013.
So, I am pleased to announce the title of my next book. After much hemming and hawing, I have decided to call Book Two The Dybbuk's Mirror. It is so difficult trying to find a title that conveys what your book's about without constituting a spoiler, show a reader that your book is the book they MUST read, and give a taste of the feeling, the genre, the very vibe that your book has. I honestly think that naming my kids was a touch easier than this. Ridiculous, I know, but it was tough work. I have also drafted a good friend of mine to design the cover. I liked what the publisher did last time for The Strings of the Violin, but I think for this one, I want an experience that feels more collaborative, and quite honestly, more fun. And so, to celebrate the naming of The Dybbuk's Mirror, I am unveiling a new contest: Tweet with the hashtag #TheDybbuksMirror and I will give one random follower a free copy of the book that started it all: The Strings of the Violin! You have until August 1st, so tweet away!
The Dybbuk's Mirror will be available early 2013.
As I work on finalizing my summer, designing bookmarks, looking at poster ideas, coming up with possible SWAG thoughts, I am realizing one little thing: If I do go to these festivals as a vendor, I will be sitting behind my lovely folding table for hours on end trying to do something that is a little bit scary. I will have to sell my book. Why is this scary? Well, I can tell you all the pros: I get to meet all the wonderful readers out there. I get to see first hand how they select what they read. I get to interact with them, and answer questions, and look into all of their happy shining faces. Ah, but there's the rub. Those things are also scary. Also, I have to sit at my lovely folding table for hours on end. (Also, I seem to be using also a lot today.) The crux of the matter is this: I think I need help. People are coming out of the woodwrok to volunteer for FanExpo, but methinks this may have something to do with the guest list. (Confession time: I kinda want Patrick Stewart to sign my DVD of Hamlet starring him as Claudius. How many people will bring THAT to FanExpo? My guess: Me.) However, I want a partner for the Pirate Festival. That is August 4-6. The catch is that you must be in period appropriate garb. Now, I have an extra outfit, (those who know me are now rolling their eyes saying "of course you do.") however, you must be no more than 5"1 and a little petite. Also, if you're a boy, you can't be afraid to wear a dress. Any takers? (Olivia, I'm kinda looking at you. You know you want to.)
I am looking forward to all of this. Really! However I am nervous about my new role as salesperson. Yet, I'm sure there are those out there saying that I've been doing that all this time, trying to get reviews, social networking, etc. etc. But it's different when you have that degree of anonymity afforded to you by the computer. I suppose it'll be fun at least while in wench wear. Right? Right.
P.S. My bookmarks look awesome!
First things first: This week has been amazing in the amount of news I have to share with all of you guys! I don't know how many of you follow the Toronto theatre scene, but Angelwalk has been nominated for three Dora Mavor Moore Awards! This is too awesome! I Love You Because has been nominated for Outstanding Production, and Jeff Madden has been nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male. Also, Off Broadway On Stage has been nominated for Outstanding New Musical/Opera. This is amazing! In other news, I will be returning to the stage. I am so excited about this. I got offered the role of Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof, and can't wait to start! I have always loved Shalom Alekhem's Tevye stories, and the musical that is based on them is phenominal. So much to be excited about. Yay!
This summer is gearing up to be a busy one. This August, I have FanExpo, and earlier that month, I may be appearing at The Pirate Festival. This looks to be a fun opportunity to dress up, meet readers, sell books, play with pirates! When I know more, I will definitely pass on the information.
As for the new book, I have added a page for it on the website. If you want to check out a short teaser, feel free to click the link on the header. Yes, I have not unveiled the title as of yet. I am strongly leaning towards one in particular. I will be making an annoucement shortly. I promise. No Leo, it is not called The Keys of the Piano, although I will admit I had a good chuckle over that suggestion. Stay tuned for more updates.
I was on television this morning! Yikes. I barely slept last night, my brain seemed to be working on overload. I kept coming up with the worst case scenarios. It was like Shel Silverstein's poem about the Whatifs was coming to life in my mind. What if the host asks me nonsense questions about stuff that isn't even in my book? What if they haven't read it? What if they DID read it and hated it? What if they ask me what books I like and I say an answer that annoys people and they don't want to buy my book out of spite? What if they question me about a book series I can't stand and I say I hate it, and its legions of fans burn my book out of spite? What if I forget how to speak English? What if I get so nervous I can't think of anything interesting to say? What if I wear my impossibly high heels and trip and fall on set and everyone laughs at me? What if... what if... what if...
I woke up this morning just after 7:00 and got dressed. I remembered to not put on my make up and forgot my fears about my shoes. I did wear the impossibly high ones. I got into my car and hit the Tim Horton's drive through. About fifteen minutes later, I was out of the Tim Horton's drive through with my bagel and giant coffee. (I forgot how much I HATE rush hour.) Fifteen minutes after that I was at Rogers TV studios. I parked in the first available Visitor's spot I saw and was told that where I wanted to be was a different door a ways down the lot. Rather than move my car, I proceeded to totter across the uneven pavement towards the right doorway. I entered and met Anna, one of the stage managers who sat me in the Green Room (which unlike the Green Room at The Toronto Centre, is not green.). I confirmed that the information they had on me was correct, and got a microphone attached to my shirt. I sat there a bit and chatted with another guest who was there to speak about being a Divorce Doula. I also met someone there doing a spot on the Kids' Help Phone. After a while, I pulled out a bit of paper and banged out a rough version of an epilogue for Book Two. What can I say? I had an idea and didn't want to lose it. I was then taken into a make up room and got my face transformed.
After make up, I then waited some more in a separate area, where I think I was on a set for a different Rogers show. I waited there with a woman who had two small dogs with her: a pug and a Pomeranian. They were adorable and so well-behaved. She was there to talk about her line of doggy rain coats. And yes, they come in Sebastian's size. I had a bit of a snack while I waited. I had found out that they had put me at the very end of the show, so I had quite a wait to go. Anyway, check out where I was:
As the doggy fashion show was going on, I was taken to an area on set where they hooked my microphone up to the sound system. Glen, one of the hosts came over and told me not to be nervous. I felt a bit better when I saw that he had a copy of my book in hand. The one I had brought seemed superfluous, but I left it on the table in front of me anyways. They gave us a ten second warning, and then he introduced me. I don't remember much of what happened next, but Glen seemed like he had read my book, and was enthusiastic about it. I relaxed, and proceeded to flub a couple of words as I spoke. But I think I came across okay. At least I HOPE I did. As I left the studio, a couple of people asked me where they could find copies of The Strings of the Violin, and I gave out the information. I tottered back to my car and came home. I expect a copy of the interview within a couple of weeks, and I'll put it up here and on my Facebook. Let me know what you think! All in all, it was a good, if nerve wracking experience. I'm glad I did it.
Well, here we go again. Day after tomorrow I will be on Rogers. Hopefully nothing will happen to move it to another day this time. I thoughtfully went over my talking points and sent them off to the producer. Now I just have to cross my fingers and hope they stick to them.
In other news, Husband Brian and I actually had a date night last night. We went to Bar Italia on College Street and had a lovely dinner and saw "Once More With Feeling: A Musical Tribute to Joss Whedon". I won't lie. I am an unabashed Joss Whedon fangirl. I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dr. Horrible, and am ridiculously excited to see both The Cabin in the Woods and The Avengers. Husband Brian is getting a pass on The Cabin in the Woods, (I'm seeing that with one of my friends), but he is happily being dragged to The Avengers. I am going to also take this opportunity to make a rather embarrassing confession. I can not see a poster for The Cabin in the Woods, or a commercial without my brain singing that song from Evil Dead: the Musical. You know the one. "Cabin in the woods, oooo. Cabin in the woods, yeah. We're five college students on our way to an old abandoned cabin in the woods." Yeah, I'm a dork. Anyway, I loved it last night. Lots of fun. Lots of singing. I knew every word to every song. I think I may have annoyed Brian a bit. But at least my outfit rocked! Tall boots and a red leather jacket. I thought it was fitting.
In other clothing news. Still no clue for what I should wear on Wednesday for my interview. My goal: Look fun, friendly, approachable, but professional. Yeah right. I am open to suggestions. Now I shall distract you by putting a song in your heads!
I'm off trying to get this new book finished. I know that after every draft I say I like it and I'm happy, but then I'll read it again and start to nitpick at it. I don't think anything can ever really be complete. But I have to finish it. Right? Anyway, I'm also off starting Book Three as well. I have a tentative outline done, and the opening couple of pages of it. When I get ideas, I just write them down. I think this all goes into Book Two in some way as well. If I know exactly where I want things to go, I can use Book Two to more directly lead into it. But I have to be careful that it can still be viewed as a self contained story. What happens in Book Two must have some sort of resolution. I don't want it to feel like a complete cliffhanger, yet I want people to need to know what will happen next. I hope I've achieved the balance I desire in this matter. If not, I still have time for rewrites! Right?
As for Book Two, I am having difficulties with the title. I am down to two options, both I like for different reasons. Both I dislike for different reasons. All I know is I've got to stop calling it "Book Two". When it came to The Strings of the Violin, I had the title before I even had the story. I knew I wanted to write a book with that title. I knew I wanted it to revolve around Eastern European folklore. I went from that jumping off point and I was very happy with the results. Here, I have a story. I have characters. I have a plot. I just don't know what to call it. I want a title that's catchy. I want a title that will make readers go "Oh, that sounds interesting. What's it about?" I have two options that I think work for that, however, one of them, I feel, gives away too much about parts of the plot that I would like to remain a surprise until the readers get further into the story. The other, I think is a little too on the nose with regard to what the book is about. Yet, I've got nothing better right now. Oh well, I can revisit it later. I'm sure I have more dialogue to tweak. Now, pretty pictures!
Well, the show's over. I Love You Because had an amazingly successful run, and the past few days have consisted of my least favourite part of a show: The Strike. Basically, you take all your hard work on the production team and dismantle it. The sad thing about theatre, is that every show must come to an end. The final performance, the final look at the set, the theatre, the props all neatly laid out on their tables, and it all comes down, either to be taken apart or stored away. All my props were neatly packed up into boxes and packed away or given back to the many people they were borrowed from. Our basement gained a couch, and our futon is on its way back home. It almost feels like moving, but with nowhere to go to. Sigh.
In other news, our cast party was this Sunday as well, cake was eaten, ceremonial boxed wine was drunk, laughs were had by all. Now I just get to sit back, let my writer's brain take over once more and wait for the next show, which may be Fiddler on the Roof if my audition goes well (fingers crossed), and I will not tell you what part I want- don't want to jinx anything! This will be my first musical as a performer since before the babies were born. So excited!
On the writing front, I was supposed to be on Rogers Daytime talk show this Thursday, however I was told that some scheduling had to be reworked and I have since been moved to May 2nd. This is both disappointing and a small bit of a relief. I was nervous about it, and now have a bit more time to prepare. It's funny, people I've spoken to don't get why I would be nervous about this sort of thing. They tell me things like "Ali, you've sang and danced on stage, and interview should be so easy!" or "Ali, you've been in so many shows. You've been possessed, you've died and played piano. Why does this scare you? You're being so silly!" While all this is true, what they don't understand is one simple thing: The musicals I've been in all have one thing this does not. A SCRIPT! When I was Beth in Little Women, and Jack in Into the Woods I had a big book that told me exactly what to say. I had all these notes I took of my blocking telling me where to go and when. Here, I'm all on my own. True I'm giving them a small list of talking points, but I've no guarantee they'll follow them. It's up to me to present myself and The Strings of the Violin in the best possible light, and not look like a yammering fool. Yikes!
My brother told me that when Steppin' Out was on a similar show trying to drum up publicity for their production of Man of La Mancha, they were told by the interviewer that he had called the theatre to do research and when he had been told the show was about Don Quixote, he heard "Donkey Hotel" and couldn't figure out why anyone would do a show about a hotel for donkeys. Oy. Here's hoping my interview goes well, and is not at all like that.
Things are definitely heating up on a lot of fronts right now. My sequel is where I am extremely happy with it. I am immensely pleased with where I took the characters and how they grew. I look forward to getting feedback from the privileged few who have been invited to read it. I will be giving drafts out to more. Also, in other exciting news, tomorrow is the dress rehearsal for I Love You Because, the show I am props manager for. (I have been trying to get them to call me something a little more colourful. I've been toying with "Props Guru" or "Lord of the Props". So far, no one has bitten.) Since it's the last few days before previews and the official opening night, I've been focusing on props we're calling "consumables". This consists of food items that get eaten on stage, drinks, and things that can only be used once. I've been cooking egg rolls, making "scotch" (lightly sweetened iced tea), buying wines (grape juice in red and white), making martinis (water dyed teal blue), and buying stamps to be licked and placed each show. I've also been wrapping roses in cellophane, and I've learned I really don't like cellophane. It rips when you cut it. It rips when you fold it. It rips when you tape it. And I swear it rips when you look at it sideways. Yuck. However, the show is going to look, sound, and be amazing! Our set rocks, our music rocks, and our cast certainly rocks!
In book news, I find that the first book set things up nicely. I was allowed the chance to introduce the characters, begin building the world, and set them free on an amazing adventures. Book two is all about upping the stakes, as far as I'm concerned. Now that I have introduced everyone and their world, I can delve deeper into their characters and take them further. This for me has been great fun. (Less fun if you are actually in the book.) I am very very excited about what I have done here, and once I have some feedback, I can proceed. Soon, I feel I can release the title for you all, and I am excited about this as well! But until then, I have a show to focus on. Let the week of super crazy stress begin!
So they slept through last night! However, due to the time change today, we woke them up early in order to try to keep things on an even schedule and not throw them off too much. We shall see if that works for tonight.
Tonight is the last night where I sit in the middle of the room. They went to sleep quickly enough and hopefully it stays that way. It was fairly uneventful. Hailey is still throwing things at me while I try to get the boys to fall asleep. She thinks it's all one big party. I sat there and sang various songs to the boys to get them to fall asleep. Eventually they all drifted off.
Tomorrow I move from the middle of the room to the doorway for three nights. Hopefully my gradual leaving won't be too traumatic to them.
In other news, I delivered all the props I've been collecting to Angelwalk's rehearsal space for I Love You Because. Seriously, if you're in Toronto between March 28, and April 15 you have to check out this show. It's going to be totally awesome.
I am seriously going to do a recap for you all about my book launch as soon as I get some pictures to add to it. I have one all typed up and ready to go, so stay tuned!
Book launch night! But I will write a post dedicated just to the launch soon, when I have pictures to add. Down to business...
Last night, Joseph woke at 2:20 a.m. and I went to him. Brian joined me for a bit, but it was mildly frustrating to have two people trying to put one baby to bed, so I sent him on his way. I managed to get him back to sleep and they all slept until morning after that.
Tonight, because of the launch, Brian's mom read them their stories and she and Vivian sat in their room for the Shuffle as I went off to deal with our launch guests and book sales. They went to sleep soon after with little trouble (compared to last night and the night before). I watched the red lights on the monitor to confirm this.
All I will say about the launch (since I'm exhausted) is I had a great time. My guests seemed to have a great time. An amazing sincere thank you to everyone who came. I loved seeing and speaking to all of you. I appreciate your support. Pictures and proper blog entry dedicated to you to come soon. Now, my babies, please support your mommy by sleeping tonight.