I've done a few readings from Close Your Eyes in the past (they can be found in this post on my website, and include a walk along the boardwalk at sunrise), but I've never done a reading from Festival - until now!
Festival is a coming-of-age novella set in 1990s London (England), and Toronto. There is a very kind review here on the Reader's Favorite site ( The ending of the book left me heartbroken. I still have not made my peace with it. But the end somehow fits the story. I loved this book. ) and there are definitely people who have enjoyed Festival more than Close Your Eyes, which has been my more broadly popular book.
In this video I do a brief reading from one of the Toronto scenes.
Festival is here on Amazon US (and is on most international amazon sites), and is also enrolled in Kindle Unlimited if folks subscribe to that.
In other writing news, I participated in NaNoWriMo this November (despite the controversies that sprang up 1/2 way through the month) and after months (years?!) of prep work and background reading, finally hammered out a first draft of Book TWO of my young adult trilogy.
I continue to hold onto Book One by the way, hoping I can find a traditional publisher to take it and the trilogy as a whole.
Best wishes everyone :)
Well, it's highly likely that I'll be the only author interviewed by History Bards, whose thumbnail photo has the author wearing a toque! :) (a toque is Canadian-English for a warm winter hat). But I'm a Canadian and live in a snow-belt, so maybe it's appropriate :)
The interview focuses on the writing of Close Your Eyes, though the writing process for that book definitely feels like it was a while ago now.
For Within This Darkness, I am continuing to do research for the World War II scenes in book #2. If you took a look at my recently read shelf on Goodreads, you'd see some of the titles I've been reading. The focus now is primarily on the armed resistance to the Germans in the Zamość region, which would be a lot easier if I spoke/read Polish and was able to locate and read Polish-language texts on the subject.
If anyone gives the podcast interview a try, I hope you enjoy it! Best wishes!
Hi everyone - I have an online event coming up that I thought I would shoot a couple readings for, and I've posted them below.
I tried this on Saturday afternoon as well. I had my 9 year old film me, keeping me in the shot as I read, but something about the glare of the mid-day sun and me on camera the whole time was just boring. So I got out at sunrise this morning and did the readings a bit more informally, holding my device myself as I did the reading.
I think - mostly showing the sunrise as I read - is a lot nicer than seeing me the whole time anyway! :)
Here's reading #1 - this is the Joan of Arc scene, which shows up in one of Tycho's brief journal entries. This is past the 1/2 way point of the book, and is when Tycho is somewhat in distress about what he's meant to be doing with his life.
And this one below is the picnic scene.
The context here is that 16/17 year old Tycho has been chasing, lustily, after Agnieszka (who is about 20) for months prior to this scene - but increasingly, his feelings have become conflicted about what exactly he feels for his friend.
I hope you enjoy these!
Best wishes everyone!!
It is spring in central Ontario, and over the last several days, I've gotten out for my first bike rides and even paddle (kayak) of the season. And, these photos below show why I find it so hard to stay indoors and (god forbid!) write, in the good weather months in Ontario.
I think this main photo below was from kayaking on the local lake on Saturday April 15. The two videos below are from the same morning.
These three photos in this small gallery are from walks to work during the week of Monday April 10. For the photo of the two geese standing on the edge of the thin ice - I actually got a photo where the light was better, BUT, the goose on the left had tucked his head and neck down against his body so overall, this photo is slightly the better one of the two.
I will admit that I rushed onto the water in the kayak a bit early this past weekend. The water temperature would still be pretty darn cold, so if you actually fell in you'd be in danger of hyptothermia or worse, but I couldn't resist - especially as boating season hasn't begun yet and so no matter how long I may have wanted to stay out there, there would have been zero chance of any boats zooming around and I knew I was going to have the entire lake to myself.
This first video is what it is like to be out there before the sun has crested the horizon.
And this one with the thin ice would have been 30 minutes or so after I took the previous video. I hadn't expected to encounter any ice out there - but there was actually one large patch of ice extending south below the main island in the local lake. It was thin enough that you could have paddled through it a bit if needed - but it wasn't something you would want to do for any distance at all.
I did eventually find my way through the ice to get around the island, and as that day continued to be very warm, I'm sure that the ice melted through the course of the day.
As I paddled near this thin ice (not INTO the ice as shown in the video), the slight waves from my kayak hitting the ice made this really interesting sound... it was like someone pouring sand almost endlessly down onto a hard tiled kitchen floor.... a "shooooosssshhhhh" sound. It was really pretty blissful :)
After you publish / self-publish a book, there are ebbs and flows to "news" about your book - the reviews trickle in here and there, and as the author, you try this and try that to get your book noticed.
Within the last few days, I've had two bookstagrammars show some kindness for Close Your Eyes, and I wanted to sincerely say "thank you" to them.
Before I do though - I'm realizing that I met both of these wonderful human beings through Lola's Book Tours, so Lola a huge thank you to YOU as well. And while I'm at it, I found out about Lola from Mareli at Elza Reads, who just happened to be the reviewer who reviewed my book for the Reedsy site - a review I've always been incredibly grateful for. So Mareli thank you for your lovely review, and thank you for introducing me to Lola :)
Bibliophile in Egypt reviewed the book in early March, but recently did a 2nd post on her bookstagram account, trying to convince her followers to read Close Your Eyes. Thank you so much Bibliophile!
Shreya in India also reviewed the book recently, and we have now done an author interview as well, which ran to over an hour. I'm not sure how much of that interview Shreya will use for her YouTube channel, but I had a wonderful time talking to her - and very much appreciate her kindness both to me, and to Close Your Eyes.
As we head towards Easter 2023, there is also a book blog tour for Close Your Eyes happening. The tour was organized by Cathie at the Coffee Pot Book Club, and over the next five days, the tour will involve numerous book blogs (generally with a focus on historical fiction) posting excerpts from the book. The Coffee Pot Book Club's own blog is one of the tour stops, and I happen to quite like the excerpt from the book which is posted on their page.
And this below is just a photo I realized i quite like. It's from Thursday March 30 here in Ontario, where spring seems reluctant to come thus far. Best wishes everyone.
I'm Chris Tomasini.