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Welcome to this NOVEMBER edition of Hackwriters and hope you'll stay to look around. Read us and review the amazing archives too. 14 years on-line and 7424 articles - reviews - stories - destinations. Find something you like - share it on Twitter or Facebook or Linked In or...


The Repossession & The Hunting by Sam Hawksmoor released across Canada Flag Available in Chapters/Indigo/ + Bolens Books (Victoria), Mables Fables, Type Books in Toronto, Hager, Albany Books and Kids Books Broadway - Vancouver
Smart, dark and graceful, this story is sure to send chills down your spine…’ Evie Seo
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Positive Living Radio
Sara Troy interviews Sam Hawksmoor 26 Nov

Diary of A Book Tour of Canada
Vancouver was shrouded in fog - the hotel - the Century Plaza on Burrard was surprisingly welcome with amazing rooms that would cost a fortune in London. The Book Tour got off to a good start when I was met at the airport by Jenny from the Manda Group.

*Photo of Coal Harbour in Fog taken with my iPhone
Fog BC
Next day I had to fly to Victoria on a float plane. My first time on something that is is quite normal in BC- hopping between the islands - but expensive. I got to Coal Harbour and the fog was thick - it looked like a bust.
Harbour Air Angry excutives and people wanting to see Government officials in a hurry to get to Victoria were huffing and puffin - must have worked because we finally took off for the Island. It's $185 one way, but you do get a good view of the islands and it's cool to land in front of the Empress Hotel.

I was met by Iolanda and taken to lunch in the city. Nothing grand but hey the sarnies were good. Met with a couple of booksellers - Pat from from Schoolhouse Teaching Supplies and the wonderful Kirsten from Bolen's Books (a giant bookshop that has everything). Got to sign some books later and then, since we missed the early ferry, Jen and Iolanda took me to the terrific Stagebar besides the Belfry Theatre on Gladstone. (Highly recommended) Rest of night in a blur as we took the last ferry back to Vancouver.
Rescued the next day by my sister Sara and niece, Tasha with Koko the dog. It's good to reconnect with family. Took a walk to Kids Books on Broadway and the books stand proud there. The neighbourhood in Kits hasn't changed so much. The Arbutus café is still there, the old railway out front is more intensely gardened. Urban street gardening is a big thing this on this side of the bay.

The attraction of Vancouver is that they haven't yet torn down everything from the past - although there is the temptation to do that I am sure. Neighbourhoods are important and giving them a distinct identity is inbuilt to the community that live there. We caught the movie Gravity at the Fifth Avenue - my favourite movie theatre. Screens are small but it is a great little venue. Gravity is amazing and all done with wires - you could swear it was shot in space. Must have taken forever to shoot.

Next day it's lunch at Trafalgar and meeting with more booksellers with Carrie from Hager Books and Ruth from Albany amongst others.
Tough business persuading booksellers to stock your books but with luck they have. Jen and Iolanda keep up the flow of conversation fueled by Brown Owl wine - surprisingly delicious. (*Not made from actual Owls)

Afterwards I venture out to Indigo Books and try to interest staff there as I sign copies but eyes glaze over quickly. So many books and so few people to sell them - it's a wonder anyone knows what to buy. Getting noticed in that vast pile where 200,000 titles are published in 2013 alone. Scary. Consider alternate career as I trudge back to the safety of my favourite coffee shop in Kits (The Epicurean) on Ist where I actually wrote the Repossession. Nice smile from owner when I arrive too. I used to write for Hacks here many years ago too and it feels good to be back. Funny how some coffee shops exude just the right kind of atmosphere and of course the foods great here. Don't tell anyone.

Waking later discovered this new sliver of a coffee shop in Mount Pleasant on Main street. It's possible that Vancouver has more coffee shops than people...

Next stop Montreal via West Jet. Airport Bus gets you right downtown - easy once you locate it - Montreal an even tougher place to be a new English YA author but I enjoy wandering around the old town (where the cruise ships tower over the buildings just like Venice). Rediscovered Olive + Gormande, a very lively lunch place with a 'big' queue. Friendly too as you sit at a high bench eating home made soup. Open one in Vancouver guys. I like Vieux Montreal - it has a charm to it with lots of cute little boutiques and art galleries. Then there's the street art - sometimes on a monumental scale. Graffiti is a big deal here it seems.

Graffiti Montreal has a great deal of character and is quite welcoming - the coffee shops in the Plateau are amazing, of course, but almost all the food is smothered in cheese - which makes me think they don't really like to taste their food there. But anyhow a few copies of my books lurk in Indigo Books. Sad to discover that Chapters are basically becoming a 'lifestyle' store and that books are going to be reduced in importance by at least one third to one half of floor space. Good place to buy a rug however.
I was taken care of by my niece Emma, who showed me the upscale side of the city I had never been to. Babar Books was cute too and I hope they find customers for my books over in Westmount.
I was sad to leave the city - especially at six am by
train bound for Toronto. Wow VIA Rail trains much nicer than UK trains and cheap too if you get the online price - just $45 bucks one way. *4.45 hours travel with on-board wi-fi.
In Toronto I was taken care of by Donna from Manda Group and taken to many bookshops. Met this obliging Bear in Mables Fables and later glimpsed Chris Hadfield signing 1500 copies of his books in Indigo Books. Luckily I have another niece here, Tabytha tending bar at Drakes Boutique hotel and we had fun as she showed me her favourite places. Toronto is basically under re-contruction with 100 Condo 40 storey towers going up simultaneously - even my dreadful Hilton Garden Hotel is a tear down where they intend to put up 38 floors of condos. Crazy. Do avoid this Hilton. Smelly bathrooms, no latte's and dubious goings on behind the hotel.

But I walked tons and Tab had me discover Kensington Market - kind of like Portobello Road thirty years ago - but friendly and good little coffee places.

Mables Fables
Kensington Market Pole Last stop was giving a talk to mature students at the University of Toronto. They seemed horrified at the contents of the average YA novel - discussing Hunger Games or Divergent for example and I definitely put them off my buying my own books. Funny. Normally if you tell people about what is in your books they get excited. Might have been a glimmer of interest in my time travel story but essentially this crowd were ready for a book burning by the end. You forget some people aren't into YA fiction. Their loss I think. Luckily it was Halloween and dinner at Gusto's wih Tabby and Pablo beckoned.

Canada was welcoming as always. Expensive - if only because the pound is worthless - and it's great that you can get around the cities so easily. With luck someone will buy and read the books, but it's more about the usual triumph of hope over experience of course. Nevertheless it was good to be in a country where my books are actually set for once and Manda Group and Hachette looked out for me well. Who knows - maybe there will be a next time...

Sam Hawksmoor November 2013
The Repossession

The Repossession by Sam Hawksmoor.
View the Trailer here - a fast paced edgy romantic thriller
'The Repossession... will blow your mind and keep you guessing until the very end'.
A Dream of Books (SJH)
'Smart, dark and graceful, this story is sure to send chills down your spine...one of the best, and most fascinating, debut novels I've ever read'. Evie-bookish.blogspot

Out Now - The Hunting - the thrilling sequel - order yours from Amazon, Waterstones or Chapters or your indie bookshop plus Indigo Books Canada
'Without a doubt, one of the best YA Sci Fi series out there.' Evie Seo Bookish
See Sam's previous guest editorial here about THE HUNTING: Hawksmoor

If you're looking for an exciting YA book set in WW2 - Kindle download 'The Repercussions of Tomas D' or buy the paperback - All proceeds go to keeping Hackwriters going - (e-book only in Canada it seems)
The Repercussions of Tomas D
A Hero? Or Englands Greatest Traitor? USA Paperback here

Sam North- joint editor of Hackwriters is the author of
Diamonds – The Rush of 72 (Print & ebook))
The Great Californian Diamond Rush of 1872 - a grand American West true life story that made many rich and ruined the lives of almost everyone it touched.
ipad (iTunes version) *e-book now only £1.99

Buy these books - they go towards keeping Hackwriters going.

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