Bill Gallaher

Author Pic Bill Gallaher

What is your latest release and what genre is it? High Rider – Biographical novel

Quick description: High Rider is based on the life of John Ware (1845–1905). Born a slave on a rice plantation in South Carolina, Ware became one of the most successful independent ranchers in southern Alberta. The book details his adventures, as well as his trials and tribulations, on the long road that took him from South Carolina to Texas to Montana and finally north to Canada. High Rider is the story of a truly great, yet unsung, Canadian hero.

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Brief biography:
A folk singer/songwriter turned author who lives in British Columbia’s beautiful Okanagan Valley with his wife Jaye and Thompson the cat.

Links to buy Bill’s book:
Please support your local bookstore.
Amazon
Chapters/Indigo
TouchWood Editions

Bill’s promo links:
Website
Facebook
Twitter

What are you working on now?
Canadian historical short stories

Bill’s reading recommendation:
This Thing of Darkness by Harry Thompson, one of the best books I’ve read in the last decade.

Jeffrey Ricker

ricker_jeffrey_headshotJeffrey Ricker

What is your latest release and what genre is it? My latest book is The Unwanted, a YA fantasy published by Bold Strokes Books. I also have an essay in a family by any other name, published by TouchWood Editions.**

Quick description: Jamie Thomas has enough trouble on his hands trying to get through junior year of high school without being pulverized by Billy Stratton, his bully and tormentor. That’s before he finds out the mother he was always told was dead is actually alive—and she’s an Amazon. Sixteen years after she left him on his father’s doorstep, she’s back . . . and needs Jamie’s help. A curse has caused the ancient tribe of warrior women to give birth to nothing but boys, dooming them to extinction—until prophecy reveals that salvation lies with one of the offspring they abandoned. Putting his life on the line, Jamie must find the courage to confront the wrath of an angry god to save a society that rejected him.

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Brief biography:
Jeffrey Ricker is the author of Detours, published in 2011 by Bold Strokes Books, and the YA fantasy The Unwanted, also published by Bold Strokes Books. His writing has appeared in the anthologies Foolish Hearts: New Gay Fiction, A Family by Any Other Name, Men of the Mean Streets, and others. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, he is completing an MFA at the University of British Columbia and lives in St. Louis with his partner and their contrary dachshund.

Links to buy Jeffrey’s book:
Bold Strokes Books—eBook and print
Indiebound—U.S.—independent book stores
Barnes & Noble—U.S.—eBook and print
Indigo—Canada—print
Kobo—eBook
Amazon Worldwide—eBook and print

Jeffrey’s promo links:
Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

What are you working on now?
I just finished my graduate thesis for UBC’s creative writing program. It’s a speculative fiction novel about a young farmer in the early 22nd century. Climate change has done a number on her profession by that point, and she’s forced to choose between keeping the family business afloat or throwing her lot in with her estranged brother, who’s leading the first colonization mission to another planet. I have some more edits to do for that, and then it’ll be time to focus on the next project, either a follow-up to The Unwanted or this idea I have for a detective novel set in St. Louis.

Jeffrey’s reading recommendation:
I’ll recommend the book I most recently finished, The Age by Nancy Lee. It’s set in the 1980s and follows a troubled teenager named Gerry as she falls in with a bad crowd planning a protest at a Vancouver peace march. The time period really resonated with me, as I remember being a teenager in the ’80s and thinking the world was going to end any day. That feeling is driven home even more by the book’s parallel storyline, a dystopian post-atomic future that takes place all in Gerry’s head. Gerry is at once pretty unlikable and yet I found myself full of sympathy for her situation.

**Reading Recommendations has previously featured three authors connected with the publication of a family by any other nameBruce Gillespie, Betty Jane Hegrat and ‘Nathan Burgoine.

Betty Jane Hegerat

Jan 2014 #2 Betty Jane Hegerat

What is your latest release and what genre is it? My latest publication is an essay in the brave and wonderful anthology, a family by any other name; Exploring Queer Relationships (Touchwood Editions 2014) Bruce Gillespie, the editor of this anthology, was previously featured on Reading Recommendations

Quick description: The book explores what family means to people today and includes a wide range of perspectives on queer relationships and families. My essay, Finding My Grace, deals with my coming to terms, both emotionally and spiritually, with my daughter’s coming out.

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Brief biography:
In a previous life, I had a career as a social worker, but twenty years ago I decided to put my storytelling talent to the test. I took some writing courses, wrote and wrote and wrote, and finally enrolled in UBC’s optional residency MFA in Creative Writing. I’ve taught creative writing in various places. As well as numerous stories in literary magazines and some in other anthologies, I have four books: Running Toward Home (a novel, NeWest Press 2006), A Crack in the Wall (a collection of short stories, Oolichan Books 2008) Delivery (a novel, Oolichan Books 2009) and The Boy (a hybrid of non-fiction, fiction, and memoir, Oolichan Books 2011).

Links to buy Betty Jane’s book:
The link for a family by any other name: Touchwood Editions
Links to the publishers of my books are on my website.

Betty Jane’s promo links:
My Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Goodreads link to a family by any other name

What are you working on now?
Primarily short pieces of non-fiction that I hope I’ll be inspired to expand into essays some day. I am also looking forward to the publication of my first YA novel which is tentatively scheduled for release in fall 2014.

Betty Jane’s reading recommendation:
I always have a pile of short story collections on the bedside table, and another next to my “reading chair”. I’ve recently revisited Alice Munroe’s earliest books, and one of my favourite more recent collections is Western Taxidermy by Barb Howard. Barb is a friend and colleague but I recommend her book without bias. A novel which held me in its thrall for reasons I have never been able to pin down and is at the top of pile of “re-read” is David Guterson’s The Other, published in 2008. (Barb Howard was a featured author previously on Reading Recommendations.)

Here are a few photos (taken by Robert Hegerat) from the very successful Calgary launch of a family by any other name!

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Bruce Gillespie

I’d like to make a personal comment about today’s Reading Recommendation. I have not yet had the opportunity to read this book, but I believe it is a very important publication. A Family by Any Other Name first came to my attention when my good friend, Calgary-author Betty Jane Hegerat, told me her essay had been accepted for inclusion in the anthology. Ever since that day, I have been doing my best to help spread the word about the book, and since it was officially published on April 8th, I am very proud to now be able to include it’s editor, Bruce Gillespie, as my Reading Recommendation for today. smt

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Bruce Gillespie

What is your latest release and what genre is it? My latest book is A Family by Any Other Name: Exploring Queer Relationships, an anthology of personal essays, published by TouchWood Editions.

Quick description: At no other time in history have lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) relationships and families been more visible or numerous. A Family by Any Other Name recognizes and celebrates this advance by exploring what “family” means to people today. The anthology includes a wide range of perspectives on queer relationships and families—there are stories on coming out, same-sex marriage, adopting, having biological kids, polyamorous relationships, families without kids, divorce, and dealing with the death of a spouse, as well as essays by straight writers about having a gay parent or child. These personal essays are by turns funny, provocative, and intelligent, but all are moving and honest. Including writers from across North America, this collection offers honest and moving real-life stories about relationships and creating families in the twenty-first century.

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Brief biography:
Bruce Gillespie is an award-winning Canadian writer and editor and an assistant professor in the digital media and journalism program at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Brantford campus. He is also the editor-in-chief of J-Source.ca, a hub for news, analysis, and commentary about Canadian journalism. Bruce, with Lynne Van Luven, was the co-editor of two previous anthologies of personal essays: Somebody’s Child: Stories About Adoption and Nobody’s Father: Life Without Kids.

Links to buy A Family by Any Other Name:
Amazon.ca – Canada – eBook and print
Amazon.com – US – eBook and print
Indigo.ca – print
Kobo – eBook
iTunes

Bruce’s promo links:
BruceGillespie.com
Twitter
A Family by Any Other Name Facebook group
A Family by Any Other Name: TouchWood Editions
Goodreads
An interview on Metro Morning, CBC Radio Toronto
Report on the Toronto launch

What are you working on now?
With A Family by Any Other Name now hitting bookshelves, I’m in between projects at the moment, but I have a few ideas in mind that I intend to start working on just as soon as I catch my breath.

Bruce’s reading recommendation:
As you might guess from my publishing history, I’m a big fan of personal essays. So, I was delighted when one of my favourite novelists, Ann Patchett, released a collection of essays recently called This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. Her nonfiction is every bit as good as her fiction, and it’s the sort of book you want to read as slowly as possible, to enjoy each and every word and make it last as long as possible. (I absolutely agree with Bruce’s recommendation. I recently read the book and thought it to be an excellent collection of essays. smt)

Betty Jane Hegerat and ‘Nathan Burgoine, two of the contributors to A Family by Any Other Name have been featured on Reading Recommendations.