Author: Ian Williams

Google alerts, 2

As I’ve mentioned before, my agent occasionally sends me Google alerts of what I and other Ian Williamses are up to.

Google Alerts
Ian Williams Daily update ⋅ March 15, 2019
Ian Williams thrives on stylistic daring in debut novel Reproduction Reproduction, the debut novel by acclaimed poet Ian Williams, looks at how love, ambition, and sorrow recur in the families we both inherit and …Flag as irrelevant
Man arrested for allegedly hitting a child with a leather belt WKRG News 5 The boy told her he was punished by 30-year-old Ian Williams for his actions at school. The arrest report states the alleged abuse happened on …Flag as irrelevant

$165 000 US or $218 790 CAD

David Chariandy won the Windham-Campbell prize for Brother.

He’s won, or been close to winning, a lot of prizes. Definitely, the book has made him over a quarter million dollars in prize money alone. For part of an afternoon, a few of my writer friends and I fantasized about what we’d do with the money.

I had just come back from playing tennis so I was thinking I might spend more of my time doing that. In the short term, I might get a new racket (I dislike that spelling but, alas, I’m giving in). That would leave $218 600 to spend on tennis balls.

A colleague at the Peter Wall Institute, younger than me, said she sometimes takes a day off and pretends that she’s retired. She informed me that one needs 1.3 million dollars to retire comfortably off the interest.

Anyway, Twitter showered David with love, although he’s not on it.

Reading Zadie Smith’s Feel Free

Here are some highlights from Feel Free, via my Twitter self.

The book trailer for Reproduction

Have you seen this yet? I strut in slow motion down Queen West in Toronto. I look pretty tough. I appear to be thinking, I run these streets out here, y’all.

Then I write some poetry into a yellow notebook.

My favourite sentence is the last one, starting at 1:16, where I lean in and get all serious. That’s about as intense as I get, believe it or not.

Marlon James

Just typing his name into the subject line makes me feel like I’m reporting for a gossip site.

Just typing his name into the subject line makes me feel like I’m reporting for a gossip site.

In the last few weeks, I’ve read more about him than I have about myself. His book, Black Leopard, Red Wolf, is exploding. Reviews, profiles, interviews everywhere. There’s not enough gossip circulating but maybe that’ll come. His novel is enjoying a warm reception. Insert here the emoji of the party favour exploding.

I interviewed him last night when he swooped into town for a Vancouver Writers Fest event. He’s in San Francisco by now.

Sorry. Speaking of gossip, the one time I was getting close to something juicy about him, we were standing backstage and he made a joke about something-which-will-remain-off-record, then Leslie Hurtig, the Vancouver Writers Fest director, called my name and I had to step on stage. I never got a chance to circle back.

Circling back, Marlon James has been on my mind for weeks. He’s as smart and funny and electric and irreverent as you’d expect. He probably makes his friends sputter laughter in public when he texts them. He has a confidence that makes you trust his artistic decisions. He has a reason for every choice he makes. There’s no accident in Black Leopard, Red Wolf. The man researched the book for years.

Taller than I predicted. Maybe 6’1. He was wearing layers of black–pants with a white side-stripe, a knee-length tunic over that (he called it a dress), and a shirt over that. And a medallion. Black boots. His dreads were tied back. I suspect the whole look was on trend, like from NY fashion week, and not simply goth, as the untrained eye would label it.

I’ll try to find some more pics. Here’s one of us just chillin’ on the porch.

Google Alerts

You probably know by now that I don’t read about myself.

It’s not because I’m above what people think about me. Not gon’ lie. I actually care about that, to some extent. It’s not because I’m thin-skinned. Or because I’m busy writing. There’s no smug, clever, artistic reason.

The main reason lies in the procrastination family: deferral, emails to write, the addictive chain of The Office, buying conditioner, hijacked reward mechanism, wanting to enjoy the article with trail mix.

My agent, Denise, however, is really good at keeping up. Usually she’ll just tell me what’s going on. Sometimes she sends me Google alerts.

She even sends me the ones about other Ian Williamses gone awry. Behold.

Google Alerts
Ian Williams Daily update ⋅ February 4, 2019
Driver caught with Normanton prostitute – and then it gets even worse for himDerbyshire Live Ian Williams pleaded guilty to both drink-driving and making payment for sexual services when he appeared at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ …Flag as irrelevant
Former 49ers believe they could’ve beaten Patriots in Super Bowl XLVINBCSports.comThe Patriots’ run defense was middle of the pack, and former 49ers defensive tackle Ian Williams said he thought San Francisco would have taken …Flag as irrelevant
Taunton 15:15 2m 2f 40y (Class 4)Grandnationalpro.comIan Williams‘ charge gave notice of better to come when just beaten on his chasing bow at Bangor then duly obliged at Wincanton where he was …Flag as irrelevant
Racing Daily with BetVictor – Feb 4TheGamblingTimes (press release) (blog)Ian Williams‘ 6-y-o didn’t find as much as expected on his chase debut at Bangor but did the job well last time. This is a big day for the Anthony …Flag as irrelevant

Bonnie Stern Book Club

In the photo, I am wearing a vintage seventies polyester shirt. And chest hair.

Now that that’s out of the way, Bonnie Stern brings together writers and readers over food inspired by the book. For Reproduction, we had a Caribbean-German fusion. Perfect, right? And there were little bagel appetizers–a detail from part 1 of the novel.

Yesterday, Toronto was in the middle of a winter storm but what a good group of avid readers turned up! What good conversations! As with these events, you always leave feeling like you wish you could have talked with so-and-so more but you just can’t be in multiple areas of the room.

Clones, that’s what we need.

A little thank you amid the bustle

I think I have the best team of people around me as a writer. If there was ever a Canlit roller derby, I’d want these three people skating on my team with their elbows out (tiny shorts optional).

My agent, Denise Bukowski, lives and breathes this business. She sends me everything I need to know about myself as it appears online.

Anne Collins at Random House is such an extraordinary, perceptive editor. In terms of business, I don’t need to see how the chicken nugget gets made because she’s made millions of them. Does that work metaphorically?

Scott Sellers, my publicist, has to be the best in the game. He’s booked TV, radio, print spots for Reproduction. In studios, he’ll stand to the side like a boss as if I’m an asset that needs safeguarding.