Category Archives: News

Open Content and Star Wars

Wikipedia edits on Star Wars - The Last Jedi

Just to illustrate the pros and cons of Wikipedia, here is how para 3 of the article on The Last Jedi read this morning, and again a half hour later.

I use Wikipedia all the time. It’s a really useful general resource, and I donate every year to the Foundation. Still, let’s acknowledge its limitations. Its open content status means it can be manipulated by anybody in the short-term.

There is no substitute for diligent, independent research based on multiple sources. In other words, get thee to a good old-fashioned library.

Upcoming Reading at Stella’s

Coffee house

I am very pleased to be participating in the Authors’ Afternoon series this Sunday, July 30, at Stella’s on Lauder Street, just off St Clair near the Corso Italia. Appearing with me will be poet and singer Honey Novick. Event host will be writer/photographer Peggy Lampotang. If you find yourself in Toronto that day, please drop by. Stella’s offers a delectable assortment of coffees, pastries and paninis, and a relaxed and eclectic atmosphere.

Further information on the event:

Authors’ Afternoon at Stella’s – 145 Lauder Avenue at St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto

A drop-in and meet-up for book lovers and writers, every last Sunday of the Month

Appearing on Sunday July 30, from 2 to 4 pm:

Ron Thompson

Ron Thompson’s first novel, A Person of Letters, is a satire on writing, publishing, love, obsession, and guilt, a rollicking riff on creativity and idealism, a deliciously icy snowball aimed at writing and publishing in the digital age.

Honey Novick

Honey Novick is a singer/poet who has written 8 poetry books, numerous poems in anthologies and magazines and recorded 8 CDs and LPs. She has sung on CBC radio and TV, CTV, and in New York, Japan, Israel, and Cuba.

An Update on Poplar Lake

Poplar Lake - Placeholder Cover

I’m pleased to announce that my new novel, Poplar Lake, will be released by Vancouver-based Now or Never Publishing  in the fall of 2018.

Now or Never Publishing produces works by new and established authors from across Canada. Since 2005, NON has published 45 original titles, and its catalogue continues to grow with its annual spring and fall list releases. NON is a member of the Association of Canadian Publishers and the Literary Press Group of Canada.

Publisher Chris Needham commented on NON’s acquisition of Poplar Lake. “Poplar Lake is a darkly subversive novel, compelling, poignant, and multi-layered, whimsical and wry in observation, a feat of imagination—and Ron Thompson’s voice is honest and assured in the telling. This book is going to resonate with readers when it hits bookstores next fall.”

I will post additional updates as we move through the prerelease period.

About Poplar Lake:

A young writer brings his girlfriend home to meet his family, introducing her to the vivid, sometimes dark history of his prairie hometown, while concealing the painful secrets of his own past.

Poplar Lake is a darkly satiric tragicomedy about families and relationships and the day-to-day lies that sustain them.

If Guy Vanderhaegh and Margaret Laurence had a love child, it would be Poplar Lake. Little Big Man would be its godfather, and M. Night Shyamalan would direct the movie adaptation.

Speech to the Ottawa Womens Canadian Club

On Thursday March 24 I had the honour to address the monthly meeting of the Ottawa Women’s Canadian Club at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa. The club was founded in 1910 and over the century of its existence it has been addressed by prime ministers, governors-general, justices of the Supreme Court, and many other accomplished and notable visitors, including the Shah of Iran. So it was with some trepidation that I prepared my speech, the theme for which was “Becoming a Writer: My Long and Winding Journey,” and stood to deliver it.

It was a winding journey for everyone in Ottawa that day, as the city was hit by a late winter storm, but we had a large turnout for the event. The audience was welcoming, kind, and receptive, and I enjoyed interacting with them in the Q&A session following the speech. At the conclusion of the discussion, the club graciously presented me with a copy of the history of the OWCC, which I will cherish, and made a generous contribution to Wounded Warriors of Canada on my behalf.

Many thanks to the OWCC, especially to Program Chair Ann Blair, President Elaine Hickey, board members Connie Gowling and Mary Townson, and everyone else who made me welcome, even staffing the book table and selling books. I was very pleased that my friends Lorna Clark and Brenda Fawcett were able to attend the event, particularly given the weather.

Later that day, I had a fantastic meeting with a local book club, facilitated by member Cathy Wiley. Thanks to Cathy and to all the members who braved the snow and contributed to an enjoyable discussion on A Person of Letters. It warms the cockles of this author’s heart to meet such avid readers and to discuss their impressions of the book and their take on the characters who sprung from his imagination.

Photos by Ottawa Womens Canadian Club, with the exception of the Chateau Laurier photo by StupendousMan 2008  (Own work, Creative Commons CC BY 3.0).

March 24: The Ottawa Women’s Canadian Club

OWCC - program

On March 24th I will be speaking at the monthly meeting of the Ottawa Women’s Canadian Club at Ottawa’s Chateau Laurier.

The OWCC is a century-old service organization dedicated to public service, culture, and international understanding. Every month it hosts a luncheon and invites a speaker to address its members on a topical issue. I’m honoured to be included on this spring’s program, which includes distinguished Canadians such as journalist Rosemary Thompson, former Senator Sharon Carstairs, and former RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli. I will be speaking about writing and publishing in the digital age and reflecting on my own influences and experience as a writer.

For updates, follow my Facebook Author Page.

Now Showing at Ben McNally’s

Ben McNally's Books - interiorI’m pleased to report that my novel, A Person of Letters, is now available at Ben McNally Books on Bay Street in Toronto. This is a homecoming of sorts for Person’s narrator, a designer of financial derivatives who once worked on Bay Street. Appropriately, his homecoming coincides with the opening today of The Big Short, an excellent movie adapted from an excellent book about the near collapse of the global economy – primarily because of gonzo financial innovations like the derivatives Person used to think up.

Ben McNally Books is Toronto’s literary hotspot, a booklover’s delight, a bastion of books amid the downtown towers. Go in and browse – you’ll enjoy the experience. (I certainly enjoy seeing APOL on its shelves!)

Many readers of APOL have provided generous feedback on the book (thank you!) and asked how they can help raise its profile. My reply is – tell a friend. That’s the single best thing you can do. There are more things too, if you’re so inclined. Post a review on Amazon, Goodreads, your blog, or elsewhere. Ask for it at your local library. Ask for it at your favourite bookstore. Suggest it to your book club. Follow my Facebook Author Page. Share links. All of these actions, all of your word of mouth efforts, are greatly appreciated!

Merry Christmas to all, and thank you for your support in 2015. All the best in the New Year!

A Person of Letters, Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Bike trimOver the last several weeks I’ve been personally delivering signed copies of A Person of Letters to people all over Toronto. Usually I do this on my bike. It’s a great form of exercise, and if I wasn’t delivering (and visiting along the way) I’d be cycling anyway on my favourite route through High Park and along Lake Ontario to the mouth of the Mimico and back.

A number of people farther afield have asked how they might get a signed copy of the book.  It’s fantastic to have a personal connection with readers, wherever they may be – but I can’t cycle to Calgary or Victoria. It’s getting cold even going as far as Mimico. In a month or so I’ll need to park the bike for winter.

Today I’m pleased to let you know I’ve worked out a way, via PayPal, to get a personalized copy to those who’d like one, wherever they may be.  The details of the process (it’s very simple) are posted on publisher Martin Scribler Media‘s website on this link.  I particularly like this solution because it provides readers with a secure purchase option via PayPal.  This is important to me, so I understand how important it is to others.

Locally, I’ll still be delivering personally. It’s not yet time to park the bike – although I’ll wait till the remnants of Hurricane Patricia pass the city before I venture out again!