This week I received an advance reading copy of Poplar Lake from my publisher NON. Very nice to have the physical specimen in my hands after so many rounds of electronic manuscripts. NON is distributing these advance copies to various media and potential reviewers. Small presses and obscure authors (let’s be frank ) have a difficult time getting reviews – there are fewer and fewer newspapers, and those that remain have dramatically cut back their book sections – but I remain hopeful.
Poplar Lake will be released on October 15.
I’m pleased to unveil the final cover for Now or Never Publishing’s edition of Poplar Lake, which will be released on October 15 – just six months from now! The cover and the novel went “live” on NON’s website today, as NON released its Spring 2018 titles and announced its “Coming Soon” (Fall 2018) list.
Click here to go to NON’s Poplar Lake listing now.
Poplar Lake is a prequel to my 2015 novel, A Person of Letters, with which it shares two characters – the narrator Jake, and his girlfriend Genny. Here’s a synopsis of the book:
Jake’s fallen hard for Genny—and now he’s bringing her home to meet the family. On the long trip to the prairies, and as he tours her around town, he amuses her with anecdotes of his childhood, and regales her with stories about the town’s founding (on land stolen from the Cree) and of the scoundrels and visionaries who shaped it. Yet he’s careful what he tells her. There are things he doesn’t want to acknowledge, even to himself. Genny, though, can see he’s hiding something, and is determined to uncover the secret that’s tearing him apart.
Poplar Lake is “a darkly satiric novel about families and relationships and the day-to-day lies that sustain them, a tragicomedy rich with yearning, heartbreak, and love.”
Stay tuned. More news as it becomes available!
Some time ago, my friend, artist Andrew Judd, produced sketches inspired by his reading of my novel Poplar Lake (which will be released this fall). Poplar Lake is “a darkly satiric novel about families and relationships and the day-to-day lies that sustain them,” set in a small prairie town with its own dark and checkered past. Andrew drew on his reading, and our conversations, to produce the evocative images shown above.
At that time, I was considering publishing Poplar Lake myself, and these drawings would have been refined and worked up further until one of them evolved, under Andrew’s sure hand, into the book’s cover illustration. And then, in mid-2017, Vancouver’s Now or Never (NON) Publishing accepted Poplar Lake for publication in 2018. NON is currently hard at work on editorial, layout and graphic design. They will produce a cover image for their forthcoming edition in due course.
Poplar Lake, the book, covers a lot of territory, and Poplar Lake, the (fictional) town, is more than a prairie whistle stop, but they are both undeniably of and about the Canadian west. Andrew’s images capture superbly the stark grandeur of the book’s setting and the isolation of its characters. I’m pleased to share them with the world.
Whenever I’ve posted anything about Poplar Lake I’ve used an elegantly minimalist image produced by another good friend, designer and artist Jana Pavlasek. It (below) will remain my go-to image for a little while longer, until NON completes its art work for the cover. I’ll post that image when it becomes available.
Thanks to both Andrew and Jana for their unstinting help with these images.
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.