Category Archives: Poplar Lake

Cover Concepts for Poplar Lake


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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.

Poplar Lake - Placeholder Cover


An Update on Poplar Lake

Poplar Lake - Placeholder Cover
This is a placeholder cover, as design has not yet begun.

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.