I’m joined today by Paul Cavanagh, an author from London – no, not that London as he explains below! He’s sharing #TenThings he’d like his readers to know about him.
- I’m best known for being named the world’s first Lit Idol at the London Book Fair several years back. Five Londoners made it to the finals, but I was the only one not from England. I’m a Canadian. I live in London, Ontario. That’s why my website is NotThatLondon.com.
- Lit Idol brought me a lot of international media attention. It also got me a publishing deal with HarperCollins in Canada before I’d finished writing the manuscript of my debut novel, After Helen. It was released a year-and-a-half later.
- When the book was reviewed in The Globe and Mail, one of Canada’s national newspapers, the reviewer began by declaring how skeptical he was about giving the pop idol treatment to authors. In fact, he went so far as to say that he thought “the seals of the Apocalypse were cracking open.” Then he ate his words and went on to give it a great review.
- Even though After Helen was a popular and critical success in Canada, it wasn’t published elsewhere until I released it myself in 2014. It got many wonderful reviews in the UK, Ireland, and the US once I did.
- I’m releasing my third novel, Weekend Pass, worldwide on January 19, 2021. To celebrate the occasion, I’m making After Helen available for FREE at afterhelen.com. If you’re not familiar with my work, it’s a great opportunity to stick your toe in the water, so to speak.
- Weekend Pass is already starting to get great advance reviews. I’m meeting with some book clubs before the novel’s release. Each club member received a free advance review copy. If you belong to a book club that might be interested in discussing the book before its publication, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- I write literary fiction. Weekend Pass is about a nurse trying to pick up the pieces of her life during her first weekend home from drug treatment after she accidentally poisons her eight-year-old son. More broadly, it’s about struggling to rise above the mistakes that threaten to define us.
- Dysfunctional families are a favourite topic of mine. I’m not sure why exactly. I wouldn’t consider my family history particularly fraught. Maybe it comes from my background as an occupational therapist, seeing families under stress as they try to cope with health crises.
- Grief and loss is another theme that gets explored in my novels. After Helen was about a high school history teacher who loses his wife to cancer. He has to come to terms with his memories of her – some happy, many not – in order to salvage his relationship with their teenaged daughter. The story began as a bit of a mental experiment. I asked myself, what would I do if I lost my wife? I started reading books about widowers and how they experience loss. I think it made my wife a little nervous. She began wondering whether I had plans to become a widower myself!
- I don’t always write what I know. Often, I write to understand. I start in on a topic and then do research, whether that’s about losing your wife or living with an addiction. My aim is to write stories that are realistic. I also want to show respect for people whose real-life experiences may be similar to what my characters are going through.
My social media links
Buying / free download links
- notthatlondon.com (will be updating this site soon to include Weekend Pass)
- afterhelen.com (free download)
- Weekend Pass pre-order
- Rakuten Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/weekend-pass
- Apple Books – https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1534390270
- Weekend Pass book club ARCs – email@example.com