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A First Book for former Dialogue Columnist Dolly Dennis
From: Dolly Dennis, Edmonton, Alberta
Thought I should bring you up to date about my novel, Loddy-Dah, and forward you the book cover. I am currently working on the final edits with the publisher, Toronto's Guernica Editions. The book will go to print in January 2014 with a release date of end of May/ beginning of June for their second Spring release. I imagine there will be launches in Toronto and Montreal, as that is the location of both their offices---also in Edmonton and Calgary.
The book begins in 1967 with EXPO 67 and ends in 1970 with the October crisis. It is not a historical or political novel. We follow Loddy and the troupe from the Garage Theatre (thus the stage curtains on the cover) as their lives unfold against the backdrop of the political events at that time. The book delves into self identity, illusion, delusion and final self-acceptance. We wanted the cover to have the feel of the sixties with its "bubble" psychedelic lettering from that era. Remember those posters?
I think your readers, boomers especially, will be interested in Loddy-Dah as I capture Montreal landmarks that are now gone, Verdun, the John and Yoko Bed-in for Peace, the fashion, the music, the go-go-girls, the hippies, the transients, the draft dodgers. I also include drag queens, transvestites that were also part of the scene. Michel Tremblay wrote about them but I have never read anything by an English author. Most important, it has a story and I hope I wrote it well. My editor said it was quite impressive, so no false modesty here!
The book will be available on Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, Amazon.uk, Barnes and Noble and Chapters/Indigo.
I started to write this novel in 2006 while holding down a full-time day job as a public servant. I always wrote and got published in between the spaces of living. I will never forget the first column I wrote for Dialogue in 1989. I have a scrapbook full---52 columns. I learned to write about something I believed in and to meet a deadline, so I thank you Maurice and Janet for my apprenticeship.
I have also begun to write poetry and two of my poems have been published in anthologies this year: one in the Women's Words Anthology, and a winter poem in the 40 Below Anthology, which will be launched in November. Of course, there is no money in writing. I will get $25 for one of the poems, which should buy me a good bottle of Mouton Cadet!
I've received a grant for my second book which has the attention of a big Toronto agent -- she wants to see it when ready -- so no excuses for procrastination and, of course, no guarantees. I have to get the first draft done by December 2013.
I have also taken up my oil pastels and sketching pencils and have had a couple of my canvases exhibited in April at a Coffee House here. I am finally living my creative life! My advice to writers: patience, perseverance, persistence. Never give up. Believe in yourself and your work. And it is never too late. I will be 66 when my first book comes out! Call me a later bloomer, a perennial. I have always believed that we end up where we were always meant to be, even with all the detours, when we follow our passion.
It's been a long journey and I hope you
With fond memories.
Dolly Dennis, Edmonton AB
Update on the launch of Loddy Dah [Spring 2014]
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