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I’m on a blog tour to promote Pitouie. For the last five days I’ve had the honour of guest-posting at The Afterword, the book blog of the National Post. For posterity, here are my words of wisdom.

I’m now leaving this slick, corporate blog behind me and heading into indie country. Check back between now and next Friday to see me babble books in public. That’s right. I’m using this blog to track all the places I’m blogging. What have I become?




PitouieSo I suppose I should have started with this post. Like I said, I’m new to the whole blogging thing. My name is Derek Winkler and I’ve written a novel called Pitouie. It’s just been published by The Workhorsery. See that picture there? That’s my book, on a shelf, in a book store. Pretty cool, huh?

It’s the story of a bored hack reporter who works for a trade magazine that covers the waste management industry. One day, out of a clear blue inbox, he gets an invitation to cover a business conference on Federated Pitouie, an itty-bitty island in the South Pacific Ocean. The government of the island has decided to raise some cash by auctioning-off the use of its volcano as a hazardous waste dump to the highest corporate bidder. Would he like to write about it? Why not? It’s not every day you get to witness something so kinky on a national scale.

He goes. He dusts off ancient, barely remembered journalistic procedures and attempts to work the story. He finds that things on Pitouie are even stranger than he expected them to be, and that events on the island are somehow tied to obscure matters that took place in an Inuit village on the coast of the Arctic Ocean in 1973.

This is a book aimed at a few very specific demographic sectors. It will appeal primarily to certain groups of Inuit who live in and around the delta of the Mackenzie River. It is also precisely targeted at the residents of the South Pacific island archipelago reaching from New Zealand to Hawaii. Tertiarily, it may keep the scant attention of guys in their thirties who feel they’ve wasted the best years of their lives. It may give them hope.






First book soldSpent the weekend in Montreal at Expozine. Fun times. Got to see a part of the city I’d never been in before. Got to sleep on the couch of two charming women who had a collection of old Leonard Cohen and Kate Bush LPs. Talked to a nice older gentleman who explained in very great detail how to get the best possible sound from my computer. Sold some books. Took a picture of a nice lady who was the first person in history to buy a copy of my book. That’s her on the right. Ate several cheeseburgers. Listened to a lot of Tom Waits on the drive back. There are worse ways to spend a weekend.

Oh yes, and my esteemed publishers at The Workhorsery finally got around to updating their website to reflect the fact of Pitouie‘s existence.



 LogoSo I’ve never really been a blog kind of guy. I mean, I read a few of them, but I’ve never felt compelled to have one of my own. Even now that I do have one of my own, it’s not because of some inner compulsion to share the details of my life with total strangers. Hell, I don’t even share the details of my life with people I’ve known for 20 years. No. I have been compelled to blog by an ad in a magazine. Allow me to explain.

A while back I was at Canzine, where I had the opportunity to pick up the latest issue of Broken Pencil magazine. (By the way, thanks to the seven people who turned up for my Arduino workshop. I suppose a zine festival may not have been the best place for a presentation on the joys of rapid electronics prototyping.) Anyway, about a week after Canzine, I finally got around to flipping through the magazine. It was going well. My flipping was smooth and consistent. Then, on page 70, two lousy pages from the end, I came across something that stopped me cold.

It was a half-page ad from an entity claiming to be the Pitouie Development Corporation LLC, taking me to task for the blatant falsehoods in my new novel, Pitouie. What really struck me in the mental sternum was the way they referred to my book as “a complete work of fiction.”

Well of course it’s a complete work of fiction. I made it up. I created it from whole cloth. In short, I pulled it out of my ass. It’s a novel. Nothing in it is true, except for the parts that actually happened.

And yet, this entity seems to object to my depiction of my own fictional island and the things that happened there. They have a website you know. With more attacks on my “so-called novel.” Even though the domain name is registered to me.

I’ve checked with my publisher, The Workhorsery. They didn’t build this site. Hell, as of this post they don’t even have the in-house ability to update their own site to reflect the fact that my book exists.

So what’s the deal here? I have established this blog to track the activities of this entity and to defend myself against their accusations that my work of fiction “does not reflect a true depiction of events.” I’ll keep you posted.