Eight books that won the Immerse or Die contest. See why they won! But the deal is almost over...
As of right now, DUST is available as an audiobook. And the narrator is me, myself and I. Yes, all three of us. It was quite the adventure to head into the studio and lay down these "tracks" or should I say words? And it was also a curious experience to return to a novel so many years after it was first released (DUST came out in 2001 and due to an incredible series of lucky events won the Governor General's Award and hit the bestseller list). Reading the book aloud was like travelling back in time but not getting any younger (sadly). Anyway, I'm really pleased with how the audiobook turned out. I do have an official page for the book at Dust: the audiobook.
You are also welcome, of course, to visit these fine retailers. And to hit the share buttons below to let people know about this new version of the book.
I should probably mention that the book is about a rainmaker who comes to a small town promising rain but the children begin to disappear. So, umm, it's a little bit creepy. Just a little bit.
"Read the riveting first chapter of Dust and you're already past the point of no return. Arthur Slade writes with the art and grace of a hypnotist, and you won't be able to put this book down. It's sensational!" -- Kenneth Oppel NY Times Best Selling Author of “Airborn”
Recently, I was going through a few old VHS tapes and I—what why are you interrupting me? Oh, what's VHS you ask? It's the video recording format that conquered Beta—what's Beta you ask...ah, just Google it. Anyway, I discovered a dusty tape of the award ceremony for the Governor General's awards in 2001. My novel Dust won the award for Children's Literature that year and that meant a trip to Rideau Hall in Ottawa to see the Governor General and attend an extremely fancy ceremony (Oh, and pick up a cheque for $15,000.00). Money, free food and a mini-holiday! It's every author's dream. Here's the video: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pjHVUMGscg]
Oh, wait! I wish I was at that ceremony! Actually, the Governor General's ceremony is the closest I'll ever come to getting a medal from Princess Leia. Here is the actual video. The two hour ceremony has been edited down to 5 minutes (in other words I cut everyone else's presentation out).
This is still the highlight of my career. Ten years later I'm surprised that all of this happened and that Dust received so much attention. When I finished writing the book I remember wondering who would want to read a slow-building, dark fantasy?
Ten years! I'm a little grayer and waiting for that wisdom that is supposed to come with age.
I apologize for the maudlin post but Dust has been out for ten years now. I launched the book on September 21st, 2001 in Saskatoon's Western Development Museum: 1910 Boomtown. It was the first time I'd launched in such a big and perfectly-themed venue (I wish I could find the pics but they are in storage somewhere). Here's a pic of the museum interior.
I honestly had no idea how successful the book would become and am still surprised by its reception. It went on to win several awards including:
*The 2001 Governor General's Award for Children's Literature *The 2001 Saskatchewan Book Award for Children's Literature *The 2002 Mr. Christie's Book Award (this came with $ and cookies. Mmm) *Nominated for a 2004 Edgar Award.
Here I am with Adrienne Clarkson, once the Governor General of Canada. She's presenting me with a leather-bound copy of DUST.
There are a few things you may not know about the novel. Here's the first draft of the Canadian cover:
The American version is about 5 pages longer. Because it came out in 2003 I was able to have one more crack at the book and I fine tuned it a bit more and added a few smaller scenes, including one at the end that helped explain the townspeople's reaction to their "forgetfulness" about their children disappearing. It's a particularly poignant scene.
There have now been 13 movie companies that have shown interest in the rights, including 4 major Hollywood studios. So far no one has come up with the money to make the movie (or pay off my mortgage).
Work on a graphic novel was started with Christopher Steininger but, as of yet, it has not been picked up by a publisher.
The book continues to be popular in Canada and I've received hundreds of emails and letters about it. It eventually went out of print in the U.S. and was never sold to any other countries.
With the advent of ebooks I was able to re-release the book in the US as an ebook (and in the U.K., too).
So it is good to have the book come back to life. It was briefly the #12 bestselling horror novel on Amazon U.S. and the #2 bestselling horror novel on Amazon UK. If only it would stay in those positions I could finance my own movie! : ) It has been rather fun for me to see the book gain a new readership.
So there you have it. A decade of Dust. Happy birthday! Here's to another ten years....
Today is the official worldwide--no galaxy-wide--wait, I mean, universe-wide release of the ebook for The Loki Wolf, the third novel in the Northern Frights series. It's a happy little Christmas werewolf story (because really we need more Christmas werewolf stories, don't we? Santa and the elves get all the attention). Here's a description:
"On the third night the worst nightmare -- the very worst -- invaded my mind. Loping behind me was a gigantic wolf, its jaws snapping together and tearing off pieces of my flesh. There was no blood. No pain. But bit by bit he swallowed chunks of my body until nothing of Angela Laxness remained."
See? A happy little Christmas werewolf story! And it follows that general "horror" rule: don't go into the croft house!
I'm absolutely excited to be releasing this ebook today. The novel has been out of print for several years and I'm so glad that it has come back to life (with the aid of electronic technologies). The extremely frightening cover is done by uber-artist Derek Mah. I get nightmares just looking at it. It's so fleshy and beardy all at once. And, in re-reading the book, I was pleased to discover that it is still a frightening story (really, don't go into the croft house). And I had forgotten how much Icelandic folklore was injected into this book (and the series). Those Vikings could really tell tales.
P.S. This brings to a close the first part of my ebook experiment. To recap I've released the following novels and short story collections as ebooks: Don't they look pretty altogether? I'm going to concentrate on my Hunchback books for the next while (looming deadline!), but am toying with the idea of a few other eprojects (including a novel). Stay tuned. Peace out. BHM's in. P.P.S. BHM's are Big Hairy Monsters. Join the fur nation.