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Living Toronto Portraits
A very late Happy New Year to all! Haven’t posted in a while; busy writing new novel, Supervenience, and travelling around, wondering about what’s to come next. Film producer, chef, music aficionado, and fellow Toronto bon vivant Ambrose Roche has some very kind words to say about me and my past in the most recent edition of Living Toronto.
Two non-fiction books I urge everyone to read: Trees on Mars: Our Obsession with the Future, by Hal Niedzviecki, and Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization, by Roy Scranton.
Happy Canada Day and #IndiePrideDay!
Happy Canada Day! Today is also Indie Author Pride Day! Inviting all indie authors and indie readers to join #IndieBooksBeSeen at http://www.indiebooksbeseen.com/#/
Here’s To Tying Up Loose Ends
I am happy to report that I finally completed my specialist in Philosophy at the University of Toronto after a 21-year sabbatical! Cheers everyone!
Thanks to Jacqueline Crawley for her review of BabyWorld: https://readerreading.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/jonathan-martin-dixit-babyworld-2014/
Check out her art at https://artinstructor.wordpress.com/
Video review of BabyWorld by Keeley – A Bibliophiles Journey –
Thanks to Keeley for her honest and detailed video review of BabyWorld. Follow Keeley’s reviews at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpbR_Z2iyfDP2IAx8xDvbTw Keeley is the founder and co-moderator of the Goodreads Indie Book Club https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/151595-indie-book-club. This book club is connected to the #IndieBooksBeSeen Movement. You can find out more about the movement and its creator Mark Shaw at http://www.indiebooksbeseen.com/about.html
BabyWorld deals with disturbing subject matter. As you see in Keeley’s review, this can be difficult for some readers to process. Her perseverance as an avid and scrutinizing reader inspired my publisher to reflect on some of the difficult themes BabyWorld explores in a brief commentary.
Publisher’s Commentary on BabyWorld’s Content
From a publisher’s perspective, BabyWorld by Jonathan Martin Dixit is a unique yet dangerous debut novel. His book contains elements of multiple genres (crime mystery, soft science fiction, dystopian literary), which give rise to its complex storyline but also to the challenges of marketing it, as books that fall neatly within one genre are more easily matched to a reader group. The same goes for the content of the book. When I read the first draft of BabyWorld, I was fascinated by the dark universe the author created to reflect on culturally relevant themes related to family relationships impacted by trauma. I understood that the world Sinika lives in is a violent and dangerous one. As a (child) prosecutor, she is in charge of bringing to justice an offender of a violent sexual crime against a child. In her personal life, she also encounters threats of violence and abuse. As a publisher, I understand that anytime a book focuses on themes of violence, sexuality, and child exploitation, the author runs the risk of marginalizing her work. For valid reasons, many readers feel uncomfortable with the disturbing nature of these themes, especially when they are explored from the perspective of a child protagonist. Being fully aware of this risk, I was still convinced of the importance of BabyWorld’s core theme, for we live in a world in which violent crimes against children and child exploitation are rampant. Given this sad reality, I believe it is vital for literature and art not to shy away from reflecting on problems so epidemic in society. I highly value the reflections of readers like Keeley, who, despite her unsettled reactions to the difficult themes in BabyWorld, was able not only to read the book, but also appreciate and enjoy the originality of its storyline and writing. I am hoping more readers will share their thoughts.
The AffenTheater Inc.
- Blog Hop: Ten Favorite Screen Characters Thank you to Chess Desalls author of “Travel Glasses” for tagging me in this blog hop. Below are my 10 favorite movie characters with links to some of my favorite clips. I am inviting other authors to join this fun blog hop. Tagged authors are listed at the end of this blog – Enjoy!
- Peter O’Toole as Lawrence in “Lawrence of Arabia”: ”No Prisoners”
- Gabriel Byrne and Marcia Gay Harden as Tom and Verna in “Miller’s Crossing”: “You’re a pathetic Rumhead”
- Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blain in “Casablanca”: First meeting with Strasser
- Graham Chapman as Brian in “Life of Brian”: The People’s Front
- Marlene Dietrich as Christine in “Witness for the Prosecution”: Bar Scene
- Sean Penn and Kevin Spacey as Eddie and Mickey in “Hurley Burley”
- James Dean and Rock Hudson as Jett Rink and Jordan “Bick” Benedict in “Giant”: Fight Scene
- Daniel Day Lewis as Daniel in “There will be Blood”: “I’ve Abandoned my Child”
- Julianne Moore and Heather Graham as Amber Waves and “Rollergirl” in “Boogie Nights”: Bedroom Scene:
- Kyle Machlalan and Laura Dern as Jeffrey Beaumont and Sandy Williams in “Blue Velvet”: “Robins of Love”
I am inviting the following authors to continue the challenge. Of course, participation is completely voluntary.
Simon Coates author of “Galatic Echo”
Ian D. Moore author of “Salby Damned”
Roz Russel author of “Murder Onced Removed”
Lelani Black author of “Island Moonlight Collection”
Mistral Dawn author of “Taken by the Huntsman”
Pete Buckley author of The Colonel of Krasnoyarsk
BabyWorld is part of Toronto Public Library’s “Toronto in Literature Neighbourhood Book List”!
I am proud that “BabyWorld” is in circulation in the Toronto Public Library System. They have a neat “Toronto in Literature Neighbourhood Book List”. “BabyWorld” is grouped with other books set on the Toronto Islands. Check out who else has a book in this category!
Working on Concept Development for my Second Book
I have been busy with concept development for my second book. I am hoping to share excerpts soon…
For now, listen to “Alles Neu” by Peter Fox (http://www.peterfox.de/).
A Great Special Sale offered by #IndieBooksBeSeen: December 26 to January 1!
Thanks to author Jessica Keller for organizing this amazing post-Christmas Sale. BabyWorld is part of a collection of 41 indie books that can be purchased for 99 cents from December 26 to January 1! Follow the link to check out this wide selection of books organized by genre. http://www.indiebooks.weebly.com/
One Lovely Blog Hop
As part of the #IndieBooskBeSeen movement, this blog hop shows readers our more personal side. We list 7 interesting facts to help cast light onto that writer’s “persona” we all like to project.
The aim is to share 7 facts about yourself, and tag a few blogs of fellow indie authors. If I tagged your blog, don’t feel any obligation to join in; but if you do, link back to me, share 7 facts about yourself and nominate up to 15 blogs (or as many as you can).
I want to thank D.B. Nielsen, a fellow #IndieBooksBeseen author, for nominating my blog in her post! Dee is very supportive of the #IndieBooksBeSeen movement, and you should check out her book “SEED: Keepers of Genesis” and other work at https://dbnielsen.com.
Seven fun facts about Jonathan
1. As a child I was diagnosed as dyslexic. Whichever exercises I was required to perform to address this issue seemed to have had little to no effect; to this day I still switch my b’s with my d’s regardless of printing, typing, or writing cursive.
2. I am currently finishing a Specialist degree in Philosophy at the University of Toronto after a twenty-one year sabbatical. Before re-enrolling, I had to deal with an outstanding library fine for three books returned one day late back in 1992; that thirty cents accrued to the ninety two dollars I had to pay. The librarian at Robarts told me that this was one of their longest-delinquent catches.
3. The easiest thing I ever did was to join the Big Brothers Association. Spending two hours per week with a child seems little effort compared to what is gained. My little brother and I have been friends for over four years now, even though we don’t see each other as much as we would like because we now live in different cities.
4. The summer before I went off to university (the first time around), I built as stone bench in my parents’ backyard. The construction was “Stonehengian”: half a large patio tile for the base, two sets of three stacked bricks for the columns, and a ten-inch-thick slab of old poured concrete on top as a seat just large enough for two.
In 1988, I had my first story published. Appearing in Canada’s oldest literary magazine Acta Victoriana, it was the shortest of the numbered stories comprising a collection called “The Stone Bench Theory”. However, for whatever reason, it was published under the heading “An Excerpt from The Stone Beach Theory”. At least they spelled my name correctly.
My parents no longer live in that house, the one in which I grew up, but I assume the bench is still there.
5. My wife and I put out food for the neighbourhood’s stray cats. Our favourite we call Fancy Cat. In preparation for the cold winter predicted, we bought a cat igloo and built a cat condo for the little creatures.
6. I wrote “BabyWorld” at our dining room table fully set for a party for seven. The eighth place, at the head of the table, was where my computer sat. It made the writing process seem less lonely, as I imagined at the end of the day I would be joined by my wife and six of our friends.
7. And now, a game: match the celebrity to what was done in Jonathan’s old pub:
(a) Jimmy Fallon, (b) Neil Morrissey, (3) Pete Postlethwaite, (4) Quentin Tarantino, (5) Kiefer Sutherland, (6) Damon Albarn
(i) Delayed a press conference to see the end of a football match; (ii) wound up his cousin by pretending that he had been seriously injured during an after-hours dart match; (iii) lost a bet of $200.00 on a Prince Naseem fight; (iv) offered to buy the juke box; (v) abandoned sound checking before an appearance at the Much Music Awards to watch a football match; (vi) advocated that Canadians use the “n-word” as much as Americans.
[Because of bar-owner/customer privilege, the answers will not be given.]
Given the time of year it was challenging to find authors who had the time to participate in this blog hop. But all those nominated below are authors and readers of note.
Simon Coates the author of “Bike Racing into the Red” and creator of the Galactic Echo http://www.galactic-echo.com/about.html
Robin Chambers author of “Myrddin’s Heir”: a story about children with special powers, born to make this world a better place. http://myrddinsheir.com/blog/
Ian D. Moore, poet and author of “Salby Damned” http://www.iandmoore.com
Join in the hop and nominate some other authors who deserve the mention!
Keeley’s #25DaysofIndie Project
Thank you to Keeley for including BabyWorld in her #25DaysOfIndie Project! Follow her at: A Bibliophile’s Journey https://abibliophilesjourney.wordpress.com/
Or at https://www.youtube.com/user/ABibliophilesJourney
BabyWorld is part of IndieBooksBeSeen Santa Giveaway!
You can win a signed copy of BabyWorld or a book by more than 80+ different indie authors here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
BabyWorld reading in Woodstock, ON
Thank you to Diane from Merrifield Book Shop and all who attended Thursday’s BabyWorld reading in Woodstock. Thanks to Julia for stepping in at the last minute to moderate the event; we really enjoyed the lovely discussion after. Here are some pics curtesy of Tara Dixit!
QED Seal for Quality in E-Book Design
BabyWorld received a QED seal for quality in eBook design! Many thanks to Mister-Lucky (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mister-lucky), Alexander Broeking and The AffenTheater. Looking forward to BabyWorld reading at Merrifield Book Shop in Woodstock, ON, on Thursday, Dec 11 at 4.30pm. Hope to see some of you there! It should prove to be an interesting event… Cheers, Jonathan
BabyWorld Reading at the University of Toronto on Nov 27, 2014
I really enjoyed my BabyWorld reading at the University of Toronto. A big thank you to Dr. Sarah Caskey, Sushani Singh and Halyna Chumak from the English Students’ Union, James Bell, Emily, and the UofT Bookstore and to everyone who came out for the event! Here are some pics and a brief clip of my reading. I am looking forward to the next reading at Merrifield Bookshop, in Woodstock, ON on Dec 11, 2014 at 4.30.
CHAPTER TWO: …BUT THIS CASE WAS JUST RIGHT
BabyWorld is Now Available on Smashwords for all E-Raders!
To celebrate the release of BabyWorld on Smashwords, you can download the book for free from TODAY, Thursday Nov 13, until SATURDAY, November 15, 2014! Please share with everyone!
BabyWorld Reading at the University of Toronto
I am excited to announce a BabyWorld reading at the University of Toronto English Department, on Thursday November 27, 2014, from 4.15-5.30pm. The event is free and open to the public and will take place at the Jackman Humanities Building, Rm 100 (170 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5R 2M8). Books will be sold on site by the U of T Bookstore.
The reading will be followed by a discussion about BabyWorld and self-publishing, moderated by Dr. Sarah Caskey, English Professor at UofT.
Thank you to Dr. Sarah Caskey, Halyna and Sushani from the English Student Union and to James Bell from the UofT Bookstore for helping organize this event!
….In other news, I am currently working with my publisher on a release of BabyWorld on Smashwords for all non-kindle e-readers. Stay tuned for the release date!
BabyWorld Book Launch Party a Great Success
Thanks to everyone who came out for our BabyWorld Launch Party last Sunday! All had a great time, and I hope that those who got the book will enjoy it and let other readers know what they think by posting a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Here are two initial pics of an excellent performance by Aunt Beazy (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Aunt-Beazy/187263841306866) and of one of my readings accompanied by The Complete Unit (https://www.facebook.com/thecompleteunit), who put on a great show. We will try to post some more pics and hopefully video soon. Cheers everyone!
Thomas King’s Back of the Turtle
I was honoured to meet Thomas King at a Toronto Reference Library reading wonderfully moderated by CTV’s Marci Ien, who I also had the pleasure to meet.
Check out Thomas King’s new book, the Back of the Turtle!
From the book:
“He turned towards the eastern mountains, angled the drum to catch the rising sun, and began a memorial song. But the elk skin was too soft now, too damp. The beats slid off, and his voice was drowned in the rushing water. In the distance, he could see the dog laid out on higher ground.
And in that moment, in that moment, he thought about retreating once again.
But the path back was only a memory now, all safety choked off as the sea ringed the Apostles in ink and foam.
He began the song anew, picking up the beat and raising the pitch, so that his voice carried above the slicing surf. The sun was full in his face now, the sky blue and polished. It was going to be a good day.”
From The Back of the Turtle by Thomas King ©2014. Published by HarperCollins Canada.
My Interview with Author, Journalist and TV commentator, Ognian Georgiev (“Bulgaria Today” daily newspaper)
Check out my interview with Ognian at http://ogigeorgiev.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/jonathan-martin-dixit-my-wife-suggested-that-i-write-something/
BabyWorld now available in Toronto Indie Bookstores!
I am so pleased to announce that BabyWorld is now available in three iconic Toronto indie bookstores:
The Silver Snail http://silversnail.com/main/
Bakka-Phoenix Books http://www.bakkaphoenixbooks.com/
She Said Boom http://shesaidboom.ca/
No Matter where you go, your hometown is there for you. Thank you, Heather Rivers!
You can also find BabyWorld at the University of Toronto Bookstore in the UofT Author section http://uoftbookstore.com/
BabyWorld Launch Party
On Sunday October 5th, 2014, between 4 pm and 9 pm, at Salto Antipasto Lounge (http://www.salto.ca; 1138 Davenport Rd, Toronto, where Ossington Ave. ends at Davenport) we will be celebrating the successful launch of BabyWorld. There will be a couple of readings from the book, with excellent bands performing in between (The Complete Unit and Aunt Beazy).
Also, there’ll be plenty of delicious food (gratis, thanks to my publisher, the AffenTheater, and our host, Sal!) and plenty of drink (cash bar… What? You think I still own the Gloucester?)
Please RSVP by September 19 and send us a note to let us know whether you will want to buy a signed print copy of BabyWorld. This will help consolidate food preparations and number of books required for the event. You can RSVP by sending me an email through this site or by checking out the event on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Jonathanmartindixitauthor.
We are very much looking forward to celebrating with each and every one of you!
Jonathan and the AffenTheater
Thanks to all who supported the launch of BabyWorld:
Thank you to all who supported the launch of my new novel BabyWorld! It was a great success. As any author, now I am eagerly awaiting feedback, whether it be negative or positive. Please let me know what you think by either posting a review on amazon or by contacting me through this site or via Facebook.
All we are is stories…
Thomas King’s 2003 Massey lecture series was influential during my editing phase of “BabyWorld”. Instead of watching re-runs tonight for the nth time let your mind be stimulated by this exceptional story teller. http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/massey-archives/2003/11/07/massey-lectures-2003-the-truth-about-stories-a-native-narrative/
Celebrating BabyWorld Novel Launch – Free download for next five days
Technically, BabyWorld has been available for a week via Amazon. Delivery seems to be working fine for both ebooks and print; and so, now to the official launch…
From Aug 15-19th, ALL can downloads the BabyWorld ebook for free via amazon.com
Please use this opportunity to get hold of the book and support its distribution.
I hope many of you will download my novel, read it, enjoy it, and let me and others know what you think by writing a review on Amazon or by posting a comment on my blog.
Seven years after its conception, BabyWorld is born….
Within this lengthy gestation period, it travelled with my wife and me—Australia, Japan, Spain, and Germany; Holland, Cuba, England, and El Salvador—each country as impressive as the one before. It lived with us in four houses, in two cities—Sault Ste. Marie is magnificent this time of year—but now back in Toronto, we’ve delivered it; it’s finally here!
So our hope is that BabyWorld may now grow within the literary community and find many homes on many bookshelves across the world…
Get to know some of the characters of BabyWorld through the readings and narrations on this site. Visit Create Space (print only) or Amazon.ca (print or e-book) to get your first edition of BabyWorld.
With sincere thanks
To begin thanking all the people who helped me get BabyWorld launched, let me start with the editor, Julie McArthur, and the cover illustrator, Mister-Lucky.
Taking the Canadian Short Stories class offered at U of T last fall, I used the opportunity to ask my professor, Dr. Sarah Caskey, if she perhaps knew a good editor for my novel. She didn’t; however, she said that one of her grad students may. And thus, I was put in touch with Julie McArthur, who helped me to temper my voice, to simplify when dealing with complexity, to let the reader… Well, she brought BabyWorld to the point of being publishable. She’s amazing, a talented writer herself; any young writer should contact her for professional manuscript assessment and editing services. Please check out her website at: http://www.juliemcarthur.com
Or follow her on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/diarydramatist
My publisher and I were very happy to collaborate with Mister-Lucky on the creation of the cover. We chose a picture from his archives that was a perfect conceptual fit with BabyWorld. If you would like to see the original photograph and many more of Mister-Lucky’s unique images visit his flickr account at: Mister-Lucky
Also, here’s a big shout-out to Alexander Broeking for working with my publisher and me on the difficult last stages of bringing the book to market.
Finally, I would like to thank my publisher, The Affentheater; without your effort and support, BabyWorld would simply not exist.
Follow Jonathan Martin Dixit on Twitter.
Copyright © 2014 by AffenTheater Inc.