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  • Ethical Aspects of Animal Husbandry
    Ethical Aspects of Animal Husbandry
    by Craig Terlson

    A collection of short stories where the humour runs dark and the slipstream bubbles up.


    ...imagine if Raymond Carver called up George Saunders and Joe Lansdale, and they all went drinking with Neil Gaiman.

  • Correction Line
    Correction Line
    by Craig Terlson

    “… it's clear that Terlson is way ahead of the curve in terms of crafting an engaging premise that reaches for elevated territory and reinvents enduring archetypes of action and suspense.”  J. Schoenfelder

    "Sometimes brutal, often demanding and always complex, this novel will repay the reader who likes their assumptions challenged and is happy to walk away from a book with minor questions unanswered but the big ones definitely dealt with! It’s likely to satisfy those who enjoy Hammet and/or Philip K Dick and who like their fiction very noir indeed."   Kay Sexton


    "I love a novel that you can't put down, and this is one of them."  L. Cihlar


The woo-back is back. 10 Years MAN!

With all the hubbub lately, book launches and such, I forgot about cranking the wooback machine up to explore the last 10 years of this blog. 10 YEARS MAN  - speak in the tone of Jeremy Piven in Gross Pointe Blank... like this:





Okay, that was fun.

Now where was I?

Oh yeah, the wooback. It's interesting to find posts from the past about the novel, Fall In One Day, the one that is in bookstores near you right now! Or I hope it is. Tomorrow I start my Chapters/Indigo visits. Maybe I'll see you there.

Back in 2011, I was digging into the novel, and nearing the end of a first draft. And even at that point I was wondering: is this a coming of age book? Is is about LSD? Watergate?

Yes... all those things. Have a read - from May, 2011.


Writing and writing and writing


Haven't had much to say here at woofreakinhoo about my new novel. That is the thing about working on a project with a long timeline - you just kind of bury your head into the work, and a year later you come up for air. With various stops and starts to focus on other work, I think I have been working on this new one for about a year. Although, the idea for it, and the first few chapters actually began in the fall of 2009.

Hard to believe that much time has went past.

The last six months I have been following a much more intense daily writing schedule. So I am excited to report that I am on the verge of finishing the first draft. For those who don't work on novels, that might not seem a big deal - but for those that do, I think you understand the massive undertakings of writing a long narrative.

I used to have a had time telling people what my first novel was about (Correction Line). This one might be easier... maybe. For now I will just say it is about a boy in 1973 growing up against the backdrop of the Watergate hearings. Oh, and the early history of LSD.

Now if you read that and went - oh, another coming of age story (yawn) - hopefully you leaned in a bit when I mentioned Watergate and LSD. If anything, it has been a ton of fun to write. And I would add, it is definitely not your usual coming of age tale.

Stay tuned.






The Art of Finishing


Seems like the launch of Fall in One Day was already a while ago... even though it wasn't. And there's lot more stuff happening, author visits to Chapters/Indigo, maybe some other local reads, and a bit of hitting the road. (More info on that to come)
But of course, writers gotta write. So what's happening next?... you might ask - hell, I ask myself the same thing!

I've been working on a few different projects, but I will soon be focusing on just one. While I like the idea of a lot of irons in the fire, or ducks in the pond, or doughnuts in the fryer (hmm, I like that one), if I hope to finish something, then I need to eventually focus on one thing.

I've read how John Updike, who was very prolific, had three different desks, each with a unique purpose. One was for writing short stories, one for novels, and one for essays and journalism. I guess he would switch his working area depending on the project – not sure if all three desks were in one room, or even if the story is mythical, but I get it. Here is my theory: The different set-ups helped him finish shit.

If there is one thing that I think separates serious writers from those who simply like the idea of writing (you can call them amateurs, but I think they are more wannabees) and here it is: writers finish shit.
And when you're talking a novel, that is a marathon that is not to be taken lightly. Sure, there is Nanowrimo - where you bang keys for the solid month of November – but I can't say that you have a finished novel at the end of it. Or maybe you do. Whatever floats your boat. The whole point here is in the finishing. Who I am to dis those that commit to a solid butt-in-chair attitude for thirty days?

I've had people tell me, after they find out I have written novels, that they have whole novels in their head, they just have to write them down. Yeah, good luck with that. Don't get me wrong, not trying to get all snarky about it. It's just that statements like that can undermine the difficult challenge of writing 80,000 words into some sort of cohesive narrative.

But not just novels, short stories are their own challenge. One of my writing heroes, George Saunders talks about working on stories for years. But the thing he did, he didn't just work on them, he finished them.

So dear woo-reader, my encouragement to you, if you are beginning to write, is to finish something... anything. And then finish another thing. And so on. It's the best thing you can do.

I didn't actually start this post to talk about that - but it is simply a reminder to myself that I need to shift gears, dig in, put those doughnuts in the fryer (obviously a theme), and get at it.

Next up will most likely one of three things:
Manistique is the follow up to Surf City Acid Drop. Our hero, but still not a detective, Luke Fischer finds himself in Upper Michigan trying to find the trail of a young woman that he watched die in a backroom poker game in Santa Fe.

Bent Highway Part Two. If you read the crazy adventure of M, you know a couple of things - time got weird - and the novella just kinda stopped. I've always meant to continue and finish this story... and I think I am ready to now. A writer friend recently read Part One and really liked it. This reminded me that I liked it too.

UnNamed New novel. This one is in research stage, but I am really loving the premise... which, I can't tell you, because I ascribe deeply to the writing that first draft with the door closed (From Stephen King's On Writing). Just to say, it's going to be cool, and there may be, just may be, some Samurai involved.

Okay - go finish something now. That's what I'm trying to do.

P.S. - A bit of trivia to do with my novel Fall in One Day. Some of my friends know that I am huge fan of the musician Beck - but the protagonist of that novel (Joe Beck) is not named after him. Rather, he is named after the character of Henry Bech... written by John Updike. 


Fall in One Day launches


Last night is a hard one for me to describe - I used the word "surreal" a lot when people asked me how I felt.

There are so many of you who have walked with me over the years, and seeing you in the crowd last night was overwhelming. I did manage to hold it together... mostly (because those who know me, also know I can get a bit, well, emotional).

I am trying not to make a huge deal out of this - as I know that a writer's career is not based on one book. But as the lovely knows, this novel was the one I had always hoped would launch the career. And last night was a launch of that sort - not just of the book, but of a validation. It was a validation of the work, and a confidence to now continue. I'm quite proud of this novel. I'm delighted that it is being read. But now to write another, and another, and (you get the idea).

Please know that your presence at last night's event - and this goes for all my online friends and those who offered support and congrats, but couldn't be there, as well – has meant so much to me. It has given me the confidence to move forward. And there were days when I was about to quit writing altogether. The last couple of years, there were a lot of those days.

I don't predict that Fall in One Day is going to be a bestseller - but it will be read, the characters that have lived in my head for a decade will now live in a few more heads. I think I owe it to those characters, for them to get out and live a bit.

Above all, I am thankful to my family who have always been there for me. 
Most of all, the lovely, who always believed.

And now, I need to get to work.





3...2...1... LAUNCH

Well, the day is upon me - almost. Tomorrow evening, May 25, is the official launch of Fall In One Day at McNally Robinson Booksellers.

It should be a fun evening. I'll do a short reading, and then I'll be interviewed by my friend, colleague, novelist, and English Prof. the amazing Sue Sorensen (follow her on twitter, she's great).

I also have inside information that lemonade and cookies will be served (bring your own gin - and pour me one).

It truthfully all still feels a little surreal that it is happening. And the support and encouragement I've received over the last few months is a bit overwhelming. But I'll do my best to launch this well, smile for pictures, try to be humourous, and not get emotional. (Can't promise anything on the last part, but I'll give it a shot).

See you all tomorrow - stay tuned for some pics.


Release Day of Fall in One Day

Annnnnnnd we have lift off.

May 16th has been a date in my head for a long time... this bird has flown, Houston we have a novel, release the hounds... I dunno pick a cliché.

Wait, I know the best one: WOOFREAKINHOO! Yeah, that fits.

In a way, it feels like the book has already been out there. I've had many great advance reviews, for which I am deeply grateful for. As well, the book has been in a soft launch mode at the independent bookstore where the launch will be happening on May 25th (McNally Robinson - one of the best independent booksellers anywhere... yes. Any. Where!)

Thank yous will be forthcoming and repeating to all those that helped this book get legs (wheels? Fins?) But for now, I will just enjoy the moment.

Perfect timed is a review an interview that I gave to book blogger extradorinaire Betsy Kipnis. The review contains one of the best synops of the book that I've read (Betsy, can you write my query letters from now on?)
She also asked me to take part in an interview, and asked some great questions.

Here is the start of the interview - if you want to read the rest, hop over to - and do read her other reviews, she is really quite great. 

And oh yeah, go to one of these places to pick up a copy:
McNally Robinson (Winnipeg)


More reviews at Goodreads 


As synchronicity would have it, I posted a shorthand review which Craig read and sent me a DM via Instagram.  Since the interview we have fun repartee and I’m looking forward to one of his upcoming novels.  Let’s learn a little bit about Craig Terlson.

Betsy:  Something I’ve realized about your book is that as it’s shelved into my mind, relevance keeps pulling it off for further consideration.  Pretty cool effect you’ve got going there.  So what made you write this book?

Craig:  Several ideas floated around for a number of years, and these ideas kept popping up in the short stories I was wrting at the time.  At some point, the memory of Watergate, and what it meant in history, intertwined with the idea of family secrets and somehow the LSD therapies conducted in my home city in the 1950s was thrown into the mix.

Betsy:  There’s a lot of boy types in various states of development in your story.  How did you model these characters?

Craig:  Any writer that tells you their characters don’t have roots in their own beginnings is lying (or has a much better imagination than me).  So sure, these characters were familiar to me at first-but all of them go through what I call the “fiction filter” and they become their own peop;le.  My memory of that era is pretty strong, as it was significant for me.  One of the challenges was to not just take a fifteen year old from our era and plunk them into 1973,  Teenagers are very different now, both culturally, access to information and in some ways maturity wise.

Betsy:  During your story you float the idea of subversion for your readers?  What is it you’d like them to question or challenge?

Craig:  This is a complex question, and does get at the heart of the novel.  There are times when we wonder if we are getting the whole picture of something-we wonder what is underneath, what is hidden?  An extreme example of this would be conspiracy theorists, but all of us experience it on different levels.  Is that politician telling us the truth?  What are drug companies really up to? What are my parents doing when I’m asleep? Can that legal or religious authority be trusted? It’s true that too much focus on subversion can create paranoia, and if you watch movies from the 70s (a prime influence for the novel), that subversion and paranoia is everywhere.  For me, it shows up in a lot of places, even say, in the lyrics of Steely Dan.