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The High Road by Terry Fallis
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The High Road

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The High Road by Terry Fallis
Paperback $17.95
Sep 07, 2010 | ISBN 9780771047879

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Product Details


Praise for The Best Laid Plans:

“Amusing, enlightening . . . it deftly explores the Machiavellian machinations of Ottawa’s political culture.” Globe and Mail

“Brisk and humorous.” Ottawa Citizen

“A funny book that could only have been written by someone with firsthand knowledge of politics . . . including its occasionally absurd side.” The Hon. Allan Rock, former Justice Minister and Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations

“Terry Fallis has found the cure for Canada’s political malaise: a stubborn, old, irreverent Scotsman with nothing to lose.” Tom Allen, CBC Radio host


Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour FINALIST 2011

Author Q&A

20 Writerly Questions with Terry Fallis

1. How would you summarize your book in one sentence?
An aging, honest, curmudgeonly, Scottish engineering professor, who accidentally landed in the House of Commons as a Liberal MP, actually decides to run for re-election, but on purpose this time.
2.  How long did it take you to write this book?
About a month of thinking, two months of plotting and outlining, and seven months of weekend writing (not including the 10 years this story has been rattling around in my head).
3. Where is your favorite place to write?
When we renovated our home, we built a library on the third floor. Surrounded by all our books, I feel much smarter than I actually am. So I write here in our library where I’m writing these answers. 
4. How do you choose your characters’ names?
I usually try to find names that just sound right, based on what I know about the characters. Although, each time I do a reading, I occasionally lament that I named one of my characters “Muriel.” I often stumble on the name when reading it aloud. It’s a bit of a tongue twister. (But I do love her.) I’m using some first and middle family names in my next novel, just as a kind of tribute to them.
5. How many drafts do you go through?
I wish I knew. I tend to work on the same draft and just keep editing and polishing. I very seldom throw away and ”rewrite” an entire section or chapter. Maybe I should try that….
6. If there was one book you wish you had written what would it be?
Home Game by Paul Quarrington.
7. If your book were to become a movie, who would you like to see star in it?
An all Canadian cast: Gordon Pinsent as Angus; Ryan Reynolds as Daniel (yeah, right); Ellen Page as Lindsay ($!); Jayne Eastwood as Muriel (although she’s not quite old enough – hello make-up).
8. What’s your favourite city in the world?
That’s a tough one, but I’ll go with Edinburgh.
9. If you could talk to any writer living or dead who would it be, and what would you ask?
It’s a toss-up: Robertson Davies – Do you think you were born out of your time? 
Stephen Fry – Would you blurb my next novel? Are you leaving your brain to science? 
10. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kind?
Very occasionally, but only instrumental. I can’t listen to words when I’m trying to write them.
11. Who is the first person who gets to you read your manuscript?
The obvious and trite answer would be my wife, but I’m usually too nervous to let her see it. So, it’s often my editor/publisher, Douglas Gibson, who gets the early draft.
12. Do you have a guilty pleasure read?
On summer vacations, I often add a thriller to my reading list, like Daniel Silva’s The Rembrandt Affair
13. What’s on your nightstand right now?
I’ve just finished Val Ross’s great oral biography, Robertson Davies: A Portrait in Mosaic. Loved it. 
14. What is the first book you remember reading?
It was Pilot Jack Knight, by A.M. Anderson and R.E. Johnson. I read it over and over.
15. Did you always want to be a writer?
Only when astronaut and Toronto Maple Leaf captain didn’t seem to be panning out.
16. What do you drink or eat while you write?
Literally, as I write this answer, I’m chomping on a peanut butter and banana sandwich and a glass of milk.
17. Typewriter, laptop, or pen & paper?
Early ideas and big-picture planning: Moleskin notebook and a rollerball
Outlining and writing: Laptop all the way
18. What did you do immediately after hearing that you were being published for the very first time?
Do you mean after I regained consciousness? I closed my office door and jumped into the air several times, not unlike what I might do were I ever to score a Stanley Cup winning goal. Then I opened my office door, sat back down at my desk, and spent the rest of the afternoon deeply engaged in not working.
19. How do you decide which narrative point of view to write from?
Easy call. I was so concerned about sustaining a consistent voice that I chose to go with first person. It complicated the story telling in some respects (if my narrator wasn’t in the room, he didn’t see it, and couldn’t describe it) but at least I always knew through whose eyes the tale was being told.
20. What is the best gift someone could give a writer?
Time, space, and a quiet place.

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