Episode 328 – Reflecting on A New Season with Terry Fallis

Mark interviews Terry Fallis about his latest novel, A New Season.

A two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, Terry Fallis is the author of nine novels, all of them national bestsellers—including six #1 bestsellers—and all published by McClelland & Stewart/Penguin Random House.

Prior to the interview, Mark shares comments from recent episodes, welcomes new Patron Nikki Guerlain, and a word about this episode’s sponsor.

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In their conversation, Mark and Terry talk about:

  • Terry’s latest novel, A NEW SEASON, and the unique approach he took to his latest book
  • Retiring from his day job as a communications/public affairs consultant in March 2022
  • Having wanted to write full time since the release of his first novel fifteen years earlier
  • The precarious reality of the earnings an author is most likely to make, even if they are a successful author who regularly hits the bestseller lists in Canada
  • How the novel was derived from fears (something Terry was inspired by John Irving to consider), and from events that unfolded during the pandemic, and the way Terry had to evolve his writing from the usual “bend” of humor he employed in his previous books
  • Casting off the shackles/tyranny of humor
  • Some of the “trademark” self-deprecating humor of Terry’s narrators (Jack McMaster in this one, Daniel Addison in his first couple of novels)
  • Not being able to believe that he’s currently 63 and the experience of writing a narrator (Jack) who is closer to Terry’s own age
  • Terry’s experiences playing ball hockey every week and how ball hockey can be a bit of a time machine
  • Writing the scenes from trying to speech French when in Paris from personal experience
  • Terry’s friendship with Jim Cuddy (of Blue Rodeo fame) via his weekly ball-hockey and how the musician allowed Terry to write him into his novel
  • The examination of make friendship which is an important aspect of this novel
  • Terry’s history of being a “closeted” singer-songwriter, which he’s been doing since he was seventeen years old
  • The song “More Than The Game” which Terry wrote about the comradery of his ball hockey league
  • Laying a few of Terry’s songs into the audiobook produced by Penguin Random House
  • The 42-year-old love song that Terry wrote for his University girlfriend (who he has been married to for 36 wonderful years)
  • The long-time romantic tradition of Terry singing the love song to his wife on Christmas Eve
  • Terry’s personal connection to Paris and how it, like ball hockey, is a kind of time machine
  • Writing a scene of the novel at the seat of Hemingway’s favorite table at a Paris cafe
  • Hailing from the “why use 6 words when 12 will do” school of writing
  • The saga of Constance Stanley’s diaries becoming the final piece that Terry needed to complete the story
  • How the title A NEW SEASON refers to so many different elements from the novel
  • The next book that Terry has already started to work on, which has even more intrigue and suspense than two of his previous novels
  • Advice Terry would have for writers who have long wanted to do it, but haven’t yet taken that step
  • And more…

After the interview, Mark reflects on the idea of writing books from passion and intense interest. He then shares the name of the Patron winner of Joanna Penn’s Writing the Shadow.

Links of Interest:

The introductory, end, and bumper music for this podcast (“Laser Groove”) was composed and produced by Kevin MacLeod of and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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