JULY 31, 2019: BALL PARK IS PUBLISHED IN THE U.K.!
5/5 Review. The very first reader has spoken. Designated by Amazon as a "Top 500 Reviewer" (which means, not a set-up by the author, how I deplore those), and on the day of its release in the U.K., a reader has given BALL PARK a 5 out of 5 review on amazon.co.uk.
A few key notes from a lengthy review:
"It is a great read and appealed to me on so many levels. .. The plot held my attention throughout as it is not a run of the mill murder mystery. It draws in various characters with different motives and these motivations are what drives the novel. … I also liked the writing which is inviting and I loved the dialogue which seems natural and human … BALL PARK is a good read which I have no hesitation in recommending."
It's satisfying to have the first reader's comments land so well. CHEERS!
Another honor has come my way. The Writers' Union of Canada, "in recognition of extraordinary contributions to the Union and the lives of Canadian writers" has bestowed upon me a Life Membership. Much appreciated.
BALL PARK, the next in the Émile Cinq-Mars thriller series, and a particular favorite of mine at this juncture, is now available for pre-order on Amazon — in the United Kingdom for its July 31st release, and in the United States and Canada for its November 1st release, all 2019.
As it's early, if searching on those sites, it's probably best to request Ball Park by John Farrow, to spare yourself hunting through any number of titles with Ballpark (one word) in the title. Thanks for your interest!
This evening (May 13, 2019) I received an honorary doctorate, specifically a Doctor of Divinity Honoris Causa, from the Vancouver School of Theology in a splendid convocation ceremony. For someone who declined to finish high school and chose to write, write, write, instead, I'm enormously privileged (no doubt), honoured (to the bone), humbled and mystified. Writers take their lumps sometimes, which makes it a special joy to have one's devotion to vocation acknowledged.
Yesterday (April 24th, 2018) the page proofs for BALL PARK arrived. This will be the last of my editing tasks, to read through them and hopefully notice any errors. The first stage was the editorial overview, skillfully engaged by Carl Smith in the U.K. Then came the copyedit, which is the meticulous line-by-line, word-by-word, comma-by-semi-colon study of the novel. Interesting this time, as I am a Canadian writing for a British company with the majority of their sales in the United States. A bit of a mixed bag when it comes to spelling, word choice, and common practices. American spelling is the house style. Yet a few British conventions are utilized, such as single quotation marks, with double marks only for quotations inside the quote. A different look for me. Also, I originally had titles for my chapters and chapter numbers. House style is one or the other. I have the right to oppose this, of course, but with an open mind I tried it out, and went with the house style — no numbers. (And there's another change! My previous publisher in New York would place an em dash without spaces before and after; but now the spaces are back in, as I used to deploy them years ago.) Every change of publisher brings a subtle change of style.