I had the great joy and privilege today to attend the book launch for Don Miasek’s Pale Grey Dot from Bakka-Phoenix Books. Don is a fantastic writer and friend from the Toronto Sci-Fi and Fantasy Writers group, and Pale Grey Dot is his debut novel. I had pre-ordered his book back in March and picked up my copy today. I’m 20 pages in just from the subway ride home, and already loving it. The world and characters are very compelling already so I can’t wait to see how it evolves.

Bakka-Phoenix Books isn’t a store I knew of previously, but from speaking with friends at the launch today it’s clearly a much-beloved cornerstone in the lives of many of my sci-fi & fantasy loving friends. I definitely intend to spend more time there in the future. It’s a small space, as independent bookstores tend to be, and it was a delight to see it packed to the rafters with people from the group. Don spent time talking about the process of writing and editing the novel, and how different members of the group offered feedback and served as alpha and beta readers through the 7-year process of getting the book from first draft to publishing.

It’s wonderful to see a friend I know to be an excellent writer get such a lovely edition of his work published, and to see how the rest of the group was there to congratulate him. Publishing is a hard road and I think it could be easy to be jealous of the success of others, but instead everyone was there to support and celebrate the success of our much-deserving friend and colleague.

In the Q&A session and mini-interview Don did, he talked about so many of the things I’ve mentioned here, like the importance of the feedback we get and how this isn’t done in isolation despite how singular writing can feel. I found comfort in knowing that his journey reflects that of myself and the others in the group who are all writing or editing books, even down to the long timelines and the periods of being unproductive. Hearing his stories and seeing the writing group gathered there was a great reminder of the importance of having a writing community, and the value of sharing our experiences with other writers.

If you’d like to check out Don’s work (which I very much recommend) you can get a physical copy from Bakka-Phoenix Books, or the Kindle version from Amazon.

1 Comment

  1. Suzanne Barcza


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