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Pickle Me This

March 14, 2018

Happy Birthday, Mitzi Bytes!

On the occasion of Mitzi Bytes‘ first birthday, and it being Pi Day (which is A VERY IMPORTANT HOLIDAY) I did the only possible thing and baked a chocolate cream pie whose recipe comes from literary comic icon Nora Ephron. The pie was delicious, and there’s even leftovers in the fridge, which is a fantastic way to be. We didn’t light any candles, but it’s still been a very good way to make a special occasion, a year since this novel came into the world. I’m so grateful for all the places it has taken me to, all the conversations its led me to have, and for all the readers who really engaged with the novel and its questions, and who saw the humour too. It’s all been a dream come true.

February 6, 2018

Neat Things: A Round-Up

Hands down, the best thing to happen to me last week was my conversation with writers Elizabeth Renzetti and Nicole Blades, and broadcaster Michael Enright, on CBC’s The Sunday Edition. Apart from the excitement of actually being on a show I listen to every week, the conversation itself was such a pleasure to take part in, so much fun and really interesting. You can listen again to it here.

Another wonderful thing is Anne Logan’s kind and generous review of Mitzi Bytes—that the book continues to resonate with readers thrills me to no end. She calls it a thought-provoking novel that goes beyond the limits of Mommy-Lit, and declares it one of the best books she’s read in awhile.

And finally, I loved my friend Suzanne Alyssa Andrew’s piece on owning her power and pulling a winning story from a magazine whose editor she didn’t want to be associated with in light of a sexual misconduct scandal and rabid douchebaggery. When I got to the part in which she quoted me, my head exploded—it means so much to me to know the things I write can empower and inspire others. In fact, I find it empowering and inspiring, even…

January 16, 2018

New Mitzi Bytes things…

Photo Credit: Julie at Try Small Things

I was delighted a few weeks back to discover that Mitzi Bytes was the January pick for the Sweet Reads Box, which is a very cool curated subscription box that includes one book and assortment of other fun things associated with the book’s story and theme. And as the boxes have been delivered this week, I’ve enjoyed (along with their recipients!) discovering what items are accompanying the book, especially because they’re so thoughtful and perfect and include my very favourite flavour of tea (which is my character’s favourite flavour of tea too, a detail I’d forgotten). To see what I’m talking about, head over to Try Small Things to see the Mitzi box unpacked, and to enter for a chance to win the January box for yourself. I’ve read the book already, in fact I wrote it, but I’m still a little disappointed that I didn’t order one before they sold out. The giveaway is featured in a few other places too if you search with the #SweetReadsBox hashtag on Instagram. I’m so thrilled to see my book finding readers in such a delightful way!

I’m also very happy to read such a smart and insightful take on Mitzi Bytes by Donna Bailey Nurse, a reader and writer I really admire, and who was kind enough to talk to me about my writing and life in an excellent conversation a little while back—you can read her article here. I’m always appreciative of readers who are able to discern that Mitzi Bytes’ lightness is deceptive and there’s a lot more going on under the surface.

And finally, I am happy to be featured on BoldFace, the blog at Editors Toronto, where I talk about the work I do, my discomfort with identifying as an editor, and also get to give props to the editors I’ve been so fortunate to work with so far in my career. You can read it here.

December 8, 2017


My Instagram #2017BestNine is pretty Mitzi Bytes-centric. I am grateful to everyone who helped make the experience of publishing the book a pleasure. Grateful too that my adorable children in their Jane Goodall/Woman Woman Halloween costumes snuck in there as well. Rad Women all around.

November 23, 2017

Mitzi Bytes in the World—and under the Christmas Tree

For a person whose book came out a whole season ago, I had a pretty busy fall doing bookish things, and I realized I’d forgotten a few of these here. The first was my event at Word on the Street in September, which was a day so overwhelmed with exciting things that I kind of lost my mind, but still. I did a fantastic event on literary outcasts with Jonny Sun and Shawn Hitchens, and our tent was packed and I had the very best time.

And in October, we had the most glorious weekend away in Stratford, taking in the goodness of that wonderful town and a showing of Treasure Island—but the whole reason we were there at all was for the Stratford Writers’ Festival. I arrive on Saturday morning and did my blogging workshop for a fantastic group of people at the library.

And then later that day I got to be on a panel on feminism with Scaachi Koul, which was hilarious and invigorating, and she was lovely and exactly as smart and biting as she in her book. It was a great conversation, and it was very cool to see Mitzi Bytes discussed in the context of Koul’s work and her book, and how both books informed each other. It was such an honour and a pleasure to take part in this event.

And I finally, I really think that Mitzi Bytes would make an amazing holiday gift for all your loved ones. (Of course I do!) If you’re going to be giving Mitzi Bytes for Christmas, drop me an email at kerryclare AT gmail DOT com and I will mail you Mitzi Bytes bookplates personally autographed to your gift’s recipient. Because books always make the best gifts and they don’t even require batteries.

October 19, 2017

Mitzi Bytes on the Road

Mitzi Bytes and I hit the road (or at least, we took the train) yesterday to visit with a great group of women in Oshawa, a few of whom had been at the Lakefield Literary Festival this summer, and who had to choose Mitzi Bytes for their book club. I had a really nice time, and not just because it was the best meal I’ve had in ages (with wine to boot), but because the women kept bringing their conversation around to ideas from the book that I find so interesting to think about.

And this weekend, we’re on the road again for the Stratford Writers Festival, where I’m part of the most terrific line-up. I’m giving my blogging workshop on Saturday from 11-12:30, and then at 4:30 I’m on a panel with Scaachi Koul where we’ll be talking about humour and the female experience. I am looking forward to it a lot. And go here for my Q&A with the Stratford folks in which I finally give the goods on just how autobiographical is my novel exactly—a warning, it concerns fire.

September 11, 2017

Happy Half-Birthday, Mitzi Bytes!

It’s Mitzi Bytes’ half-birthday! This week marks six months since Mitzi was launched and hit the Independent Bestseller list, reaching #2 for Trade Paperback Fiction and #6 Overall. It’s been an excellent run, and we’ve celebrated by finally making use of our custom cookie cutters from our friends at Jammy Dodger, The Bakery. I am grateful to everybody who has supported this book, booksellers, festivals, friends and readers. You’ve made this all such a pleasure.

And speaking of pleasures, have never known one quite like the Dunedin Literary Festival. It was the most beautiful, fall colours just beginning to give us glimpses, and the sun was shining and the sky was blue. I appeared on a panel with my friend, Kate Hilton, moderated by Tish Cohen, whose Town House I read and loved ten years ago. We had such a good time, and afterwards I hung out with my husband and children and we soaked up all the goodness of a day out in nature—there were activities for kids, a playground and swing, delicious local fare for lunch (empanadas to die for), and I got to see the panel later that day with Alison Pick, Cecily Ross, and Claire Cameron. It was a wonderful day, and I’m really looking forward to returning in 2018.

There are more good things coming up this week! I’m doing a talk on the (long and winding) road from blog to book at the Brockton Writers this Wednesday at the Glad Day Bookshop. And Word on the Street is next week, Sunday September 24. In conjunction with WOTS, I got to do a fun questionnaire with She Does the City answering questions about my writing life and readerly fixations. You can read it here.

August 30, 2017

Mitzi Bytes: Coming Up

I am looking forward to a busy fall with Mitzi Bytes things, with two events in Toronto (including Word on the Street!) and trips to Dunedin and Stratford. At Brockton Writers on September 13, I’ll be giving a short talk about my experience of how I got from blog to book. And I’ve got book club visits scheduled too—very excited about these. Do let me know if you’d like me to visit your book club—email me at kerryclare AT gmail DOT com.

In other Mitzi Bytes news, my interview with Shelagh Rogers was rebroadcast last week (during the eclipse, even!) and that was fun. I was super happy that my #MitziInTheSun summer prize pack found an excellent home. Thanks to everybody who participated. And I’m grateful for this wonderful review by Heidi Darroch; one paragraph begins, “Like Maria Semple or Meg Wolitzer…” so I pretty much have everything I ever wanted.

July 21, 2017

Mitzi Bytes in the World

A thing I never had sufficient appreciation for before I became an author is the the work of literary festival volunteers. I’ve attended festivals as a reader, and always had the general impression that these were the kind of events that just kind of happened. But this spring I’ve learned that they only happen because a lot of people work really tirelessly to make it so, and this was definitely the case at the Lakefield Literary Festival last weekend, which was such a pleasure and an honour to be a part of. Having grown up down the highway from Lakefield, the festival has always been on my radar, and then to be invited for an event with Zoe Whittall and Marni Jackson, whose books I enjoyed so much last summer, was utterly fantastic.

Our event was such a pleasure, and I think it wasn’t just me who enjoyed it—you can read about it here. On Saturday morning I taught a session of my blogging workshop, which was made so excellent for me by the engaged and interesting people who’d signed up to be part of it. And while that was happening, my husband and children were enjoying the children’s events. Later that day we’d all head back to the festival for the reception, with delicious food and a perfect ambiance. There were other great events going on all weekend, and we enjoyed our time at the festival so much.

In other news, the Mitzi Bytes e-book (at Kobo or Kindle) is on sale right now for 4.99 as part of Savvy Reader’s 50 Book Pledge Deal. The lovely Theresa Kishkan wrote about how Virginia Woolf haunts its pages in a gorgeous post about summer reading. And I was so happy to see the book reviewed in the Tri-City News as part of a round-up of summer reads, along with a spread of other books that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed in this past while. Librarian Kathy Johnson writes, “This is a dishy and modern Harriet the Spy for an adult audience.”

July 11, 2017

Mitzi Bytes in the World—and in the Sun

“You’ve got to have a long view,” is a thing I told a writer last year who was troubled that her book had not been the explosive sensation she’d been hoping it would be. From a reader’s perspective, this seems obvious—there is no such thing as a book best-by date and the number of times it’s taken me ages to finally pick up a book I’d fall in love with is kind of preposterous. But for a writer, there is pressure, for a book to be a hit the moment it’s out of the gate, and while it’s true that there is a limited window in terms of media coverage and award eligibility and things like that, these aren’t actually the literary connections that matter. And now I keep having to deliver my own advice to myself, to remember that the life of a book is long, serendipitous, sometimes subtle, and always surprising. And while my book is now old news as new releases go (literally, so last-season), it’s continuing to have adventures out in the world and I find this so delightful.

And first, if you’re looking to come along on a Mitzi Bytes adventure, tickets are still available for my event at the Lakefield Literary Festival this weekend with Zoe Whittall and Marni Jackson. (I am also teaching a blogging workshop on Saturday morning.) Having loved both Marni and Zoe’s books last summer, it’s especially exciting to be appearing with them on Friday—for it’s a long way from the screened-in porch where I devoured Zoe’s book to a seat alongside her on the festival stage. (!!)

Last Friday, I had the good fortune of reading from Mitzi Bytes at Lexicon Books in Lunenburg, NS, which is one of the best bookstores I’ve ever been to (and we both know that I do get around). It was a terrific night with a packed house, and the good company of the brilliant Rebecca Silver Slayter and Johanna Skibsrud, who were kind enough to include me in their event. I’m so grateful to store owners Alice, Jo and Anne-Marie for having me—and to Jo in particular who was actually reading my book as I came into the store, which is a highlight of my life.

Elsewhere, Mitzi Bytes is featured in the August issue of Canadian Living, as “a compelling look into the personal consequences of the digital age.” One of my favourite readers and writers (and my friend!) Sarah wrote beautifully about the novel on her blog, Edge of Evening (and apparently I stole her life—more about that later…). Katy MacKinnon writes a great piece on the book at The Winnipeg Review, and they declare it a “fun” novel about the capacity of women to be more than just one thing—exactly! And long-time blogger Danielle Donders writes a fantastic review of the book here, which thrills me to no end because long-time bloggers “get” this book in just the way I want them too—as a celebration of the history and evolution of women in blogging, the communities and connections blogs created, and how these blogs have helped so many of us define our sense of self.

She writes, “…a book with a blogger as the protagonist released in 2017? How delightfully anachronistic. And yet, the story feels surprisingly current and relevant today.”

And just a reminder that the #MitziIntheSun giveaway runs until July 31. There’s still time for you to share your sunny Mitzi pic for a chance to win an excellent summer reads gift pack (which I will make sure to get to the winner before summer is gone…).

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