Toronto-based ARTEMIS PICTURES has optioned JOANNE PROULX’S sophomore novel, We All Love the Beautiful Girls.  A Globe “Best Book of 2017”, published in 2017 by Penguin Canada and soon to be published by Grand Central in the US (Fall 2018), We All Love the Beautiful Girls calls to mind the movie The Ice Storm and television series The Slap and Big Little Lies.

Like the novel, the television adaptation will be a propulsive family drama tackling such provocative issues as misogyny, violence against women, betrayal and loss, with surprising touches of humour and poignant moments of joy and love.

One frigid winter night, the lives of three affluent families begin to unravel when MIA and MICHAEL SLATE discover that their close friend, PETER CONRAD, who is also Michael’s business partner, has cheated Michael out of his share of the business. That same night, the Slate’s teenaged son, FINN, passes out in the snow during a party at the KELLYS’ house, where he is abandoned by his jealous friend and nearly freezes to death. The two events on this single night send shockwaves through the suburban community, leading to acts of infidelity, betrayal, and violence.

Praise for We All Love the Beautiful Girls:

“An emotional thrill-ride that manages to capture the tenderness and rage unique to adolescence and middle-age, the heartbreak of first love, and the fragility of even the most stable-seeming marriage.” Zoe Whittall, bestselling author of The Best Kind of People

“We All Love the Beautiful Girls has the ability to leave a reader breathless. The plot twists are daring. The characters and their dialogue capture the ways in which adversity can alter people. Lovers’ wounds are plastered across every page and the veneer of civility becomes shockingly thin. And yet, in the end, love, decency, and forgiveness triumph. Think of the 1986 David Lynch film, Blue Velvet, in which brutality lurks just beneath the surface of everyday life, then erupts ferociously before disappearing back into the depths.” – Quill & Quire

ARTEMIS PICTURES, is a partnership between Oscar nominated industry veteran and founding partner of Rhombus Media, BARBARA WILLIS SWEETE, seasoned television executive, JOAN JENKINSON, and international business and economics specialist, SUSANNE RITZAU. The partners have long-established careers in scripted television, feature films and documentaries – with a rich background in the performing arts. Their primary focus is to develop and produce high end scripted content for television and the cinema for an international audience.

“Joanne’s novel is an engrossing page-turner, full of dynamic characters, plot twists and strong emotions.  We are thrilled to have the opportunity to adapt it for television,” says Barbara Willis Sweete.

A feature film adaptation of Proulx’s debut novel, Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet, with movie stars CAMERON MONAGHAN (Shameless), PEYTON LIST (BUNK’D) and JULIETTE LEWIS (Natural Born Killers) is currently in post-production and will soon be released. Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet was published internationally by Penguin Canada; Soho US; Picador MacMillan UK; and Arena, Netherlands. It was selected by Borders in 2008 for their prestigious Best New Voices series, was the recipient of Canada’s Sunburst Award for Fantastic Fiction and named a best debut of 2007 by Kirkus and The Globe and Mail.

Praise for Joanne Proulx’s debut novel, Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet:

“Proulx has a sure hand that renders Luke’s experience painfully, viscerally real. He’s funny, convincing and sympathetic, his voice expressing the subtly shifting balance of vulnerable child and diffident teenage boy … the book combines a dry humour with moments that are deeply and unexpectedly affecting. Luke’s is a thoughtful coming of age that is, above all, utterly engrossing.” –Observer

Sharon Bala’s THE BOAT PEOPLE debuts #1 on CBC Books’s Canadian Fiction Bestsellers list, and more

We’re brimming with joy to see Sharon Bala‘s THE BOAT PEOPLE (McClelland & Stewart​ Canada, Doubleday US) continued success – this stunning novel debuts #1 on CBC Books​’s Canadian Fiction Bestsellers list this week!!

THE BOAT PEOPLE has also been named a Top Contender by Kobo​, earning the title of “Most Addictive”.

Latest Reviews

“Debut author Bala capably establishes the interlocking narratives of three characters, each revealing a different, albeit compelling, perspective…by empathetically exploring each character’s backstory, Bala presents the complex task of balancing a nation’s desire to be compassionate with the need to identify threats to national security, providing a timely examination of the refugee crisis worldwide. Recommended for all fiction collections.”
-Library Journal​

“The most striking aspect of the novel lies in its quietly confident understanding that everyone is complicit in systems of racial and ethnic violence…and Bala’s assertion that no one is completely innocent intensifies her emotionally vivid prose.” -Quill & Quire​

Congrats, Sharon!

THINGS TO DO WHEN IT’S RAINING Publishes in Canada and the US!

Today we’re thrilled to say Happy Book Birthday to Marissa Stapley, as her book THINGS TO DO WHEN IT’S RAINING publishes in Canada with Simon & Schuster, in the US with Graydon House, and as an audiobook with Blackstone Audio! Previously, it published in November 2017 in Germany with Rowohlt.

Though it’s only just published in North America, it already is receiving some great praise and attention. See below a selection of advance praise and how it’s been featured in the media!

At Pop Sugar, it was listed among 8 books that remind readers of the hit show This is Us:

It’s also been named a Loblaws Book of the Moment.

From Simon & Schuster:

When secrets tear love apart, can the truth mend it? —from The Globe and Mail-bestselling author Marissa Stapley.

Mae Summers and Gabe Broadbent grew up together in the idyllic Summers’ Inn, perched at the edge the St. Lawrence River. Mae was orphaned at the age of six and Gabe needed protection from his alcoholic father, so both were raised under one roof by Mae’s grandparents, Lily and George. A childhood friendship quickly developed into a first love—a love that was suddenly broken by Gabe’s unexpected departure. Mae grew up and got over her heartbreak, and started a life for herself in New York City.

After more than a decade, Mae and Gabe find themselves pulled back to Alexandria Bay by separate forces. Hoping to find solace within the Summers’ Inn, Mae instead finds her grandparents in the midst of decline and their past unravelling around her. A lifetime of secrets that implicate Gabe and Mae’s family reveal a version of the past that will forever change Mae’s future.

From the bestselling author of Mating for Life comes a poignant generational story about family and secrets. With honesty and heart, Marissa Stapley reminds us of the redemptive power of love and forgiveness, and that, ultimately, family is a choice.

Advance Praise

Things To Do When It’s Raining is commercial fiction at its best. Compelling, heartfelt and well-crafted. A gem of a page-turner.” – The Toronto Star 

“The intensity of the lasting love and friendship between Gabe and Mae is emotionally powerful and finely wrought, and Stapley complements this story about the difficult choices family members make for those they love with an evocative setting.”
– Publishers Weekly

Things to Do When It’s Raining has heart and soul and guts, and it has achingly beautiful prose and characters so dear and real I couldn’t bear to say goodbye when I reached its final page. It’s a book about friendship and secrets, grief and regret, the peculiar shape of families and the redemptive nature of love. And it is, quite frankly, one of the best books I have read in a very long time.”
– Jennifer Robson, bestselling author of Moonlight over Paris

“Fans of Nicholas Sparks will adore Things to Do When It’s Raining, an irresistible tribute to first love, second chances and the powerful legacy of the past. Elegant and heartfelt, Marissa Stapley’s writing is a gift.”
– Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan’s Tale

“Evocative, wise and infused with heart. A deeply moving story about family, love and loss, the novel shows how secrets can either haunt us or set us free, depending on who we trust them with. One of my favorite books this year!”
– KARMA BROWN, bestselling author of Come Away with Me

“A generous book about imperfect people, a novel about the family we choose, the mistakes we make, and how love, flawed and searching and messy, is the only path to forgiveness.  It’s also a gorgeously written page-turner, and when I finished it, I flipped right back to page one to savor it just a little bit more.”
– Lauren Fox, author of Days of Awe

“A tightly woven story that beautifully illustrates how tragedy and human weakness can cause heartbreaking ripples for years and generations to come.”
– K.A. Tucker, bestselling author of He Will Be My Ruin

“There is something so intimate and true in the sentence, ‘Every marriage harbors secrets, secrets about why it works or why it doesn’t work, secrets between two people that the rest of the world can never be privy to.’ Profound and intimate, raw and real—Things to Do When It’s Raining is hard to put down. Loved the ending but hated to have it end!”
– Nan Rossiter, New York Times bestselling author of Firefly Summer

“The complex and moving saga of a non-traditional family with deep bonds and even deeper secrets. Set against the idyllic background of a far-flung seaside town, the finely drawn characters of this novel test the limits of friendship, love, and forgiveness. A story that lingers long after the final page is turned.”
– Andrea Dunlop, author of Losing the Light

“Spellbinding. . . . I fell in love with Mae Summers from the first page, and I followed her, heart between my teeth, as she uncovered family secrets and reconsidered her place in the world. Full of engaging characters, sensitivity and insight, Marissa Stapley’s newest novel is a beautiful, emotionally acute saga that makes us all reconsider the meaning of love and family.”
– Danila Botha, author of Too Much on the Inside

“A haunting, gripping novel about family secrets and love lost and found. It’s a story that will resonate with anyone who has returned home to find that places have as much power as people to wound, and heal.”
– Elizabeth Renzetti , author of Based on a True Story

“Written with compassion and insight, Things to Do When It’s Raining is a truly captivating novel with exquisite prose and moments of bittersweet tenderness.”
– Nicola Moriarty, author of The Fifth Letter

“Regrets, secrets, and hidden longings swirl beneath the surface of this beautifully atmospheric story of love found, lost, and rediscovered.  I couldn’t stop reading.”
– Shelley Noble, NYT bestselling author of Whisper Beach and The Beach At Painter’s Cove

“I enjoyed Things to Do When It’s Raining enormously. A lovely book full of emotion and wisdom.”
– Marian Keyes

Léonicka Valcius joins Transatlantic Agency as Assistant Agent

Léonicka Valcius has joined the Transatlantic Agency as Assistant Agent and will be working closely with Samantha Haywood, Stephanie Sinclair and Amy Tompkins with whom she will be coagenting new clients. Valcius has a particular mandate to represent women of colour for her shared client list at the Transatlantic. As a reminder, Stephanie Sinclair has a mandate for representing Indigenous writers. Valcius is especially looking to recruit new commercial fiction writers of a variety of genres including among others, fantasy, romance, and historical fiction, general non-fiction and YA & children’s authors. Valcius was most recently a Title Analyst with Penguin Random House Canada and before that in various roles with Scholastic Book Fairs Canada and HarperCollins Canada. Valcius is also the Chair of the Board of the FOLD Foundation, which organizes the Festival of Literary Diversity in Brampton, Ontario.

Said Haywood, “Léonicka is impressive on every level as a publishing professional and she is passionate to represent exciting commercial writers from diverse backgrounds. We are lucky to have her join us.”

Celebrating its 25th year the Transatlantic Agency is the largest literary agency in North America with experienced agents in both the United States and Canada actively covering adult and children’s books in every market and a growing Speakers Division. Transatlantic has 13 literary agents located in the US and Canada representing over 350 clients and is a vibrant collective of tenacious, independent, publishing professionals with diverse backgrounds and specialties.

For more information contact: Samantha Haywood at

The Ontario Library Association Announces the finalists for the Forest of Reading 2018 Evergreen Award 2018

The Ontario Library Association has announced their Evergreen Award finalists, including Carol Off‘s ALL WE LEAVE BEHIND (Random House Canada) and Catherine Hernandez‘s SCARBOROUGH (Arsenal Pulp Press) – congratulations to you both!

The Forest of Reading awards recognize the best work by Canadian authors and illustrators. Over a quarter of a million readers participate in the program through schools, public libraries, literacy centres and within their homes. These awards encourage a love of reading through programs aimed at children and adults who vote for the winning books.

For the full list of nominees, please visit:

DEAL NEWS: DUMB by Georgia Webber

Comics artist and writer, Georgia Webber‘s debut graphic novel memoir DUMB tells the story of how an urban twentysomething copes with the everyday challenges that come with voicelessness, and the practical hurdles she faced as well as the fear and dread that accompanied her increasingly lonely journey to regain her life, sold to Gary Groth at Fantagraphics for publication in June 2018 by Samantha Haywood (world rights) TV/film available:

Sharon Bala’s THE BOAT PEOPLE shortlisted for Canada Reads 2018

Sharon Bala‘s THE BOAT PEOPLE (McClelland & Stewart Canada) has been shortlisted for Canada Reads 2018 – exactly four weeks since publication!!

Canada Reads is an annual contest in which five Canadian celebrity panellists champion a chosen work of Canadian fiction based on the novel’s literary qualities. The debates are broadcast on CBC Radio One, CBC-TV and can be live streamed at Books are voted off by the panellists until one book is chosen as the title the entire country should read.

THE BOAT PEOPLE follows a group of refugees who survive a perilous ocean voyage only to face the threat of deportation amid accusations of terrorism.

For the full shortlist, please visit:

Congratulations, Sharon, on this incredible achievement!


Accolades and Praise for THE BOAT PEOPLE

• Amazon Pick of the Month
• iBooks Feature- Best Books of the Month
• iBooks Feature-Winter’s Most Anticipated Fiction
• One World, One Book Selection
• CBC Books Canadian fiction to watch for in the first half of 2018
• Jael Richardson’s, Q Radio contributor, first book pick of 2018
• A Globe and Mail Bestseller

“Timely and engrossing…This is a powerful debut.”
-Publishers Weekly

“This earnest debut novel forcefully explores the issues surrounding immigration…deeply moving and nuanced, The Boat People asks what price a country is willing to pay when public safety comes at the cost of human lives.”

“A real ship of refugees inspires a novel about the messy consequences of war…Memorable…Chilling…”
-Kirkus Reviews

“Rooted in actual events, Bala uses the tools of fiction to excavate the human truths hidden under the headlines…The Boat People succeeds not because it has answers, but because of how it foregrounds the questions: who are we as individuals? Who are we as a culture, as a society? How do our beliefs, our empathy, survive in the face of confusion and the threat of deception and violence?…The Boat People is a book perfect for our times, essential reading to bring context to questions which we are, perhaps, more inclined to ignore.”
-Toronto Star

“Bala displays her talent as a compassionate, reflective author…This is a work of fiction, but it’s so very real…Ultimately, this is a novel comprised of both beautiful and uncomfortable truths, written by an author who understands there are multiple sides to every issue – and to every human being…Bala has vividly conjured worlds, both on Canadian soil and back in Sri Lanka, that show the dualities of living in any country…What we also get from a novel like this is a new way of seeing.”
–The Globe and Mail

“Cinematic details transport us to a tension-rich drama. Bala moves fluidly from past to present, mixing memories with current crises…juxtapositions build and maintain suspense all the way to the last line, where readers are left hanging, as if justice is in our hands…The Boat People reminds us of the fragile nature of truth.”

The Boat People will—and should…—linger long in the mind as an almost Graham-Greene-esque thriller about Canada’s Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora. Homeric in her narrative arc, Bala’s novel is rhetorically purposive—but poetically, softly rhetorical…Bala is ahead by a century in the cricket score of politically powerful contemporary fiction.”
-Atlantic Books Today

“In this moving novel, hundreds of Sri Lankan refugees make a dangerous voyage to seek asylum in Canada. The threat of deportation soon follows their arrival, sparking questions about compassion and humanity and identity—identity, in all its transformative complexities.”
-Southern Living

“A sharp examination of the global refugee crisis from both human and bureaucratic perspectives.”
-Toronto Life

The Boat People tackles a subject that we all should be thinking about and working on, together, today.”

The Boat People is a powerful, gripping moral drama told with deep compassion and humanity. Sharon Bala takes us behind the headlines about refugees and asylum seekers straight into the beating hearts of unforgettable human beings. A timely tale and a beautiful, remarkable debut.”
-Lynne Kutsukake, author of The Translation of Love

“This wise and compassionate novel is an intimate portrait of one of the great humanitarian crises of our time. Its power lies in its breadth, for it examines not just those who come to our country seeking refuge, but also those who determine their fate. As such it implicates us all in the ongoing crisis.”
-Shyam Selvadurai, author of The Hungry Ghosts and Funny Boy

The Boat People is a beautifully crafted story with a big heart. This novel has an urgency and relevance that cuts to the bone and will resonate with readers of all stripes. Bala offers no easy answers and no political posturing, but her magnificent storytelling will leave readers wondering about their own convictions, asking themselves, ‘What would I do? What would I have done?’ I love this book and, somehow, I empathized and understood every character’s motivation and heart, despite their seemingly opposing stances. The spirits of Bala’s complicated, well-developed characters will linger with you like ghosts; you will look for them in the newspaper, on the evening news, everywhere, and when you encounter them, you will pause and wonder, not only about them but about yourself.”
-Michel Stone, author of Border Child

The Boat People is a burning flare of a novel, at once incendiary and illuminating. With a rare combination of precision, empathy and insight, Sharon Bala has crafted an unflinching examination of what happens when the fundamental human need for safety collides with the cold calculus of bureaucracy. In the best tradition of fearless literature, it shatters our comfortable illusions about who we really are and reveals just how asymmetrical the privilege of belonging can be. This is a brilliant debut – a story that needs to be told, told beautifully.”
-Omar El Akkad, author of American War


Anita Chong at McClelland & Stewart has pre-empted Canadian rights to Reema Patel‘s debut novel, tentatively titled JUSTICE FOR ALL. Pitched as Slumdog Millionaire meets The God of Small Things, set in Mumbai, in which a former street child’s quest for redemption collides with her instincts to survive, after her quiet life is overturned by the arrival of a naive, overly entitled intern at the human rights NGO where she works. Deal arranged by Stephanie Sinclair.

TRUE BLUE by Sigmund Brouwer and Cindy Morgan publishes with Orca Book Publishers!

Happy Book Birthday to Sigmund Brouwer and Cindy Morgan whose YA novel TRUE BLUE published with Orca Book Publishers!
Elle is on the road as an opening act for Johnny James, the biggest star in country music. Touring is everything she’s ever dreamed of, but it has unexpected downsides: crazy fans, jealous backup singers, weird rules on the tour bus. But when something goes terribly wrong during a performance, Elle struggles to figure out how she can make things right with her fans, her father, her record company and with her friend Webb.