Terry Fallis talks about The Best Laid Plans and the Leacock Medal shortlist

Terry Fallis, the Fallis in Thornley Fallis, isn’t content just to be a successful public relations executive. No, he feels the need to scratch his creative itch in others ways. Most notably, by writing, publishing and promoting The Best Laid Plans, a political novel set in Ottawa, Canada’s capital.

And clearly he not only writes, but he writes well. The Best Laid Plans has been nominated for the Leacock Medal for humour.

Terry took some time to talk to me about the experience of writing The Best Laid Plans and using social media to promote it and what the Leacock nomination means to him. Some of the things we talked about:

  • How did he manage to write a novel and keep up his very demanding work commitments? Writing at night, Saturday mornings and on airplanes. (Boy, I wish I had his discipline.)
  • For those of us who know Terry, we shouldn’t be surprised to see elements of Terry in the two principal characters of the novel. He drew on his own experience and character traits to construct these two very believable, fully realized characters.
  • How does a first time novelist get his novel published and discovered by an audience? By self publishing and using social media to promote it. Terry podcast the novel – reading it one chapter at a time in 20 episodes. He hosted the podcast on terryfallis.com and discovered that readers talked to him about the novel. And in fact, some created promotional content, including pictures of themselves in front of state capitals in Melbourne, Boston, Austin, Ottawa and elsewhere.
  • What has the shortlist for the Leacock Medal done for him? Well, no movie offers yet. But, one of Canada’s more prominent literary agents, Beverley Slopen, has agreed to represent him. And it looks hopeful that the novel will be picked up by a mainline publishing house.

You can watch the interview with Terry below. It lasts about 10 minutes.