Still in Covid-19 times, it felt both weird and thrilling to hit the road again for live book launch parties. In Ottawa, North Bay, and Sudbury, despite a dozen or more people sending last-minute regrets due to positive tests or life schedules, there were still 40 to 45 people present at each of the April launches (The Parlour Restaurant, Ottawa, Average Joe's Eatery and Patio, North Bay,and Twiggs Coffee , Sudbury). I sold over 120 books. I was delighted to see folk arriving at the book signing tables with both of my books in their hands. Back in Ottawa, I had to order more Soar, Adam, Soar books for the next tour.
This newsletter shares media coverage, tour pictures, news on special discount prices, where the book is being sold, a few reviews, the organ transplant speakers, and more, including a CURLING story!
Ottawa Citizen: It was the jackpot in author publicity. Kelly Egan, Ottawa Citizen columnist, attended the first launch. His column, Priest, Husband, Dad grieving his trans son: One Catholic's faith memoir, ran on Page One, above the fold. Egan's homemade sass mentioned this former priest "doing the devil's bidding", being a "theological nightmare", and the Vatican's bulky file on me. Oh well, short of a book burning by Rome, this IS as good as it gets. Egan hit all the right notes and, I suspect, identified the most fitting niche for my book
MCTV News: Ian Cambell's story, Former Northern Ontario priest turned author launches new book, captured the good crowd and generous comments from friend and former NDP MP boss Claude Gravelle.
"How to Heal Our Divides" Podcast: Brian Allain in New Jersey had me as a guest for his international podcast. You can watch it on YouTube. We chatted on a "Big God", our polarized society and religions, social justice, and more. "How to Heal Our Divides” is a project aimed at building awareness of organizations that are taking real action to address serious, deep divides that have had strong negative impacts on our society – racial, political, religious, and other divides. The project is not an attempt to gloss over serious problems or “make happy” but instead to highlight tangible efforts that are solving problems – actually healing divides in effective and practical ways.
Andy Warhol fame! In March, after three online Northern Ontario news sites posted this story I sent them, and multiple shares by readers followed, Father Rick Roamin' Catholic soared from a 250th ranked listing, good given their thousands of books, all the way to #1 in two genres, Catholicism and religious biographies. It lasted 27 minutes. So there, Andy Warhol!
Where to Buy the Book amd Website Store Discount Specials
Besides tour events, this faith memoir is available in stores or for order at:
• All Indie bookstores. The books are at Octopus Books, Perfect Books and Books on Beechwood in Ottawa, Millstreet Books, Almonte, Novel Idea, Kingston, Books & Company Picton.
• Indigo (Chapters) and Coles stores. North Nay's Coles has signed books.
• Friesen Press bookstore https://books.friesenpress.com/
• Amazon Canada www.amazon.ca (hard cover, paperback, e-book)
Because of the many who had to skip those first three events, I have loaded on my web store discounted $28 specials, plus no no shipping fees, orders available for for Ottawa, North Bay, and Sudbury customers. I am delivering Ottawa books to anyone with a mailbox or front door. North Bay and Sudbury people who buy from me will get a pick-up address for their cities.
What’s the Buzz? Reviews please and thank you!
If your name is not Margaret Atwood nor J.K. Rowling, most authors like me rely on readers to create and sustain a buzz on their book. Word of mouth, emails, social media posts. are how others learn about the book. Please and thank you!
The best buzz is a review on Amazon Canada (and other Amazon country sites), , www.amazon.ca, and Goodreads, a popular readers’ site, https://www.goodreads.
com . Drop a few lines on why you liked the book or your thoughts after reading it and why others might want to read it. You can post the same review on both sides or be creative
with different comments. You will find my book via the site’s search engine. Posting is straightforward but feel free to drop me an email at email@example.com if you need further instructions.
Rev. James Scott (Order of Canada Officer for his Truth and Reconciliation and restorative justice work) April 19, Ottawa book launch
"...The third thread I want to mention is not really a thread. It is a mighty sinew that runs deeply through Rick’s whole life and holds it all together. It is his faith. Born into a Roman Catholic home and nurtured by believing parents, one might not be surprised that Rick ended up becoming a priest. But the faith journey can be as challenging and ever-changing as any road trip. Rick’s faith has had room for doubts, for questions, and for uncertainty. He’s had the courage to wrestle, to discern core beliefs from adherence to the ill-fitting trappings and policies of institutional religion. In this winnowing process, Rick found a God bigger than any catechism taught, a faith resolute in its belief in the “audacious claim” that we are all made in the image of God, that everyone embodies the divine spark...." This faith he has is the bedrock of Rick’s lifelong passion for justice and human dignity. It also sustained him in the wilderness times, in the midst of unbearable pain when even God seemed silent. For it is an Easter faith, where even tragedy can be transformed into new ministry as Rick has become an advocate for organ donation and human rights for people who are transgender. The divine spark!"
Greg Humbert, author, archivist, at April 23, 2022 North Bay launch
"....Rick Prashaw is a MAN OF STORIES - But if you expect to find a book filled with bitter cynicism about faith and church you will be disappointed. What you will find, is a searing, honest reflection filled with wit, humour, and daringly unanswered questions. In short, it is a memoir of a man of faith whose journey remains one of searching and probing. But ALWAYS GENEROUS IN COMPASSION AND INCLUSION."
Natalie Ramon, Sudbury: "...For those of us who we're raised in the Catholic belief system (or another religion), have a current faith, but not sure how to define it, this is a book that in some way reassures us that this is ok. One can explore what faith means to them, and practice a faith even without the constructs of the church that may not evolve to encompass what is all-loving in a modern world."
I am happy to appear via Zoom or Google Meeting for all or part of your Book Club discussion
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Next Tour Stops
In the works are visits to Collingwood, London, Picton, Sault Ste. Marie, and Elliot Lake in late May and June. Details will be posted on my web site, www.rickprashaw.com, and Facebook author page. I am open to other invites with local residents helping to identify a venue and draw a crowd.
Be a Registered Organ Donor
As I did in 2019, I continue my pledge to Adam to tell his organ donor story saving four lives. I invite local speakers. In North Bay, we heard Jody Dugas share the remarkable story of her son, Noah, 13, a gifted hockey player, who died and would save seven people. In Sudbury, Angela Greene, a transplant ambassador, gave a moving account of donating a kidney to her father.
Did you Know?
• In Ontario, the word, DONOR, on the back of yourhealth card, is the ONLY certain way to confirm you are registered as an organ donor. It takes 2 minutes to register at www.beadonor.ca. You can also check there to confirm you are registered
As an organ donor, you can save up to 8 lives, or be a living donor. Today, in Ontario, over 1,600 people wait for a lifesaving organ transplant. This is their only treatment option, and every three days someone will die because they did not get their transplant in time. 90% of people support organ donation in Ontario but only 36% are registered.. Be sure to tell loved ones of your wishes.
I spend winters in curling rinks cheering my step-daughter, Lauren Mann, chase her dreams for glory. Covid-19 messed all that up. I am again sponsor for her new Team Mann Curling team, four talented veterans with multiple Scotties appearances and big goals for the world tour.
Please forward and share this newsletter. Thank you for all your support, reading the books, and your messages. It keeps me in a happy place.