Memories of Dundurn Press Part 5 - Dundurn
Sep 22, 2022

Memories of Dundurn Press Part 5

We're celebrating 50 years of publishing this year! We asked our authors to share some of their favourite memories for this blog series! Enjoy some stories of what lead to a book being published in this post featuring Rob ShapiroBarry Gough, and Sylvia Maultash Warsh.

"I have a lot of great memories with Dundurn—receiving an offer for my novel, working with their team through the many steps of the publishing process, my first book signing, appearing at the Eden Mills Writers' Festival. 

The one that always sticks out, though, is seeing my book cover for the first time. For whatever reason, it sat in my spam folder for days among many Old Navy emails (you're the best, Google). Finally, I received a call from their art director asking if I had looked at it yet. I feel like she assumed I didn't like it and was giving them the silent treatment, not realizing I didn't even know it existed. 

I think every author designs their own book cover in their head, long before the first draft of their manuscript is complete. Seeing it for the first time can go either way. Luckily, I loved it the moment I saw it. I still don't know how they captured my book's vibe and feel so well in one image. It takes me 300 pages to accomplish a similar feat.

It's really an experience you never forget." —Rob Shapiro

" "All right, Dr Gough,” remarked a senior student in my research seminar at Laurier, “you have been leading us through the waters of this great subject of how Upper Canada was saved in the War of 1812, now it’s time to write the book.” And so the NANCY sailed once again, thanks to Dundurn." —Barry Gough

"My husband and I had just walked in the door, returned from a trip to Scotland in July 1998, and I was checking my phone messages. I was pleased, though puzzled, to hear a message from an editor at Dundurn, Marc Coté, who said they were interested in a manuscript I had sent them. The only problem was I hadn’t sent them one. The publisher I had sent it to was Simon & Pierre, a small literary press I thought might be interested in a mystery novel set in the 70s. I hadn’t sent it to Dundurn because at the time they only published nonfiction. When I called Marc back, he explained. Dundurn had recently bought Simon & Pierre and was about to launch its first line of fiction, an imprint called Castle Street Mysteries. As it turned out, my first novel, To Die in Spring, was the first book to appear in that imprint, which went on to publish many more. Up to that point, I’d had trouble finding a publisher for the book, which wasn’t a traditional mystery, but a many-layered story with themes that connected to the Holocaust as well as the murderous regime in Argentina. Marc liked what he called “the educational aspect” of the novel. It was shortlisted for an Arthur Ellis award." —Sylvia Maultash Warsh