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Tell Your Sister A Tale of Regret and Consequences

Andrew Daley's debut novel Tell Your Sister, is the intriguing tale of regret and consequences. If you are a fan of Taddle Creek you will already be familiar with Andrew's short stories and after reading our interview with him, I'm certain you will be ready to run out and buy his amazing novel.

Tell us about Tell Your Sister.
Tell Your Sister is a novel about a brother and sister and the friend they share. It is set in a fictional small town in southern Ontario in the 1980s and in Toronto in the 1990s. It began life as a short story I wrote in 2003. Because the story needed to be longer, I spent the next two years re-writing it as a novel. Since then it has taken on a life of its own. It was published by Tightrope Books in June of 2007.

How much of your writing do you feel comes from yourself and life experiences?
I certainly write about places and events I know. My stories are grounded in a reality that's familiar to me, but I don't think there is a lot of me in my stories. As a writer, I'm not interested in myself. My stories usually start with characters who fascinate me. I want to determine why they live the life they have, or how they would react to certain changes. Some way or other, the stories spin out from there.?

You've written for quite a few print publications such as Taddle Creek, do you prefer that type of platform to express your writing or the depth that come with writing a novel?
I like both. But my writing time comes in fits and starts, and that lends itself much better to stories. Short stories are a 1000-yard dash. They're also more immediately satisfying to write. Novels, I am learning, are much more involved. Sometimes, as in the case of Tell Your Sister, what starts as a short story really needs to be a novel. If I had more time, I would write more novels.

Are you inspired by other writers and if so who?
Definitely, but a lot of them, like Graham Greene, are dead. I have recently started reading Jane Austen, and am wondering why it took me so long to do so. I like Alice Munro a lot. And Martin Amis. I get excited about stories by George Saunders. Lately I've been enjoying a beautiful collection by John Berger.

What are you currently working on?
I am putting together a book of short stories. For this I am writing new stories and tinkering with some that have been previously published. So far I don't have a title, but it's early days yet.

More about Tell Your Sister
How badly would you like to undo the terrible consequence of a rash decision you made long ago?

In their final year of high school, fate deals friends Aaron Fenn and Dean Higham two very different hands. For Dean, the year is just a matter of killing time before he can leave their small Ontario town for university. For Aaron, it is a year of abandonment, boarding houses, bad timing and bad luck.

Years later an adult Dean, now a successful Toronto condo salesman, wonders how to remake the past after a chance encounter with Aaron's sister. He returns to the hometown he abandoned to look for some concrete link to his past and some absolution for the part he played in Aaron's fate.

Unflinching and mordantly funny, this novel about blind loyalty, first girlfriends, bowling alleys, big hair bands, petty crime and betrayal is an evocative, unforgettable kind of love story.

Andrew Daley was raised in Orangeville, Ontario, and moved to Toronto to attend university. Aside from a year in London, England, he's lived there ever since.

After completing a B.A. at the University of Toronto, he did marketing for Mirvish Productions. He is in some part responsible for the glut of musical theatre in Toronto in the 1990s.

Since 2000 he's worked in the film and television business as an on-set props person and also as a story editor.

His first published short story appeared in Taddle Creek in 1997, and in 2004 he became the magazine's associate editor.

Tell Your Sister is his first novel.


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