Raincoast Publishing, a Vancouver-based book publisher of singularly
fine reputation, has chosen an early October 2004 launch date for a
new illustrated children's book entitled, WHEN CATS GO WRONG.
The author of said masterpiece is someone you may have seen wandering
through the pages of Taxi News over the last dozen years, if you've
been paying attention.
Most often, this columnist-turned-author, has been the voice of Race
Track Hack, and a bunch of questionable characters such as Fat Phil,
Rodney L.T. Coombs, Tall Tom, two big guys named Ed, The Beautiful Mary
T., Mrs. Melody Mistletoe, Mr. and Mrs. Irish Irving, etc., etc.
Considering that most of the folks in question (including the writer,
himself) never really grew up, perhaps authoring a children's
book isn't much of a stretch after all!
Considering also, that these columns have frequently been filled with
stories of cats like Syd, and The Flea, and
Malone, and Mikey, and our current feline inspiration,
T-Pot, well, I guess the kitty cat subject matter isn't
really that big a stretch either.
So, knowing that just about everyone believes they have at least one
book in them, I will now happily divulge the secret strategies
that finally brought me my first published book, at the ripe old age
Of course, these are personal tips. I can't speak for other famous
How to Get Your Book Published:
1) Write several hundred songs.
2) Play a lot of crummy bars where nobody is listening.
3) Play a lot of festivals and concerts where most everyone is listening.
4) Play a lot of pick up hockey at odd hours between midnight and dawn.
5) Write a lot of poetry for beautiful women.
6) Meet a lot of women.
7) Write public relations materials for a Bay St. P.R. company for
8) Record and release 8 or 9 independent music albums.
9) Find a way to pay for them.
10) Write theme songs for TV - like The Great Canadian Parks series,
and Franklin the Turtle's Back To School Special.
11) Write to spec for political groups, such songs as The
Great Depression of '92, and The Referendum Dance
(an anti-Mulroney/Canada clause dance number - very catchy.)
12) Befriend, and provide food and shelter for, a lot of cats.
13) Write for Taxi News for 12 1/2 years.
14) Write about cats in Taxi News.
15) Write songs about cats.
16) Release a CD, with friend and musical genius Kirk Elliott, entitled,
ORANGE CATS MAKE THE VERY BEST FRIENDS.
17) Be lucky enough to have a brilliant illustrator like Vancouver
based Cynthia Nugent hear your song, When Cats Go Wrong,
on the C.B.C. and have her pitch the song lyric to Raincoast Publishing
as the text of an illustrated children's book.
18) Sit back and view, in wonder, the incredible illustrations Cynthia
Nugent creates, making the book come to life!
19) Wait several eternities 'til you can hold a finished copy of the
book in your hot little hands.
20) Be very grateful to people like Shirley Gibson and Wayne Marshall,
who wouldn't let you stop writing songs, and to John Duffy, Taxi News's
godfather, whose support and patience has given you a reason to pick
up a pen every month.
And, of course, where would any published author be without lots and
lots of cats to proofread for typos!
Editor's note [corrected]: Ask your favourite bookseller
to order When Cats Go Wrong, written by Norm Hacking,
illustrated by Cynthia Nugent [ISBN 1-55192-729-2] from Raincoast Books:
[Raincoast does not sell directly to the public.] The book comes with
a CD single of the song. It will be in Canadian stores in late October
2004, with U.S. release in spring 2005.