As a writer and photographer I travel between my life in Toronto, my life in Antigua, and anywhere else my wanderings may take me ... writing my books and enjoying local arts and adventures along the way.

Fall Launch of Quattro Books in the Annex

Lively Personalities Draw Crowd to Fall Launch of Quattro Books in the Annex
I know a fair number of writers in Toronto, but I’ve been a little disconnected from that scene as of late … having my hands full with own book projects and publishing efforts. I love to attend book launches and readings, but it was only because I chanced to see an announcement in Toronto’s Now magazine, that I ended up at tonight’s fall book launch of Quattro Books.
http://www.quattrobooks.ca/
A Venue with Transplanted History
The launch was held at Annex Live, a restaurant and live music venue run by Graziano Marchese. Graziano is the former owner of Dooney’s Cafe, which was said to have been well-known by writers and artists in the Annex area for decades. Graziano himself was behind the bar. He seemed an affiable fellow with a good story to tell. We chatted briefly and I looked forward to hearing about the days of Dooney’s Cafe but people started to arrive and of course bottles needed to be uncorked and wine needed to be poured. However since I had arrived early, I got a chance to speak with  John Calabro who is one of the partners owning Quattro Books.
Quattro Creates a Home for the Novella
John spoke enthusiastically about the niche that Quattro Books was carving for itself in actively courting writers of the novella (short novels). “We want to publish 60-75% novellas and 25% poetry. We want to be a place for novellas” he said. “And we want to be a place where film makers look for novellas. Most film scripts come from novellas you know”. Once I arrived back at my computer to write this post I did a quick Google search and confirmed that indeed a ton of film scripts were inspired not by novels but by novellas.
Walking a Different Path as a Publisher
John went on to tell me that although Europe and french Canada have a rich history of publishing and promoting novellas, publishers in English Canada have not yet tapped the creativity in that niche. Being a writer and publisher as well I’m familiar with some of the arguments why: publishers don’t think they can sell nouvellas; they see novellas as too thin and without an attractive price point. I didn’t have any insight on why this is in part a cultural deficiency of english Canada, but it wasn’t important to John who saw these challenges as opportunities. “We are small so we can do things differently”.
The Readings
I love to hear confident readings from a writer who has an equal love of engaging with their audience. Part of that confidence comes from the vibe of the audience. The large crowd was filled with enthusiastic followers of each writer so the ingredients were there for great readings. As you can see from the positive crowd reactions in the pictures, I wasn’t disappointed.
The Future of Quattro Books
John’s plans for where the company would take their focus on novellas was insightful. “We have a vision of the future and we are slowly working towards it. We want to get into translation. Beatriz  worked as a professional Spanish/English translator and she has lots of ideas”. Beatriz Hausner is one of the partners running Quattro Books. Given the huge and growing bilingual publishing trend in the US her focus may prove visionary.
http://www.realinstitutoelcano.org/wps/portal/rielcano_eng/Content?WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/elcano/elcano_in/zonas_in/spanish+language+culture/ari124-2008
Quattro books had a selection of novellas for sale. Business was brisk.

There's something special about buying a book and meeting the author. Business was brisk.

Lively Personalities Draw Crowd

I know a fair number of writers in Toronto, but I’ve been a little disconnected from that scene as of late … having my hands full with own book projects and publishing efforts. I love to attend book launches and readings, but it was only because I chanced to see an announcement in Toronto’s Now magazine, that I ended up at tonight’s fall book launch of Quattro Books.

To the right is the author and cellist Binnie Brennan.

To the right is the author and viola musician Binnie Brennan.

A Venue with a Transplanted History

The launch was held at Annex Live, a restaurant and live music venue run by Graziano Marchese. Graziano is the former owner of Dooney’s Cafe, which was said to have been well-known by writers and artists in the Annex area for decades. Graziano himself was working the bar. He seemed an affiable fellow with a good story to tell. We chatted briefly and I found myself looked forward to hearing about the old days of Dooney’s Cafe … but people started to arrive and of course bottles needed to be uncorked and wine needed to be poured. However since I had arrived early, I got a chance to speak with  John Calabro who is one of the partners owning Quattro Books.

Graziano runs the restaurant and music venue "Annex Live" where the fall book launch was held.

Graziano runs the restaurant and music venue "Annex Live" where the fall book launch was held.

Quattro Creates a Home for the Novella

John spoke enthusiastically about the niche that Quattro Books was carving for itself in actively courting writers of the novella (short novel). “We want to publish 60-75% novellas and around 25% poetry. We want to be a place for novellas” he said. “And we want to be a place where film makers look for novellas. Most film scripts come from novellas you know”. Once I arrived back at my computer to write this post I did a quick Google search and confirmed that indeed a ton of film scripts were inspired not by novels but by novellas.

Left rear: John Calabro, left front: Beatriz Hausner, right rear: Allan Briesmaster, right front: Luciano Iacobelli.

Left rear: John Calabro, left front: Beatriz Hausner, right rear: Allan Briesmaster, right front: Luciano Iacobelli.

Walking a Different Path as a Publishing Company

John went on to tell me that although Europe and French Canada have a rich history of publishing and promoting novellas, publishers in English Canada have not yet tapped the creativity in that niche. Being a writer and publisher as well I’m familiar with some of the arguments why: publishers don’t think they can sell novellas; and they see novellas as too thin and without an attractive price point. I didn’t have any insight on why this is in part a cultural deficiency of English Canada, but such challenge weren’t important stumbling blocks to John who saw them as opportunities. “We are small so we can do things differently” he added.

The Readings

I love to hear confident readings from a writer who has a love of engaging with his or her audience. Part of that confidence comes from the vibe of the room. The large crowd was filled with enthusiastic followers of each writer so the ingredients were there for great readings. As you can see from the positive crowd reactions in the pictures, I wasn’t disappointed.

Brenda Niskola reads from her novella "Of All The Ways To Die".

Brenda Niskola reads from her novella "Of All The Ways To Die".

Binnie Brenan reads from her novella "Harbour View".

Binnie Brenan reads from her novella "Harbour View".

Egido Coccimiglio entertained with his offbeat insights before reading from "A Pleasant Vertigo".

Egido Coccimiglio entertained with his offbeat insights before reading from "A Pleasant Vertigo".

John Calabro is one of the partners who run Quattro Books. He is also an author. The beginning of his reading from his book "The Cousin" conveyed an arresting sense of drama.

John Calabro is one of the partners who run Quattro Books. He is also an author. The beginning of his reading from his book "The Cousin" conveyed an arresting sense of drama.

The dramatic beginning of the reading ended with a twist that was probably so funny because it caught the audience off balance.

The dramatic beginning of the reading ended with a twist that was probably so funny because it caught the audience off balance.

The audience didn't see the twist coming ... and were thoroughly entertained when it dit.

The audience didn't see the twist coming ... and were thoroughly entertained when it did.

John Calabro signing his book for an appreciative supporter.

John Calabro signing his book for an appreciative supporter.

The Future of Quattro Books

John’s plans for where the company would take their focus on novellas was insightful. “We have a vision of the future and we are slowly working towards it. We want to get into translation. Beatriz  worked as a professional Spanish/English translator and she has lots of ideas”. Beatriz Hausner is one of the partners running Quattro Books. Given the huge and growing bilingual publishing trend in the US her focus may prove visionary.

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2 comments on “Fall Launch of Quattro Books in the Annex

  1. Susana Wald on said:

    Delighted to have your news. Real fun to read. Sorry I couldn’t be there.

    An I also love this blog page.

    [Reply]

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