Terry Fallis: Keynote Closer at the EAC Conference 2014

Luck has everything to do with it

Terry FallisTerry is a very lucky guy. Really, there’s proof: On his homepage, Terry states: “I am feeling lucky. I may just pick up a lottery ticket on my way home from the office.” However, luck is no mere emotion or submission to a marketing ploy when it comes to Terry; his luck has real literary chops to it. He won the Ontario Library Association’s 2013 Evergreen Award in November for his latest novel, Up and Down, and now his first—and immediately successful—novel Best Laid Plans has been adapted for TV and is currently being aired on CBC.

Terry’s luck is unique, not only because he’s become a Canadian literary celebrity practically overnight, but because his success grew out of a self-published podcast back when big name publishers* were saying it couldn’t be done. His tale is therefore of interest to all of us in the writing, editing, trying to be published and publishing business, as he has proved the bigwigs wrong.

Despite remaking the rules of writing in Canada, Terry remains an easy-going guy—approachable, friendly, humble, and likeable. And perhaps this is where his luck truly originates, for no one can resist his pleasant smile, his bright blue eyes, and the keen interest with which he speaks to each person in turn. It would seem his readers are no better at resisting his charms as his rapier wit and hometown Canuck comedy feed our sense of national pride and misgivings simultaneously.

The thing about someone like Terry and his luck is that, although one might want to resent him for it on the simple principle that it is not one’s own luck, it must be said that Terry’s luck is well-deserved. Terry’s luck is neither, nor should it be, running out any time soon, and we at the EAC Conference are certainly lucky to have him speak to us. So Terry, we think you should pick up that lottery ticket if you haven’t already yet.

Mazel tov!

* NB: Douglas Gibson was the publisher for Fallis


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