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Chilled reader,

Do not let the cold, grey skies get to you. Retreat into books when you feel the oppressive gloom of winter start to erode your delicate soul. Protect yourself from its insidious chill! Go into semi-hibernation, so that you can emerge like the lovely butterfly you were meant to be in the spring.

But only semi-hibernation because of course, we are hard at work as always to put some glitter on your toque!

Glitter item #1:

  • Remember how we had a contest for readers? What fun! And we certainly learned a lot about what you all think about zombie rights. But we had to go with Heather and her impassioned plea for zombie rights: “Human rights! Oh yes. I could certainly use a Martha Stewart style zombie to offer up MacGyver twists on my domesticity.” We could all use a little help around the house! Perhaps a Workhorsery tote bag filled with prizes will tide you over until we have zombie housekeepers, Heather?

Glitter item #2:

  • Remember that there was also a contest for bookstores? Also fun! A treat to see what booksellers are doing with their innovative book displays. But our favourite entry was also our first entry, which consisted of not one but two displays at the University of Calgary bookstore. (We are also curious about the brain gelatin mold. This may have influenced our thinking.)

Glitter item #3:

  • A little thing called Expozine? You may have heard of it? Todd will be stationed at The Workhorsery booth again this year with boxes of your favourite Workhorsery goods, including signed copies of Alice Hearts Welsh ZombiesPitouie and You and the Pirates (although not many of the latter! We forgot to ask Jocelyne to sign some before she ran away to Japan for two months, so we have just a few. Get there early if you were hoping for one!). This Saturday and Sunday! Free entry! So many amazing creators exhibiting a ton of fun stuff! You should definitely come:

12pm – 6pm, 5035 St-Dominique

(Église Saint-Enfant Jésus, between St-Joseph & Laurier, near Laurier Métro)

Free admission!

Glitter item #4:

  • Maybe you were asking yourself why the lovely hivemind Victoria Dunn will not be at Expozine signing books in person? Quite simply, they will be at the Ottawa Small Press Book Fair on Saturday signing books in person there! So if you can’t make it to Expozine, perhaps you’d fancy an afternoon in the nation’s capital? It’s quite lovely, you know. And you could say hi to Victoria and Dunn. They would very much like to say hi to you. (But not in a creepy way.)

November 17, 2012 – 12:00pm

Jack Purcell Community Centre
320 Jack Purcell Lane
Room 203

Free admission!

So many ways to shine! So much fun to have! We never lose sight of our mission to make your life more sparkly in any way possible.



Shoulder-checking reader,

On this, the most terrifying day of the year, we are sure you are glancing back as you walk down that dark street alone, the hard soles of your shoes clacking emptily on the concrete, echoing into the gloomy ink ahead of you where the streetlight has burnt out. Perhaps you increase the speed of your clacking steps, imagining all kinds of monsters tucked away in the bushes on either side of the deserted roadway. Vampires? Maybe. Werewolves? Quite likely. Zombies? Run!

Or stay off that monster-filled lane and  join us for fictitious monsters with Day Three of Victoria Dunn’s tour of the blogosphere over at Open Book: Toronto, where they discuss just how they came to write a novel about Welsh zombies anyway. Secret backstage information! But don’t worry, they are kind enough to keep spoilers to themselves for those of you who have not yet their hijinx-filled zombie romp through the Welsh countryside. (And if you haven’t read it yet, exactly what is stopping you?) (We only ask because we do so want to entertain you!)

And don’t forget that we are running an incredible contest to celebrate zombies, spooky times, and reading in general! If you are a book-reading type person (and we assume you are), just answer this question to win an incredible zombie prize pack:

Should zombies have human rights?

Tell us what you think at length or in one hundred forty characters or less! And if you are a book-selling type person (and you may very well be), send us a picture of your Hallowe’en book display incorporating the fabulous Alice Hearts Welsh Zombies to win your own zombie prize pack!

There is something for everyone at The Workhorsery! We love to give.

PS. This amazing contest ends on November 7, so tell us what you think before then. And sooner is always better!



Differently animated reader,

That time of year is very nearly upon us, the time when the monsters roam the streets and we all start to wonder if there really are things under our beds. One more sleep until all the scary things come out to play! Did we mention we love Hallowe’en?

But is it fair to discriminate against monsters just because they are bloodsuckers or undead? Author(s) Victoria Dunn say no and they have a pretty convincing argument as to why not over at The Eyrea, the second stop on their tour to promote zombie rights. (You can read all the adventures they had on Day One here.) Learn how to be the monster you were meant to be!

And if you have not been infected with the zombie virus, how about entering our contest and winning zombie prizes? All the excitement of infection with none of the hassle of dying! It’s very simple. Just email or tweet us your answer to this very, very important question: Should zombies have human rights? The most persuasive entry will win an amazing zombie prize package:

  • Autographed copies of all three of our novels (Victoria Dunn’s Alice Hearts Welsh ZombiesDerek Winkler’s Pitouie; and Jocelyne Allen’s You and the Pirates)!
  • A genuine zombie crochet doll, possibly from the book trailer itself, definitely specially crafted by the author(s) hers/themselves!
  • Some other secret stuff related to the novel that we’re keeping top secret!
  • A hand-made, super-limited addition Alice Hearts Welsh Zombies Workhorsery tote bag to carry it all in!

Get to it! We need to hear all sides of this debate.

On Tour


Wandering reader,

We hope you are safe wherever you are. We have been hearing tell of this terrible storm bearing down on quiet readers. Obviously, you will want to be taking care of your immediate food/water needs, but we do hope you are able to meet all your intellectual needs in book form.

And if you are one of the non-storm stricken who just happens to have the Internet, we have a few suggestions for you. Internet-based, naturally, so there is no need for you to go out into that weather. As long as you have power, you can enjoy our Halloween treats in the form of author Victoria Dunn’s musings.

This is just the first stop on the way to Halloween when we will be asking the question: Should zombies have human rights? (Send us your answer for prize-winning awesomosity!) But for today, just enjoy this delightful outing. We will be back tomorrow with more details of how you can win amazing prizes. (Basically, just answer the question. But we will try to inspire you in new and interesting ways tomorrow.)

A Contest


Competitive reader,

Are you a purveyor of scary books? That is to say, do you work in a bookstore? Do you know someone who works in a bookstore? Then we have just the Halloween action for you! If you are not in the bookselling business, however, do not lose heart! We will have a treat or two for you soon enough. We make some tweetlings about said treats!

But you book people, let’s get serious here. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, isn’t it? By which, of course, we mean Halloween! If we had to choose two things we love deeply and passionately, those two things would have to be Halloween and bookstores. So what better way to celebrate these  loves and our latest release, Victoria Dunn’s Alice Hearts Welsh Zombies, than with a super-fantastic display contest? That was a rhetorical question: THERE IS NO BETTER WAY TO CELEBRATE THOSE THINGS!

So what do you need to do to join us in this magical celebration of a magical time of year? First, do what you do best and create a  display for your store. But this display is for Halloween and incorporates Alice Hearts Welsh Zombies somehow.
 Then take a picture and send it to us via “electronic mail“. On Halloween we announce the winner on our facebook page! So easy!

But, dear bookseller, perhaps you are wondering just what glory your picture will grab you? The answer is, of course, so much glory in the forms of Workhorsery fun:

  • A genuine copy of Alice Hearts Welsh Zombies, autographed by the writer thereof!
  • A genuine copy of each of our previous two releases, Derek Winkler’s Pitouie and Jocelyne Allen’s You and the Pirates, both autographed by their respective authors.  That’s right, the complete three-volume Workhorsery library, all autographed and such!
  • A super-limited-edition, hand-made, artisanal Alice Hearts Welsh Zombies commemorative Workhorsery tote bag.  Trust us, they are super-nice. (Have a peek at them on our facebook page if you don’t believe us!)
  • A genuine, hand-crocheted zombie, possibly from the stop-motion animated musical trailer for Alice Hearts Welsh Zombies (See them in action!)
  • Other zombie/Alice Hearts Welsh Zombies-related treats and goodies that we haven’t decided on just yet!

We are super-excited to see what you come up with!  BLOW OUR MINDS BEFORE THE ZOMBIES EAT THEM!

Events and Adventures


Winsome readers,

We have been having so many adventures! And yet we have been so neglectful in sharing them with you. We suppose this is to be expected. After all, when it is time for adventuring, it is not really time for sitting and contemplating said adventures. But we do love sitting and contemplating with you, and now that the adventuring has tapered off, we have a chance to enjoy a little time with you. How have you been? Enjoying a warm autumn? Have you had a chance to break out that turtleneck you like so much?

It is hard to believe that a mere two Sundays ago we were in Queen’s Park with our author darlings Jocelyne, Victoria and Megan (the two halves who make up the whole Victoria Dunn), chatting with book lovers of all ages. And so many book lovers despite the rather chaotic weather. The wind did not stop blowing all day, and we confess that we were chilled to the bone by the time it was time to tear down in the early evening. But the wind and occasional burst of rain could not flag our spirits! Not when we had such generous readers at our table giving us their precious time and attention. We brought more than one unfamiliar reader over to The Workhorsery side with our three-book package deal. And our handmade zombie bags were roundly admired, which we must admit, made us pretty chuffed indeed.

We also met a dog with a mohawk! Really, nothing more needs to be said about such a fine event.

And the previous day, J.H. Gordon Books in Hamilton warmly welcomed our zombies for a signing/party/zombie tarot reading session, complete with tiny cupcakes! We could not have had more fun if we had tried, especially when a bottle of bubbly magically appeared to celebrate the end of a successful event. All Workhorses in attendance also found bookish treats of their own to take back home with them, so there were many levels of perfection in this day.

With all this excitement, you might think that we are worn out, spent, that we will find ourselves over the next months hibernating and planning new projects, as is our wont in the colder times of the year. But no, patient reader! We have so much more fun in store for you. Halloween is coming, the perfect time to celebrate the differently living (formerly, and pejoratively, known as zombies)! Our lips are still sealed on the details, but to be the first to know about the upcoming scary fun, follow us on Twitter. We promise not to be that person in your Twitter feed who uses those tiny missives to cobble together an entire blog post in a five-minute span. We would never abuse your trust like that. We offer fun, only fun.

PS. You can see more pics of our WOTS adventures here and zombie tarot sessions here on our facebook page.

Zombie Season


Eventful readers,

We sigh as we leave the delicious heat of summer behind because we do love the sun and the fun, but we always look forward to fall when we can start wearing cozy sweaters and curl up on our couch with new books. And we do have a stack of new books awaiting our cozily sweatered couch time, so it’s fortunate that September is coming upon us when it is.

But being the eager readers we are, you know that the stack presently dominating Workhorsery HQ will not be enough for us. Even if it is in fact too much for us, we cannot resist the siren song of even newer books! This is the reason we try to stay away from bookstores unless we are very serious about buying books. The money just seems to fly out of our wallets. There is one book-buying venue, however, that we scrape together our couch pennies for every year. That is Word on the Street of course! All those books! All those authors! All those readers come out to rejoice in the delight of the printed word together! For book lovers such as us (and, we assume, you joyful reader), WOTS is Christmas and Halloween and every party we are invited to all year long all wrapped up into one exhaustive and exhausting day of fun.

Not only do we give our arms a real workout lugging around all of our newly acquired treasures, we also get to bring treasures to you. In the form of our favourite books that we just happen to have published! Maybe you have heard of them? You and the Pirates? Pitouie? Alice Hearts Welsh Zombies? Even better, we will have authors Jocelyne Allen and Victoria Dunn signing books! Can you even believe how amazing this day is going to be? But wait! There’s more! (Yes, we watched too many infomercials in the wee hours of the night when we were wee Workhorses.) We’ll also have these incredible handmade bags!

These are exclusive to Word on the Street so if you are anywhere near Toronto, cancel whatever other plans you had and come and see us at Booth FB13! (Here is a map!) We will have other treats to tickle you with too! We promise you will have super book fun!

But maybe you were hoping for a more intimate session with one of our authors? Maybe you wanted to dress up like a zombie and have a party at an independent bookstore? Maybe you wanted the chance to win incredible prizes as well as have your book signed? Don’t worry, cosplay reader, we’ve got you covered. Come meet Victoria Dunn (both of them!) this Saturday at J.H. Gordon Books in Hamilton. You can pick up a copy of their hilarious debut novel Alice Hearts Welsh Zombies and partake in hilarious zombie hijinks! Come in costume as a zombie and you could win this fabulous zombie prize pack!

That is a zombie sheep crocheted by the author (one of them) herself! How can you resist??? Join The Workhorsery! We only want what’s best for you!


Delays overcome!


Gleeful reader,

Perhaps you fell in love with our earlier releases, the upside-down world of Jocelyne Allen’s You and the Pirates. Or maybe it was the environmental Scooby-Doo caper in Pitouie by Derek Winkler. And since then you have been dreaming of a new world to fall in love with. Maybe something with emus. You have waited so long, been so patient, and we thank you for this.

But wait no more! Start dancing on your couch with the glee of it all because our latest release Alice Hearts Welsh Zombies, the debut novel by Victoria Dunn, is finally within your reach. And you must reach for it! This delightful tale of zombie rights is too amazing to pass up. We cannot stop reading it! Seriously, check this out:

Formerly a mediocre telephone psychic placating callers with fortune cookie platitudes, Alice Murphy is a Sensitive at Odyssey International—an organization dedicated to stomping out the supernatural wherever it rears its sparkly head—and partner to Enhanced Agent Wellington Wolfe. When rumours of zombies at the World Bog Snorkelling Championships in the small Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells begin swirling around, Alice and Wellington join up with Ken, a moustachioed American cowboy gone to seed and fervent zombie rights activist, and Mick, a pantheistic doctor in Hawaiian shirts attempting to find a cure for zombism, and head off to save the townsfolk and the zombies.

An Arrogant Worm even wrote a song about it and author hivemind Victoria Dunn animated the whole thing, just so you could see what you’re missing if you’re not reading this rollercoaster ride! Once you do, you’ll want to go straight to our shop to order your very own copy!

Ordering directly from us means a package full of fun and rainbows will arrive in your mailbox, your real-world mailbox. And if just the thought of a package is not exciting enough for you, that package will include Workhorsery swag! That you can only get from us! Sure, you could buy Alice Hearts Welsh Zombies at a bookstore when it shows up on shelves on July 15, but you would be missing out on fun surprises and treats that you can only get from us. And savvy reader, we do not want you to miss out on any fun ever.

Weekend Plans


Plan-oriented readers,

We realize that we are spending an inordinate amount of time offering up treasures and treats to our Ottawa readers, but don’t worry, otherwise-located readers! We have not forgotten you. Soon, very soon, we will have copies of Alice Hearts Welsh Zombies in your hands. If you want to know exactly when you will be able to order this exquisite volume, sign up for our mailing list. We promise not to tell you anything but sweet nothings and updates about our wonderful books.

But to turn our attention to the region that has given us our fine author Victoria Dunn, if you are free this evening, you may want to consider a reading for the Ottawa Small Press Fair. Not only will the hivemind of Meghan and Victoria be reading from their fantastic creation, but you will also be able to experience the wonder that is Sonia Saikaley, Gillian Wigmore, and Michael Lithgow. For free! You cannot beat free, dear readers. So come to the Carleton Tavern! Listen to great writers, get some great books!

  • Friday, June 29
  • Doors 7pm, readings begin 7:30pm
  • The Carleton Tavern,
  • 223 Armstrong Street (at Parkdale, upstairs)
And if you cannot make the reading, we sincerely, truly, deeply hope that you will be able to come and see our authors at the Ottawa Small Press Book Fair the following day:

  • Jack Purcell Community Centre, Room 203 (on Elgin, at 320 JackPurcell Lane)
  • Noon to five!
Our new authors will be there signing their brand-new book with a variety of zombie treats as well as signed copies of You and the Pirates and Pitouie, in case you haven’t had a chance to pick up our older releases yet. So come, say hello, make them feel welcome in the world of Canadian literature. They are not anything like the undead portrayed in their novel. They are in fact quite charming. So stop by and talk zombies. When was the last time you had the chance to do that?


The Fun Never Stops


Elated reader,

Perhaps you are sad that you were not one of the chosen few in Ottawa who were lucky enough to join us on Saturday night at our favourite indie bookseller Collected Works to celebrate the release of the latest Workhorsery publication, Alice Hearts Welsh Zombies. And to be sure, it is a sadness not to be one of those lucky readers who are now the happy advance owners of Alice. After all, the rest of the country has to wait another whole month to get their hands on this amazing novel of amazingness. But we are givers. We want you all to be happy and fulfilled in your reading lives. So we offer you some tidbits to tide you over until the big day, July 15, when you can finally get a copy of Alice of your very own.

How about some pictures we took? Or rather, pictures that You and the Pirates author and Alice editor Jocelyne Allen took  because she is helpful like that. Behold a limited selection! (You can see many more on our facebook page if these few do not sate your need for all things Workhorsery.)
Publisher Todd hauls books while author hive mind member Meghan Dunn prepares zombie treats. (PS. They were delicious.)

There were many delightful treats (and see all the pics on our facebook page), but the toes were the freakiest for us.

But there was not just food at this wonderful party! No, no! We were treated to a zombie beauty contest, with some very beautiful zombies indeed. We could never have picked a winner with so many talented undead lined up before us, but fortunately, we did not have to. Zombie experts Zombieking and Zombiequeen and horror connoisseur Lydia from Ottawa Horror were on hand to do the honours. And with five different categories–Zombie Couples, Zombie Junior, Mr. Zombie,  Ms. Zombie, and Supreme Zombie–there was a zombie to suit everyone’s tastes. And these zombies were not the standard mindless shamblers. They were undead with discerning taste in literature.

Mr. Zombie winner Ben enjoys the fantastic new Workhorsery release.

Ms. Zombie and Supreme Zombie winner Amy Jane Von Purr can’t keep her hands off Alice.

The author hivemind Victoria Dunn–made up of non-hive types Meghan Dunn and Victoria Higgins–were gracious enough to read from their brand new book, and even sit down and sign books for all their excited readers, differently animated and living alike.

Meghan Dunn reads her part while Victoria Higgins listens attentively.

Zombie Couple walk-in winners thoughtfully refrain from eating the authors’ brains.

But perhaps the most exciting part of the evening (other than the part where everyone got to go home with a copy of Alice Hearts Welsh Zombies a month earlier than anyone else in the country) was the debut of the lovingly crafted stop-motion animated book trailer featuring a specially written song by Trevor Strong of Arrogant Worms fame. Watch it and then dream about the day when you can finally read the book (July 15! Ask your bookstore to get it in for you! We’re distributed through the generally amazing LitDistCo!).