formerly Stouffville Theatre Company

Stouffville's Own Marissa Stapley Launches her Second Book with Simon and Schuster



We caught up with Marissa at her book launch at Spokes, a downtown Toronto restaurant, to talk with her about her journey as a writer beginning in Stouffville. Her latest book, Things to do when it's Raining, is being published in Canada, the US, translated and published in Germany, and is due to be translated into Italian and Norwegian.

Marissa Stapley attended Stouffville High School school and graduated in 1996 and has always had an interest in writing poetry and drawing—especially horses. She attended Ryerson, was granted a BA in Journalism, was an instructor at Centennial College and University of Toronto, and has freelanced for various Canadian publications including Elle, Today's Parent, The Globe & Mail, The Toronto Star and The National Post.

"Marissa was determined to make it as a writer and I'm so proud of her success", said Bruce Stapley, publisher and editor of the Stouffville Free Press, "but she worked hard for that success and took any writing job she could to make it".

"Getting published is a long journey and any aspiring writer should know there's going to be a few bumps along the way," said Marissa Stapley. "Thankfully, we have an incredibly supportive literature community in Canada and there's a lot of respect, internationally, for our literature." When Marissa wrote her first book novel, the publisher actually went out of business before the book was released. "I was devastated," said Marissa. "But I knew I had to keep writing and accepting writing assignments wherever I could find them." Today she regularly writes book reviews for the Globe and Mail and has written reviews for the Toronto Star and the National Post too. This keeps her writing journey alive while also enabling her to enjoy the rich treasure of new Canadian literature.

Marissa took a more traditional route to getting published, securing an agent, Samantha Haywood, of Transatlantic Literary Agency. But that's not the only way to get there. Kathleen Tucker, another Stouffville author, self-published her first books and attracted enough attention from publishers to also get published by Simon and Schuster, the same publisher Stapley has in Canada. She is published by a commercial imprint called Atria Books, based in New York, and her books have also been translated and sold internationally.

"To be honest, I don't know what I'd do without Samantha," Stapley said. "She's a true professional, and an incredible source of support, as is my amazing team at Simon & Schuster Canada, who organized every detail of the party."

Things to do when it's Raining is on sale at big retailers like Indigo and Amazon but if you want to support a local bookstore that's close to Stouffville you should make the trip to Blue Heron books, as they've been a great supporter of Marissa's publishing success. "We hosted a books and brunch event for Marissa's last book launch and her book was very well received," said Shelley Macbeth of Blue Heron Books.

Why Verve Promotes (and takes photos at) Events Like These

At Verve we feel it is important to support and promote other local artists when we have the time and energy. We believe Marissa's success will encourage other would be authors in the Stouffville, Newmarket, and Uxbridge areas. And that would be a good thing—non?

About Verve Theatre Company

Verve Theatre Company has produced well received shows that have included 'Sylvia', Stronger, Freer', 'Dial M for Murder', 'PS Uncle Angus', 'It's a Wonderful Life Radio Play', and more, in venues that are located in Newmarket, Stouffville, and Uxbridge.

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