I Heard the Word, and it was on the Street

Word on the Street was held on the Halifax waterfront this year. It’s the annual celebration of book and magazine publishers, authors, anything to do with the written word. Two years ago I read from my manuscript as my book wasn ‘t yet back from the printers. This year I went to be part of the audience, brought along my camera and enjoyed the day as a spectator. Okay, so I hung out around the young adult stage for much of the time we were there. It only seemed natural. Plus, I was hoping to get some photos with some of my favourite YA authors.  I’m putting together a scrapbook, one that I hope Miss Charlotte will adore when she is old enough to be reading these authors for herself. Hopefully, she’ll be impressed to see that her Nanny Bee actually met these incredible authors for real.

We arrived in time to hear Jan Coates read from, “A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk.”  I’m not sure why I didn’t make Jan pose for a picture with me. Maybe it was because she was in a hurry to get over to the Woozles booth to sign books. As many times as what Jan and I have had coffee together it makes me wonder why there isn’t one single shot of the two of us together. Why is that Jan?




We checked out the various publishers who were set up. Got a few pictures of the books on Nimbus Publishing’s table.

Look, there’s JoAnn Yhard’s books Lost on Brier Island and The Fossil Hunter of Sydney Mines. Sorry that I missed JoAnn’s reading, I blame the chauffeur, although I can’t complain because he does a darn good job of driving the old folks around the city. Thanks, Matt!  Not to worry, we took him to have his photo snapped with Theodore Tugboat. It was all good.

When I asked for a photo with Sheree Fitch, she pulled out her glasses from her big Mary Poppin-sized bag and asked me to put them on. Well, you don’t say no to Sheree Fitch.

What do you think? Do I look any taller in these?  Hmmm, I’m kind of wondering now what all she keeps in that purple bag of hers.

So listen up, I learned a valuable lesson while talking to Sheree yesterday. Never, ever tell an author, such as Sheree Fitch, that you loved her book. You’ll be sure to get a somewhat polite but confused response when they ask you “which book?”  Duh! Like Sheree’s been published a gazillion times and I have read a number of her books, but I don’t think she’s yet mastered mind reading. Always remember to mention what book you’re talking about. It just makes it  SO much easer for the author.

We listened while Sheree, Jill MacLean ad Don Aker read from their books and answered the audience’s questions.

I chatted with Jill MacLean later. I met Jill last year at at the book launch for author Cynthia D’entrement’s book  Unlocked . Jill even wrote me a lovely note  last year to congratulate me on Bitter, Sweet’s nomination for the Bilson Award. So it’s obvious that I could have used Sheree’s glasses this time too., or would you believe I was sitting down for this shot?




I was excited to meet Valeria Sherrard. Valerie’s latest book, The Glory Wind, won the Ann Conner Brimer award this year. Yay Valerie!  I’m SO looking forward to reading it. It was remarkable to watch as Valerie answered questions from young readers. Seems to me, those young readers had some well thought out questions. Glad it was Valerie on the hot-seat and not me.

I ran into Syr Ruus yesterday as well. She was off to sign copies of her book, Lovesongs of Emmanuel Taggart. Okay, so Syr scrunched down a bit for this photo to make me appear a bit taller. How’s that for friendship, I ask?

Before heading back out of the big city, we listened to Steve Vernon read from his YA novel, Sinking Deeper.        Having already read the book, I knew what to expect. My son did not. I do believe by some of the chuckles he quite enjoyed Steve’s sense of humour, and his lively writing which comes out quite nicely in this book.  Steve’s a great story-teller and very entertaining. A real pro.                                                                                                                                                                                

So, I think I covered just about everything. Of course, there is so much more to Word on the Street than what I covered, but I can’t be in every place at once . If you have never gone it’s well worth going to. We have some truly remarkable and talented authors in our area.

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  1. Photos are wonderful keepsakes and spark the memory long after an event. Word on the Street is a spectacular event. I can’t believe I learnt of it only about eight years ago. I try and go every year, but I couldn’t this time. And the day was perfect for it.

    Thanks for sharing, Laura. Now I miss not going even more.

    • It would have been nice if you had been there, Diane. I’d have had another author photo to add to my scrapbook. I’m sure Miss Charlotte will love your book as well. :) Hopefully, one day we’ll get to meet.

  2. syr ruus

     /  September 26, 2011

    I just want to clarify that Syr Ruus did not scrunch down to make Laura Best look taller but to make herself look smaller — friendship notwithstanding, there was a bit of vanity involved as well.

    • LOL! Okay, I’m always envious of you taller folks so I naturally assumed you took pity on me… Too, too funny. Glad we ran into each other, Syr.

  3. Glad you had a good time at your WOTS. We had a good time in Vancouver too in spite of some tents being blown over by the wind and rain. I wrote about my special experience on my blog:


    I staffed a table for the Federation of BC Writers and then for CWILL, I also met some fellow authors and listened to some readings but it all paled in comparision.

    • It’s early morning here, Darlene, but I’ll check out your post when I get home this evening. I’m excited to hear about your experience. :)

  4. Wow. Looks like you had a lot of fun! :D *ahem* I’m a little envious.

  5. Looks like you had a great time. Good. Wish I’d been there.

  6. Looks like you had a wonderful time, Laura; and beautiful weather.

  7. Thanks, Sonia, Joylene and Patti. The weather was simply gorgeous. I’m so glad I went. So much talent in one place. I just wish I could have been everywhere at once. Hehehe.

  8. Wow! That sounds like so much fun. Thanks for sharing! :-)

  9. Okay, we definitely need to get a picture taken together. I’m assuming I was reading the Oscar disappearing scene in this picture:( I looked at Shannon part-way through that scene, and I swear I thought she was going to cry, even though she’s heard/read it a few times before…

    Thanks for your support – lovely to see your pretty, smiling face in the audience (and your supportive menfolk!) See you soon.

    • We were happy to be there. :) I snapped several photos. I usually find that when someone is speaking it’s difficult to get a good photo, which is why , I believe, most of my photos look kind of weird. (Can’t keep my mouth shut while the photo’s being taken..lol) The ones I took of you, however, turned out quite nice. You did a splendid job!

  10. Great roundup! Made my day!

    • Hey, wearing your glasses made MY day. And I do think they made me look taller although no one has actually answered that question I noticed.

  11. It sounds like you had a wonderful time Laura. I have been on a cross Canada driving trip with a friend and just got back to my daughter’s in Edmonton and am now waiting for her second child to be born. I was sorry to miss Word on the Street but hope to be there next year.

    • It would have been terrific to meet you Susan. I’m sure sometime in the future our paths will cross. :) Congrats on the impending birth of your next grandbaby!

  12. Thank you, Laura, for stopping by my blog and wishing me luck on my ghost writing venture. It really is VERY difficult, but I’m determined to do it. I appreciate you and others cheering me on. This helps me keep going!

    It looks like you had a wonderful day at Word on the Street. How lovely that you can meet this way in the beautiful area where you live. Such a lot of great writers! I love YA, and wish I had money to buy every good book in this genre that’s written–and the time to read all of them. I think a LOT of the greatest books being written are in this genre, as well as the ones that WERE written that I read when I was much younger!

    • I’m sure you’ll make out fine with your ghost-writing, Ann. Being determined is a great incentive and will help see you through those more difficult times.

      A lot of adults read YA, or so I have discovered since the publication of my book. YA is now beginning to take over my library. I guess I love it, too. :)

  13. Word on the Street is such a great event, but I didn’t get to ours (Vancouver’s) this year. It expanded to a three-day event this year but we had company throughout the weekend. You apparently had great weather for yours. Here, the Friday and Saturday were nice enough but Sunday was wet and windy. I’ll be interested to hear the evaluation of how our three days worked out.

    • It is indeed a great event, Carol. Many years ago going to such an event seemed like a pipe dream. One year I vowed that I would one day make it into the “big” city and attend Word on the Street. Little did I know at the time that I’d be going in to read from my own book… Pretty cool!

      We really couldn’t have asked for better weather. It was a terrific day all the way around.

  14. fivecats

     /  September 30, 2011

    A giant book fair. Haven’t had one in this area (CO) since way back when (may be the 1970s?).

    • What a shame that you haven’t had a book fair since the 70’s. It’s such a great way for people to meet authors and for authors to meet their fans. I’ve only gone twice, but loved it both times.


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