Pit Pony

nov Dec 2012 674When I learned that Joyce Barkhouse’s wonderful novel, “Pit Pony,” had been made into a picture book, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy for Miss Charlotte. But then, when I discovered Janet Barkhouse (who co-authored the book with her mother, Joyce) was going to read from the book at the Biscuit Eater in Mahone Bay, I knew Miss Charlotte would be getting a signed copy for Christmas. While Miss Charlotte might be a bit young to fully appreciate the significance her very own author-signed booked, I’m sure in a few years she will really treasure it. I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to have the opportunity to meet so many talented local authors in my journey. And did I mention I’m collecting photos for a scrapbook I hope to share with Miss Charlotte one day?

I’ve got to tell you all, this book is a total delight. Janet did a wonderful job of condensing the text from the original noval to fit a picture book format, and Sydney Smith’s illustrations are simply gorgeous. Janet said her mother didn’t get to see the picture book, (she passed away last February), but she knows she would be very pleased with the finished product.

While Janet and I live in the general vicinity, and have attended several of the same events, we’d never been introduced. So I was most excited and pleased to meet her. She’s a delight. (Oh, and did I mention that Margaret Atwood is her cousin? Yup that’s right..Kind of cool I’d say.)Not only that, her mother, Joyce, received the Order of Canada back in 2009. You can read about it here if you’d like. A very talented family.

If you ever have the opportunity to hear Janet read, please, please go. Seriously, I could have listened to her all afternoon.

Janet Barkhouse

Just a thought as you search about for that perfect Christmas gift this year, why not consider the gift of a book? I’m sure many of you already have.

Something to Talk About

This week has been a busy one. Yesterday I spent the day out in the beautiful Annapolis Valley with two friends. We did some shopping, had lunch and spent the day laughing and being silly. Days like that usually remind me that I really need to get out more often. During the winter months I tend to live like a hermit. So thanks Judi and Bonnie for your gift of friendship. It means a lot to this hermit!

Of course a day out would hardly be complete for me without a trip to the bookstore. I had a pleasant surprise yesterday as we were entering the mall for the second time. I ran into someone I hadn’t seen for many years. She wanted to show me that she had just bought two copies of my book for her kids. So I ended up signing them for her. She asked me about a character in the book, if he was so and so, who would have lived in the community years ago. Apparently she had already read the book, and she and her sister were curious about it. I guess it caught me of guard because I never dreamed anyone would see any resemblance between my fictitious characters and real people. (The story happened years before I was born.) I assured her, I had made everyone up, but I thought it was interesting that it had kept them wondering and thinking. She was also curious as to who the “busybody” in the story was. Nothing wrong with having folks discussing your book, I say.

I’ve had many adults contact me to tell me they’ve read the book. It’s something that all authors appreciate hearing. Earlier this week, I received an email from a young adult who was reading the book—the first feedback from my target audience—so it seemed like a noteworthy event. I was thrilled! It was one of the signed copies I’d left behind at one of the bookstores I visited last fall, and was purchased as a Christmas gift.

So I’ll end this post with a thank you to those who take a moment to send along their thoughts on my book—young or old or in between. Your comments are a welcomed addition to any day!!

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