Doing the Street

I was doing the street on the weekend.—Word on the Street, that is–down at the Halifax waterfront. I was on stage at the Vibrant Voices tent with Hugh R. MacDonald, and I apologize to Hugh for the lack of photo. My cameraman seemed to be preoccupied and only took two shots of me as it was. This one turned out the best. None of Hugh, I’m afraid. Hugh read from his ya novel, “Trapper Boy,” of which I am now the proud owner of a signed copy. Hubby is reading it at the moment and when things die down a little in the Best Household –post book launch—I’ll be diving i next

DSC04152This year was a bit different being on the author side of things, even though I also love being a spectator at these events. I got there in time to see friends, Jan Coates, JoAnn Yhard and Jill MacLean, all super great YA authors, at the Vibrant Voices tent. If you haven’t checked out their books yet, you really should. I was amazed at how these ladies can speak so fluently in front of a crowd, something I one day hope to achieve. But for now, I have a long way to go.DSC04134

Kathy Stinton was also there. I love Kathy, but only had a few moments to listen in. I discovered Kathy about 30 years ago when my second daughter was born. A copy of her book, “Big or Little” was included in a hospital pack they gave new moms back then. Little did I know I’d get to see her in person. Wish I would have had time to say hi. But I was too busy doing the street.

DSC04126

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet Jackie Halsey, either. It was a busy day for me with book signings at both the Nimbus Publishing table and Woozles  table—and  doing the street.

DSC04129

Did I mention I got a really neat Nimbus Publishing T-shirt? I probably would remember if I had mentioned it already. I’m in heaven! And yes, a few people even wanted me to sign copies of my book for them! I met up with Lesley Crewe at the Nimbus table and got to personally congratulate her on the movie deal for her book, “Relative Happiness” which will be filmed in Hubbards starting in November. Lesley has even promised me a small part in the movie. Just kidding, but I bet I’d be in there if Lesley had any say in the matter.  😉

I also met Patti Larson at the Woozles booth when she popped in to sign copies of her picture book.

I had a bit of time to listen to Susin Neilson talk about her new book, “The Reluctant Journal of Henry K Larson.” So proud to say that my niece was part of the TD book club who interviewed her for the CBC. Yay Emma!

DSC04150I’m trying recap everything and remember all that happened. It could be some time before I’m invited to do the street again. I do have to mention meeting Patrick Murphy, managing editor of Nimbus Publishing. We had a nice little chat while I was at the Nimbus table. I saw him again while he was on the panel for  “Pitch the Publisher.” I could’t get over all those brave souls pitching their books in front of three editors. I never would have done that, coward that I am.

The coolest moment of the day was meeting blogger, and now author, Libby Schofield.  I had no idea she’d be at Word on the Street. Made my day.  🙂 Thanks for stopping by Libby. I hope you enjoy the book. So there you have a bit of a rundown on my day at Word on the Street. Wish you all could have been there to see the local talent. I know you would have enjoyed it.

Advertisements

That’s Me—Writer Groupie!

My name is Laura Best and I am a writer groupie.

I never knew this before, but apparently there IS a word for what’s ailing me( if you call it ailing) —- “writer groupie.” And doesn’t that sound totally lame? I mean anything with the word groupie attached to it. Makes you sound so…so… I don’t know…desperate.

I discovered this tidbit over at Fitch Happens. Sheree wrote that even though she’s a writer, she’s a reader first. She spoke about how precious her signed copies of books are. She openly admitted to sniffing the ink on the page. She was not ashamed.

Let me be straight about this: I have NEVER sniffed ink.(Not that I believe that ink sniffing is wrong , mind you, or even beneath me. If you’re an ink-sniffer that’s perfectly fine by me.) I’m not even sure that ink gives off an odor, not from your regular run-of-the-mill ballpoint at any rate, but who am I to argue?

The truth is, the thought never crossed my mind….. I’m just not a sniffer by nature unless it’s something that is sniffable– flowers, skin products, perfume, spices—you get my drift. My daughter is a sniffer. Whenever she opens a gift she smells it regardless of what it is. Got it from her grandmother on her father’s side. It’s a family joke or, quite possibly, a tradition. We sit around and watch each Christmas, and yes, she does it every time. Does this mean we’re strange?

Nope. I’m definitely not an ink sniffer….Yet now the thought is there, isn’t it? I do have signed books, you know.

I could deny the word— writer groupie, and yet I think the signs are there…..I show up at book signing, have my picture snapped with various authors all in hopes of creating this scrapbook for Miss Charlotte. I love meeting other authors and chatting with them. I flock to where authors are hanging out. AND I have photos to go along with my signed books from: Syr Ruus, Jan Coates, JoAnn Yhard, Helene Boudreau, Margaret Atwood, Budge Wilson, Steve Vernon, Jill MacLean, Sheree Fitch, Star Dobson, … I’m sure there are more that I’m forgetting at the moment of writing this, and there will be more in the future.

I remember when I was off signing copies of my novel. A few people came prepared to get photos so I guess I’m not the only one. It was actually kind of cool to think that someone wanted their photo snapped with me. I mean me, really. I wonder at this moment how Margaret Atwood feels, she’s probably in more scrapbooks and photo albums than any other Canadian writer.

Still, there are worse things in life I suspect. I won’t bother naming them at the moment.. I’ll just curl up on the sofa with my photos and books and resists the urge to sniff ink.

Be honest, are you a writer groupie? Do you have signed copies of books from authors that you would never part with? Have you ever sniffed the ink on a page?

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.

Book Bash

On Saturday evening local children’s authors and illustrators writers of children’s book from the area got together at the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia to present the books they published in 2009. There was a long list of authors and illustrators presenting their books that evening.

Talk about author overload….I mean that in a very good way.

I’ve been a member of this organization for many years but this is the first time I’d been to the Federation office and the first time I’d met most of these talented writers. When you live out in rural areas it’s not so easy to participate in many of the events offered. It’s not just a matter of jumping into the car and off you go. A two hour drive often makes you think twice, especially during a working week. And to be honest, until Saturday night, I’d never given it much thought. Sometimes situations are the way they are and you just don’t question them.

Earlier that day I’d met Jill MacLean at the book launch for Unlocked. Jill is the author of The Nine Lives of Travis Keating and most recently The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy, two wonderful books for young people. The Nine Lives of Travis Keating won the Ann Conner Brimer Award and The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy has been nominated this year for the same award…Yay Jill!! Imagine my delight when Jill bought a copy of my book that evening for me to sign.

No photos of Noreen Smiley, who is our CANSCAIP rep for Eastern Canada. I introduced myself to Noreen earlier in the day at the book launch, another wonderfully supportive author. I chatted a bit with Kate Inglis (author of The Dread Crew, Nimbus Publishing). Again, no photo. I’ll have to speak to my photographer.!

I’m not ashamed to say, I was like an excited child when Budge Wilson sat beside me. Budge is also an award winning author and another truly talented writer in our area. Of all the writers for children’s book that I ever hope to meet, Budge is up there at the top of my list. She’s simply amazing and the sweetest, most down to earth person you’d ever want to meet.

I’d met Steve Vernon at Word on the Street back in September. Steve’s a great support to local writers and a fellow Nimbus author. Steve has turned his talents from writing ghost stories to include writing for kids with his Maritime Monsters book, proving his versatility as a writer. Way to go, Steve!

The evening was a wonderful celebration, a time for me to meet other authors which is not something I get to do very often. What a great group of people. My only regret was that we had to leave earlier than I would have liked to. That long drive home, you know.

So that was my weekend. Pretty frigging awesome I’d say. I’ll take author overload any day.

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 239 other followers

  • Follow Laura Best on WordPress.com
  • Laura Best

  • Blog Stats

    • 78,824 hits
  • Advertisements