Sunday, June 27, 2010

Choo Choo!

Thanks to my friend, Shaun, for taking this photo at Pier 21 in Halifax on his recent trip to the Maritimes. It's good to see my book is travelling around the country. All Aboard!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Martha in the Mirror

Renee Norman, is the talented author of a new book of poems titled, Martha in the Mirror. The subject of the poems is Martha Quest, the famous protagonist of Doris Lessing's books. Renee uses Martha in her poems to reflect upon motherhood, love and loss, and other female experiences.

Last week, I went to the launch for this book and am so pleased to have attended this event. It turned out to be one of the best launches I've been to. Not only did Renee read her poems, she invited 3 other poets to share their poems with the audience. We were able to close our eyes and spend an hour immersed in words, sounds and images.

I didn't know many people at the event, but my long-time publishing pal and children's poet, Robert Heidebreder, turned up. So we sat together and chatted about books and the publishing industry, and also about how much we loved poetry and how we seldom take the time to hear it.

I don't get to all the launches I'm invited to, but I will make a point of trying to attend more. What a great way to reflect on words and books, and toast the success of friends in the publishing world. Congratulations, Renee!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Quiet on the Blog

I just noticed that my previous blog entry was weeks ago and wondered where the time went? Then I remembered...

Blog activity takes place in inverse proportion to book writing activity, and of late, book writing has been taking up a lot of my time. We are at the stage where we are writing cover copy and making small text adjustments to match the photos (also in final selection stage), and basically wrapping up all the tiny details before my most recent book heads off to the printer.

I love this stage because it's all about fine-tuning and getting the best possible book. (I much prefer it to the first draft stage, which is just HARD.) In this stage, it's exciting to see the work of previous months come to fruition. I also know it won't be long until I am holding the new book in my hands and that makes it all very exciting!

Back to the fine-tuning now. Wish me luck.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Favourite Childhood Book

Several times in the last couple of weeks, I have been asked what my favourite book as a child was. Although I could easily answer: All of them! (because I was an avid reader who devoured almost everything to be had in book form), there are a couple of books that stand out.

One is a novel titled: The Nine Questions by Edward Fenton. I still have my copy of this wonderful book, given to me by my grandparents on my 10th birthday.

It's the story of Willie Boy who wakes up one morning and is told he must leave the old woman who has cared for him most of his life. She gives him an ancient watch, a tattered hunting cap, a tarnished silver whistle and a warm feather bag — items she has kept for him since he was brought to her door as an infant, years ago, by a frightened young woman.

The old woman tells him it is time for him to seek his father and his fortune in the Weaver's Country, far away. Willie Boy sets off on a journey that takes him through many magical and fantastical places, where he always encounters a dark and troubling underside. At each place, he faces an evil villan who changes identity throughout the story and relentlessly tries to take Willie Boy's possessions from him.

Willie Boy makes friends with lovely Gabriella and a group of kind animals who come to his rescue when he is in danger. They travel with him to a foreboding castle in Weaver's Country, where Willy Boy must answer the Interrogator's Nine Questions that will decide his fate.

Wow! What a great story. It's a compelling mix of magic, realism and suspense — a perfect book for a 10 year old avid reader. A big thank you to my grandparents, who always knew the right gifts to give me.

Now that I've taken the book off the shelf to look at, I plan to read it again. Fingers crossed the story has held up over time.