Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Old Friends, new books to read

Yesterday I enjoyed presenting SILVER RAIN to reps and booksellers at the second of two authors breakfast that made up part of this week's Vancouver Book Fair, hosted by the Western Book Reps Association.

I was one of four authors presenting today: Robert J. Wiersema, John Gould, Robert Bateman and myself.

I was thrilled to see John on the same program. I first met him many years ago in the days of the BC Festival of the Arts' otherwords program, where my group's mentor in Prince George was the late Paul Quarrington. A couple of years later I volunteered at the Festival in its final year, when it was held at Kwantlen University College in Surrey.
Not only have I admired John's organizing skills and considerable forbearance when surrounded by flocks of insecure writers, but I have been a huge fan of his short short fictions - his first book The Kingdom of Heaven, and the later Giuller-nimiated Kilter. These days, John is still based in Victora, teaching part time at UVIC and working with the Malahat Review. But I expect his time in the next few months will be taken up with promoting his new novel Seven Good Reasons Not to be Good.

I did manage to scarf a copy on the pile in the middle of my table at the breakfast, and was hooked from the first page.

I'm chagrined to admit that I did not know Robert Wiersma's work until today. But I now have ordered a copy of his first book Before I Wake and will definitely keep an eye our for his forthcoming Bedtime Story.

Who doesn't know Robert Bateman's work? He gave a nice introduction to his forthcoming book Robert Bateman - New Works, and is a relaxed and congenial speaker, and managed to maintain the theme establisehd by Robert W as the first speaker - hair dryers.... it's a long story, but it's always nice to have a unifying theme to hang one's presentation on.

John and I agree that after a book's written, revisiting it, especially at the request of an editor or an audience who need a synopsis, is a little like trying to reclaim a dream that's already slipping away. I, like so many writers, start at the beginning and go on to the end and only when the thing's written do I go back and see what's on the page. Anf fix what needs fixing, move what needs moving, and change what I have to make the story hang together.
I did my best in outlining the basic story of SILVER RAIN, including some context about its main themes and who might enjoy it. And I was just very glad have the chance of presenting it directly to the wonderful folks who are able to 'handsell' our work to customers and readers.

Came home to a request to present at the upcoming Sept. 26 Vancouver Word on the Street.
Although I hate to say 'No', I had no choice this time. I will be in the UK September 16 - October 8, and within two weeks of getting back head off to Vancouver Island for the Cowichan Booksplash, with a book launch of SILVER RAIN somewhere in between the two.

This year may be the first of many I haven't been present - as exhibitor, presenter, or participant - at the annual Surrey International Writers' Conference. I do have to put in some time that month at my 'real job' from time to time!

But I'm still open to any invitations that come my way in November and December.
Bring 'em on!

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