It's rare that debut authors from small presses get invited to these things, so how cool is this festival to include me? It takes place in Picton, Prince Edward County, an area known for its food, wineries and stunning waterfront. Oh, and paintball tournaments in abandoned military insane asylums. The festival is hosted by the beautiful and sprawling Books & Company, which is my dream bookstore. Not only do they have Canadian authors' books prominently displayed, but they also sell puzzles! AND! Attached to it is a café that serves my favourite coffee! AND! Upstairs there's an event space they use for readings and music and art! (There's also a cat who lords over the whole place and is generous with her indifference.) It's the ultimate community hub!
It was in this upstairs space where the Authors Fest was held. I had a grand time on the fiction panel with Zoe Whittall and Kirsten MacLeod who read beautifully from their books. A nice crowd showed up and we had these comfy wingback chairs to sit in and podiums to read from (I cannot emphasise enough how much nicer it is to read aloud when you have something to lean on). Later in the day I heard Joy Fielding and Steve Burrows read and talk about writing mysteries/thrillers. They were both so entertaining. Joy is now my writer hero. Oh to be that cool, confident and laser-focused! After her read, I cornered Joy for some valuable advice on how to build suspense. (Any time I get the opportunity to pick the brain of a NYT bestseller, you better believe I'll take it.)
Thanks to: David Sweet for moderating and organising. Marlene for all your work in getting me there. Anthony, Alana and Atalay for comin' with and asking questions! Gerry for coming and giving great tips on the area. Paula who was so nice to chat with. And, of course, the whole team at the Prince Edward County Authors Festival for having me. I'll definitely be back.
|Me and Atalay checking out the salmon(!) swimming up-creek at the|
Drake Devonshire -- an A+ place in nearby Wellington for
brunch/ping pong/hipsters. (Even the salmon have man-buns.)
|Me making love to the microphone. (And yes, I keep my eyes closed.) |
Also pictured are the very smart/talented Kirsten MacLeod and Zoe Whittall.