Sunday, September 26 is going to be one busy day for me, but happily so. I’ll awake that morning in Florida, where I’ll be attending a family event. Then I’ll board a 7:30 a.m. Delta flight out of Tampa, change planes in Atlanta, and land in Toronto at about noon (please let me not be delayed!). I’ll then leap into our minivan, which will be parked at Pearson Airport, and drive, of course observing all speed limits, to Kitchener for their Word on the Street celebration. I’ll be reading from The High Road, which will be in bookstores by then, at about 2:30. After signing any books that audience members might purchase (Christmas will be but a few short months away!), I’ll dash again for the minivan and blast back to Toronto. You see, I’ll be reading at the Toronto Word on the Street festival at Queen’s Park at 5:30, pending any traffic travails. Two countries, two readings, and two Word on the Street festivals. A busy but fun day.
Archive for the ‘Word on the Street Festival’ Category
My identical twin brother Tim, an accomplished photographer in off-hours, took the author photo for TBLP and, we thought, took the shot that was originally to have graced the back of The High Road. I quite liked the new photo but some have said that I look a little too serious for the writer of novels that are supposed to amuse the reader. I appear a little serious because I usually look like a raving idiot when I smile for the camera. You think I doth protest too much? You haven’t seen the reams of smiling photos still lying on the cutting room floor. They could scare little children. Enter Clarence Johnson. Clarence is a photographer with an interest in eyewear. He snaps photos of people and their glasses and posts them on his interesting blog, picpu. Clarence happened to be in the audience when I read at Word on the Street in Toronto in September, 2008, shortly after the McClelland & Stewart edition of TBLP was published. I noticed the shot on the picpu blog months later when it popped up in a Google search. Because I didn’t know the photo was being taken, it doesn’t have that posed look that I deplore. Seems a few folks saw the shot on my blog and a consensus emerged that it might in fact be a good author photo as it seems to capture the spirit of humour, laughter, Leacock, etc. So it looks like we’re going with Clarence’s shot as the official author photo. Thankfully, he kindly granted permission. I’ve broken the news to my brother. He lay on the floor kicking his feet and flailing his arms a bit, but eventually accepted the decision. Just kidding. Tim’s been great about it and given what he had to work with, I think his shots are still the best non-candid photos ever taken of me. So my thanks to Clarence and to Tim for their support and understanding. Here’s the photo:
Yes, I know it’s closely cropped at the top, but that’s not a bad thing for a guy with an ever-expanding forehead!
A friend just pointed me to this image on the Internet. I’d never seen it before. Believe it or not, it’s from a cool photoblog, called PICPU, that focuses on eyewear. Clarence Johnson is the photo buff behind the blog. I can’t tell for certain where this shot was taken. If the date on the photo means anything, I was either doing a reading at Word on the Street in Toronto, or reading at the Headwaters Arts Festival in Caledon. Note that the photo has been tagged “Ray-Ban.” I’d forgotten that I wear Ray-Ban glasses, but the spectacle expert Clarence seemed to know. I just glad he cropped out my ever-expanding forehead! Thanks Clarence.
This morning, I did a talk and reading as part of Toronto’s Word on the Street Festival. Despite being first up in the morning, a modest crowd showed up including friends, family, and a group of students doing a school assignment. (Whatever fills the seats!) I thought it went well.
As I’ve been threatening to do, I thought I’d list the readings and other speaking events I’m doing this fall in support of the release of the McClelland & Stewart edition of TBLP. Being on the author circuit will be a new experience for me but I’m really looking forward to it. In the next couple of weeks, this blog will go through a make-over of sorts and there will be a separate “Appearances” page in case any of you have the twisted desire to know where I’ll be speaking or reading.
Upcoming Speaking and Reading Gigs
So here’s what’s happening in the coming weeks and months after TBLP arrives in bookstores across the country on Tuesday, September 23rd:
- Wednesday, September 24, 2008: Harbourfront Reading Series, a reading at 7:30 in the Brigantine Room at Harbourfront. I’m honoured to have TBLP share the stage with Andrew Davidson and his debut blockbuster The Gargoyle, and Fred Stenson and his new novel The Great Karoo.
- Thursday, September 25, 2008: Readings at the Roselawn, a talk and reading at the Roselawn Centre in Port Colborne with an audience of 300 subscribers!
- Sunday, September 28, 2008: Word on the Street – Toronto, a reading at 11:00 a.m. in the Great Books Marquee.
- Friday, October 3, 2008: Headwaters Arts Festival, a reading as part of the 4th annual Armchairs, Authors, and Art event, at 6:30 p.m. in Caledon, Ontario. I’ll be sharing the program with Joseph Boyden and Drew Hayden Taylor.
- Sunday, October 26, 2008: Ottawa International Writers Festival (scroll down until you hit the Sunday, October 26th schedule), a reading at 2:00 p.m. (I think) and on-stage panel discussion on The State of Our Literary Culture (yikes!) with Stephen Henighan, and Bill Gaston, moderated by Sarah Dearing.
- Monday, October 27, 2008: Ottawa Public Library, a free lunchtime public reading at the Main Branch that I assume will start around noon.
- Wednesday, October 29, 2008: McMaster University Alumni Book Club, a reading and discussion starting at 7:00.
- Thursday, November 6, 2008: A private luncheon address at Borden Ladner Gervais’ Labour and Employment Symposium at the Old Mill in Toronto. (I assume I’ll be the comic relief!)
- Tuesday, November 11, 2008: Gryphon Theatre Annual Authors’ Night, an evening reading in Barrie along with Ted Barris, author of many books on Canada’s storied military heritage.
- Saturday, November 15, 2008: Breakfast talk at the Writers & Editors Network as part of their Speakers Series, at the Canadiana Restaurant in Toronto.
- Tuesday, November 18, 2008: A reading and talk at a McMaster Alumni “Coffee and Conversation” evening event in Toronto.
- Wednesday, April 1, 2009: The prestigious Grimsby Author Series held at the Casablanca Winery Inn. A reading alongside one of my literary heroes, Paul Quarrington who will be reading from his latest novel, The Ravine.
Wow! It’s going to be a busy time. But I can think of nothing else I’d rather be doing. Stay tuned for a revamped website with its own “Appearances” page where I’ll try to keep track of all of these engagements.
Frances Bedford, the wonderful PR pro at M&S with whom I’ve been working has managed to land me a reading on the Great Books Marquee stage at Toronto’s amazing Word on the Street festival. I’ve attended the event for years as an ardent reader and never thought I’d ever be appearing on the program as a writer. The M&S edition of TBLP will be on bookstore shelves by that day so the timing is perfect. Thanks for everything Frances and keep those gigs coming!