Archive for the ‘Public Libraries’ Category

From one end of the country to the other…

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

My speaking/reading schedule has been quite intense of late and shows no sign of slackening as we head into the homestretch and the release of my third novel, Up and Down, in September. A week or so ago I started in Toronto on Monday, headed to Woodstock, New Brunswick on Tuesday, back to Toronto for Thursday, and then finished the week in Vancouver Island. Throw in a little fog and a wildcat walkout by baggage handlers and you’ve got the makings of one seriously busy week. Then this week, it was Brantford, Ontario for a great evening at their public library. Here’s a quick look back…

 

Woodstock Reads What Canada Reads

Last summer I was contacted by the board of the public library in Woodstock, New Brunswick. The Best Laid Plans had been chosen as their first town-wide reading program selection. They dubbed it Woodstock Reads What Canada Reads. I was thrilled and of course agreed to come out to Woodstock. Well, last week it was time to fly. My flight to New Brunswick was delayed early Tuesday morning by fog. I was to take off at 7:30 but wasn’t airborne until 11:30. This was quite unfortunate as it meant that the school visits I was to make in Woodstock had to be cancelled. I felt terrible about this as school buses were all arranged so that students from two schools could take part. Just my luck that a rare fog appearance in Toronto scuppered my school appearance in New Brunswick. I eventually made to New Brunswick’s first town where my hosts toured me through the beautifully restored Connell House, historical home to one of Woodstock’s founding fathers. I then had dinner in Woodstock’s beautiful L. P. Fisher Public Library, built in 1914, with the library’s board of directors. Lovely people and great food, too.

After dinner it was off to my talk and reading to an enthusiastic crowd waiting at the Best Western Hotel and Conference Centre. The local mayor and MP were both there to add a little lustre to the evening. We had a great time. My sincere thanks to Catherine Sutherland, Deputy Mayor, and her team for organizing a great event. I look forward to coming back to Woodstock sometime in the future. I managed to do a Skype video call with one of the student groups on Friday to try to make up for the fog-induced cancellation the previous week.

 

Words on the Water, Campbell River, Vancouver Island, BC

 

On Friday of last week, I boarded another plane, this time bound for Vancouver. It wasn’t the fog that delayed my takeoff but a wildcat walkout by baggage handlers at Toronto’s Pearson Airport. Instead of an 8:30 departure, we changed gates three times and lifted off the runway at 10:30ish. This meant that I missed my connection to Campbell River on Vancouver Island. Thankfully there was a later flight. I landed and made it to the hotel with an hour to spare before the opening of the Words on the Water festival. There were some wonderful writers at the festival. I met and spent some time with the very talented Gurjinder Basran whose first novel, Everything was Good-bye picked up a BC Book Prize among many other accolades and honours. My friend, Robert Wiersema was also there. He’s a wonderful writer and reviewer. I think he’s the funniest writer I know who seldom writes funny stuff in his books. It was great to hang out with him, as usual. As well, the funny, funny writer Susan Juby was also there talking about her hilarious novel, The Woefield Poultry Collective. The festival was very well attended and everyone, yours truly included, seemed to have a great time. For the Literary Cabaret on the Saturday night, Robert Wiersema and I read Robert Service’s amazing poem, The Cremation of Sam McGee. Lots of laughs. Thanks to Trevor McMonagle and his organizing crew for a memorable weekend in beautiful Campbell River.

 

Brantford Public Library Reading

This past Thursday, I was off to Brantford, Ontario for a talk and reading at the Brantford Public Library. Brantford will always have a special place in my heart. The day The Best Laid Plans won Canada Reads, I travelled to Brantford for an evening talk to a McMaster University Alumni group. I’ll never forget that day, or my trip to Brantford that night. Last week’s visit was just as memorable. Paula Thomlinson and her colleagues at the library had done a great job promoting the event so it was a packed room. It was nice to speak with former Liberal MPP and Brantford Mayor Dave Neumann whom I’d not seen for many years. I spoke, read, answered questions and signed books. Thanks Brantford!

One Book, One Community really works!

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

It is truly wonderful to have had The Best Laid Plans chosen as the 2010 One Book, One Community selection in the Waterloo Region. Here’s some tangible evidence of the power of this program to mobilize an entire region to read the chosen book. Here are the “hold requests” in the three major public libraries in the region (Kitchener, Cambridge, and Waterloo). I’m not sure what surprised me more — that each library had ordered so many copies of TBLP, or that so many people had put it on “hold” to read. As for book sales, reports are that TBLP is selling briskly in local bookstores as well. If the past few years are any indication, by the time I head to Waterloo for three days of readings and related events in September, several thousand Waterloo residents will have read TBLP. What an honour…

Tonight, I’m in Waterloo…

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

I’m really looking forward to speaking at the Waterloo Public Library (McCormick Branch) tonight. The branch’s book club has been reading TBLP. As I’ve noted before on this blog, I’m happy to speak about TBLP pretty well anywhere, and to anyone, but it’s particularly enjoyable to be amidst a group of book lovers who have read the novel. The discussion is usually deeper and more interesting. Plus, I had such a wonderful time in Waterloo last fall when I attended the Words Worth Books book club, that I’m very pleased to be going back this evening. Here’s hoping the snow holds off until I get there!

Three years later…

Friday, December 25th, 2009

For the last two years, on Christmas Day, I’ve posted about what has happened in my humble life since I signed up with iUniverse on Boxing Day in 2006 to self-publish my first novel. Every year at this time I re-read those two annual posts, One year later… and Two years later…. This year is no different. I just had a walk through those earlier two posts and find myself yet again counting my blessings. In my sideline life as a writer, it would be hard to top 2008. But I’ve had a wonderful time in 2009 and taken a few more strides down the writerly road. TBLP continues to sell well even though it’s been on bookstore shelves since September 2008. I also kept up a steady stream of readings, signings, and talks about the novel and the strange way it came into print. I think I’m up to about 60 book-related gigs since the Leacock Shock, with more being added steadily. Many authors dislike the “book tour” part of promoting their works. I, on the other hand, really enjoy getting out there and meeting those who have read the novel. It helps that most who read TBLP seem to like it, or at least they don’t dislike it enough to say nasty things to the author’s face. I’ve loved doing book clubs and public library readings, and bookstore signings. For me, that’s the fun part.

The big achievement in 2009 was outlining and then writing the sequel to TBLP, called The High Road. It was a great joy to write, and a great relief to finish, the sequel. It took about the same length of time to write as TBLP. What’s more, as 2009 wound down, McClelland & Stewart and my editor Douglas Gibson, agreed to publish The High Road in September 2010. Needless to say, in these uncertain times in the publishing world, I’m thrilled. In 2010, I became more active on Twitter and enjoyed connected with many writers and readers in this way. You can find/follow me on Twitter (@TerryFallis).

So I couldn’t be happier as 2009 draws to a close. My day job at Thornley Fallis has been busy and satisfying, and it’s shaping up to be a very fulfilling year professionally. On the writing front, the final manuscript for The High Road is due at M&S on January 11th so I’m in final tweaking mode. Then the focus moves to cover design and cover copy etc. Finally, I’m about ready to start outlining my third novel, as yet unnamed. It will not be another installment in the lives of Angus McLintock and Daniel Addison (although I expect I’m not through with those two yet). The characters and plot are still steeping in my mind but the general story line is there. It’s not as narrowly focused as my first two and I hope it might appeal to a broader audience. I think I’ll leave it at that for now. But it will be another satire.

All the best in 2010 and thanks for a year of encouragement and kind words from so many!

Thanks Thornbury!

Friday, November 13th, 2009

A few weeks ago, I drove up to Thornbury, Ontario, near Collingwood, to do a Sunday talk and reading at the wonderful Blue Mountains Public Library. It was a glorious autumn day and the drive up was very relaxing. A great crowd turned up and we all had lovely time — at least I did, and I hope those who came enjoyed it too. I did my customary talk, loosely entitled “My Unorthodox Journey to the Published Land,” read a few sections of TBLP, and then fielded questions. The formal part of the program was all over in about an hour. Dennis and Joan Jackal, proprietors of the excellent Jessica’s Book Nook bookstore in downtown Thornbury, organized the event. Dennis was on-site to sell copies of TBLP so I spent some time inscribing copies to those in the audience who purchased them. As I know I’ve said before, speaking to readers is one of the great joys of this odyssey. My thanks to Dennis and Joan, and the staff of the library who made this a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

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Thanks Fort Erie and Pelham…

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

I’ve been remiss in not reporting on my two stop tour of the Niagara region a couple of weeks ago. It was a great day. First, I gave an afternoon talk and reading at the Fort Erie Public Library. The people were wonderful. Several of them had already read TBLP while many of the others purchased books afterwards. The current and former Mayors of Fort Erie even came.

Then in the evening, I headed back down the QEW to the picturesque town of Pelham to speak at the public library. A capacity crowd filled the room. Believe it or not, the mayor of Pelham also stopped by to say hello. Pelham is also home to a few of the leaders of the team that built a replica of the Silver Dart, the first powered airplane to fly in Canada back in 1909. Knowing of my interest in the Silver Dart, Elaine at the library invited them to attend the reading. I’d followed the exploits of this intrepid group and the climax of their efforts in February when the replica took off from the ice near Baddeck, Cape Breton, exactly 100 years after the original Silver Dart first flew. In fact, I blogged about it back in February. It was great to speak with them. They kindly presented me with a photograph commemorating the historic event (the replica’s flight, not my reading in Pelham).

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My thanks to Amy in Fort Erie and Elaine in Pelham for such a well organized day.

Two Niagara region readings coming up…

Friday, September 11th, 2009

I’ll be taking a vacation day on September 30th for readings at the public libraries in Fort Erie, in the afternoon, and then in Pelham, in the evening. After a very quiet August, my autumn dance card is rather full. Feels good to get back out there…

Pelham Library

TBLP in Cambridge Library book club program

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

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This is a very interesting initiative offered by the Cambridge Public Library in Cambridge Ontario, about an hour west of Toronto.  They’ve created a Book Club in a Bag program as a support to local book clubs.  Included in the kit are eight copies of the book, a discussion guide, and a discussion leader’s tracking sheet, all in a Cambridge Library tote bag.

TBLP is one of the books offered through this innovative program.  They feature the original iUniverse edition of the novel which suggests that this library was a very early supporter.  Kudos to the staff for this interesting idea that I hope takes off.

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Library blog promotes TBLP

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

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Welcome to My Crystal Blog, a blog associated with the Burlington Public Library was kind enough to recommend TBLP as their Wednesday Pick this week.  Many thanks for the plug!

I’ve lately received a number of speaking/reading invitations from public libraries, which is wonderful.  I’ll try to keep the “Appearances” page of my blog up to date but it was confirmed today that I’ll be at the Port Hope Library on April 18th.  I’m also working on dates in the fall of 2009 for the Pelham Public Library down Niagara way.  Keep ’em coming.  It should be considered an honour to spend time with folks who have actually read your book.  At least that’s how I look at it…