Wednesday, 5 March 2014

MEETING THE READERS

It's a welcome break in a writer's life to get away from the computer and go out to meet the people who are actually reading your books. Last week I had the pleasure of doing that three times. It was exhausting but exhilarating.



EVENT #1: MONDAY - THE Y NEIGHBOURS ALUMNI GROUP
The YMCA/YWCA Y Neighbours Program is aimed at Moms and offers the following opportunity:
Meetings take place one morning a week in nine community facilities across Winnipeg and give women an opportunity to meet socially, schedule workshops and hear guest speakers on a range of topics.  There are also group outings, as well as exciting social evenings.
I gave a presentation on "The Writer's Life" to an interested group of women, some of whom had read my books. It was a fun, informal evening and I really enjoyed responding to all the questions and comments, as well as learning more about some of the members who had ties with the Winnipeg literary scene or who had done some writing themselves. the snacks were pretty nice too!
If you're interested in the Y Neighbours program, check them out here 


EVENT #2: THURSDAY - McNally Robinson BE FIRST READING CLUB for teens
This is a great opportunity for teens to read a book before it's available on the shelves. They get an Advance Reader's Copy ARC), read it, then give feedback to the author in a discussion group at the store.  I was a little nervous going to the meeting because I'd been told the teens were pretty forthright about giving their true opinion of your book. When I sat down in the circle to face the seven or eight young, bright teens who'd read "Busted Out", I was pleasantly surprised because they loved it. It was great to hear what they liked about it, which characters they preferred, which characters irritated them (and should have been killed off!) and how they might have changed the ending. This was a group of avid readers with wide tastes in books. It was a really heartening experience. If you want to learn more about this great club check it out here


EVENT #3: FRIDAY - FORT RICHMOND COLLEGIATE "I Love to Read Month"
All of February, Fort Richmond Collegiate has been hosting many different authors who came to talk about reading and writing and books. I was the final author to present on the last Friday of the month. It had been over two years since I was in the classroom, so I was slightly nervous at presenting in front of three classes in the library. My fears were unfounded. the audience of grade 10-12 students were incredibly attentive, the many questions at the end were intelligent and thoughtful and I came away realizing that many kids still do love to read. Thanks to Joan McDonald, a terrific librarian, for her great organization - and all the members of the ELA Dept.

So this week it's back to my solitary office and laptop - until the next time!!