I am pleased to announce that the launch parties celebrating the release of my upcoming book, The Young City, have all been set. These events will offer you all an excuse to visit a local bookstore and hear some readings while sharing a snack, a chance to meet other fans of fantasy, and later to retire to a nearby restaurant to share a meal.
As usual, I’ll be reading at bookstores (and a library) in Waterloo, Toronto and Ottawa — where I have plenty of friends and family to assure a decent turnout. Strangely enough this year, I ended up scheduling the events in reverse order. Ottawa comes first. I’ll be reading at Kaleidoscope Kids Books at their temporary location at 1115 Bank Street in Ottawa South on Saturday, January 10. The launch starts at 3 p.m. and continues until 4:30 and there will be snacks and refreshments available. After that, friends and family are invited over to the Barley Mow, a proper Celtic pub just north of Kaleidoscope, at 1060 Bank Street.
Toronto comes next, and once again I’ll be hosted by Nicholas Hoare Books at 45 Front Street East at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 18. Snacks and refreshments will be served until 4:30 p.m., after which time we’ll be heading across the street to the Flatiron and Firkin for some good pub grub.
Joining at the Toronto launch will be author, historian and Toronto Sun columnist Mike Filey, who will talk about the Toronto of the period shown in The Young City as well as selling and signing copies of his latest book, The Way We Were. I am privileged to have Mike join me for this launch, and this should make for an interesting presentation.
Finally, on Saturday, January 24 at 2:00 p.m., my local friends and family (and everybody else) are invited to attend the Waterloo launch of The Young City. Once again the Waterloo Public Library has been kind enough to offer us space and refreshments, and Words Worth Books will be there to sell copies. I’m also hoping to share space with Steve Pitt, the author of a number of historical novels for children and young adults, who will be debuting Faster Than Wind, a story about the iceboats in Toronto’s harbour around 1900. Following the launch, at 4:00 p.m., I’m inviting everybody over to the Red Lion Pub in the basement of the Huether Hotel for a celebratory meal.
So those are the details, and I’ll keep you posted if and when things change or develop. I’m hoping to add a second author to my Ottawa launch, as I believe that, by spreading the attention around, it helps to pool the attention for the authors in attendance. We shall see what we shall see.
In Other News
In other news, Erin and I have been fighting off the second major cold to have hit us this month, and we feel quite run down. The kids, of course, are mostly fine, although Vivian was a little bit subdued and lethargic earlier this week. They, of course, seem to have recovered faster. Fortunately, my mother-in-law Rosemarie is here and is helping us keep up with them.
Among my accomplishments this week is the completion of author Deborah Kerbel’s website. Her latest book, Mackenzie Lost and Found, published by the Dundurn Group, is about fifteen-year old Mackenzie Hill, a young girl who has lost her mother, and whose father decides to up sticks and take her to Jerusalem for a year. In Deborah’s words, “Coming of age in the ancient city of Jerusalem, Mackenzie quickly becomes caught up in a forbidden romance and an unwitting involvement in a shadowy ring of black-market bandits. Can she solve the mystery of the stolen artifacts without betraying her first love? And will she finally come to terms with the grief that had been slowly eating away at her heart…here in the last place in the world she ever wanted to be?”
Best of luck to Deborah as she launches Mackenzie Lost and Found into the world.
Yesterday, I attended the Canadian Children’s Literature Awards, although possibly I should have stayed home given my cold. The fates did seem to be out to get me. I took the bus in, but accidentally selected the local between Kitchener and Toronto, which goes via Guelph. That added an additional half hour to the scheduled one-and-a-half hour running time, and accidents on the 401 added an additional hour.
Yes, you’ve calculated right: I sat on a bus for three whole hours. In the front seat with no leg room. And I arrived at the event late, missing the prime mingling period and the dinner. But oh, well. I did have the privilege of Christopher Paul Curtis winning both the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction (worth $5000) and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award for Elijah of Buxton, a fictionalized account of the first child born into freedom in the community of Buxton, Ontario, a settlement given to former slaves who escaped to Canada on the Underground Railroad. Attendees were also privileged to receive copies of this book (a nice hardcover), and it’s clear that Mr. Curtis’ work will be one to watch, this year, possibly at the Governor General’s Awards.
I met a few friends, but the venue was a bit loud and not well suited to conversation, especially to someone on the verge of losing his voice as I was, but I still enjoyed myself, and I’d like to thank Toronto Dominion and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre for setting up the event. I’d like to thank Greyhound Canada for my sore legs and say that, next time, I’m taking the GO Train.