Toronto Reading


I had a very good reading at the Lillian H. Smith yesterday morning. About sixty grade five and six students braved the wet streets to come out, along with a half-dozen adult students taking grade 12 courses at the Toronto District School Board.

Of special note is the school these students were from: Orde Street — the school I spent my years from Kindergarten to grade six. The students seemed quite impressed when I told them I used to go to their school, and I invited a considerable smackdown when I invited the students to guess when I had left grade six. Only one student took the bait, though, and successfully guessed that it was sometime in the mid 1980s (it was 1984).

I also tried my new presentation on them, which talks about persistence being the key to getting published. Most of the attendees had read Harry Potter, or knew of him, and many more knew about Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. They were shocked to learn that Harry Potter had been rejected twelve times and Lemony Snicket’s first book, “The Basic Eight” was rejected thirty-seven times. I also gave them an exercise in “show, don’t tell” by reading the beginning of the book and asking them to describe Rosemary.

They seemed interested throughout — or, at least, they were very kind, and peppered me with a lot of questions. At the end, they all grabbed my mini-bookmarks and asked me to sign them, and one even handed me a picture she’d drawn of Rosemary and one of myself. It was very well done; very cute.

I’d like to thank the students of Orde Street Public School, as well as the librarian who greeted me and kept an eye on things throughout the event, for making me feel so welcome. I’d also like to thank the organizers behind the event from having me out. I hope I can do another one of these next year for Fathom Five.

After the event, I ran a few errands around Toronto and stopped by at Yung Sing’s Pastry Shop on Baldwin Street for lunch. They’re as good as ever and extremely inexpensive.

I also stopped in at the Dundurn offices to hand off my signed contract for Fathom Five. I got a glimpse of a possible cover; I can’t show it here as there are rights issues still to be negotiated, but let me just say that I was impressed. Designer Jennifer Scott and Allison Carr do a wonderful job on all of Dundurn’s covers, giving them a distinctive and eye-catching house style, and I’m really lucky to have them doing my books.

Barry and I talked a bit about what to call the series, and we’re no closer to figuring this out, even though we’ll need something for the Spring/Summer 2007 catalogue soon. Our two choices so far are “The Rosemary and Time Series” (or “Sequence”, although Barry doesn’t think that Marketing would go for “sequence” for some reason) or “The Unwritten Books”. I personally like the former because it’s the original title for The Unwritten Girl, and this time it’s appropriate for use since the third book (The Young City) does actually have time travel. It is a little bland, however, and there’s no obvious connection with the other titles. “The Unwritten Books” has that connection with The Unwritten Girl.

What do you think? You guys have any other series name suggestions?

Is It My Imagination…?

…or does Humpty Dumpty here look stoned?


Maybe that’s why he had his big fall. Oh, well. When you got the Munchies, nothing else will do.

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