Monday, August 16, 2010

Why I Am a Writer

I was a guest author the Wolfe Island Scene of the Crime Festival this weekend. The other guests were Michael Blair, Susanna Kearsley, James W. Nichol and Gail Bowen, who was the guest of honour. Wonderful writers all, and what a variety of work they put out.

One of the questions we were asked in the panel discussion is why we write. Are we compelled to write? Have we always been writers?

My best answer, which I only thought of later, is that I am a writer because I love the company of writers. It might be different in other, particularly larger, countries, but the Canadian mystery world is really, really small. We all seem to know each other, and if we don’t, we will soon. I consider Michael and Susanna and our moderator Barbara Fradkin to be friends, and Gail and her great husband Ted as people I’d like to be closer to if I saw them more often. I had not met James and his wife Judy before, but now I include them in the latter group.

As well as meeting readers (tons of enthusiastic readers), talking about books, listening to the others talk about books, signing books, and eating wonderful church lunches and suppers (homemade blueberry pie anyone?) we had fun. Lots of fun. At the get-together the night before, at the B&B where the Festival kindly put us all up, on the drive to find the place (says Vicki: I know the way, follow me. Apparently I don’t know the way as well as I thought I did); over a delicious farm breakfast, on the Ferry ride back to the mainland.

In the morning we explored the farm where they raise bison and llama, a far cry from the old dairy cows and corn farm it once was; in the evening, tired but excited after the Festival, we sat out the big porch in the old farmhouse that was our B&B and drank wine out of a box with the lights turned low so as not to attract the bugs.

I have met a lot of mystery writers over the past five years and I can say that there are precious few I haven’t liked and whose company I haven’t enjoyed enormously. There are no big egos on display, particularly by those who might have most to be egotistic about, and everyone is welcome to pull up a chair and join the circle.

We are all in this boat together, seems to be the feeling, and we are all along to enjoy the ride.

The picture above shows: James W. Nichol, Judi Nichol, Michael Blair, Vicki Delany, Susanna Kearsley, Gail Bowen, Ted Bowen

If you’d like to learn a bit more about my friends, old and new:,,,,

P.S. anyone looking for accomodation on Wolfe Island is suggested to contact Blue Horizon, where we stayed. Fabulous setting, lovely people, great breakfasts.

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