Wednesday, May 22, 2013

In search of the midnight sun

Barbara here. Author book tours are reputedly the stuff of legends and glamour. Imagine agents swanning around, media jostling for interviews, adoring fans lining up to snag their own autographed copy. Limousines, luxury suites, standing room only.

If you're JK Rowlands, that is. For the rest of us, welcome to the world of DIY. Next week, friend and fellow author Vicki Delany and I will embark on an 18-day book tour of northern Canada, hitting Yellowknife, Whitehorse, Dawson City, Skagway, and places in between. As in any new venture, we are bursting with equal measures of excitement and apprehension. Besides the usual – will our flights land, will our luggage arrive, will the B&Bs be nice – we also face that stage fright familiar to artists of all stripes. Will anyone come?

This tour was our dream and our initiative. Vicki has a historical series set in Dawson City during the Klondike gold rush, and my latest Inspector Green mystery is set primarily in the legendary Nahanni National Park Reserve with side trips to Whitehorse. We both wanted to take our books on the road to the places that inspired them. In some ways it will be like walking into the lion's den, for putting our books under the scrutiny of those who know the north far better than we do is a scary prospect. I expect to go away from the encounters having learned far more than I gave.

We conceived of the tour last summer and have spent this whole winter painstakingly putting it together, venue by venue. Numerous people have worked with us, from the publicity, design, sales and marketing departments of our publisher, Dundurn Press, to the librarians, booksellers, museum staff, the regional vice president of Crime Writers of Canada, and even northern tour company operator. But as with most authors these days, the book tour would never have come off if we ourselves had not been determined to pull it off.

The tour kicks off on May 29 in Yellowknife, at the Northwords Writers' Festival, where we will be participating in panels, readings and school visits with the other featured authors. It ends June 14 with an evening in a parking lot in Whitehorse. Below is the full itinerary. Much of this is unknown territory for us, far from friends and familiar fans, but whatever glitches and hiccups we meet along the way, we expect to have a grand adventure and to come home with lots of new friends and readers. Insights shared, bonds formed.

Northwords Writers Festival
@ Explorer Hotel
May 30th and June 2st
4825 49th Ave 
Yellowknife, NT  X1A 2R3

PRESENTATION: Mounties, Miners, and Madams: The History of the North Through Fiction
@ Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre
June 3rd, 7 PM
4750 48 St.
Yellowknife, NT  X1A 3T5

PRESENTATION: Mystery, History, and the Mystique of the North
@Whitehorse Public Library
June 5th, 7:30 PM
1171 1st Avenue (at Black Street)
Whitehorse, YK  Y1A 0G9

WORKSHOP: Secrets of Great Stories
@ Haines Junction Community Library
June 6th, 7 PM
Yukon Government administration building
Haines Junction, YK  Y0B 1L0

SIGNING: Skagway News Depot & Books
June 7th, 4 to 6 PM
264 Broadway St.
Skagway, AK  99840

PRESENTATION: Mounties, Miners, and Madams: The History of the North Through Fiction
@ Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park, Skagway Museum
June 7th, 6 to 8 PM
700 Spring St.
Skagway, AK  99840

SIGNING: Mac's Fireweed Bookstore
June 8th, 12 to 2 PM
203 Main St.
Whitehorse, YT  Y1A 2B2

PRESENTATION: Crime Writers Reveal: Secrets of Mystery and Their Latest Plots
@ Well-Read Books (Hosted by Crime Writers of Canada Mystery Lounge)
June 9th , 7 to 9 PM
4137 4th Ave
Whitehorse, YT  Y1A 1H8

PRESENTATION: Mounties, Miners, and Madams: The History of the North Through Fiction
@ MacBride Museum of Yukon History
June 10th, 7 to 9 PM
1124 First Ave
Whitehorse, YK  Y1A 1A4

PRESENTATION: Mounties, Miners, and Madams: The History of the North Through Fiction
@ Dawson City Museum
June 13th, 7 to 9 PM
595 Fifth Ave
Dawson City, YK Y0B 1G0

PRESENTATION: Parking Lot Reading Series
@ Coles Bookstore:
June 14th, 6:30 – 8  PM
36 Chilkoot Way #120
Whitehorse, YK,  Y1A 6T5

If you live in the vicinities, we'd love to see you! And if you know someone who knows someone who lives nearby, please pass on the invitation!


Vicki Delany said...

My parka, mukluks, and dog sledding guide are packed!

Barbara Fradkin said...

Sunscreen and flipflops are a better idea!

Donis Casey said...

Oh, I wish I could come with you!