Wednesday, August 12, 2015

On to British Columbia!

Barbara here. Today I am on  an airplane, flying almost 4000 kilometres across Canada from Ottawa to Vancouver to begin the first leg of my week-long mini book tour of British Columbia. BC is a beautiful province of spectacular mountains, rugged oceans, and quirky cities. Have I really only visited it once in the past forty-three years? I am really looking forward to bringing Inspector Green along with me, to three book appearances in three parts of the province.

First, the gorgeous city of Vancouver, where tonight (Wednesday Aug 12) I will be at The Book Warehouse on Main Street for an evening of book talk and killer readings with two BC writer friends I have met on previous book travels, E.R. Brown and Sam Wiebe. Both Sam and Eric set their books in and around Vancouver, and have been nominated for numerous awards. Details of the event are on the poster below. It's free and all book lovers are welcome!

Then tomorrow I fly up the coast to Sechelt by float plane– how cool is that? I've never been on a float plane, despite writing about one in my novel THE WHISPER OF LEGENDS, and so it will be a test to see how well my imagination worked! In addition to being a beautiful coastal peninsula, Sechelt is home to the annual Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts. Sunshine Coast is "Canada's longest running summer gathering of Canadian writers and readers, featuring established literary stars and exciting, new voices". I am honoured to be one of the invited authors this summer, among a select list from across the literary spectrum, each of whom gives an hour-long presentation. The festival lasts four days, but my talk is on Sunday morning, Aug 16, and the rest of the time I am free to enjoy the other presentations and the glorious scenery of the coast. 

An hour will provide plenty of scope to cover my writing in detail, so in the past few weeks I have been thinking about what people would like to hear. There are ten books in the Inspector Green series, which has an arc of its own as my character has matured and faced different challenges in his personal life as well as his work. I have decided to talk about the series as a whole, and to this end have been scouring my earlier books in search of short selections that illustrate that arc. I will start with DO OR DIE, the debut novel of the series, and will read the scene the first introduces Green to readers. It is very odd to go back fifteen years to the beginning of my novel-writing career. The series and my skills have evolved in breadth and depth over time, as one would hope, so it is a bit like meeting my younger, clumsier self.

I will read from one or two other books in the series before ending with a focus on my latest book, NONE SO BLIND. In the process, I will talk about why I write mysteries, why a nice, gentle healer of souls (I'm a psychologist) would be drawn to murder, and why I chose the themes I did. Partly catharsis, partly trying to right the world, partly... Who knows? It will be an interesting journey of discovery for me as well as the audience. 

After four days in Sechelt, I fly back to Vancouver by float plane and then across the ocean by ferry to Victoria on Vancouver Island. There I have another exciting evening of book talk and readings at the wonderful mystery bookstore, Chronicles of Crime, on Aug 18. This time I will be joined by three authors from Vancouver Island – Kay Stewart, Linda Richards, and Brian Harvey – all of whom have multiple achievements to their names. Once again, a free evening for book lovers everywhere! The details are in this poster.

If you live anywhere near any of these venues, I'd love to see you!

Then, on Aug 19, it's an early morning flight back home, tired but hopefully exhilarated and inspired by the new experiences and people I have met. We authors spend a lot of time lamenting the dismal state of publishing today and the poverty-level incomes most of us make, even those with successful,  long-running series. All of that is true, yet there are unseen, surprise benefits like making new friends, travelling across the continent to conferences and festivals (albeit most of the time on our own dime), and joining the worldwide community of booklovers. 

That's priceless.


Patricia Filteau said...

A fun and interesting read. As I reflect upon your book tours and research explorations – that I know of – wow, you have travelled the length and breadth of Canada and the US this past year. ... and now back to the Pacific Northwest that will undoubtedly embrace your spirited adventures, mysteries and intrigues. I imagine the west coast crowd will also delight in the the Whisper of Legends. Safe travels, fun and intriguing adventures that I hope snatches at the unexpected and unknown. The Sunshine Coast Festival at Sechelt will likely give you a new definition of what it is it to celebrate the written word. Enjoy!
P.S. Please include at least one photo of you that shows the shoes selected to go with that new dress.

Barbara Fradkin said...

LOL, Patricia. There is a writers dinner on Friday night that I plan to wear the outfit to. I will get a photo. Meanwhile it's 30 degrees here and melting hot. I may use my bathing suit at Sechelt yet.