I like this week’s topic, beginnings. I’m all about beginnings. The first bite of a hot dog cannot be topped. Nor can the very first time you put on a new t-shirt or take a sip of icy cold lemonade or drive your first car. First kisses always made me weak and don’t get me started on crisp new journals that open with a crack and a promise. I’m not in love with my first attempt at a novel (nor was anyone else!), but I am always in love with the possibilities of writing a new one.
This past weekend was filled with firsts for me. I was invited to take part in a literary festival in Bayfield, Ontario, a stunning and leafy historic town on the shores of Lake Huron, which looked to me like the Atlantic Ocean. This is a town so idyllic it doesn’t need a police force, a town in which residents sleep with the doors unlocked.
Four other HarperCollins Canada authors I’d never met attended (Barbara Gowdy couldn’t make it last minute):
Lawrence Hill, author of THE BOOK OF NEGROES
Janice Kulyk Keefer, author of THE LADIES’ LENDING LIBRARY
Claire Cameron, author of THE LINE PAINTER
and Kyo Maclear, author of THE LETTER OPENER.
I was fortunate enough to share a beach house with these warm and fascinating writers. An experience made all the more meaningful with our spouses beside us, our children sprawled out on floors and sofas. And while we spent much of our time enjoying dinners organized on our behalf, and speaking to the community, there were plenty of hours left to collect stones at the beach, explore the local galleries, or mastermind the humane and sting-free removal of a hornet from the bathroom.
For me, the weekend bordered on magical. Bayfield is a well-educated community–brimming with book lovers. Over 110 readers attended our event, many of whom had read our novels and were eager to discuss. It was the beginning of many friendships, not only with the other authors and with the readers of Bayfield, but with the-oh-so-generous Mary Wolfe, whose Village Bookshop sponsored the festival and whose husband made sure to supply us all with polar fleece when temperatures plummeted, and the bubbly Kathryn Wardropper of HarperCollins, who has a standing invitation for dinner at my house.
I also now have four great books to add to my reading list, go pick up any or all of them, every one of them sounded superb.
The weekend fell on the cusp of my receiving some very exciting news about TOWN HOUSE. John Carney, the director of the highly acclaimed and award-winning ONCE, has signed with Fox 2000 to direct TOWN HOUSE. That sound you hear just to the north of you is me happy-screaming into my pillow.
Check out the Once trailer here: