Yesterday at the Festival of Words went well, though I was late to the party, which, after all, began on Thursday. In fact, I showed up for my reading without passing by whatever registration desk there must have been somewhere and so proceeded without a name tag. Fortunately, no one threw me out for not belonging.
I actually began my time in Moose Jaw eating at one of my favorite places, the Hopkins Dining Parlor, located in a heritage home–that’s it in the first photo–where I was a bit startled to be recognized by another diner as a science columnist and asked a question about the space shuttle (which I couldn’t answer with authority, alas, so I may have lost some credibility there!).
Then I went to a coffee shop and worked on Blue Fire for a while before making my way to the library for my joint reading/presentation with children’s author Linda Bailey (in the second photo). She gave a presentation about her books and read a few snippets, and then I mostly talked about my favorite subject–me!–and read a very little bit of Terra Insegura.
The room was packed, with the audience consisting almost entirely of women, mostly middle-aged or older (third photo), with just a couple of gentlemen tucked in around the edges. Still, it was an appreciative audience–after all, they paid to be there!–and it’s always nice to have a full room instead of just three or four people in attendance.
After that I went down to the room where books were on sale and signed a couple of copies of Marseguro and Terra Insegura for some readers, then went off to write on Magebane for a while before going to the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre for the Saskatchewan Writers Guild reception. I saw lots of people I knew there, and got a chance to meet Jack Whyte ahead of today’s interview I’ll be conducting on-stage at the Mae Wilson Theatre. I was also amused to discover a photo of myself circa 1987–scraggly mustache, thick glasses, big wavy hair–among the endless loop of photos from the Guild archives on display on a big-screen TV.
Back today for the Jack Whyte interview: I discovered his memoir, Forty Years in Canada, in the book room yesterday, bought it, and have skimmed through it this morning in preparation. I’m glad I found it, since it has a lot of biographical information I was unaware of and should make it easier to ask interesting questions.
Tomorrow I have a morning reading with Gail Bowen to wrap up my Festival of Words duties. Stay tuned for a final report!