Authors love to party and we love being appreciated. So when Wendy Mason and Christie Harkin invited us to an author appreciation party, we showed up in droves. (Full confession, camera battery was dead and Frankenstein and his bride did not attend, my daughter, the bride here, is the author of soon to be released Wardroids, though)
What we did, besides eat and drink, was discuss books, publishers and awards. Librarians and literacy consultants also showed, they were very appreciative of us and that felt wonderful.
I met Jennifer Lanthier and looked at her lovely Heather’s pic’ The Stamp Collector. I chatted with Barbara Reid (Picture a Tree) and Deborah Kerbel (Under
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the Moon) who are both nominated for Govenor General Awards. Afterwards I rushed to Indigo for Deborah’s book. Then I talked to Mahtab Narsimhan (The Tiffan) about our Red Maple nominations. I’d long ago bought and read her novel about a boy whose life went a different direction because of a message misdirected in a lunch box.
Readers might be surprised to learn that these awards do not pit author against author. Most of us are good friends and admire each other’s work. We know how difficult a job writing can be. Ah but so much fun, especially the parties. And I love to enjoy someone else’s story. We are our own best appreciators; we love to read. I can’t tell you how many times I heard authors tell each other at this party that they’d read or were going to read each other’s books.
The Red Maple shortlists ten fiction (and ten non fiction) books for grade 7 and
8 students to read and select one favourite. Hurray if that’s my book or Mahtab’s. But both our books can be your favourite, or all ten. Or you can like each for a different reason. You can read those ten and read our other titles and decide you like a different novel much better. I would definitely read Deborah Kerbel’s and I will buy Barbara Reid’s Picture a Tree. I also bought The Town that Drowned by Riel Nason. She wasn’t even at the party and her novel is on the Red Maple list.
The bookshelf in my heart holds many titles and so can yours.