Harbourfront in Toronto. The Ontario Library Association organizes the Tree Awards, and as usual (this is my third year in a row at Harbourfront) they’ve done a fabulous job. They’ve brought in 3500 students. A sunny day. Loud rhythms of a rock band. Kids everywhere you look.
All ten authors nominated for the Red Maple line up with our sign carriers and presenters, and then we parade onto a stage that faces an audience of young people, all of whom have screaming down to a fine art. Lake Ontario glitters in the background.
Every year, when it’s my turn to say a few words, I say something like,
“Writing is a solitary occupation. What more can any writer ask for than hundreds of kids who are wildly enthusiastic about reading?”
And I mean every word.
Kenneth Oppel won the 2012 Red Maple for “Half Brother” – congratulations to a great writer for a great book.
But – and I mean this, too – every author at Harbourfront over the two-day festival is a winner because we get to meet our greatest fans. To sign books for them. To answer their questions. And to hear that they love our books.
A terrific question and answer period followed, and then signings until my wrist hurt – what a wonderful complaint to have!