Blog October 8 2014:
A big gap since my last blog. I took some downtime – what a concept! Read, relaxed, walked the beach, gardened, spent time with friends and family – and then was seized with the idea that I should write an historical novel set in medieval England.
Why, you ask? Not sure I know the answer. It’s a period that’s always interested me. Visiting Chartres Cathedral (near Paris) four years ago, for instance, was a real high point. And over the years I’ve seen several medieval illuminated manuscripts – so beautiful, with such rich colours. Done by hand. By candlelight. With brushes and quill pens. Think about it as you text your next message.
So now I’m reading, taking notes, listening for the voices of my characters – and hoping you’ll wish me luck! A lot of it. If writing Nix Minus One in free verse was a challenge, could this next project be seen as certifiable madness?
On a different note, Nix Minus One, so I just found out, has been selected for the 2014 White Ravens List. Never heard of it? Neither had I.
It’s a list of books selected annually by the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany. Books from around the globe “that deserve worldwide attention because of their universal themes and/or their exceptional and innovative artistic and literary style and design.”
According to my wonderful editor, Ann Featherstone, it’s a very prestigious list. Good for Nix!
And I’m permitted to use this logo
At the 2014 Atlantic Book Awards, held in Charlottetown on May 21st, Nix Minus One received the Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature. Yes, I was very happy!
This is a wonderful affirmation of a book that was both challenging and rewarding to write.
My thanks to the Brimer family for their longtime support of this award, and to all the many organizers of the event.
The reception prior to the ceremony, at The Merchant Man, was filled with familiar faces (and very good food!), and it was enlivening to be in the company of so many fine writers – including, of course, Jan Coates (The Power of Harmony) and Meghan Marentette (The Stowaways), also nominated for the Brimer for their strong, heart-warming books.
Oh, and I wanted to bring all balloons home with me!
For a complete list of all the winners, click here.
I had a whirlwind week in Ontario for the White Pine nomination for Nix Minus One – such an honour to be nominated. And warm congratulations to Lisa Harrington for her win with “Live to Tell”.
There were three Nova Scotians among the ten writers nominated – Lisa, Don Aker (Running on Empty), and myself.
Writing is alive and well in the Maritimes!
On May 13th I took an early train (a very early train) from Union Station – which, like a lot of Toronto, is under construction. A delightful ride through the Ontario countryside – green fields, trees in leaf, and trilliums in bloom. I was met in Belleville by Jane Foster, who drove me to Centre Hastings School in Madoc. I always enjoy meeting the students for whom I write, and it was fun to have lunch with the reading group. Thanks to Jane for organizing this.
May 14th was the Festival of Trees at Harbourfront (also under construction) – complete with crowds of screaming students. You feel like a rock star, you get to meet kids who’ve read your book, and then you can relax at the reception when it’s all done. Lovely to see familiar faces, among them my publisher, Gail Winskill.
May 15th I went by subway to North York Central Branch of the Toronto Public Library, where I did a presentation of Nix on one of the six floors of the library – I wanted to pick up the whole building and all its books and take it home with me. Thank you, Nasim, Deb and Leigh. And I was very happy to see a friend there who dated from our high school years.
Lunch, then off to Hillcrest Branch on Leslie Street, which reminded me of my home library in Bedford. Another presentation of Nix, with more attentive readers (thank you, Mary), then back by subway and bus to Dufferin Street, cab to Billy Bishop Airport (fog, all flights delayed), then plane to Ottawa and cab to the hotel.
May 16th was theFestival of Trees in Ottawa at the Nepean Centre, again so many enthusiastic fans and so well organized, such a delight. My only complaint? I wanted time to play some of the games arranged for the kids!
Warm thanks to Meredith Tutching and all the many helpers and volunteers who make the amazing Ontario Festivals happen year after year.
And – to all of us – keep reading!
Nix Minus One is shortlisted for the 2014 Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature.
This is my third nomination for this award, which covers the four Atlantic provinces (I’ve won it twice). To be nominated for this award is a wonderful boost for a book.
Nix Minus One is included in the 2014 edition of Bank Street College of Education’s Best Books of the Year for Children and Young Adults. The College is located in New York City.
A “Tree” Award for Sigrid!
Terrific news for The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden, which is one of ten nominees for The Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award 2015. This is the “Tree” award for the Atlantic provinces – the students pick the winner.
Happy reading to all the participating schools.
Watch for me on the Morning Show on Global TV on Monday morning February 17th at 6:45 a.m. (yes, that’s a.m.) with Crystal Garrett, the Anchor and Co-Host of the Morning News.
We’ll be talking about all five of my books.
This book is the completion of the Newfoundland trilogy which started with The Nine Lives of Travis Keating, followed by The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy.
Pick up your copy today!
- What has Jill been up to? January 26, 2016
- 2015 Ontario Library Association’s Silver Birch Nomination October 21, 2014
- White Ravens Selection 2014 – Nix Minus One October 8, 2014
- Atlantic Book Awards – Ann Connor Brimer Award for Nix Minus One! May 26, 2014
- Festival of Trees May 26, 2014
ratings: 143 (avg rating 4.20)
The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy
ratings: 69 (avg rating 4.19)
The Nine Lives of Travis Keating
ratings: 91 (avg rating 4.16)
Nix Minus One
ratings: 13 (avg rating 4.15)
Brevity of Red, The