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
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.
Fantastic review of The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden! It’s in the University of Manitoba’s CM Magazine, Volume XX Number 17, January 3, 2014.
The link is here:
The reviewer, Dr. Gregory Bryan, specializes in children’s literature in the Faculty of Education.
Of the three books that make up the trilogy, he says, “These are powerful, moving stories from the pen of one of Canada’s best writers.”
Now that’s the way to begin the New Year!
(The only glitch is, the review shows the original working cover of the book, which was replaced by a cover with a girl on the bicycle by the sea. I’ll have to see if the publishers can get that changed)
Either way, I’m so glad that Sigrid is making her way into the world.
My friend Meghan Marentette and I had a joint launch at the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia of her first children’s novel, The Stowaways (Pajama Press) and of my fifth novel, The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden (Fitzhenry & Whiteside).
A terrific event – a sandwich board outside the door, children sitting on a rug near the podium, delicious nibblies prepared by us (yes, I’m boasting!). Lisa Doucet was there from Woozles,
selling books. My great-grandson Logan was in the front row (his first book launch) with his mother Jessica, my granddaughter, to whom my book is dedicated.
Carmen Klassen of CBC Radio did a wonderful job of introducing Meghan and me, thank you, Carmen.
And many friends came to help us celebrate as our two new books make their way into the world. Thanks to everyone who made this event so successful.
I was in Toronto from November 4-10, for the launch of all Pajama Press’s 2013 titles – including Nix Minus One. Meghan Marentette was also there from Halifax, with her first novel for children, The Stowaways; and I stayed with my friend Sue MacLeod (thank you, Sue!), who launched her contemporary/historical YA novel, Namesake.
It was a fun event, familiar faces (Alma Fullerton among them) and new ones (Karen Bass, whose novel, Graffiti Knight, I very much enjoyed) – and Gail Winskill introduced us all. Books for sale, great grub prepared by Alma’s husband, and good “shop” talk.
Then we hopped the #509 shuttle through the wasteland near Harbourfront (construction, construction, construction) to Bay Street Station, and caught the subway. I felt like a pro on Toronto Transit by the time I flew home.
* * *
The wonderful Authors’ Booking Service arranged a visit to the Pleasantview Library (take the Bloor Line east and the bus north).
One hundred grade 8 students sitting on the floor of the auditorium at 9 a.m. My first time to read Nix Minus One in junior high, and my first (gulp) Powerpoint presentation. Everything went super-smooth – Powerpoint really helped, because none of the kids were from Newfoundland or had ever been there. So I could show them fishing villages and shots of the barrens and the mountains on the northern peninsula.
And they loved Nix!!! So wonderful to meet with that response, with such close attention. Thank you, every one of you!
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