June took me to Toronto for Booked!, Book Expo Canada, and the CBA Libris Awards.
It was a fantastic few days…I even got to meet and read with Jeanette Walls. She’s very sweet and we spent a little time swapping stories about our “Oprah moments.” (mine, oh-so different than hers!) I’ve since started reading The Glass Castle. Wow, what a life.
Chatting with readers and signing at Booked! in Toronto.
I loved this woman in green…(You’d think we’d called each other to plan our outfits!) She had just finished reading The Birth House a couple of hours before the event. What a treat to talk to her so fresh from the read!
(photo via Quill and Quire)
The CBA’s (Canadian Booksellers’ Association) annual Libris Awards night was amazing. Bill Richardson (of CBC Radio fame) emceed the event and kept everyone laughing the whole way through. Lucky for me, his wit and wisecracks also kept my nerves from getting the best of me while I waited for the categories that I was up for to be announced.
Libris Awards lined up and waiting…
(photo via Quill and Quire.)
And, if you haven’t heard the news…
We took three for three!
Kelly Hill of Random House Canada won Book Design of the Year for her beautiful work on The Birth House. Yay, Kelly!!!!
I went up to the stage first to accept The Fiction Book of the Year award… (the Quillblog account says it best:)
Accepting her first award – for fiction book of the year – McKay was flushed and giddy, and she charmed everyone in the room by recounting a nice little story about her hometown bookstore. Even before she began writing The Birth House (Knopf Canada), Mckay explained, she would go to the Box of Delights Bookshop in Wolfville, N.S., and she would stare at the shelf where novels by fellow Maritimers Ann-Marie MacDonald and Alistair MacLeod sat flush against one another. “The owner, Mitzi DeWolf, would see me there staring, day after day,” explained McKay, “until finally she asked me, ‘What are you doing?’ I told her I was looking at the place where my first novel was going to be, and for some reason she believed me.” Every time McKay went into the shop thereafter, DeWolf would inquire how the novel was going and would offer words of encouragement. “That encouragement, from a bookseller, really helped me a lot,” said McKay. (You can read the entire account, here.)
Later, I was completely surprised (and pretty much out of words) when I had to go back to the stage for the Author of the Year award! I was also pretty speechless because the person presenting it was Richard B. Wright, author of one of my favourite books, Clara Callan.
(Photo via CBC Radio.)
To top it all off, Bill R. had one more award to hand out at the end of the evening … a Gideon Bible he’d “borrowed” from his hotel room. (I love this man!)
Not only did McKay win Author of the Year and Fiction Book of the Year, she also won an autographed Gideon Bible from emcee Bill Richardson, who stole it from his hotel room in order to award it to the best acceptance speech of the evening.
The next day I reported to Book Expo Canada for a signing extravaganza. Thanks to everyone who stood in line and had such kind words for me! (Note the name tag. I’m guessing it’s for those times when authors are found passed-out in the lobby…so they can be promptly returned to their publisher’s booth. *giggle*)
(a BIG thanks to Quill and Quire for this photo too! And if you’ve never checked out their QuillBlog, you really should.)