Hello, friends. This week, the Ontario Library Association’s Festival of Trees gala takes places at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. As one of the finalists (A Spy in the House is shortlisted in the Red Maple category), I should be there. I really, really, really want to be there. Trouble is, I am THIS close to my due date and it would be exciting and memorable in all the wrong ways if I were to go into labour in Toronto. (Also, I don’t think the first aid tent is equipped for that kind of emergency.) So here I am in Kingston, thinking wistfully of the hundreds of voracious readers gathered in Toronto for the celebration.
I’m so glad that the organizers gave me a chance to say a very quick hello to the audience. A student will read the following greeting to the audience but I thought I’d post it here, too, so it reaches those who weren’t lucky enough to score tickets to the gala.
Several years ago, my mother asked me whether I’d rather have a baby or publish a novel. I didn’t even have to think about it: “novel” was my unhesitating answer, and The Agency: A Spy in the House, became both my book and my baby.
I’m a doubly lucky person, though. The reason I can’t be here today, celebrating with you in person, is because I’m in Kingston, Ontario, awaiting the birth of another baby – and I don’t mean the fictional type, this time. I’m so sorry to miss this party, and I hope it’s a shining day for everyone. Thank you for being such passionate readers.
Congratulations to all my fellow finalists, and especially to the students who read their way through the shortlists with such verve and enthusiasm! It’s been such a pleasure hearing from you.
I can still do local events, though, and on Friday, May 13, I’ll be reading at Indigo Books & Music as part of the United Way’s Success by 6 Week. I’ll be reading from two of my favourite picture books, starting at 11.20. See you there?
All next week, I’ll be chatting with members of Bookurious, where the Book Club is reading A Spy in the House. The discussion thread opens today, so if you have burning questions about Mary Quinn (oh okay, James Easton – everyone always asks about James!), do join in.
And finally, are you a Kingston-area high school student? There’s a writing contest designed just for you by Kingston WritersFest 2011. (Ahem: cash prizes.) Details are here. Good luck!