Sunday, April 22, 2012

Canadian Tour Highlights

My first trip to Canada since 1986 was exhaustingly exhilarating. I traveled the country from west to east (and then a bit west again) on a 3-city tour to help Penguin Canada launch their Razorbill imprint.

The first stop was Burnaby, British Columbia. Due to flight delays and airport switcheroos, I had to hightail it straight from the airport to the bookstore. Thankfully, I had just enough time to down half a coffee before meeting Hiromi Goto and Carrie Mac for the first time and then joining them onstage.

The next morning, I flew east and met Charles de Lint and Lesley Livingston for the first time, sharing a car on our way to a signing in Pointe-Claire, Quebec. Here we are with some of the wonderful bookstore staff:

I love seeing groups of friends attend bookstore events. When that happens, they usually make fun requests:

The next day, Lesley and I caught an early flight to speak at the L3 Writers' Conference. On the flight over, I decided to be a good passenger and review the safety card in the seatback pocket. What was supposed to be an illustration of how to survive a water landing looked more like a Silly-Word Search.

The Toronto skyline is beautiful, and I got to savor it during the entire ferry ride from the island airport, which took about 30 seconds.

The conference was held at Barrie North Collegiate, where we were joined by Robert Paul Weston. We each spoke for about 20 minutes to the entire group (about 300 students from neighboring schools) before leading separate writing workshops.

But the event kicked off with a funny yet sincere reading of a proclamation by the town cryer.

Different students introduced each of us. Here I am with my introducer, Maddy, at a mini-reception held after the event where we chowed down on pizza:

That evening, Lesley and I were rejoined by Charles de Lint for a signing in Toronto, Ontario. Since it was the final stop on the Razorbill tour, we turned our cameras on the audience and asked them to hold up their books.

Toronto has a great community of authors, and several of them showed up.

The next morning, Lesley, Charles, and I spoke at two high schools. And while I love all the school visits I've done by myself over the years, I would easily agree to do more events with my two new author friends.

Between the school visits, we had lunch with several people from Penguin Canada and Mable's Fables, the store which supplied books to the schools. Their store had a beautiful Razorbill display in the front window, which we checked out after lunch. When we saw the photo of us sitting in front of the display, we realized it looks like cover art for a band's album, so we named ourselves THE RAZORBILLION$.

To read what some bloggers had to say about our bookstore visit to their town (including lots of great photos from their perspectives), check out this, this, and this.


Bonnie said...

Looks like a fun trip!

Natalie said...

It was so great getting to meet all of you in Toronto! I can just see myself in the very back of the picture that you took! I hope you come back to Canada again soon :) Also, thank you so much for linking to the blog posting that I wrote about the event! You made my day :D

Sabrina Steyling said...

Awesome stuff! Love the "band photo" - heck, all the photos were cool! That "town cryer" one made me laugh. Thanks for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

You came to my school in Toronto!! :D you were hilarious and it was awesome. I LOVE YOUR BOOKS!!!!

Unknown said...

I was at the writers' conference and I had one of the best times! Didn't get a chance to approach you, though, so my copy of The Future of Us and Thirteen Reasons Why are unsigned :( But the experience is what mattered! I will cherish it for as long as I have a good memory ;)

Anonymous said...

Hey Jay could you please give us an update on the 13 reasons why movie?! Anything would be great!