Today was a busy day at the bus. I got a note! But first, I’ve got to give props to Cornwall Living Magazine and their launch party last Wednesday. Not only did they let me bring my kids to the launch party, but the swag was perfectly kid-friendly: pencil crayons! And they fed us pizza. Then they played this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rrzh–nA_4E&feature=youtu.be I laughed when I saw myself at 0:55, and Max said, “That’s you, Mama!”
Cornwall Living Magazine has generously offered to send free copies to people who ask. So get in there! They also send copies to embassies around the globe. Max, Anastasia and I raced home so I could hand off the kids and hurry over to my interview on Vankleek Cooley via VankleekFM. You can listen here: http://vankleekfm.com/radio-programs/vankleek-cooley/ if you page down to “Listen to the May 28th, 2014 Show – Hour One.” My interview starts at 31:00.
Fascinating to meet Louise Sproule, the owner and publisher of The Review. We chatted after, and she mentioned that she’s owned the newspaper for 22 years, and her articles can make people cry. They stop her on the street to hug her. One woman brought her flowers.
I explained that my overarching goal is to have my writing connect me with people, places, and things that excite me. But I started off writing in a vacuum, with only “It’s good. Keep writing” from Matt and editors’ rejection letters for feedback. So Louise and I are kind of the opposite. She knows that she has a dedicated audience every week who pay for her words and may tell her so every week, whereas I’m hungry to carve out my audience (not that I’m going to eat them, but while it’s mega-awesome to have a fan in Saudi Arabia and nab a rare sale in Trinidad and Tobago and Norway, I don’t have people crying on me).
Thus, I was blown away when the Glengarry Book Club chose CODE BLUES for their inaugural meeting. Then I waited for them to tear me into tiny strips of beef jerky, since that’s what writers usually do. My own daughter said yesterday, when I was packing my books up for Bloody Words 2014, “Mommy, I don’t like your books. I hate them.” Instead, they said that they enjoyed all the Montreal references, the joie de vivre, the multiculturalism. Fast-paced. Easy read. And they liked Hope.
- “Hope was a really accessible, normal character. Nothing seemed ridiculous.”
- “I felt sorry for her. The loneliness, the misery, the stress, a new city, her job, working with difficult people and bosses. I felt dirty. She hadn’t had a shower. I felt how she was feeling.”
- “I’m looking at Hope, working in a hospital is just so foreign, it would never happen to me, I’d be on the floor. But here, I’m following her around, I’m right with her. She’s got these clues, I can put it together, I can relate to her.”
- “Most people just don’t give a s—. ‘I just got here, I’m not doing that. I’m not going to worry about it.’ Hope just took off with [the murder case] right away.”
None of them figured out the murderer except Anne, a few pages before. Rhonda always reads the last page first, and she was still surprised.
One of them said that she liked she sex scene. “Your description went to the senses instead of a visual image, which I really appreciated, the tactile details, instead of flowery description.”
I was waiting for the “but.” It never came. Maybe they’re too polite to say anything to my face, but it dawned on me that readers want to be entertained. They want to be pleased. They’re not like writers and critics. On a related note,
I was delighted when Bob, Max’s bus driver, wanted to buy “my best work.” I gave him TERMINALLY ILL, and now he periodically updates me on where he is in the book. “Elvis is awake!” “The other doctor wants to take the case!” Or, “There’s a bit of sexual tension here.” (Good thing I didn’t give him CODE BLUES, huh?) “My wife wants to read the book after me.”
To my amazement, one of the students piped up and said that she was reading HIGH SCHOOL HIT LIST on iBooks (High School Hit List – Melissa Yi). “It’s a bit scary. Is that okay?” I said, and she nodded. Today, Isabelle passed me the note, and I’m waiting for the bus to come, so I can give her a signed copy of HIGH SCHOOL HIT LIST.
I’m happy on so many levels. She’s obviously intelligent and curious, probably heard about the TERMINALLY ILL book launch and went on my website to find something that spoke to her age group. She reads both e-book and print. And she and her family are willing to spend their hard-earned money on my work! To answer her question, my e-books are available everywhere (just starting out on Google Play today). My print books are available on Amazon, and you can order them through your local bookstore, including R&L’s Book Nook, which will be hosting a book launch for the latest Hope Sze novella, STUDENT BODY, on September 20th, 2014. The Hope Sze medical mysteries are now available in trade paperback at the following locations:
The Review 76 Main St. E, Vankleek Hill, Ontario, K0B 1R0, Tel: (613) 678-3327, firstname.lastname@example.org The Brown House 20363 Concession Rd 5, Green Valley, ON K0C 1L0 (Hwy 34 & Brown House Rr 2), 613-347-2583 A L Macdonald Grocery Inc. Williamstown, ON K0C 2J0 Phone: (613) 347-2770 Happy reading!