This year I was FINALLY able to make it out to Toronto’s Word on the Street, an event that happens in five different cities across Canada and supports Canadian literature and literacy. Considering the downpour that occurred before the day started, I was so pleased that the sun came out and everyone was able to go out and simply enjoy the event.
The first event I hit up was for Rachelle Delaney’s The Circus Dogs of Prague, which I reviewed on the blog back in April and was quite delighted by. What they had for children was a dog trainer who did tricks! And let me tell you — the kids loved it. There was even a little circus tent and an obstacle course, and finally after the show the children were allowed to make friends with the dog. It was pretty awesome and very clever.
I also had the chance to meet Rachelle Delaney, who is the author of The Circus Dogs of Prague and The Metro Dogs of Moscow (which I got signed and sadly, haven’t read yet!) . Let’s put it this way, I got a ton of new books I cannot wait to read that I really need to make the time for.
From there I made my way to Emily Pohl Weary and Kat Kruger’s readings at the This is Not Shakespeare Tent. Emily read from Not Your Ordinary Wolf Girl (which I reviewed last year and LOVED) and Kat from her book, The Night Has Fangs. Werewolves were the topic and both women discussed how to create convincing werewolves characters that are not the stereotypical hunk macho men (or women) we see in YA currently. It was an awesome panel and Emily called me out because she saw I had a copy of A Girl Like Sugar in my hands, which was one of the first books she ever wrote and published. It’s a very important novel to me, one that is well loved and well worn, and it was such a pleasure to finally meet her and chat with her. I had Kat sign her book for me and we discussed lots of Haruki Murakami (<3) and I’m really looking forward to giving it a go.
After tons of wandering about, I made my way to Gail Gallant, Lucy Leiderman, and Lesley Livingston’s readings, each of them reading bits from their novels. The three of them were fantastic speakers and great readers too. I may have also bulldozed my way to get an ARC of Transcendent, since there were only four of them up for grabs. Needless to say, I’m not sure I’m ready for Mason and Fennrys’ adventure to be over quite yet (I fear lots of ugly sobs). There was definitely lots of paranormal discussions afoot during this panel and a lot of the discussion was really excellent.
After that, it was time for Megan Crewe to read from her new novel (that isn’t even releasing until October!), Earth & Sky. The excerpt she selected has me absolutely pumped the read the novel, as it’s got lots of time and space travel, really solid characters (by the sounds of it) and she was just a fantastic reader. There were also an ARC giveaway as well, but I’m naughty and I already had one, which I then got signed after the reading. I also finally met the wonderful, Vikki VanSickle, who is my book angel and ARC drug dealer (she knows I love her). It was so awesome to finally chat in person, and we got into a long discussion about how awesome the Baby-sitters Club is. IT’S STILL AWESOME (and no one be hatin’ on Mary Anne around me!). It’s amazing how some franchises still hold up and can be read by other generations, and that one still is quite beloved.
Finally, I went to my last signing of the day, which was to see Lesley Livingston (she told me she saw me bolt for the ARC earlier in the day. I am such a fangirl), Lonathan Llyr, and Steve Burley. I also go see them when I’m at an event and they signed my ARC of Wiggins Weird, Book 2! Which is not out, but yes, I will be reviewing it. I was SO THRILLED to see so many children with copies of How To Curse In Hieroglyphics in their hands. It was definitely my favourite middle grade read of last year, so hopefully the sequel stacks up (and it will because Artie is the best.)
And that was my day at Word on the Street! There were so many amazing vendors and street food, and it’s amazing how this event grows every year. Even though it was my first one, it certainly will not be my last by any stretch of the imagination. It’s always a pleasure to talk to those who write some of your favourite books and get some insight into what goes in the process. Hopefully Word on the Street 2015 will be just as awesome!
Me with Emily Pohl Weary! (and Sugar)
Vikki Van Sickle, Book Angel and fellow BSC member.
And that’s my wrap-up! I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it. Let me know in the comments what some of your favourite author meeting experiences were! I’d love to hear about them! (Did you see River finally met Rainbow Rowell? SHE DID!)