Friday, July 20, 2012

Home in Halifax

I'm going back to Halifax soon.

This coming Monday night, July 23, with the help and inspiration of some friends -- particularly Creative Publishing and Halifax arts maven* Bobbi Zahra -- we'll be celebrating the Maritime launch of my newest book and first novel, Finton Moon. At the fabulous Uncommon Grounds coffee shop at 1030 South Park Street, friends, acquaintances, literati, passersby, media members and interested onlookers will gather in the name of literature and fine coffee to mark the occasion. The inimitable Peggy Walt will be doing the author introduction, while the esteemed Don Sedgwick will represent the publisher by playing host to the event. Finton Moon has just made its way into bookstores across the Maritimes within the past few days, and so the timing is perfect.

I'm as baffled as anyone as to how this whole thing came to be. I've always loved Halifax, have always considered it  a place where I feel very much at home. So when the opportunity arose during a discussion with the afore-mentioned and generous Bobbi -- about the same time I was launching my new novel in St. John's in late June -- I immediately said I would love to do it. Halifax is one of the places where I grew up as a writer, where I plotted my stories and schemed my literary aspirations -- all in the coffee shops of the downtown. There's much more to the story than that, which I'll save for my ramblings to the gathering on Monday night. Suffice to say, I'm very happy to be returning to a city and province that are very dear to my heart and inspire my writing at nearly every turn.

My time there will be brief, but I'm trying to fit in as much as possible. Monday afternoon, July 23, I'll be doing a booksigning at Bayers Lake Chapters at 188 Chain Lake Drive from 1-3 p.m. I'm very much looking forward to meeting some readers from the area. It'll be easy to spot me: I'll be the scruffy looking one who looks like he hasn't changed his clothes in a day or so.

The launch event is at 7 p.m. Monday night. I'll be talking about my connections with Halifax and Nova Scotia, about the gestation period for Finton Moon, which took many years to complete, and offering a couple of short readings from the novel. After that, I'll be able to sign some books, chat with people and unwind. I'll have some drinks with friends and new acquaintances, let loose a little, get 3 or 4 hours of sleep before an early rise the next day.
Heidi Petracek, CTV host

Tuesday morning at about 7:15 a.m. (Halifax time) I'll be on CTV's Breakfast Television show talking with the talented and vivacious Heidi Petracek. I last spoke to Heidi nearly a decade ago when she was a fill-in host on CBC Radio's On the Go. I don't even know if she remembers me, but I had a lot of fun then, and I'm sure it'll be even more fun this time--yet another part of my life coming full circle.

Shortly after, I'll be back on a plane and headed home to St. John's, no doubt wondering if it all really happened.
Uncommon Grounds, 1030 South Park St.

If you're in the Halifax area, I hope you can join us for the celebration at the aptly named Uncommon Grounds.

Also, this Saturday--before I even leave for Halifax--I'm having a booksigning at Chapters in St. John's on Kenmount Road (Saturday, 1-3 p.m.). I'll be signing copies of Finton Moon and Moonlight Sketches. If you're in the St. John's area, again, I'll be happy to see you.

And, finally, yesterday, the dynamic duo that runs Fierce Ink Press (coincidentally based out of Halifax) made an announcement about a new project that I'm proud to be a part of. Here's the link, if you're interested ( I'll be talking more about this fantastic publication event, as well the press itself (a YA publishing house owned and operated by Kimberly Walsh and Colleen Mckie) in the coming days and weeks. For now, just lettin' you know.

So yeah, there's that.


*maven: from the Hebrew or Yiddish, meaning "an expert or connoisseur" or a person of "understanding."

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