Friday, February 05, 2016

My First Pre-Author Event

This campaign launched last evening in Halifax with some amazing and inspiring authors expressing their passion their homegrown publishers, many of whom launched the careers of these writers. Sheree Fitch, Stephen Kimber, Janice Landry, Michael de Adder, Sylvia Hamilton, Lesley Crewes, Emma Fitzgerald, Frank MacDonald and Andrew Steeves all spoke uniquely and eloquently about WHY regional publishers are important.
In some form or another, they all said, "Our stories deserve to be shared."
The Big Publishers aren't interested; regional publishers are essential to getting regional stories -- Nova Scotia stories -- shared around the world. 

I wasn't taking notes -- and I should have been, I always take notes, why didn't I take notes -- but Sylvia Hamilton, who is a poet and an author, said, "We need books like we need fertile ground for growing our food."  She spoke near the end and I couldn't stand it anymore; I wrote that one down.
Andrew Steeves, who runs Gaspereau Press, told us to write to our MLAs and tell them how much our Nova Scotia stories matter to us so I'm going to make that the topic of my next Field Notes column.
Most of the speakers were well-known and established Nova Scotia authors, but for Emma Fitzgerald, a first-time author illustrator. Her three-minute speech should be packaged and sent to every English and Art teacher in the province to be played in their classrooms so that students know what is possible.

And I was so very, very tempted to run up to the microphone -- to be that person who rushes the stage -- and tell everyone that I have a book coming out with Nimbus in October and that I'm telling stories about rural Nova Scotia that deserve to be shared -- not just stories about me but stories about the people who live here in Cumberland County. I wanted to say that getting published with a regional publisher was my Plan B, was my stepping stone to getting my memoir published with a Big Publisher.
But as I stood in that crowd at the Maritime Museum in downtown Halifax, as I stood there between my editor and the art director, both of whom are going to make my book the best it can be, I realized that maybe my Plan B is really my Plan A.
That maybe this was the plan all along.
And maybe next year, that's the story I'll tell when I'm the first-time author standing up there giving a three-minute speech on why we need our Nova Scotia book publishers.

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