Monday, July 28, 2014

Keep Smiling and Be Prepared

Author Eric E. Wright & I shared a table at Word Northumberland in 2013.

Sometimes, in spite of doing everything right — having a well-thought out and attractive display, using clear signage and balloons to draw attention, having bookmarks printed with all your covers and contact information —  your sales at the local art festival are dismal. Almost non-existent, in fact.

If the public doesn't come, nothing works.

This is what happened a couple of Fridays ago. It didn't just happen to me; none of the other artists did well. The riverfront venue was perfect, the day full of warm sunshine and cool breezes. But the people preferred the carnival atmosphere and they stayed on the main street with the food vendors, the musical acts, the racks of bright summer togs, and the guy making balloon animals.

Thankfully, experience has taught me to be prepared for such occasions and I had taken along two pieces of writing to work on, printing them off the computer the day before so that I could read them over and make revisions by hand. The organizers of the art festival had suggested we artists be demonstrating our craft for the public, and as it happened I had five long hours to do just that.

So, it wasn't a total bust. I did meet several interesting people, and I made good headway on editing two manuscripts.

Write on!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Radio Interview

Recently I was interviewed about my writing for the radio show The Word on the Hills on Northumberland 89.7 FM.

Here is the link where you can hear me chatting with Felicity Sidnell-Reid and Gwynn Scheltema, co-hosts of the program.

The interview is in two parts, each lasting about 10 minutes. They conclude with a short reading from Mary Pickford and Growing Up Ivy,  two of my books.

In the first section we talk about the benefits of belonging to writers' organizations, my love of researching the subjects for the biographies, and what influences my writing choices.

Part 2 deals with writing for children and the place reading had in my early years. Doesn't everyone love to talk about their favourite books? It's surprising how many of us writers were influenced by the same great books.