But the best part was meeting people. I met readers who were smart, adorable, warm, and SMART. I met authors who were incredibly supportive. Canadian children's/YA authors really come out to support their own, man. Among the authors to stop by were Mahtab Narsimhan, Adrienne Kress, Helene Boudreau, Bev Katz Rosenbaum, Cheryl Rainfield, and Debbie Ridpath Ohi just to name a few. Both signings had a strong show of support from the local talent. Of course, my fellow Debs were a wealth of information as usual (you ROCK, Megan!!), and I felt like I'd known them all forever -- even the ones I met for the first time. In fact, Rhonda Stapleton has a great, fun post on the signing up on her blog. It wasn't until I was reading her post that I realized I never had a butter tart!! That's a butter tart in the pic, above. It is making my mouth water RIGHT. NOW. If anyone is coming down from Toronto, please bring me some butter tarts.
The only two things I wanted to make sure I did: 1) eat Sri Lankan food, and 2) eat a couple boxes of butter tarts, and I didn't get to do either. Though I have noticed that most of my "must do" lists begin with the word "eat..."
My best friend from high school came to the second signing at the Eaton Centre, and a close friend from third grade showed up at the first signing. Both a total surprise! I had a lovely sit-down with two college friends who've done some pretty amazing, socially conscious film work since we all graduated from film school--one is a producer of documentaries and commercials, and the other does camera work for documentaries around the world (I'm so proud of you guys!). My kid brother came and hung out with me, which was SO fun (wish I could've spent more time with you, D!). And I have to give a shoutout to the reader who told me, "I checked your book out at the library, read it, then RAN to buy it from the store..." You totally made my night, Li!
The Indigo/Chapters staff was amazing, attentive, and so behind us every step of the way at both Yorkdale and the Eaton Centre. My Canadian publicist, Larissa, came to Yorkdale, "flapped" the books (which, I learned, is when you put the cover flap over the first few pages of a book so that it opens to the signing page--a small thing, but it makes a huge difference when you're signing many books), and hung out for the whole signing. We chatted about "vacationing" in remote locations and why this seems to be popular with some husbands. Larissa has been a total dream in this whole process. I also got to meet the rest of the S&S publicity folks this time around, and they are a slick, efficient, attractive bunch (just ask my kid brother who wasted no time chatting up one of the pretty associates), not to mention they are all super nice.
In between the two signings, I had a three-hour lunch with my new agent -- who is smart, gorgeous, savvy, and way taller than she looks in her Facebook picture. Her feedback on my manuscript was completely on the mark. I'm excited about our partnership, and looking forward what we can accomplish together as a team.
I missed my kids and Hollis terribly, and am completely exhausted, but it was, overall, a very productive, exciting, fun trip. Now, I dive head-first into revisions and don't come up for air for another couple of weeks!