I had the pleasure of attending the launch of Best Friends Through Eternity with Erin and Gabrielle this afternoon. We arrived early and enjoyed a chat with the author and had the chance to browse through some of her 33 novels. The girls were excited with their autographed copies!
This Burlington author, educator, journalist and activist for literacy utilizes many local settings in her writing including the Hamilton and Burlington area. She shared with the girls how one of her novels, Last Chance for Paris has a cover photo, taken by her husband, which includes her daughter who has a strawberry tattoo on her calf. She talked about previous books and I also purchased Dog on Trial for Brendan – it sounds like this is a hilarious tale of a bad dog!
McNicol was applauded by a room full of excited readers and other writers, including Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, a Brantford author that Erin and I enjoy. It was interesting to hear about the long process of finalizing the cover for this new book. She shared some of the rejected ideas and the importance of getting it right since she indicated that many school boards and award lists tend to veto a book based on the cover – how sad is this since we teach kids to never judge a book by its cover! She gave credit to Rachel Cooper for the inviting cover which had a very nice, almost sandy feel.
The audience was treated to three separate readings from the book giving us a taste of what we had to look forward to. She thanked Beena Patel, who she interviewed to learn more about Indian culture, and the group chuckled as the author removed clothing, down to her jeggings and top, for a demonstration of donning a beautiful, colourful sari. Patel also catered a selection of Indian foods which we enjoyed tasting.
McNicoll talked about the theme of the book being living in two different worlds and touched on her experience growing up in Ontario and feeling like a visible minority relating to her German heritage. After reading a selection from near the end of the book, she related this scene of the accident as “what it is like to be a writer”.
Even though I am in the midst of another novel, I will take advantage of a cold night, and try and finish this book before Erin starts. Stay tuned for a review.
Here is a link to Sylvia McNicoll’s blog – scroll down to see us in the audience (the girls were reading already)!!