With OWCC Program Chair Ann Blair
With OWCC President Elaine Hickey
On Thursday March 24 I had the honour to address the monthly meeting of the Ottawa Women’s Canadian Club at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa. The club was founded in 1910 and over the century of its existence it has been addressed by prime ministers, governors-general, justices of the Supreme Court, and many other accomplished and notable visitors, including the Shah of Iran. So it was with some trepidation that I prepared my speech, the theme for which was “Becoming a Writer: My Long and Winding Journey,” and stood to deliver it.
It was a winding journey for everyone in Ottawa that day, as the city was hit by a late winter storm, but we had a large turnout for the event. The audience was welcoming, kind, and receptive, and I enjoyed interacting with them in the Q&A session following the speech. At the conclusion of the discussion, the club graciously presented me with a copy of the history of the OWCC, which I will cherish, and made a generous contribution to Wounded Warriors of Canada on my behalf.
Many thanks to the OWCC, especially to Program Chair Ann Blair, President Elaine Hickey, board members Connie Gowling and Mary Townson, and everyone else who made me welcome, even staffing the book table and selling books. I was very pleased that my friends Lorna Clark and Brenda Fawcett were able to attend the event, particularly given the weather.
Later that day, I had a fantastic meeting with a local book club, facilitated by member Cathy Wiley. Thanks to Cathy and to all the members who braved the snow and contributed to an enjoyable discussion on A Person of Letters. It warms the cockles of this author’s heart to meet such avid readers and to discuss their impressions of the book and their take on the characters who sprung from his imagination.
Photos by Ottawa Womens Canadian Club, with the exception of the Chateau Laurier photo by StupendousMan 2008 (Own work, Creative Commons CC BY 3.0).
On March 24th I will be speaking at the monthly meeting of the Ottawa Women’s Canadian Club at Ottawa’s Chateau Laurier.
The OWCC is a century-old service organization dedicated to public service, culture, and international understanding. Every month it hosts a luncheon and invites a speaker to address its members on a topical issue. I’m honoured to be included on this spring’s program, which includes distinguished Canadians such as journalist Rosemary Thompson, former Senator Sharon Carstairs, and former RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli. I will be speaking about writing and publishing in the digital age and reflecting on my own influences and experience as a writer.
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I’m pleased to report that my novel, A Person of Letters, is now available at Ben McNally Books on Bay Street in Toronto. This is a homecoming of sorts for Person’s narrator, a designer of financial derivatives who once worked on Bay Street. Appropriately, his homecoming coincides with the opening today of The Big Short, an excellent movie adapted from an excellent book about the near collapse of the global economy – primarily because of gonzo financial innovations like the derivatives Person used to think up.
Ben McNally Books is Toronto’s literary hotspot, a booklover’s delight, a bastion of books amid the downtown towers. Go in and browse – you’ll enjoy the experience. (I certainly enjoy seeing APOL on its shelves!)
Many readers of APOL have provided generous feedback on the book (thank you!) and asked how they can help raise its profile. My reply is – tell a friend. That’s the single best thing you can do. There are more things too, if you’re so inclined. Post a review on Amazon, Goodreads, your blog, or elsewhere. Ask for it at your local library. Ask for it at your favourite bookstore. Suggest it to your book club. Follow my Facebook Author Page. Share links. All of these actions, all of your word of mouth efforts, are greatly appreciated!
Merry Christmas to all, and thank you for your support in 2015. All the best in the New Year!
Over the last several weeks I’ve been personally delivering signed copies of A Person of Letters to people all over Toronto. Usually I do this on my bike. It’s a great form of exercise, and if I wasn’t delivering (and visiting along the way) I’d be cycling anyway on my favourite route through High Park and along Lake Ontario to the mouth of the Mimico and back.
A number of people farther afield have asked how they might get a signed copy of the book. It’s fantastic to have a personal connection with readers, wherever they may be – but I can’t cycle to Calgary or Victoria. It’s getting cold even going as far as Mimico. In a month or so I’ll need to park the bike for winter.
Today I’m pleased to let you know I’ve worked out a way, via PayPal, to get a personalized copy to those who’d like one, wherever they may be. The details of the process (it’s very simple) are posted on publisher Martin Scribler Media‘s website on this link. I particularly like this solution because it provides readers with a secure purchase option via PayPal. This is important to me, so I understand how important it is to others.
Locally, I’ll still be delivering personally. It’s not yet time to park the bike – although I’ll wait till the remnants of Hurricane Patricia pass the city before I venture out again!