Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Goin' West

Dear Friends,

I am off very soon for Vancouver's Jewish Book Festival and am very excited about participating, not to mention re-visiting this beautiful part of my adopted home country.

On Monday November 24th at 7 p.m., I'll be reading from and chatting about The White Space Between in a Writer's Share event with the Oregon-based author Rob Freedman. I expect we will complement one another very well! Then, after a wake-up-at-dawn call on Tuesday morning, I'll be talking with students and teachers from King David High School about my novel, sharing excerpts, and discussing the importance of a continuing commitment to Holocaust Remembrance. My final event is Wednesday evening at 7 p.m., a reading, panel, and Q & A with the compelling author, Edeet Ravel, "Untold Stories," moderated by poet and UBC professor Rhea Tregebov. I am looking forward to meeting Edeet, as I am a fan of her work, and I've just discovered that we have some friends in common!

Back here on home turf, I kicked off my week with a great visit as guest author at Champlain College on Monday, thanks to the hospitality of literature teacher, Maureen Newman. It was an invigorating afternoon, what with talking about the writer's life (debunking all those pesky myths about instant or eventual fame and fortune!)reading from my work, answering great questions, and jump-starting the kids on some creative writing of their own with my favorite narrative calisthenics. Though some were shy at first,virtually everyone was writing up a storm and even reading and sharing their pieces to much laughter and enthusiasm. A great time for all, not to mention a learning experience on both sides.

When I return from B.C., I am sure I will have much news to share. And if you are a local, look for me at the CSL library on December 4th at 7 for a reading, talk, and Q&A. Hope to see you there...or perhaps even in B.C.

Oh, btw, in a day or two, my new website will go live. Finalmente! So check it out. Reviews are posted, as well as appearances, and lots of inside information on my inspiration and necessary (perspiration) in creating my books.

Stay strong!
Stay well....


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

No Such Thing as a Free Launch! Or Notes & Images from my Book Tour

Dear Friends,

I am catching my breath back in my Montreal 'hood, home to celebrate our youngest child Rosamond's b-day with some eight little girls for a sleepover this Friday night, followed by a pot-luck dinner and movie night on Saturday eve for our teen son Tobias, which leaves Sunday, bloody Sunday, for Michael and I, two weary, geriatric parents to renew, regroup, and recover.

I've had great visits so far to Quebec City (Champlain St. Lawrence College and Maison Anglaise Librairie ), as well as Toronto (The Jewish Book Fair and Holocaust Education Week) and will leave soon for Vancouver's Jewish Book Festival for events with Robert Freedman, Edeet Ravel, and King David High School. I'm psyched! I have not been to Vancouver since I was 16 yrs old (a few yrs ago) and took up the rear on an expert level Canadian Rockies Hiking and Biking Adventure. I remember the landscape as paradisally beautiful and I am thrilled to be returning to this special part of the world.

Back to reality.
To read my responses to Toronto's Open Book 10 questions on The White Space Between, which includes thoughts on my inspirations, writing habits, and work in process, take a look at:

Up in Quebec City, I enjoyed giving a talk to students from Champlain St. Lawrence College. Their excellent questions stimulated plenty of lively discussion. Heather, at Maison Anglaise Librarie, was kind enough to come with plenty of stock of The White Space Between and Bloodknots.

I had a long chat with journalist Scott French from The Chronicle Telegraph about why and how I wrote my novel. He interviewed English teacher Bob McBryde, my host, and a number of students, posing the controversial question of whether the Holocaust will soon be effaced from collective memory. The students' responses are both disturbing and enlightening, underlining the need for a commitment to Holocaust Remembrance and a willingness to see that not only can an atrocity like this happen again, atrocities like this are happening now. What are we going to do about it?

Please see left for an excerpt from the review that just appeared in The Montreal Review of Books.

In Toronto, I read and spoke on a stimulating panel with three other authors on the topic: Women Writing the Holocaust to explore the question of what particular perspective we, as women, bring to this dark chapter of history. Emma Rodgers of my publisher, Second Story Press, took the photos and The Canadian Jewish News did a cover piece with a short bit from each of us on the panel.
After perusing this post, any empathetic and sympathetic techie who has time to give me a lesson in posting article excerpt and photos, please come forward! I need you!
Behind the scenes confession: I spent about two exhausting hours trying to get this stuff up here in the right sequence. I did my best...for now. Where there is life, there's hope.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Grande Celebration

On Thursday, October 23rd, some 65 fellow authors, friends, and family gathered at Paragraphe Bookstore in Montreal to celebrate the lancement of The White Space Between. It was a wonderful evening for all.

I signed copies, schmoozed, and caught up with everyone before soon heading off to Quebec City for a college lecture and signing with Maison Anglaise. I am leaving tomorrow for Toronto and the Jewish Book Fair and Holocaust Education Week, where with three other authors, we will be discussing Women Writing the Holocaust. Then it's on to the Jewish Book Festival in Vancouver.

A whirlwind, but hey, I'm not complaining!

Do check out some of the photos taken at the launch by my husband Michael Atkin. Enjoy!