During my first appearance at the St. Albert Farmers Market, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of readers who came by to express their comments about Arriving: 1909–1919. With each subsequent Saturday, still more of you stopped to share your enjoyment of my first novel and I became increasingly delighted with your words of praise.
Nonetheless, I was convinced it was a local occurrence until this past Sunday when I attended The Word on the Street book and magazine festival in Saskatoon. I had scarcely set up my table when a senior arrived and introduced herself as Shirley’s mother, the woman who owns the Patrick Place Bed and Breakfast where I stay when in Yorkton.
Shortly after, Lisa came to visit, reminding me that she had attended my reading and signing at the Lloydminster Public Library. Still later, Judy appeared wanting to purchase six copies of Thriving: 1920–1939 for the Chinook Regional Library. We had met during my evening with the Swift Current Public Library Book Club, and when she had read I was on the program in Saskatoon, she made the trip at the request of the library members.
My astonishment was complete when I stopped at the Fort Battleford National Historic Site on my way home. When I introduced myself to Jeff, the Canada Parks Supervisor, he expressed that he had won a copy of Arriving, but was only now reading it because his mother had absconded with his book the minute it had come in the mail.
Recently a gentleman said that he would “soon need to write a story about the people reading my story.” I believe he makes an excellent point; one of my most exciting experiences as an author is meeting a host of endearing individuals. It now takes me twice as long to travel across the prairies because I must stop in so many places to visit new friends.
Arriving has now travelled from coast to coast in Canada. During one of the Saturday markets, a woman from Pender Island, British Columbia, purchased her copy before returning home. And at the Sturgeon Hospital, another bought her brother’s Christmas present early to ensure that he would receive it on time in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
I have also sent copies of my first novel to Indianapolis, New York, Oregon, California, and Texas. The hostess of the Lemon Tree Bed and Breakfast in Saskatoon sold a book to a woman journeying back to England, and I recently signed a copy for a couple visiting from Portugal.
It is indeed a small world; I graciously thank all my readers wherever you are for choosing to read book one of my Understanding Ursula trilogy. May you decide to continue on with book two. For those within distance, please join me at one of the three launches of Thriving: 1920–1939 in St. Albert on September 30, in Saskatoon on October 20, or in Winnipeg on October 27.