It all began last summer at the St. Albert & District Outdoor Farmers’ Market. Although I have enjoyed strolling about the scenic Perron District in the heart of this beautiful city for over 30 years, June 16, 2012, marked my initial venture as an author to promote the first book of my Understanding Ursula trilogy, Arriving: 1909-1919.
As Market Manager Debbie Grant had indicated, people came in droves to attend the largest outdoor farmers’ market in Western Canada. They arrived from all Prairie Provinces, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and even the Maritimes. When I chatted with a couple from Portugal, who were delighted to purchase a Canadian historical novel, I realized that the market was a family event for visitors from all parts of the world.
Over the next three months, I juggled my days at the market with several book tours to Saskatchewan. Then, on October 6, the last market of 2012, a gentleman from Calgary shared how he had purchased Arriving in St. Albert in July and then, after checking the schedule on my website, had returned to buy Thriving:1920 -1939. His comment, “You know, we read in this province too!” spurred me to reflect seriously on my touring schedule for 2013.
Subsequently, at the beginning of April, naively considering that winter was over, I embarked upon the first of my Alberta tours to Calgary, Lethbridge, and Medicine Hat. During the past three months, I have also travelled to Red Deer, Grande Prairie, Lloydminster, Athabasca, and Spruce Grove, and I have a trip to Jasper planned for August.
No matter how far I travel, or to what city, I marvel at how the spirit of cooperation so well-known among our Canadian pioneers still exists today. Thank you, Rob, for carrying all my books into the Penny Coffee House in Lethbridge before treating me to a delicious latte. My sincere gratitude to the two fine young men in Grande Prairie, who assembled and dismantled my tent with ease, and to Vivian and Bobby-Jo in Lloydminster and Grande Prairie, respectively, for providing nourishment and beverages during my author signings in Coles.
My Calgary reader was right, and I have enjoyed record signing number in every bookstore. To my surprise, two individuals pre-purchased Choosing: 1940-1989 prior to reading the first two books of the trilogy. Dorothy’s email dated June 10, 2013, is an example of the incredible responses I’ve received: “I met you at the Coles book signing in Medicine Hat where I purchased Arriving and then I had to get Thriving as soon as I was done. I can hardly wait until September for Choosing; I’m so anxious to see what happens to the family. Thank you for the thrilling trilogy. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a book that I couldn’t put down, and you’re provided me with two.”
Thank you to all my avid readers in Alberta, and wherever else you may be.