Yesterday was a fine 'Day to Kill'. Capital Crime Writers and the Ottawa Public Libray teamed up for a full day of author panels and celebrity readings along with a writing workshop by Mary Jane Maffini and lots of homemade food by Margaret Dunlop. The authors worked hard to entertain while giving a glimpse into their creative processes - about 70 people dropped in to enjoy the show.
Councillor Jan Harder and head of the Ottawa Public Library Barbara Clubb opened the day and then it was the panel 'Inside the Author's Mind', moderated by the funny and punny John Holt with C.B. Forrest, Barbara Fradkin, Nadine Doolittle and me answering some zinger questions before squaring off for a debate. I had to argue the benefits of awards and competition for writers while Nadine argued against - my over-the-top defence of all-out winning garnered me the audience thumbs up, making me winner in the debate - sort of fitting if you think about it.
As for celebrity readers, Alan Neal of CBC Radio read a few passages from In Winter's Grip and did an outstanding job, right down to a Southern drawl for one of the female characters, Patricia Reynolds. I'm a huge fan of Alan and his drive home show weekdays, having followed his shows with the CBC for some time. It was quite a thrill to hear him reading the words I put to paper.
Other celebrity readers included Spencer Cawston from DAWG FM, Oni the Haitian Sensation, Jon Willing from the Ottawa Sun and MPP Yasir Naqvi - they were all great! Councillor Katherine Hobbs moderated the day with humour and she was also part of the planning committee - I can't say enough about all the good work she does.
I also received some unexpected and encouraging news about The Second Wife, which is an Orca Rapid Reads mystery for adults with literacy problems or people just looking for a quick read. The Ontario Library Association has nominated it along with seven other books for the Golden Oak award. Librarians from across the province decided on the list and now readers will get to vote on the winner in May 2012. This means lots of people will be reading the book and will be introduced to my character Gwen Lake so that's quite exciting.
Next on the horizon for me is preparing for an hour and a half workshop on November 8 for the Canadian Authors Association on my writing process and then a short story workshop for kids at the Sunnyside Branch of the Ottawa Public Library toward the end of November. Somewhere in all this, I have to finish the manuscript I'm working on. We need to lobby for more hours in the day.