So I don't know if you guys know this, but a week after BEA, we Canadians have our equivalent, called . . . wait for it . . . the BE . . . C.
And as such I thought I would tell you a bit about my weekend!
I get a call from the lovely Lesley, saying she had acquired two tickets to the Stephen King honouring him thingy and asked if I would like to join her. I of course said yes. You see Stephen King has never been to Canada before, and they were giving him an award because . . . well because he is awesome. Now of course I had already seen him once before, at that Harry, Carrie and Garp event at Radio City Music Hall, but in this case Lesley and I were sitting in the media seats. Which meant, centre row J. And I was wearing a bright orange top. So I am sure he saw me and was utterly mesmerised. Or slightly blinded. Or didn't see me at all and that is just my wishful thinking going again.
It was very fun. He was introduced by Margaret Atwood and Clive Barker, and interviewed by author and columnist Chuck Klosterman, and the whole thing was MC'd by the Canadian tv host who will always be famous for his last name, no matter what else he accomplishes, George Stroumboulopoulos. Everyone was rather funny, especially the King himself, and I always do think if people are funny, the evening has been wildly successful. I did actually go up to Klosterman afterwards to congratulate him on a job well done. I did it in a way that a 12 year old might. "Hi! I just wanted to say I thought you did a good job!" "Thank you, and what's your name?" "Adrienne." That is actually verbatim what happened. No mention that I too was an author. No witty retort. And hands slightly damp because I had just washed them in the washroom. Le sigh.
Then Lesley and I and our hosts for the evening, Mark and Bruce, went to the Penguin party, which was at an old legion hall and reminded me of the parties LAMDA used to have in London. And then we went home
At around 6pm there was a big party for the Children's book community to which my lovely editor, Diane Kerner, at Scholastic had invited me. I was quite nervous as the invitation specified that you weren't allowed to bring a guest with you, and so I didn't have the lovely Lesley to keep me, you know, sane.
The party was on the second floor of a restaurant, and packed right away. I thought my attempt at being fashionably late, ie a whole ten minutes after six, would still make me the first one there, yet when I showed up I had to queue up the stairs to get in.
Terrified, and feeling a bit like an idiot surrounded by all these people going up to say hi to each other, I did what any normal person does in this situation. Made for the bar.
With glass of wine firmly in hand, I stood looking a bit like a lost puppy. How adorable. The only face I recognised was Sean Cullen, who is a famous actor/comedian/and now children's book author here in Canada, and I thought that that might be silly to approach him. A bit like going up to Uma Thurman or someone and saying, "Hey can I hang out with you a bit since I recognise you?" Eventually I noticed a similarly lost soul standing next to me, and so I asked him if we could chat.
It turns out he produces music and songs for kids, and I thought that was really cool. We had a nice discussion about his process, and then the party was just so filling up and I really thought I should find Diane. So I excused myself and went over to the entrance, where I found a girl wearing a Scholastic sticker, Carrie I believe. And she kindly escorted me right back to where I had been standing. Because of course Diane had been in front of me the whole time.
The rest of the night I chatted with the Scholastic folks. I suck at names, so I can't remember them all, but let me tell you, they were just totally awesome. I had such a fun relaxed time, and we just talked about all sorts. I love my publishers.
And then eventually, I went home.
Weirdest day ever.
I went to the BEC and this time I was determined to actually collect some ARCs! And by golly I did! And they were very heavy. But fortunately the kind Scholastic folks let me keep my bag with them. Basically there isn't too much to tell about the BEC. Very similar to BEA, a little smaller, but in that way more manageable. I passed the hour long queue for Vincent Lam, and so did not get to say hi (though was awfully tempted to lean over a tell one of the people in the line, "You know he and I are being published by the same house in the states! And we met and everything!" But I thought that would be, you know, obnoxious.)
I did run into an old professor of mine who was signing books. Well actually he was having a heated discussion with two teachers about the Iraq war, and had run out of books, but I still had to introduce myself. His name is George Elliot Clarke, and he taught me Canadian Drama. While I was in his class, he won the Governor General's Award for poetry, and so we had a substitute while he went off to meet "the Queen of Canada" as he put it. He is so lovely, and so energetic, and it was so cool to see him again!
And then . . . then I left. And did a really weird thing. A photo shoot.
You see a few weeks back I got an email from a friend of a friend of a friend who was looking for models for a photo shoot to expand his own photography portfolio. And because the theme was a 1950's picnic, and 'cause I really haven't modeled much (not that that is something I've really wanted to pursue), I thought, eh why not? And so I did. There were three models and three photographers, and a makeup artist and this other girl who was helping organize the whole thing. And we went over to the island to take pictures.
I don't know if you know this, but Toronto is on Lake Ontario, and just a couple of miles out, so that you can easily see them from shore, are a few islands that are still part of the city. People live there, I mean you can't have a car, so it is very hippy like, and there is a small amusement park. It's really lovely, very naturey, and I must go out there more.
It was a fun day, and I really liked them all. Here is one of the pictures, which I just like 'cause it's from a cool point of view, even though you can't really see our faces. I'm in white, and the other model Elaine is the one in red.
And then I went to Lesley's to watch her boyfriend John's award show. That is hard to say. I'll try better. John works for the channel Space, which is a sci-fi station here in Canada. Every year they have an awards show, The Spaceys, for which he is one of three hosts. It isn't like the Oscars, that is done live, but rather filmed ahead of time and edited together and they go and give the awards to the people wherever they are. This year Kevin Spacey won for best villain (Lex Luther), and that was neat cause, well, you know . . . his last name is the name of the award and everything.
And then, as ever, I went home.
So yes, that was my weekend. I hope you enjoyed the tale! Possibly it will become a story to be passed down through the generations.
The contest to win and ARC of Alex and the Ironic Gentleman is still going strong! Remember I am choosing the winner for Thursday, so I guess you still have till Wednesday night! Keep 'em coming people!