Sorry about the upside down picture! Hopefully by the time you read this blog entry, I'll figure out how to turn it right-side-up!
I'm writing to you today from the Victoria Public Library (children's section, of course!), where I came to deliver MONTREAL BAGELS. I'm in Victoria and other parts of Vancouver Island for a book tour.
One of the many amazing, wonderful things about being here in BC is that I get to hang out with my many friends from Orca Book Publishers. In today's upside-down pic, I am with my friends/editors/authors Sarah Harvey (in the middle) and Robin Stevenson (in the cool hat). Sarah made me delicious breakfast this morning, and then we met up with Robin at the Cornerstone Café in Fernwood. And because I am always thinking of YOU, dear blog reader, I whipped out my notebook and asked them both a question I've been thinking a lot about lately: WHY DO WE WRITE ANYWAY?
Like me, Robin, whose latest YA novel is called The Summer We Saved the Bees, and who has two books coming out with Orca this spring (Pride: Celebrating Diversity and Community -- she's holding an advance reading copy in the pic -- and Under Threat), usually has a book in progress. When I asked her why that is, she answered, "Because reasons" -- and then she explained that this is something her 11-year-old son would say. I decided that that was a really profound answer! Robin added that, "Even if I'm ignoring it, I like having something to think about."
Sarah had a slightly different, but equally interesting answer. She told me, "I do not always have to be writing, but I always have to be reading." She speculated that because she spends so much time editing other people's writing (inclduing mine and Robin's!) that she needs occasional breaks from writing. When earlier this morning, Sarah and I stopped in at the Orca Book Publishers office, we visited with associate publisher Ruth Linka and Ruth passed on her copy of Louise Penny's latest novel, The Nature of the Beast, to Sarah. Well, Sarah was so glad to get the book that she clutched it to her chest. Proof that she needs to read all the time -- and that books make authors happy!
Sarah's upcoming YA novel is called Spirit Level -- both Robin and I got to read early versions of the manuscript and we loved it. For Sarah, and I think it's the same for many of us in this business, writing is not only about getting words on the page. Here's how she put it. And get ready... there are hand gestures involved! "I don't think of writing as being this [Sarah tapped at an imaginary keyboard]; I think of it as being this [Sarah tapped at the side of her head.]" ALL THIS TO SAY... I thought this was a wonderful conversation, and I hope you've enjoyed it too. Here's to tapping at keyboards and tapping into the imagination -- and to great conversations with good friends!