Hi there! I'm writing to you from the lobby of my hotel in Toronto. I'm just back from my little talk at the Ontario Library Association. I was one of 20 children's authors invited to speak about our work. I talked about my latest book What World Is Left -- and I have to admit I got a little choked up telling the story behind the story, how the book is based on my mum's experience in a Nazi concentration camp and how her father kept his family alive by making propaganda drawings for the Nazis.
I've also been comparing notes with other children's writers, which means that in the next few blog entries, I'll be able to tell you a little about what I've learned from them. Last night, I had dinner with two friends from Orca Book Publishers (Dayle Sutherland and Leslir Bootle) and with another Orca author also here from Montreal, Raquel Rivera. You may have heard of Raquel, whose book Orphan Ahwak recently won the Quebec Writer's Federation Prize for Children's and YA Literature. Though I've met Raquel before, this was the first time we really had a chance to talk. I read and greatly enjoyed another one of Raquel's books, Tuk and the Whale. This story is set on Baffin Island, which Raquel visited in 2001. Tuk and the Whale tells the story of an Inuit boy who encounters a European whaler. Because Raquel has two small children, she really needs to carve out her writing time. She told me that her best writing time is usually in the morning. When she can, she goes to the Premier Moisson on Ontario St. E., and settles in for a couple of hours of writing. I asked Raquel what advice she had for aspiring writers and here's what she told me: "Only write what you're really interested in. Don't worry about publishing. That's way way later." So on this grey Friday afternoon in Toronto, here's what I wish for you: that you have something to write about that you're really really interested in. (And that one day, you get it published!) Have a great weekend. Look for another blog entry from me on Monday....
Hey, I'm including a photo from our dinner. Just so you know who's who: Raquel Rivera has dark hair and wears glasses. I'm next to her. Dayle is across from me in the white blouse and red sweater, and Leslie is next to Dayle. We're toasting friendship and creativity -- and books!
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I wholeheartedly agree with Raquel Rivera's statement. If you are truly interested in the subject , you convey that same passion through your writing. As a reader , you can feel the euthusiasm and love the author has for the subject matter. And its always a good idea to write down your ideas on paper as it allows other people to enjoy it as well.
I hope you enjoyed your trip and I`m looking forward for your next entry;
I get so excited when I see that one of my students (especially one who is new this term) has posted a comment on my blog. Glad to know you were inspired by Raquel's comment. See you soon! Enjoy the last bit of weekend!
I just read What World Is Left and I thought it was a great story to tell. I'm glad you got your mother to tell her holocaust story and that you got to share it with the world.
I'm delighted that you read the book. Of all the books I've written, this one is closest to my heart. See you at 8:15 tomorr-y!!