|Ghost Most Foul|
|Autumn, One Spring|
|© Patti Grayson|
I appreciate your interest in my writing and would like to hear from you.
For me, the writing life is the perfect mix of two opposite worlds. For months (years), I sit alone in my cramped office space trying to urge words to scintillate on a page. The creative process becomes a feverish, all-consuming and solitary play-date. Then, the book is launched and a flurry of readings, signings and interviews commence, which is a great balm for the ague of solitude. But the most rewarding part is hearing directly from readers who have made a connection and enjoyed the work. For this, I am most grateful.
Here are some highlights and event updates from my recent writing life.
I feel guilty about long gaps.
But sometimes borderless space and emptied hours are required to combat the tyranny of the blank page: a need to stare into the void so that creative replenishment can begin. I am back at it, writing a manuscript that I refer to as a dual-perspective novel (and categorize as an adult work). Time will tell.
In celebration of the MYRCA nomination for Ghost Most Foul , I spent the early months of this year visiting schools to read from the novel and chat with students. Hands down, this is the most rewarding part of being an author! Students’ questions and insights never fail to amaze and inspire me. I want to acknowledge the welcomes (and gifts) I received from the children, and thank their teachers and librarians for making the necessary arrangements at the following Winnipeg and Selkirk area schools:
Henry G. Izatt Middle School
East Selkirk Middle School
Linden Meadows School* (Photo above: A basketball thank-you from MYRCA club students)
St. Gerard School
St. John’s-Ravenscourt School
Daerwood School** (Photo above: I was also invited to a post-visit basketball game organized for their MYRCA club)
This was my first time attending the Manitoba School Library Association's SAGE event as an author vendor, and it was great to chat with the numerous librarians in attendance, as well as other authors and publishing specialists. I was thrilled to hear that students were reading and enjoying Ghost Most Foul. Copies of the book were won by Saint John's-Ravenscourt School and Henry G. Izatt Middle School. (Thanks to my publisher, Coteau Books, for providing the copies for the draw). I look forward to the possibility of visiting these and a variety of other Manitoba schools in the coming months.
Much to my delight, Ghost Most Foul is a nominee for a 2017 MYRCA Award (Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award). The idea of connecting with a wider readership of Manitoba students is very exciting for me. (A reminder...if you would like to book a school visit, please contact me through email on this site).
I am honoured to have Ghost Most Foul nominated for the McNally Robinson Books for Young People Awards (Older Category). Looking forward to the Manitoba Book Awards Gala at which the winners will be announced. It is always a wonderful event celebrating our vibrant writing and publishing community.
'I Love to Read Month' was always a stand-out month while I worked as a school librarian. This year, I changed hats and visited schools as a guest author. I was delighted to be invited to Lockport Junior High and East Selkirk Middle School, where I read from Ghost Most Foul, answered numerous questions, and conducted a mini writing workshop with some grade six classes. If you are a teacher or librarian interested in having an author visit your school, please email me through this site.
A grand turn-out of friends, co-workers and family! Cookies decorated like basketballs! A wonderful introduction and hosting from McNally Robinson Booksellers! Ingredients for a wonderful launch of Ghost Most Foul. I thoroughly enjoyed reading from the novel that evening!
Authors for Indies Day is a national initiative in support of independent booksellers across the country. In Manitoba, we are blessed to have several of these wonderful book stores. To show my appreciation, I will be at McNally Robinson on Saturday, May 2nd from 4 to 5 pm on the main floor, chatting with customers and sharing some of my favourite reads. Please come out and join me and other Manitoba writers who will also be celebrating the day.
Announcing the completion and upcoming launch of my new Juvenile Fiction novel, Ghost Most Foul. The book will be launched on Monday, May 25, 2015 at McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg, 7:00 p.m. in the Atrium. I am certainly eager to share it, and look forward to the event.
Recently, I completed the first round of editing on my novel for younger teens, Ghost Most Foul, which is forthcoming from Coteau Books in Spring 2015. It's been a great experience so far and I look forward to the work and the fun ahead as the manuscript evolves into a book. I will be updating here as the process rolls along, and I look forward to reconnecting with my present readership as well as a set of new younger readers.
More than a year ago, S. Fischer Verlag publishers purchased rights to my novel Autumn, One Spring. It has been a time of anticipation as I awaited the translation and publication of the book in Germany. The time has arrived. The book, entitled Hochzeit mit Elch is scheduled to be released under their Krüger imprint in August of this year!
Fellow Turnstone author, Dora Dueck, and I will be in Gimli, Manitoba on Thursday, October 17th to take part in a Manitoba Writers' Guild 'In Dialogue' Reading Series, as part of Manitoba Showcase Contact 2013 (the Manitoba Arts Network's annual conference). We will be joined that evening by artists in other disciplines as part of the opening night reception from 7 to 10 p.m. at the New Iceland Heritage Museum. The event is open to the public so I hope you can join us there!
Check out the current dynamic and colourful winter issue #254 of The Fiddlehead, Atlantic Canada's International Literary Journal. I am thrilled that my short story, Exhibit (a tale of art and passion) has been included in this respected New Brunswick publication.
Signing at Chapters in Winnipeg. If you're out and about this Saturday, November 10th, why not stop by Chapters, Polo Park for a visit? I will be signing my novel, Autumn, One Spring, between 12 noon and 3 p.m. Last year, I met numerous avid readers at my Chapters signing, and I was invited to a few of their Book Clubs as a guest author. Double the fun!
The thought of another Canadian independent bookstore closing its doors really saddens me. I remain 'old-fashioned' in that I love the feel of an actual paper and print book in my hand, and I am loyal to the independent bookstores in several communities around me. Independent booksellers offer us more than just bookshelves of appealing books. They contribute their expertise and passion, as well as envelop and nurture communities of readers and writers. So, when I heard that The Toronto Women's Bookstore was closing its doors and that poet Tanis MacDonald was not just planning an event to celebrate the TWB, but was also inviting local poet, Ariel Gordon, to host a satellite/sympathy event in Winnipeg, I jumped at the chance to contribute in some small way. I will be, along with numerous other Manitoba writers, reading from my work at beloved McNally Robinson Booksellers, Tuesday, October 30th, 7 p.m. For more details, please check out the link and consider joining us. Not from the Winnipeg area? Please go out and buy a book at your local independent bookstore and take a minute to be grateful that it remains a possibility for you . . .
A big thanks to the many people who stopped by my publisher's booth (Turnstone Press) at the Scattered Seeds annual holiday craft sale at Assinniboia Downs. I spent several hours signing books and visiting with book lovers who stopped by to see the varied, but all-Manitoban titles. I thoroughly enjoyed my two days at the event.
Well, the debating is done and the voting is complete, and although Autumn, One Spring is not the winner of this year's Manitoba Reads, the book had a great wave of support and was a close runner-up. I so appreciate all those who took the time to vote both over the summer and for the final decision. Rosanna Deerchild did a terrific job advocating for the novel and it was my pleasure to meet her at the opening night of Thin Air (the Winnipeg International Writers Festival). Thanks to festival organizers, as well as CBC Radio, McNally Robinson, and my publisher, Turnstone Press.
One of the best things about Manitoba Reads? The itch I now have to read my fellow authors' books.
With a lot of voting support Autumn, One Spring has made the Manitoba Reads Short List for 2012!
Along with the scorching summer heat has come some good news for Autumn. Autumn, One Spring has made the Manitoba Reads Long List for 2012. A public vote will decide the Short List of 4 titles, which will then be debated at the Winnipeg International Writers Festival this September. Some of that debate will air on CBC Radio and then the public will have another wave of voting to select the winner. A wonderful way of celebrating Manitoba books and authors! Here's the link if you would like to check out the site and vote.
Doodles, Dog Walks and Drains: Desperately Seeking Inspiration. The Writer's Collective and the Millennium Library are hosting this '100 Minutes with an Author' event Thursday, April 19th, 7:00 p.m., Carol Shields Auditorium, Winnipeg Millennium Library. I will be discussing various aspects of my writing life, including the elusive nature of inspiration as it applies to my work. The event is free with no registration required. I hope you can join me.
I will be conducting a Short Story Blue Pencil Session for the Manitoba Writers' Guild on Saturday, March 3, 2012, in Winnipeg. Participants will be sharing their own work as well as doing a little 'Circuit Training for the Scene'. If you are interested in this or any Blue Pencil Sessions, you can contact the Manitoba Writers' Guild (see my links).