Monthly Archives: May 2013

First day in Toronto – more book tour info

I’m an early riser.

I sometimes blame it on the three paper routes I had when I was a kid. I blame it on having to get up at five in the morning to deliver the Toronto Star – (in Capreol).

Other times I just figure I’m weird.

So – it wasn’t any surprise that I woke up Saturday morning – my first full day in Toronto – at about five in the morning. I didn’t intend to eat in the hotel. The restaurant here is WAY too expensive.

So I set out to check out a little eatery I saw that advertised a 24 hour breakfast.

At 7:30am I arrived at the Sunset Grill on the corner of Yonge Street and Richmond where I ate lightly. I had a fried egg sandwich accompanied by two sticks of carrot and two sticks of cucumber – each large enough to masquerade as a modest-sized nightstick.

The veggies were accompanied by a dish of ranch dip which I manfully spurned. Sometimes a fellow has to exercise a little willpower.

The egg was dry and I don’t believe I’ll eat there again – but a fellow has to start somewhere.

I made my way down Yonge Street until I came to Queen. Then I journeyed down Queen and eventually made my way to the Moonbeam Coffee Company (30 St. Andrew) – where I had a GREAT cup of dark coffee along with a cold portable chunk of bread pudding crammed with coconut and chocolate chips.

Coconut, coffee and chocolate chips.

This stuff doesn’t grow on trees, you know.

I made my way through Kensington and scoped out a few more places to eat and then made my way to TYPE BOOKS – (883 Queen St. W) – where, on Monday, I will be telling to a class of young students – and signing a few books.

In the evening I was surprised to find out that my brother Dan and his family had driven down from Capreol to visit for the weekend – and he was actually staying at the same hotel as I am. So he took me out to the Old Spaghetti Factory and then we made our way to the movie theatre to watch Iron Man 3 -which would have been better if Robert Downey could have stayed in his costume for longer than about ten percent of the movie.

Time for bed. Talk to you later.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

 

 

Thunder Bay Tardis…

Hey folks.

Sorry I’ve been tardy in keeping up my book tour blog.

Hmm…funny how that word tardy sounds so much like Dr. Who’s travelling telephone box time machine – the TARDIS. Maybe if I could get me one of those Tardis machines I could go back in time with this blog and none of you would be any wiser.

The fact is I just couldn’t get online at all from Thunder Bay. I heard a couple of the writers mentioning that. Might be the connection at the hotel just wasn’t strong enough. Might be the Thunder Bay hotel was in its very own Tardis.

In any case – Thunder Bay was a real drive-by performance.

Let me tell you all about it.

Okay – so Thursday morning I took off by bus from Amherst. Following a three hour bus drive I arrived at the Halifax Airport where I had a good greasy Chickenburger double cheeseburger, fries and a coffee milkshake.\

Once I had achieved a proper balance of fat, grease, salt and sugar I boarded a plane for Toronto. Two hours later – in Toronto – I caught a plane to Thunder Bay and arrived at the Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel.

I had a shmooze with the participating authors and the event organizers over a couple of glasses of Sleeping Giant Amber Ale – which was particularly cool because one of the characters in the YA novel that I am working on just happens to be the Thunder Bay Sleeping Giant.

I took a few minutes to slip out to the waterfront to snap a couple of photos of the Sleeping Giant. Let me see if I’ve got one on file here.

Nope. I managed to download a few photos – but none of the Giant. I’ll post one here later.

The next morning I had an exceptionally fine breakfast of ham and eggs and was driven to the auditorium for the big event.

Let me give you an idea of the crowd I was performing before.\

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They tell me that there was about three thousand kids there that day – and I had about fifteen minutes or so. I gave them a bit of background info about who I was and then nailed them with a thunderous over-the-top rendition of my “Tale of the Phantom Oarsman”.

Well maybe not thunderous, but I don’t recollect hearing anyone snoring.

I spent about an hour and half in the hot sun at a signing table and signed about one thousand autographs.

No – I am NOT exagerating on the number. The kids kept coming and coming and coming.

Along the way I met some very important people.

Like – Zeus the Moose.

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And – believe it or not – I got to meet Smoky the Bear.

Speaking as a fifty-four year old kid I thought it was incredibly cool to meet a fellow that I loved to watch on television. As old as that old bear was he still seemed pretty spry.

I really had a great time and met some wonderful students and I am looking forward to performing again – this time for a full hour – at the Toronto Festival this Thursday.

I’ve also got a bookstore gig – I’ll be telling stories for a class of kids at the TYPE BOOKSTORE on Queen Street West. I am REALLY looking forward to this.

I’ll throw together another blog entry tonight telling you all about my first day here in Toronto.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

May 8, 2013

A short entry for this morning.

I slept REALLY well last night. That half hour in the fitness center really made a difference.

Unfortunately, breakfast left a little to be lacking. The breakfast cook wasn’t there for the second day in a row. I gather that he had been working late – cooking for a late night function – but I’m wondering why the hotel doesn’t hire an extra cook. There were several people in the restaurant this morning asking about a hot breakfast and having to settle for the free continental. Let me tell you, Bran Flakes and a blueberry just don’t cut it when you are craving bacon and eggs.

I went out early this morning intending to take a morning photograph of the windmill farm that is rolling across the field from the hotel. It is an oddly striking scene – all of those windmills and not a Don Quixote in sight – but the fog was too thick this morning to get proper photograph.

I’ve got two more schools to visit and then tonight I have an hour at the Amherst Four Fathers Library. One of these events looks to be pretty big, with maybe a hundred kids or so. I’m definitely looking forward to it. I will try and do a better job recording these appearances – but unfortunately by the end of a full-volume Steve Vernon workshop I am usually more than a little burned out and baked to a crispy golden dumb.

Yesterday I averaged about fifty to sixty kids per session – not a huge number, but these kids were all of the grade 4-6 range – and let me tell you that represents some of the keenest and most interested students in the school system. From Grade seven to Phd-ville, students tend to lean toward lethargy with strong overtones of are-we-done-yet?

I will tell you that I’ve met some really wonderful, eager and motivated students. Some surprisingly computer savvy students as well. I mentioned that I Facebook and Twitter and their eyes all got big and eager and I heard promises of them all following me on Facebook and some of them wanted to e-mail me further questions on writing technique.

It will be interesting to see just how much follow-through I will get. For certain, my books are going to be read a whole lot more out here in the Amherst school and library system.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

My Book Tour – Day One and Two in Amherst

I had two great workshops today at two different schools. I’m still hacking a bit but those kids were rocked and the instructors were very pleased.

I had dinner at a little place called the Lamppost in Parsboro. Had a grilled cheese sandwich with mushrooms and bacon in it – and a caeser salad on the side.

Then, for supper we went to the Schnitzel House here in Amherst. Had a pork schnitzel the size of Wisconsin – with one half smothered in hunter’s gravy and the other half in cream cheese sauce. It was served with sauerkraut and creamed peas. i think you might have liked it – minus the mushrooms.

Got back to the hotel and spent about forty minutes on the treadmill and the eliptical trainer. Maybe burned about one percent of the calories I consumed.

Maybe.

I know I promised pictures – but I goofed and brought my Kobo cable instead of my camera cable – so I can’t transfer my pictures to the computer until I get home.

There’s always something.

Talk to you all tomorrow.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

New Netbook

Hot diggedy!

 

I’m writing this blog entry on my brand new Netbook. It feels a little slow and the keyboard is really freaking out my fingers – like I was trying to play a ukelele with a ball pein hammer – but I’m absolutely stoked that I am going to be able to write blog entries and check my Facebook and Twitter account.

I primarily intend to use this Netbook to keep an eye on my e-mail – but I’m also going to make use of its freaky little keyboard to get some work done on the YA novel manuscript that I am working on – a YA novel that begins in the Cape Breton Highlands and involves Bigfoot, Coyote, Raven, and an ancient shaman who has been reincarnated as a Winnebago motor home. I intend to finish this by the early summer – although you folks might not see it in print immediately. I’d love to see this yarn released traditionally – either through Nimbus if they don’t think this tale is a little too way-out there for them – or possibly another Canadian YA publisher. I have had so much success with SINKING DEEPER that I feel it is high time I stuck my foot back into the traditional publishing field and got something out there that is series-worthy.

I’m bringing my camera with me as well and I intend to take a lot of photos and keep my blog followers appraised of my back-to-back book tours of Nova Scotia and Southern Ontario.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

The Author Exploitation Business

Keep your eyes open – people.

I am a travelling man…part two

Here’s a couple of the visits I’ve got planned out for this May thanks to the Hackmatack Program.

May 7 8:50-9:50am I’ll be visiting the kids at Parrsboro Elementary.

Same day from 1-2pm I’ll be visiting the kids at River Hebert.

Then, next day on May 8 9:30 to 10:30am I’ll be visiting the kids at Cyrus Eaton Elementary in Pugwash.

Same day, from 1 to 2pm I’ll be talking to the kids in Amherst.

Then, that evening at 7pm I’ll be talking with guests at the Amherst Public Library at 7pm.

On May 9 I’ll catch a bus to from Amherst to the Halifax Airport where I will catch a plane and fly to Thunder Bay.

Can’t you hear Tommy Hunter singing out – “I am a travelling man…”

I’ll fill you all in on my Toronto activities in the next day or so.

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I’ll arrive in Thunder Bay on May 9. Then – on May 10, I’ll be taking part in the Thunder Bay Festival. I’m looking forward to meeting some of the kids and telling a few stories. Unfortunately, it seems I’ll only have about fifteen minutes to present – but that’s one of the shortcomings of being an unknown act. Folks in Nova Scotia know that Steve Vernon brings the thunder and lightning that sparks up kid’s minds – but to the folks in Ontario I’m just dude with a funny-looking beard. There’ll be books sold and lots of public readings and autograph sessions – so I am still hoping to meet a lot of kids who will have already read SINKING DEEPER, thanks to the wonderful folks of the Silver Birch Committee. That’s the part that has REALLY got me excited. With over 3000 copies of Sinking Deeper circulating through the Ontario school libraries – thanks again to the OLA and the Silver Birch folks – that means an AWFUL LOT of Ontario kids will already have read and enjoyed my funky little yarn.

The Festival begins 9am and will continue to 2pm and then I’ll jump on a plane to Toronto – where I’ll find lodgings in the Hotel Novotel on the Toronto Esplanade.

I will stay in Toronto from evening May 10 to May 17th.

On May 13th I’ll be signing at TYPE BOOKS – 883 Queen Street West from 1pm.

On May 15th I’ll be attending an Industry Event – sort of meet and greet for the authors and publishers and attendees of the the big Silver Birch Festival award.

On May 16 I’ll be taking part in the Silver Birch Festival itself. I am still going through my notes and I’ll have more details as the time approaches.

Okay – so I have been gradually going through all of my back-up information and I see that I’ll be putting on a presentation of my full-length workshop on May 16 at the BRIGANTINE TENT – (love that name).

10:00 to 11:00am Brigantine Tent – See Steve Vernon, storyteller at large and author of SINKING DEEPER: OR MY HEROIC DECISION TO INVENT A SEA MONSTER. Steve has been telling stories and writing fiction for the last twenty years. Steve uses his high voltage storytelling to illustrate the basics of the story arc, choosing a voice and using simple hand-to-hands on storytelling technique – finishing off with a bone-chilling maritime ghost story. Steve guarantees a full hour of freestyle fun. Any education that happens to rub off during his entertaining antics is STRICTLY accidental!

I’m charging all my batteries and bring these lucky (unlucky) kids the FULL VERNON TREATMENT!

They won’t know what hit them!

I’ll be signing books from 1 to 2pm.

Further Festival info can be found at their website!

On May 17 I’ll be taking part in a Durham event where I will be meeting with a whole group of kids from two different schools in Durham county.

Then I’ll fly home and go to work the next day.

My main goal is to meet with as many kids, librarians and teachers as I possibly can. I intend to entertain and hopefully educate. In between all that I’ve purchased a brand new netbook and I intend to work on the draft of what will be my next YA novel – which I intend to see traditionally published within the next year or so. It’s high-time for a new Steve Vernon release through a traditional publisher.

I’m rushing this blog entry a bit because although I had intended to spend this whole weekend getting ready a broken kitchen tap and an emergency repair job necessitating the purchase of a brand new faucet set ate up about most of the day.

If the women don’t find you handsome they should at least find you handy…

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon