Monday, 19 June 2017

Carter excerpt just in time for Canada150!

Toronto is a pretty interesting place, at least I've always thought so... 

Recently, I joined the York Pioneer and Historical Society, which as the name implies, explores Toronto's history. They recently published their annual journal, The York Pioneer (along with a book about founding father, William Howland), and very nicely excerpted part of my time-travel slash historical-fiction novel for kids. I'm really chuffed to see part of my middle-grade story, Carter and the Curious Maze, in their venerable pages, thank you! And just in time for the celebration of Canada's 150th year of Confederation.

The section they excerpted (with permission), recounts a brief visit by two modern day boys (via a creepy maze), to the first European settlement on Toronto soil, at Fort Rouille, at the foot of Dufferin and Lakeshore roads, on the current CNE grounds. There's a memorial to the Fort, beside Scadding Cabin.

It was a pleasure to research this little-known French trading Fort, and to imagine visiting it in 1750, as a lost and frightened time-travelling boy from present day. The local First Nations hunters traded with the French at this spot.

It's an interesting look at Toronto's history, for kids 8-12. Here's a 4-star review (their highest) from CM Magazine.

There isn't much research material available in English (or much in French either) about the Fort, so I made the best use of materials at hand, with many thanks to Fort York and the CNE archives! And of course, thanks to the York Pioneers!

Here's how to purchase Carter and the Curious Maze.
Here's the Book Trailer.
Read more about  Carter and the Curious Maze on this blog.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Thanks Chris Hadfield Public School!

Swag from Chris Hadfield PS. Check out the Mary Shelley Card Catalog
thank you note, published by the Library of Congress. Cool!

Ahh, had another great school visit yesterday at Chris Hadfield Public School in Whitby, Ontario.

The kids were so fun, they had such great questions. And the teachers and the wonderful teacher-librarian were so supportive and interested in books, literacy, and Canadian authors.

Thank you, Blue Heron books, for handling book sales!

The teacher-librarian gave me a thank you note, which is actually a Library of Congress catalog card (the thank you is on the reverse). She gave me Mary Shelley, what an honour, now in pride of place on my writing desk.

There were lots of great questions from the kids yesterday, but here's my personal fave...

Q: Do you write the title first, or the book?
A: Sometimes a great title pops in there, and sometimes I have to really think about it. I HAVE changed a title in mid-write, a few times, as the story reveals itself. But usually I know pretty much from the start what the title will be. 

Thank you to everyone for a great day. And an extra special thanks to Blue Heron books, from Uxbridge, for handling the book sales! I hope the kids enjoy their summer reading, keep reading everyone.

And here's a shout out to anyone going on a long family car trip this summer ...
I see you, Myles ...