Sunday, April 29, 2007

Making a quick trip to Winnipeg ...

This Wednesday, I'm flying to Winnipeg to do a reading for The Penny Tree. On one hand, it'll be great, because I'll get to see a lot of people I haven't seen for ages. On the other, it's a short trip, which means I won't get to spend a lot of time with anyone.

My husband will watch our boys while I'm gone, and then when my plane lands back home the morning of the 4th, his will be simultaneously lifting off to take him to California, where he's running his 2nd marathon called the Avenue of the Giants.

As I got this post ready, I looked at some pictures of Winnipeg and got choked up. It's hard not to. I lived there for 15 years. I was married there. My boys were born there. And, hands-down, Assiniboine Park is my favorite park in the world, even compared to central park in New York. Also, interestingly enough, the duck pond (a landmark for those who live there) proved to be the inspiration for one of my future novels, which will be titled The Keeper of the Pond. I could go on and on about The Forks, Fort Whyte, the Leo Mol garden, the Zoo, Winnipeg's unbelievable community spirit... but to keep this brief, if you live there, and you're able to join us for the reading, please do.
I'd love to see you.

Location: McNally Robinson
Grant Park location (Travel Alcove)

Date: Thursday, May 3rd

Time: 7:00 pm


ORION said...

Hey I'm first!
I've never been to Winnipeg. Hope you have a great time there.
Wish your husband good luck in his marathon!

wordman17 said...

I've never been to Canada :( but your post makes me want to go see this park! Have fun on your trip

pat from wpg said...

Where are you staying?
Need a ride from the airport?
Can we do coffee? Lunch?!
God, it's been 3 years since
I've seen you Hol!!!!! Crazy.
I'll be in the front row at the reading -- Pat from WPG

Melissa Marsh said...

Have fun, Holly! :)

Heidi the Hick said...

We spent the weekend in Winnipeg two years ago for the Junos. It really is a peaceful and beautiful city. I told off a lot of T.O. guys who were like, "this place is dead boring!"

Seriously, I don't generally like being in the city and I liked it there.

(speaking of Toronto, if you ever do a visit there I'll find a way to show up!)

Holly Kennedy said...

Orion, you're up early! Windy there in Hawaii?? xo

Wordman17 -- Never been to Canada? Where've you been living, under a rock? Get up here already.

Pat, I rented a car. Wish I could do lunch but my family has arranged a family "luncheon" and then I go straight to the reading. It'll have to wait until next trip. So sorry....

Melissa, always good to hear from you. Hope things are going well at your end :)

Heidi -- If I ever come to TO for a reading, you'll be first on the invite list :) And, yes, there is something peaceful/unique about Winnipeg. I treasure the years I lived there.

Mia King said...

Three cheers for husbands who help with the kids - and ditto for wives who do the same! Best of luck in Winnipeg and to your husband in his marathon!

Larramie said...

Mia's correct, what a nice balance you have in your family; but then that's how it works...or should. ;o)

Although I've been to Toronto, Montreal and Quebec, the northwest has escaped me. But, in reading your lovely descriptions, a trip out there needs to be planned.

Enjoy every second of Winnipeg.

kyla-dale said...

My Aunt lived in Winnipeg for ten years and I spent 2 summers with her. I KNOW that duck pond (gorgeous) and other than the mosquitoes, I loved it there.
I was there right after that huge flood 10 years ago.

Did you live there then?

Kate B said...

I can't wait!! I'll be there with the baby!! See you Thursday.

karin from charleswood said...

Hol, can we meet for an early morning coffee on the 3rd?!
I'll buy. The readings are always so crazy and we never get the opportunity to chat cuz yer surrounded by people.

I've got cool news to share!:)


Wendy Roberts said...

I was born and raised in the Peg and still feel homesick. My entire family is still there but it gets harder and harder to leave Vancouver behind. Have to say, Stanley Park replaced Assiniboine in my heart but I still heart the Assiniboine Zoo.

I've emailed my Wpg pals that you're signing in Grant Park :)

Trish Ryan said...

Awww...enjoy your trip! I've never been to Winnipeg (or heard anyone make such a great case for going). You should get an extra day to visit the park, paid for by the Winnipeg tourism bureau :)

Zany Mom said...

Time to get those passports! We just bought an RV so now we can go anywhere!!

I can't wait to visit Canada.

John Elder Robison said...

Is Canada a big market for you and for books in general? Do they have superstores - B&N, Books-a-Million type places? My book is cataloged by Random House Canada, but I have no idea what to expect up there.

I've received a number of requests to read across Canada.

I've been to Canada a number of times, but never in the context of being a book author.

Adrienne said...

Come to Toronto!!!

*ehem* done now :)

john - our equivalent of B&N is a chain of stores called Chapters/Indigo - complete with Starbucks.

Holly Kennedy said...

Mia - thanks for popping by :)
GOOD THINGS is STILL sitting in my TBR pile, which is now TWO columns high and ready to topple over, but I will get to it.

Larramie - I mailed your autographed copy of THE PENNY TREE yesterday so you should get it next week :)

Kyla-dale -- Yes, I lived their during the BIG FLOOD ten years ago. It was...horrific; not something I'll ever forget.

Kate - I wish you were still my nanny! Lord, how do you manage with 3 kids, girl?!!

Karin -- What's up?! I love news, but trying to squeeze everyone in is close to impossible. I've made plans for the morning of the 3rd already (so sorry). Email me if we don't connect, ok? I PROMISE next trip to spend 3-4 days there.

Wendy -- you're a sweetheart! Thanks for passing along the word.

Trish -- when it's time to leave somewhere, you move on and don't look back, excited about the future. Then, a year or so later, when you do look back, you tend to see so many things you took for granted... When it comes to Winnipeg, this is the case for me. I wouldn't want to move back, but I really do cherish the time I spent there.

Zany -- you GOTTA see Canada, girl!
Especially the Rocky Mountains.
(Born an Alberta girl, always an Alberta girl...)

Holly Kennedy said...

John -- *sigh*

If I said Canada is a HUGE book market for moi and for books in general, I'd be lying, selfishly hoping that by doing so you'd be more apt to push your publicist to pencil in a few readings up here so we could meet and I could cheer you on.

However... that said, Canada isn't comparable to the US, which in turn is apparently not even close to Australia and Germany (wait till you see what happens in those countries!)

It only takes selling 5,000 books to hit a bestseller list in Canada.

However, there is also a well-known-but-rarely-talked-about tendency to discount commercial writers in Canada, and a high-brow love for literary writers that's celebrated nationwide.

ie., I will never be "Alberta's own" or "Canada's own" unless or until I do well elsewhere first. For example, if my 3rd or 4th novels were to hit the NYT list, I believe THEN I'd be fully embraced up here in Canada. However, as it stands now, it's extremely difficult to get any kind of press or reviews writing commericial fiction.

That said, however, I'm getting ready to shift my writing into a few high concept stories with more of a literary slant that should make a difference. We'll see.

When it comes to LOOK ME IN THE EYE, I wouldn't think you'd have any worries about Canada. First, there is a fascination with your story that not only separates you from the average writer, it elevates you to a whole new level of interest for readers.

(ie., I'm a fellow writer, and although I'm fascinated by everything surrounding Aspergers + autism at this stage, it's also so foreign to me that even though I read your blog and Kim's, I often hesitate to leave comments for fear of sounding stupid or misinformed).

If LOOK ME IN THE EYE does well in the US (and I'm guessing it'll be a slam-dunk bestseller -- you can hold me to that, btw!) Canada will beg to sign you up in cities like Toronto (right Adrienne?) and probably Vancouver or possibly Calgary (yey me!)

Adrienne is right -- we have Chapters/Indigo and some wonderful independents, but I'll bet you won't even have to set foot across the border for your book to hit a bestseller list here. No joke. It will simply follow suit with whatever happens across the US -- riding the wave, if you will...

This is where I cringe and lift both arms to sheild my face from being pummeled by readers/writers who DON'T want me to tell you this cause they'd like to have you come up to Canada anyhow.

So...come anyhow.

I have 20 years marketing experience, so if you come to Alberta, I'll help you get a huge crowd out for a reading.

And I'll also talk Pat at ORION to fly in from Hawaii and stay with me for a few days so she can join in. Keep it in mind anyhow.

All the best,

The Writers' Group said...

Holly, it must be an amazing feeling to return home a different person. When are you coming to Boston? Please let us know.


Holly Kennedy said...

Amy, how nice to have you pop by!
I may be coming to Boston this coming fall to meet with my foreign rights agent and to spend a few days lurking around the Boston Common, which will be the setting for novel #5.

When I come, we should connect for lunch!

The Writers' Group said...

Absolutely! My treat.