It’s here

I’m a stepmother of three so I’m just guessing this is what it feels like when the doctor or nurse puts the baby in your arms after a long, undignified sweaty bout of grunting and pushing? Boxes containing my novel–my first novel–arrived today and Rick braved the virusy cardboard and wiped everything down so we could go in for a look. We opened the small box and put the big ones in quarantine in the garage.

Wow. It’s so pretty. And fat! The printer said it’s a whole pound.
Thanks so much to my publisher Byrna Barclay of Burton House Books in Regina (Byrna is also my editor), to Sandra Birdsell who did a substantive edit, and to Nik Burton who did the meticulous copy edit at the end. Thanks to artist Robert Senger for the lovely icons that represent each character, and to Guy Vanderhaeghe for letting us use his late wife Margaret’s beautiful painting as the cover. And love to Anne Simpson and Alice Kuipers for their lovely endorsements on the back.
A particular thank you to Hank Buck of Abbey, Saskatchewan, the retired farmer who came into my office at SACL years ago and told me about his friend Billy and daughter Violet. That true story was the seed of this novel and, with Hank’s blessing, I fictionalized the rest. Thanks, Hank. Violet would not be here without you.
I always get a bit of a thrill each time HOME magazine or Prairies North comes out and we see what we’ve created, but this is different. This really is, as Jim said when I opened the box, “cool.”
Given our chaotic times, my book launch at McNally Robinson at the end of this month has of course been cancelled. But we’re working on marketing and shipping options to get the novel out to people look for a little something new to read during self-isolation.

Distance visiting

We found a way to visit with my parents, get some fresh air, and social distance ourselves all at the same time. At least it’s not -30. Even the neighbour’s cat came by to check in. And that’s our University Drive neighbour’s front window with a pretty good recommendation. Another neighbour requested that we all put up hearts in our windows so her kids can look for them as they go for treasure hunt walks. Good to see people who are out for a walk staying well away from the neighbours. The new normal. Stay safe, everyone.