Taking it On the Road

It’s been a busy old summer. There was a book launch in Vancouver (photos posted). Then there was a book launch in Victoria (photos posted). Then there was a trip to the north Island that included visits to book stores, museums, and interested individuals, as well as two events (photos WILL be posted).

And now I have entered a new phase. I am getting calls to do presentations and that means changing how I position the themes in the book to connect with each audience.

This was quite simple when presenting at the Sointula Museum and Library on August 8. Sointula’s history coordinates with Telegraph Cove’s history, and many of my photos and information can easily include events that happened at or included Malcolm Island, on which Sointula sits. The event was organized by can-do women who make cakes and always have a big pot of coffee ready so I knew I had my audience!

One of the women in my book was a schoolteacher in Kaleva, Malcolm Island, which doesn’t exist anymore, although Kaleva Road is still there. For another thing, my great-grandparents, and grandparents and mother all attended dances in Sointula’s halls at various times over the first half of the 20th century. There were dances held in Alert Bay, and even Telegraph Cove had a band for Saturday night foxtrots, but the orchestra in Sointula was superior and everyone wanted to dance to it, especially those who appreciated the town’s alcohol-free atmosphere. What was always amazing to me was knowing that people would row themselves, in any weather, in heavy wooden rowboats, and then row themselves back to their respective island after the dance, in the early hours of the morning, in the dark, and maybe in wind and rain and fast tides, with no lights.

My speech in Telegraph Cove on August 10 was even easier, but still had to be adjusted. For one thing, everyone there already knew where it was, so instead I could paint a picture of the old days using the real backdrop and current buildings in place.

Now I am preparing a presentation for Campbell River at the Haig-Brown Fall Festival, September 22. And another one for Courtenay in November. And hopefully more in and around Vancouver at community centres, libraries, historical societies and other organizations, each for different audiences that have different interests, so I want to ensure that what I say is resonant with each of those different groups. Or should I just say the same thing I did at the two launch events? What do other authors do? Honestly I feel a bit at sea as each element of this fabulous journey takes me to a new place.

I am the kind of person who wants each listener to come up to me after and tell me how interesting my talk was and how they learned something and maybe how great the book will be for aunt so-and-so or their brother-in-law for Christmas. So I guess a bit of thought and research is required just for my own peace of mind and ego.