Tag: Terry Fallis

My Top Shelf

My Top Shelf

In my last blog, I said I would talk more about the books on my top shelf. To recap, the shelf is a collection of author-signed books, as well as books that have particularly moved or inspired me. As these books are all special, it’s difficult to narrow it down to just a few. But here goes…

I was introduced to Diana Gabaldon’s The Outlander by my friend, Deborah. At first I found it hard to get into the story, but about three chapters in, I was hooked. At some point, Deborah and I attended a reading by Gabaldon at the Toronto Public Library. The room was packed, with probably 150 attendees. From time to time, we would hoist our Jamie cutouts (seen by my top shelf) and JAMMF (as he is affectionately called by fans) could be seen dancing in his fine kilt above the sea of heads raptly listening to Gabaldon. That was my first time attending an author reading, getting an author-signed book, and my first time letting loose as a fan! What marvellous fun. (Highly recommended.)

I don’t recall how I was introduced to Keeper ‘n Me by Richard Wagamese, but the story takes place in northern Ontario and I’d previously lived in Thunder Bay for ten years. It struck a deep chord. I loved the book and have often given it as a gifts. I even bought both editions so I would have one of each book cover.

If you could meet one author, alive or dead, who would it be?

For me, it would be Richard Wagamese. It’s as if by sitting in a room with him, one could soak up his years of lived wisdom and tap into his connection to the earth and the ancients. His books led me to other Indigenous authors like Tanya Talaga, Cherie Dimaline, and Drew Hayden Taylor.

Radiant Shimmering Light by Sarah Selecky, is a humourous story “about being a material girl in a spiritual world.” Sarah also founded the Sarah Selecky Writing School where I studied in The Story Course Intensive, a fantastic program that really helped me grow as a writer and where I felt nurtured and supported in my writing pod.

My last mentions are the books by Terry Fallis, winner of the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour. In Poles Apart, the characters have a name similar to someone famous, eg Earnest Hemingway. I could relate because my name is quite common. (There are three of us, all who married into the family!)

Last year the London Writers Society invited Terry to speak at the Wolf Performance Hall. As Vice President, I had the pleasure of having dinner with Terry. He’s as funny in real life as in his books! He’s also warm, down-to-earth, and incredibly generous of his time in supporting other authors.

It was such a fun night that London Writers Society invited Terry Fallis back again this year…this time to interview Douglas Gibson, one of Canada’s icons in publishing, and an author and entertainer. Terry is also personal friends with Gibson. I’m sure the jokes will be bouncing off the walls of Wolf Performance Hall when these two take the stage!

Be sure to get your tickets to An Evening With Douglas Gibson on May 6.

See you there!

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