On Sunday I got back from a week on the road up and down Vancouver Island with two authors shortlisted for The BC Book Prizes—Anne Fleming, author of a book of short stories entitled Gay Dwarves of America, and Alan Woo, children’s author of Maggie’s Chopsticks.
Each year the BC Book Prizes sends finalist authors on tour visiting schools, libraries, and bookstores throughout the province. The tour is supported by sponsors and completely free for any locations we visit. In each community we aim to visit one high school, one elementary school, and hold a public evening event.
From April 29 to May 3, I drove Anne Fleming and Alan Woo around on the Vancouver Island Leg visiting Campbell River, Comox, Courtenay, Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Parksville, and Port Alberni. During the 4 different tour legs, the authors (and sometimes drivers) blog on a special Tour Blog.
It was a whirlwind tour, and truly a fantastic experience. It was a long week with a lot of time on the road, and a lot of readings for Anne and Alan, but personally I feel it was worth it. We did get some down-time in the communities as well, admiring the beautiful scenery and lovely town centres. We spent an afternoon at Rathtrevor Beach, visited Little Qualicum Cheeseworks & MooBerry Winery, followed the murals through Chemainus, and wandered amongst the trees in Cathedral Grove.