So I got back from Edmonton yesterday afternoon. I was happy with the way things went. The crowd was small, but high quality. One was a sweet young punk girl who wants to be a writer, I really enjoyed talking to her. Audrey’s invited me back next year to read from the next book. Went for beers after with Joe and Suzanne, some CAA buddies, had fun.
Saskatoon was another story — nobody came. I felt like a fool, but I learned something — don’t take a first book to a city where you know no one. Talking to other writers, it seems most people have had an experience like that. And I’m taking it all in perspective now. Somehow I had this idea that throngs of people would show up at these out of town things. I don’t know why I thought that. I mean, I wrote a BOOK, can you believe it? But the more people I talk to, the more it sounds like this is very typical with out-of-town events. Bob Stallworthy told me he had an identical experience in Saskatoon a few years ago. Joe reminded me that I was the only person to come to his Calgary reading at McNally’s a few years ago. Someone else said only a handful came out to the reading a certain Giller-nominated author did at Audrey’s a few weeks ago. Another friend has been to read in Camrose three times — the same eight friends come every time and they go for drinks. Rona tells me only seven showed up for her and Russell Wangersky a couple of years ago. Even the mighty MJ had twelve turn out for his reading last month. So I guess it’s more about getting your book in stores, getting to know the store people, and hanging out with friends.
That’s good enough for me. Now I can get back to my normal life, which is nice.