Friday, October 28, 2011

Brunch and Dead Bodies

I had two events at the Vancouver International Writers Festival. The first one, I've talked about, the crime event. The second, the Sunday Brunch, was called the Festival's premiere event by artistic director Hal Lake. I was expecting tough crime talk at my first event and a more genteel atmosphere at the Brunch. I thought my reading of Chapter 1 of Fall From Grace, was going to be creepy read, with talk of a dead body and all.

I was completely wrong. The event opened up with the sweet Gayla Reid reading from her new book, Come From Afar. Set around the Spanish Civil War, her reading was full of powerful images of war and loss, and love. Very strong stuff for brunch. Second up was Nicole Lundrigan. I was big fan of her novel Thaw and was keen to hear her read. She is also a very nice and sweet mother of three. But her reading, about a guy in Newfoundland obsessed with boys, was very creepy, and gave me shivers.

I was third, the only dude in the group, and I walked onstage with a glass of mimosa in hand, trying to perpetuate the hard-nosed crime writer stereotype. I had some fun with it and read Chapter 1. A great response from the crowd (the festival sold out of Fall From Grace) but I was a bit disappointed that my dead body scene wasn't the creepiest bit read that day. Anita Rau Badami read next and her section had more than one dead body in it. Fellow Edmontononian Marina Endicott and Australian Cate Kennedy wrapped up the brunch. I've heard Marina read so much from her new book that I've almost heard the whole thing. And Cate, I just met her the night before and there is just something great about Australian writers; they are just so down to earth people that you feel like you've known them all your life.

Like I said, sold out of books but I was completely surprised that the Sunday Brunch event had more talk about death and dead bodies than the Crime Time one.

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