I’ve discovered the ideal way to reconnect. You write a young adult novel set in your hometown, and then you include situations that your high-school friends recognize.
The Creston Valley Advance published an article a few weeks ago about Prince of Pot. Since then, I’ve received messages from someone who remembers particular hot tub incidents, a man who — twenty-five years ago — served as the Tic Tac repository in a Twin Bays truth-or-dare game, and a friend who may have once “borrowed” a car from the local dealership. The keys had been left inside, and that was all the excuse she needed.
(The funniest part of all this? My beta readers had so many questions about the truck-theft scene. Mainly, they thought it unrealistic that a dealership would leave keys in a vehicle overnight. Which just goes to show that those beta readers didn’t grow up in small towns. And that fact is stranger than fiction, always.)
I’m so glad I had wonderful, wild, daring, loving friends to get me through high school… and friends who will still read my books, all these years later!
I’ve been asked a few times how Prince of Pot came to be. Well, it’s not autobiographical and I wasn’t raised on a grow-op. But the question has made me think about all the connections that do exist between Isaac’s life and mine.
I’m on the Groundwood blog here, talking magazine headlines and inspiration.
And I’m at Open Book Toronto here, talking broken hearts and broken swing sets. And, of course, bears.
My daughter made me a “how to survive being a writer with kids” package for my birthday, and it’s brilliant. I think she should patent it and start mass-production immediately.
Not only does it have emergency goodies inside, such as a magazine and oatmeal cookies, it has the best coupons ever:
And my personal favourite:
It’s so nice that someone understands me.
Me, Kallie George, Rachelle Delaney, pyjamas, an awesome craft, and Christianne’s Lyceum. Also, free. Need I say more?
I looked after my two nephews, ages two and four, for the weekend. They are absolutely adorable, funny, and FULL of action.
As I collapsed on the bed at the end of Saturday, I said to my husband, “How did I do this for so many years? And how did I write books while doing it?”
He said, “Well, you didn’t really shower.”
It’s almost September! My calendar is a mess of kids’ activities and parent meetings and, in a pale yellow colour that seems to disappear amidst the family chaos, my own book events.
I’m thinking of changing my colour to fuchsia.
In case you’d like to mark your own calendars, in fuchsia or otherwise, I’m doing two events as part of Word Vancouver.
At 6:30 pm on Friday, September 22nd, I’m reading from Shadow Warrior at Christianne’s Lyceum as part of a Heroics and Heart evening. Rachelle Delaney and Kallie George are also reading. AND… here’s the best part… you can wear your pyjamas. I know! All book events should occur in pyjamas. Why don’t more people think of this?
At 2:30 pm on Sunday, September 24th, I’m talking Eyes and Spies in the south plaza of the downtown Vancouver Public Library. (I don’t actually know where the south plaza is, but hopefully we’ll all figure it out and end up there together. It can’t be that hard, right?)
Come and bring friends and fuzzy slippers! (To either event. I won’t judge.) I’d love to have friendly faces in the audience.
I was having an idyllic writers’ group meeting in the backyard with Kallie George, Rachelle Delaney, Stacey Matson, and Christy Goerzen. Once the wine was poured and the fruit crisps passed, Rachelle got up to snap this photo.
We discussed picture books. All was well in the world.
Until I saw movement from the corner of my eye.
“Uh… guys? There’s a skunk in the yard.”
But it was fairly benign. When we made noise, it waddled along the fence until it could duck into the neighbour’s yard.
Then its friend arrived. This one wandered all the way around the pond and headed toward us. When we made noise, it raised its tail. It took a few more steps forward.
With great squealing, snatching of laptops, and scattering of chairs, we sprinted en masse toward the house.
For the record, if there’s ever a track meet for children’s writers, Kallie George is a sure winner in the 100-meter dash.
Since I posted about Prince of Pot on Facebook last week, my friend Bettina in Switzerland has ordered a copy, my high-school friend Heather ordered one from Amazon UK, and my cousin Chelsea in Edmonton emailed to ask which method of ordering would have the most impact. (Thank you, Bettina, Heather, and Chelsea. You’re awesome.)
In case I have other friends and family members who might be willing to help with a little book promotion, I’ve put together a list of possible actions, complete with handy categories.
If you love me like store-bought cookies:
- Consider posting “Can’t wait for Tanya Lloyd Kyi’s new PRINCE OF POT” on your Facebook or Twitter feed. Tag me, so I can share.
- Tell your friends, your sister, your dentist, your kid’s teacher-librarian, and anyone on the street who looks bookish.
If you love me like coffee-shop macadamia nut cookies:
- All the above.
- PLUS, stop in at your local independent store and ask for a copy. If they don’t have one, say, “Oh, she’s awesome. I love her better than store-bought cookies. You should probably order the book.”
- OR, pre-order a copy on Amazon or Chapters Indigo. Pre-orders help booksellers decide to stock extra copies.
If you love me like homemade chocolate chip cookies, still a little gooey in the middle:
- All of the above.
- PLUS, rate the book on the Goodreads, Amazon, or Chapters websites. Preferably, rate it highly. My mom asked her friends to do this for me once, and one of them got confused and gave me one star. At least, I hope she was confused…
- Post a picture of yourself reading my book. Tag me, so I can share.
If you love me like Christmas shortbread:
- Hi, Mom! Thanks for reading this far. I’ll send you your copy in the mail!
My mom’s in my kitchen reading Alex Van Tol‘s BC BookWorld article about Eyes and Spies.
“You’re mentioned in here!” she tells my daughter.
Then, a minute later, a sigh of disappointment. “They don’t use your name.”
My daughter patiently shakes her head. “Because, Grandma, that would be a privacy issue.”
My work here is done.
I went last night to the book launch for Kallie George’s new Heartwood Hotel series, an infinitely adorable collection of books about a resting place for forest animals.
There were masses of kids at the launch, and Kallie entertained them all with stories of her near-death hiking experiences. Then, she sent them to the crafts table to create their own woodland creatures. Once completed, the creatures could check in here:
Yes, that’s a replica of the Heartwood Hotel, created by Kallie’s husband Luke.
So of course I went directly home and showed my pictures to Min, who said he would be happy to build me a miniature grow-op for my Prince of Pot book launch.
But it doesn’t seem quite the same, does it?
Plus, I can’t think of a single craft idea. Well, not a single appropriate craft idea…