Saturday, 15 October 2016

Wordfest: An Evening with Arthur Slade

Wordfest, a most exciting literary festival in Calgary, is in full swing this week. Writers from Canada and abroad gather here to talk about their works, launch their new books, spend time talking and discussing all things bookish. In other words, Wordfest is a heaven and a haven for bookworms like me. 
As a newly published author, I thought it should be appropriate and important for me to come out of my introvert shell and mingle with other fellow authors, and network with such individuals.

Wordfest is being held from October 7 to 16. As I looked through their booklet, I was amazed. The first thing I told myself is that I should have gone to more festivals such as this. Imagine Comic Con, but with authors instead of voice actors. The second thing I set down to do was select which events to go to, since there were a plethora of events to visit, and Physics requires that I can be only at one place at any given time (It's 2016, please build a teleporter. Anyone?).
My first choice, which I noticed at the very last minute, and therefore didn't get to buy any tickets (they were all sold out), was to enjoy brunch with Yann Martel, along with 40 other fans. I was devastated. I mean, this was a chance to meet with the renowned author of "Life of Pi" and I didn't enter in time! *Enter sad face here*
No worries, I told myself. Hopefully I will have another chance someday. For now, I decided to look at another event to go to. 
Since I have decided to write my next book for children or pre-teens, I thought it would be best to check out some of the authors for the youth section. So my eyes fell on Arthur Slade's name. He was going to be in Wordfest to launch his new book, Flicker's. The book's name caught my eye, and I thought it would be an interesting evening to get to know more about the book and the author.
One thing that kept nagging me was that I felt I had seen his name somewhere before. Being the idiot that I am, I never even looked him up on the internet. Not once did it occur to me to at least check what type of books he wrote.
So, imagine how foolish I felt when I finally realized who he was, while sitting at the leftmost corner in the third row of Owl's Nest bookstore, where the event was taking place.
Arthur Slade, author of the Hunchback Assignments. A book I had read and loved.
I could have kicked myself.
But I was also joyous when I realized I was about to meet an author who's work I had enjoyed so much.
As I settled in with my plate of cookies and cheese cubes, Mr. Slade took the stage and began his reading. His newest book, Flickers, was set in the era of the roaring 20s, of Hollywood with the silent films and the emerging talkies. It begins in our very own Lethbridge, AB, and talks about the twin sisters, Isabelle and Beatrice Thorn. Isabelle enjoys the admiration of becoming a star while Beatrice is "encouraged" to remain out of the public eye. Soon they are wrapped up in mystery and well, the rest is up to the readers to find out.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Mr. Slade's recitation. He sounds jovial and his presentation was entertaining. Apart from the book, he also talked about his inspiration for writing this story. He gave us a short history on Hollywood in the 1920s, how the silent films were made with realistic action sequence (since there were no CGI at that time), how the talkies first came to be and how it slowly took over. He really did his research and I liked that about him. I also enjoyed his love of puns (something we both have in common. Oh we will be best friends!)
He also talked about how he got his first break, that he had first written three books with a small publisher before getting a big break. It really helped listening to him, as being a new author, it is sometimes difficult to navigate the literary world. But hearing him gave me hope to work harder and achieve more.
It was an evening spent very well. Later I had a chance to talk to him and introduce myself, and also took a picture with him. It was an unforgettable evening for me.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent experience Maa. Hope you are enjoying every bit of it.