Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Nina’s Booktour Continues

Almost two weeks ago, and with great coverage by the local press (the Surrey Leader), I fulfilled a fantasy by appearing at the Strawberry Hill Chapters store in Surrey, British Columbia, to sign my book, Darwin’s Paradox. Once or twice a month I used to meet three other friends who’d formed a writer’s group we’d called Critical Ms. Starbucks coffee in hand, I met them in the small alcove with comfortable chairs to trade industry stories, critique each other’s work, and dream of having my book on the shelf behind us (it was the science fiction section of the store). Last week I realized that dream and more! What’s really cool is that one of the other Critical Ms writers, Lois J. Peterson, is also launching her book this fall. It’s a YA novel called, Meeting Miss 405 by Orca Press. I even had a surprise visit from Brian Hades of Edge Publishing, the parent company of Dragon Moon Press—he was just passing through town… Sure! Brian had found these cool see-into-the-future glasses at a strange Vancouver antique shop and thought of me… funny that…But don’t I look intelligent in them?...

My signing at the Granville & Broadway Chapters store in Vancouver the following week was yet another adventure. As always, I met very interesting patrons, including two Romanian ladies (Silvia Boiceanu and Maria Moise) who, after introducing themselves, decided to linger and watch me “in action” and occasionally waved at me, smiling. I also met Twyla Anderson, a budding novelist and practiced my French with Agnes Lacombe, an elegant lady from France. Hildegard Zander engaged me in a long philosophical conversation that ranged from the transcending songs of French singer Gilbert Becaud to the environmental basis of cultures.

Then Stephen Saint Laurent, Prince George videographer, stopped by and gave me an impromptu interview. I also had the unexpected pleasure of meeting a long-time friend who I hadn’t seen in a while. She’d spotted Chapter’s billboard advertisement outside the store and had noted the time. Barb Meier is a talented artist and craftsman who makes books from scratch (paper, cover and binding!). That’s Barb pointing at my display. My sister, Doina Maria (and my partner in imagination from when we were kids) is standing beside her. She’d come to lure me away with promises of calamari and red wine.

My book signing at the Granville store experienced some added excitement as a student rally of over 500 protesters passed the store in a flourish of banner waving and boisterous shouting. The patrons of the store, myself included, emerged to watch as police-escorted demonstrators waving “Free Tibet from China” signs and shouting slogans, marched past us. Tibetan supporters from Vernon to Victoria were rallying against the violence in the tumultuous Chinese-controlled region; they marched from the art gallery to the Chinese consulate, where they chanted, burned Chinese flags and acted out scenes of violence.

I will finalize my local book tour with a signing at Blackbond Books in Richmond and a Chapters store in Burnaby (Metrotown). Then I’ll be flying to Paris, France where… I think Darwin will take a holiday with me. Truthfully, I am travelling there (and possibly to Berlin) to research my next book, a historical fantasy about a young girl in medieval Prussia who discovers that she can alter history. More on that in another post…

Nina Munteanu is an ecologist and internationally published author of novels, short stories and essays. She coaches writers and teaches writing at George Brown College and the University of Toronto. For more about Nina’s coaching & workshops visit Visit for more about her writing.


Jean-Luc Picard said...

All the bookstores are lucky to get such a celebrity! Paris looks like being fun.

sfgirl said...

I'm sure looking forward to Paris, Jean-Luc! I'm starting to get really excited.

Princess Haiku said...

The picture of you is lovely and I am so happy for your success. Hope you have a good time in Paris. One would have to work hard to not enjoy that. Good luck with your next book project.

sfgirl said...

Thank you so much, Princess! You're right about Paris. Between the wine, excellent food, romantic language, compelling history, architectural and artistic beauty and elegant people... well... :D ... I will be literally following my characters as they experience their adventure in the city of lights. What licence to unleash myself on that unsuspecting fair city!... :)

p.s. thanks for saying that about my picture! ... LOL!

Manchild said...

Congratulations Nina!!

How exciting! Doesn't it feel good when "Big Dreams" come true?

May you continue to prosper and have good success doing what you love to do.

I applaud you and celebrate you.


sfgirl said...

Thank you, Manchild! I'm honoured by your gesture. Please accept my celebration of your successes too. Life is truly wonderful!