The first time I met one of my favourite authors it was Linden MacIntyre. I’ll admit to eyeing him across the room for a good hour before working up the courage to move through the crowd to shake his hand. I tentatively introduced myself before blurting out, “My mom hates your books!” and turning beet red. “Too bleak?” he asked with his wry and recognizable smile. I nodded, adding, “But I love them.” He laughed while signing my book and asked what part of Cape Breton I hailed from.
Literary festivals offer readers a golden opportunity to get out of the pages of the books we love and interact with their authors face to face. This fall our region is packed with such opportunities.
First up, on Sept. 19, Word on the Street Halifax celebrates its 20th anniversary by returning to its first home, Halifax’s Spring Garden Road. On page 18, you’ll read about this year’s line-up and the roadblock that almost derailed the festival.
Next is Fog Lit in Saint John, New Brunswick’s celebration of literature and literacy on Sept. 30. On page 20, we revisit the July poetry slam that previewed the festival.
Overlapping Fog Lit is the Cabot Trail Writers Festival on Oct. 2. This cozy event invites authors to share their experiences through discussions, workshops and social activities that present a stress-free way to meet some of the country’s most successful authors.
Get thee to a festival! This is your opportunity to shake some hands and ask some questions. But for the love of God, try not to embarrass yourself in front of Linden MacIntyre.