Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wowing audiences wherever she goes

Her riveting memoir, The Bite of the Mango, has been called "powerful," "raw" and "inspiring." It has received starred reviews from three of the most influential journals in the United States: Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. But nothing quite prepares audiences for meeting Mariatu Kamara face to face. Her diminutive frame, hip clothes, and especially her radiant smile, seem to surprise those who have read her harrowing story. But once she starts to speak, her physical presence only underlies her message: she is a survivor with a boundless love of life.

Mariatu's speaking and interview schedule would daunt even the most seasoned professional. She has been as far as Vancouver, where she managed to do three school visits in one day. That was followed by a visit to Edmonton where she spoke at the University of Alberta's Festival of Ideas. High schools from as far away as North Carolina have asked if she would come to speak to their students, and whenever possible, Mariatu has readily accepted.

This week, Mariatu spoke at the Toronto Public Library's North Central Branch, where she received a warm welcome from the audience. Happy to answer any questions about her life in Sierra Leone or here in Canada, Mariatu's warmth, optimism and sense of humour draw people to her.

The next few months will continue to be busy for Mariatu as she visits Winnipeg, Halifax and many schools in and around Toronto. A glimpse of her recent appearance in Surrey, B.C., can be found in the Surrey Leader.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Interview with Author Drew Hayden Taylor on Cynsations

Drew Hayden Taylor, author of The Night Wanderer: A Native Gothic Novel, talks about his inspiration for writing for teens and what it's like to get published in an interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith's posted on her fabulous blog on literature for children and teens, Cynsations.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Surprise Visitor

Saying that he just happened to be in the neighborhood, well-known Annick author Richardo Keens-Douglas paid us a surprise visit a few days ago. Considering that he lives most of the year on the Caribbean island of Grenada, we were quite taken aback, not to mention delighted, to see him walk through the door! Before taking off again, Richardo caught up on all the news and met the new people at Annick. We're trying to figure out how we can all go down to Grenada (around mid-February would be nice...) for a meeting. Let's just say we're working on it.

Check out some of our favourite books by Richardo:
Anancy and The Haunted House
La Diabless and the Baby
Freedom Child of the Sea
Miss Meow Pageant, The
The Nutmeg Princess
Tales from the Isle of Spice
Trial of the Stone

Monday, November 3, 2008

Look who came to visit...

We were pleased that Laura Trunkey of Victoria, B.C., author of The Incredibly Ordinary Danny Chandelier, stopped in to visit us last week. And even more pleased that she was in town as the Scotiabank Giller Prize Guess the Giller contest winner - congratulations Laura! As grand prize winner she won a trip for two to a Canadian literary festival of her choice and chose to visit the International Festival of Authors at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. During her visit, Laura revealed that she is working on another book for Annick Press. We can't wait!