The invitations to Toronto’s book launch went out today, and I’ve been hearing from all kinds of friends and colleagues in the area. That’s the good part. The scary part is I feel like I’m suited up, sweaty and strapped down in a rocketship just about to be fired. And unlike Julie Payette, I haven’t a clue what I’m about to do.
Just a year ago, I was still writing this book at my cottage, plowing through transcribed interviews and old newspaper clippings gleaned from a cross-country tour in 2012/2013. It was solitary work, and particularly lonely for someone who used to run newsrooms. I discovered I’m a much happier editor than I am a writer.
Today I received two interview requests — Prairie Books NOW is featuring Runaway Wives in its fall/winter issue, hooray!; and La Liberte newspaper in Winnipeg wants to talk before the (there’s that scary word again) launch there Sept. 6.
I keep reminding myself that it’s what I wanted back in 2012 when I started interviewing the remarkable women who founded the country’s first women’s shelters. Few have received any recognition for their work.
Anyway, I am going to do my best to represent them in the coming days, and really looking forward to seeing them all again, from Toronto to Victoria. I just need to figure out what to say and do at a launch, first.
I know what I’m hoping for. I gave a speech to a YWCA conference in Winnipeg the summer of 2013. After my usual unfocussed ramble about how the book began and what my sister and I learned from our winter of amazing luck, I started to tell a few stories about Canada’s first women’s shelter in Toronto. And then I announced to the crowd that one of those women now worked for the Y, and was in fact in the crowd.
I called out her name, Lynn Zimmer, and she waved modestly from her table and the entire audience spontaneously rose to its feet to applaud her. Brought tears to my eyes. These unassuming women deserve all that and more.
So bring on those launches.
I promise to channel my inner Payette and fly straight and true.