When the Sky Comes Looking for You launched Wednesday, October 19th at McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg. This was my first book event in three years. So … how did it go?
It was a blast!
I spent most of the day of the event getting mentally and physically prepped, and trying to remember that I used to do this stuff all the time.
I always carry multiple pens in my notebook, but because I wasn’t sure where my usual batch were in their ink cycle, I doubled up. Each of my books gets a little doodle when I personalize it, in addition to the signature, and I doodle in a different colour for each book. (I also tend to edit using the colours, and write in my notebook in black). I only needed to change my black pen once during the signing, but I’m still glad I was ready.
The other major decision pre-launch was which belt buckle to wear. I joked that I should wear the scorpion in case there was a power failure, as in addition to being HUGE, it glows in the dark. And then there was a power flicker during the Q&A! What are the odds?
Walking into McNally Robinson to see my poster up on the upcoming events wall.
My signing table, ready to go.
A close up view of the signing table and poster.
Shortly before launch, I ended up going with the bison buckle, an heirloom gift passed down from a friend of my father.
John Toews, events coordinator extraordinaire, gets the ball rolling by introducing the host for the evening, my friend and online journalist and instructor, Dan Vadeboncoeur.
Dan introducing yours truly.
I’m reading from “No Sunshine in Hel” the final story in When the Sky Comes Looking for You.
Dan and I having a lively Q&A. There were some great questions from the audience, also.
Signing stock at the end of the night.
A huge thank you to everyone who came out in person, or watched the livestream on YouTube. It was fantastic to see you all again. If you missed the event, you can check it out here:
Since one of my writing goals was to read more, I thought it would help to keep track of what I knocked off Mount Tsundoku. Here’s as good a place as any to post what I’ve read to keep me honest, and what I thought of each book immediately after finishing.
I’m changing how I build my to-read stacks in 2022. This year, each stack of five will have to include at least two books by women, one non-fiction book, one book by an author I know personally, and one anthology (I’m making a conscious effort to read more short stories this year). Previously my goal was for each to-read pile to contain at least one book by a BIPOC or LGBTQ2S+ author, one book by a woman, one non-fiction book, and one book by an author I know personally. Creating those piles from my own shelves was starting to get tricky after two years, and I still plan on trying to read through books I’ve already purchased as much as possible. I’m going to add at least one book from the library by a BIPOC or LGBTQ2S+ author for every stack I build to continue trying to diversify my reading.
The library has become my go-to for keeping up on what’s going in comics, so I’m sure there’ll be a number of graphic novels (and roleplaying games I backed on Kickstarter) that jump the queue and end up in the piles from time to time as well.
Combined an ambitious pile of holds from the library with a few things from the home shelves to meet my reading goals:
Pathfinder: The Inner Sea World Guide by Paizo Publications: Information on the Pathfinder core setting of Golarion. Some of this reads a little creaky to my current game setting sensibilities, but those elements are much rarer than in many other game worlds, and my understanding is that many of those points have also been addressed in setting material for the new edition of the game. I quite enjoy Golarion as a kitchen-sink-style game setting. There’s so much potential for adventure in this world (though, sadly, I’ve never played in Golarion, and rarely play Pathfinder) and it would be fun to use in pretty much any edition of fantasy RPG like D&D.
Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander: First in her cozy mystery series. I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as the Sloane Krause beer-themed cozies, but it was still really good. I’ll continue reading this series.
The Night Parade by Scott Ciencin: A Forgotten Realms D&D tie-in novel from back in the day. Part of the Harpers series, and one I’m pretty sure I somehow never read despite it releasing when I was reading every D&D novel I could find. Sadly, this one wasn’t to my taste.
Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien: First in a new to me cozy series, it was fun enough, and I’ll probably continue reading the series.
Lore Olympus Vol. 2 by Rachel Smythe: Loving this! Gorgeous colours and a fun take on Greek mythology.
Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant: A novella explaining what really happened to the Atargatis, the ship lost at sea that is inciting incident for Grant’s Drowning in the Deep thriller. A fantastic fast-paced addition, and a fun read even having read Drowning in the Deep first.
Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey: The Hunt for Harley Quinn by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palimotti, Chad Hardin, Alex Sinclair, Paul Mounts, Enrica Eren Angiolini: I really enjoyed the main story written by Palmiotti and Conner, and have always dug Amanda Conner’s art. The bonus short story, taken from Harley Quinn Black, White, and Red, wasn’t to my taste, even if Chad Hardin’s art was gorgeous.
Servant Mage by Kate Elliott: First work of Elliott’s that I’ve read, an author I’ve been meaning to check out for a long time. I enjoyed this novella. Not sure it gives a true sense of what Elliott can do with her longer series. I’ll have to check one of those out sometime soon.
Graveneye by Sloane Leong, Anna Bowles: A graphic novel with a great black, white, and red colour palette. A fantastic creepy house story.
Four Faces of the Moon by Amanda Strong: An Indigenous graphic novel showing the some of the history of the Metis people through members of the creator’s family. The book spun out of the stop motion animated film by Spotted Fawn Productions. A wonderful book, now I need to check out the film. Highly recommended.
Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire: Another Wayward Children novella, this time returning to the story of Jack and Jill and the Moors. This series continues to surprise and delight.
When the Sky Comes Looking For You: Short Trips Down the Thunder Road by Chadwick Ginther: But wait, he’s named like my name! I was doing page proofs, and technically speaking this is the first time I’ve read this book as a book (and I actually read the whole thing at least twice). Many of the stories were previously published and the new ones were completed independently of one another. I hope you’ll enjoy it!
Air: Sylphs, Spirits, & Swan Maidens edited by Rhonda Parrish: The third of Rhonda Parrish’s Elemental anthologies. My Thunder Road story “Golden Goose” is in this one (which I didn’t read, but in a weird bit of timing, I hit the page proof stage of When the Sky Comes Looking for You where “Golden Goose” appears at roughly the same time) as its spot in the anthology. I really enjoyed this one. Stand out stories for me were “Faery Dust” by Mark Bruce, “The Whippoorwill” by Kevin Cockle, “Research Log ~~33” by Rowena McGowan, and “The Sky Thief” by Elise Forier Edie. Of those, I think “Research Log ~~33” was my favourite of the anthology.
21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph: My read for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Despite occasional blocks of text from the actual Indian Act, which are pretty dense and tangled legal speak, this is a very accessible read. It’s also a necessary one, describing twenty-one ways in which the Indian Act has controlled and oppressed Indigenous Peoples since its inception. The hardest thing to learn for me was probably that there were voices in Canada as early as 1907 calling out the conditions in the schools, and that the advice for change was actively ignored and opposed. It’s not surprising, really, but still was difficult to read so starkly. I wish I would have learned some of this in those Canadian history courses I took in school. As it was, I’d never even heard the term residential school until 1996, after the last one had closed, and didn’t learn what they actually were until years later. Joseph also includes several appendices detailing terminology, a residential school chronology, the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, a classroom discussion guide and resources for additional reading for educators, and finally quotes from John A. Macdonald and Duncan Campbell Scott you may not have heard before. An excellent resource.
I did it! finished everything on the September read pile! You know what that means: my spoopy reading stack for October!