I've donated an hour of programming with Alberta's amazing and mighty CKUA radio network! Tune in to Folk Routes on Sunday August 18 to learn more about my book and the songs I chose as chapter titles for my book.
I connected with Connie at the Canmore Folk Festival - August 3 to 5, 2019. I only wanted to ask her to sign my own hardcover copy of my book (I'm on a mission to get autographs from the participating musicians). She not only did that, but we also had a terrific conversation about storytelling in all its forms, from books to songs to simply sharing family lore with your kids.
Plus -- Connie LOVES my book! What better endorsement could I ask for?
Keep telling stories. Keep sharing stories. It's how we learn. It's how we grow.
CALGARY CENTRAL LIBRARY SHORT STORY DISPENSER
Here's some fun news! A super-short story of mine has been accepted for the Calgary Central Library's Short Story Dispenser. Next time you visit the snazzy new central library, find a story dispenser machine. You can select one-, three- or five-minute stories -- push the button and the machine will print a random story drawn from the pool of excellent and eclectic stories in the program. Or, you can visit the library's short story website to find my story. Thanks to my friend Shaun Crawford to getting me involved in this project. You can read Shaun's stories here and here.
DIGITAL BOOK CLUB
I was scheduled to be "author in residence" at a friend's book club on March 12 - but Foothills weather intervened (as it often does). A blast of wet snow made it impossible for me to get to the city but we agreed to try FaceTime as an alternative - and it worked! I didn't get to share the wine and snacks, nor did I get to hug my friends, but I was able to connect with the book club, talk about my book, and answer questions. I'd rather do in-person presentations but I now know that doing a DIGITAL BOOK CLUB presentation works well!
IRON STONE RESEARCH A reader contacted me for more information concerning The Iron Stone, which was featured in my book Native Chiefs and Famous Metis. The stone - actually a meteorite - was revered by Indigenous people. It was lodged in a hillside near present-day Killam, Alberta (southeast of Edmonton). George McDougall, an early Methodist missionary in the area, had it removed and transported to Ontario. That's where I left it in my book, but the reader needed to know more - so I did some additional research (one of my favourite things!) and learned that the stone has actually been repatriated - sort of. It was returned to Alberta in the 1970s and now resides - in its own room - at the new Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton. There's no entry fee to see the stone, and although it's on permanent display at the museum, Indigenous people can (and have) conduct ceremonies and celebrations involving the stone. Thanks to my wonderful reader for getting in touch! Learning is a gift.
May 7 - reading / book signing at MEDICINE HAT PUBLIC LIBRARY
My book now has four copies in the Marigold Library system (Okokoks, Turner Valley, Canmore) -- as of Nov. 3 all copies are SIGNED OUT!!! Yay, thank you readers!
What an active, busy, bubbling library! I was there for three hours and witnessed:
at least three new library membership purchased.
at least five library membership renewals.
SO MANY KIDS! The Okotoks library has a great kids' are and they offer lots of programs. I was so impressed to see a constant parade of families coming into the library for books, crafts, story time, and more.
DIVERSITY - in s small Alberta community, I would not have expected to see the range of faces and modes of dress and languages. But there it all was, front and centre -- YAY! Which says to me that Okotoks is a diverse community -- and that makes me happy.
My next event is at the Chapters / Indigo Shawneesy location in Calgary, November 25, 11 to 4.
ANOTHER great library event!
The Sheep River Library in Turner Valley, Alberta, is a thriving community hub and gathering place. It's got everything: a two-sided fireplace; a bank of public computers; a colourful and bright kid's area; a piano; separate rooms for meetings, crafts, seminars and more; rotating art exhibits; and an extensive collection of books, CDs, DVDs plus connection with the Marigold library system that taps into a huge resource of books, music and MORE.
Every year, the Sheep River Library hosts the OUT LOUD program that features local, regional and national writers doing readings, workshops and many other events. This is an exceptional opportunity to connect writers with writers -- and writers with readers!
I was so privileged to be part of the 2018 Out Loud event. On October 27, I joined a dozen other writers to present our work and interact with each other and with local readers.
THANK YOU to the wonderful staff at the library for organizing this event. SUCH FUN!
Long live community libraries!!
Chapter titles in my book are song lyric snippets from some of my favourite Canadian singer / songwriters, including my old friend James Keelaghan. On October 19, James and kindred spirit British singer-songwriter Jez Lowe appeared at Calgary's Fish Creek Concerts.
What a lovely venue -- it's a church. And what a terrific concert! James delivers his evocative songs with his tremendous clear, resonate baritone, IMHO his voice has never been stronger (and he's always been a terrific singer).
After the concert, I asked James to sign MY copy of my book on the epigram page, which quotes from his' song Hold Your Ground: "The only view is forward / When your back's against the wall"
Thank you James!
OMG - I LOVE libraries!
Libraries are essential to community fabric..The image at left s a cartoon but it's also the truth about the role libraries have in community life. All that and more..
I recently did a reading / signing event at the gorgeous Canmore Public Library, which is part of Elevation Place -- a public building in Canmore, Alberta that houses not only the library but also an art gallery, family recreation centre (pool, gym, climbing walls), cafe and welcoming public spaces. A terrific and well used focal point in Canmore.
I'm scheduled for a reading / signing event at the Cochrane Public Library, located northwest of Calgary -- the perfect location to showcase my book, which is set in the Alberta foothills.
I'm also contacting a number of other regional libraries to organize events.
Sunday November 25 - 11 AM to 4 PM - Chapters Shawnessey- meet the author and book signing It's all about CHRISTMAS GIFTS Just sayin'
WHY I LOVE LIBRARIES
People think libraries are going out of style and have a limited future because of e-books.. NOT SO!! Libraries offer much more, such as: - programming and activities (especially for kids, but also things like writer-in-residence and more) - learning opportunities (especially for kids) - research help - video conferencing (in the case of my local library, conferencing with seminars and connecting with online learning) - distance learning - seniors programs (my local library rents cycles and offers walking programs, among other things)
BOOKS AND BEYOND
Libraries are about knowledge and that NEVER goes out of style
THANK YOU to the wonderful staff at Owl's Nest Books in Calgary, who were so friendly and helpful during my "meet-the-author" session at the store on August 18. It was great fun and we sold a bunch of books!
Also for those in book clubs: Owl's Nest offers a discount program -- if you register your book club with them, they offer a 10% discount for book club selections purchased at the store.
Next event: Canmore Public Library in October. Watch for dates!
MEET THE AUTHOR -- ME!
Owl's Nest Books terrific independent bookstore, hosting my MEET THE AUTHOR event
Saturday August 18
815A 49th Avenue SW Calgary (Britannia Shopping Centre at Elbow Drive and 50th Ave SW)
Store managers and staff were so supportive and it was great to connect with people. Book sales: good Connecting with and talking to readers: great!
MY FIRST "MEET THE AUTHOR" IN-BOOKSTORE EVENT
Woo hoo! Great "meet the author" event at Indigo Books in downtown Calgary. THANKS for terrific support from bookstore staff. And SUPER THANKS to my friends who showed up for a photo op with the soon-to-be-world-famous author!
My thanks to everyone who came out, thanks to Lisa Best for the photos, and big hugs to gallery owner Michael Warren for hosting this event.
Saturday June 2 ART IN THE PARK Turner Valley
Thanks to my friend and mentor Pat Lathrop for assisting with this event. Great to meet so many people who've read the book (and loved it!) Great to create awareness for the book And what a lovely day, warm and sunny, perfect!
GREAT READING / SIGNING EVENT April 29 at Shelf Life Books in Calgary - see photos below! Thanks to everyone who braved the elephants (ha! cool and grey...) to attend a really fun reading. My event buddy Teresa van Bryce was so entertaining and read from her book House of the Blue Sea - a good fit with my book, may parallel themes. And - despite my sore throat and fading voice! - I read from The Sow's Ear Cafe. Great discussion and Q&A followed! lovely to see so many friends and family!
WHAT READERS SAY....
I've been getting such kind reviews and support from readers:
"Thank you for writing such an enjoyable book!" - MK, Turner Valley -- from someone who NEVER reads novels (reads non-fiction instead)
"Could barely put it down, hated to finish it, Slowed down my reading at the end not wanting to finish it, and might have to read it again, 'cause I loved it. Beautifully written, Holly, loved your people, they were real. Please write another one!" - KB, Calgary
NEWS! The Sow's Ear Cafe is now available online at Chapters / Indigo, iBooks (at the Apple iTunes store) and on my new author page on Amazon.com.
March 10 book launch event at Bluerock Gallery, Black Diamond, Alberta. THANKS to friends and family who made this event sparkle as brightly as the art on the gallery walls! And thanks to Gervais Goodman for the photos.
BOOKS HAVE ARRIVED!
Thanks to the great folks at FriesenPress, I now have hardcover and softcover books on hand - ready for my book launch event on March 10 (see below) -- plus other book events, bookstore consignment, book clubs and more! Contact me to get your copy, or go to About The Book.
BOOK LAUNCH Come celebrate the launch of Holly Quan's debut novel, The Sow's Ear Cafe
The event will be on Saturday, March 10 from 2 - 4 p.m. At Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond, AB
SPONSORED PROGRAM HOUR ON CKUA
Listen to "Alberta Morning" with host Grant Stovel on CKUA radio to hear a selection of music related to The Sow's Ear Cafe Tuesday March 6, 7 to 8 a.m. MST
DID YOU KNOW?Chapter titles in the book are drawn from songs by Canadian singer-songwriters, including James Keelaghan, Anne Loree, Connie Kaldor, Jesse Winchester, Gordon Lightfoot, David Wilkie and Stewart McDougall.