The date was November 29th, 1996. It was a snowy, Friday night during Ashern’s annual “Midnight Madness” that Where Children Run was launched at my little print shop on Main Street. The moment David and Dennis Pischke opened a box and lifted out the first copy is unforgettable; how people came in droves, bought books and celebrated with us. My brother flew in from Ontario to share my joy. I still remember the next day—cleaning up the leftover lunch, emptying the used coffee cups into the garbage and mopping the floor. Before going home I stopped at the Petro Canada station to see friend, Jean Postlethwaite, who I found reading it in her office. She’d stayed up all night with the book.
All I’d hoped for was to sell enough copies to pay the printing bill which was huge. Days later, the twins and I were guests on the Peter Warren show on CJOB radio and, as the say, the rest is history.
Years passed, then When Memories Remain was written, followed by an incredible dry spell as I juggled the demands of a full-time job and tried to teach myself how to write fiction. I seldom mention the non-fiction book, Just a Matter of Time, because it was a labour of love that I wrote about the plight of grassroots cattle producers during BSE, but so many of them couldn’t bring themselves to read it, I was left a bit heartbroken. Following that came some of the toughest years of my life and for awhile I stopped writing.
Now, as I travel throughout the province promoting my novel, Be Still the Water, I am keenly aware that the reason most people are coming out to these events is because of Where Children Run. Twenty years has taught me a lot and I am humbled by every reader who chooses to read my books. Visiting with all of you, both in person and over the internet brings me sincere joy.
Today I am truly grateful. For the Pischkes who trusted me to tell their story; to Peter Warren for announcing it to his listeners and the readers who bought it, read it, and told their friends. To the librarians and bookstore employees who recommended it, and now, I have the unbelievable luck that it is starting all over again with Be Still the Water.
Twenty years have taught me that we all have challenges to face and overcome. I also know that it can be done with the support and love from family and friends. Writers are nothing without readers and today I want to say thank you.
Twenty years to the day.