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BC Book Prizes On Tour

April 30, 2013

Port Alberni, home of BC’s next generation of great writers

What a spectacular day in Port Alberni! Mount Arrowsmith is there up the street like you could walk up the hill, step off the street and straight onto the mountain. Down on the quay I spotted a seal in the harbour next to a big freighter docked there while tugboats picturesquely pulled log booms up the inlet.

Mount Arrowsmith, Port Alberni

Three Grade Eight classes crowded the library at Ecole E.J. Dunn Middle School, where they asked smart, snappy questions for half an hour (“Have you ever been on The Ellen Show?”), laughed at all the right points in “Puke Diary” (phew!) and were good sports about reading “Thirty-One One Word Stories” out loud. They were an absolute treat. I have a feeling the next generation of BC writers is going to include a whack from Port Alberni.

Anne Fleming reading at EJ Dunn Middle School

At Alberni Elementary, about a hundred kindergarteners, grade ones, twos and threes trooped into the gym with their “petits tapis gris” (if you’re the parent of a French Immersion kid, you know I’m talking about carpets and also a song about carpets) to sit on to watch and listen to Alan work the magic of Maggie’s Chopsticks. They had this cool projector, so Alan could lay the book on the table in front of him, and it was projected onto a giant screen up on the stage so everyone could see the pictures. Best question of the morning? “I like your book!”

Anne Fleming and Alan Woo at the Harbourfront Quay in Port Alberni

View more Photos from the Vancouver Island Leg on Flickr

Posted by Anne Fleming | Filed under: | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 28, 2013

Gearing Up to Go

I’m very excited to be leaving tomorrow and driving the Vancouver Island leg of the BC Book Prizes On Tour 2013. I worked in-office at the BC Book Prizes from 2008 to 2011 and know the planning side of the tour well. However, I haven’t been on the road before, so this is going to be a fantastic new experience for me. I met authors Anne Fleming and Alan Woo at the Soirée earlier this month and we were chatting about our upcoming adventure. Alan is happy to not be driving, and Anne may bring her knitting or ukelele.

So, seat belts buckled, sunglasses on, and away we go! We’ll be stopping at schools, libraries, and bookstores in the communities of Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Parksville, Campbell River, Courtenay, Comox, and Ladysmith. Anne and Alan will be doing four public events, so come on out and say hello if we’re in your neck of the woods!

Posted by Monica Miller | Filed under: Vancouver Island Leg 2013 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 27, 2013

Thanks for everything!

Welcome display at David Hoy Elementary in Fort St. James

Thank you Terrace, Kitimat, Prince Rupert, Smithers, Prince George, Fort St. James and Burns Lake for being so welcoming.

And if that guy who wrote The Book of Awesome is still adding to his list, I think he should put Bryan Pike and Jackson Davies on it. Right at the tippy top. They are a couple of “champeens” and never once asked when lugging my luggage how many pairs of shoes I packed (4).  I feel privileged to have swapped stories with these two fine and funny fellows (yup, finally got that advance!). ☺

Time to turn the page. A new leg of the tour, with all new author-bloggers, begins on Monday.


Posted by Victoria Miles | Filed under: | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 27, 2013

Funny ha ha

April 27, 2013 (morning)

All great books come to an end and so do all great trips. I finished Bruno and the Beach yesterday and we head for the airport and home this evening. But not before a stop at Misty River Books in Terrace.

On the first day of the tour I called dibs on the back seat. It’s a short girl thing, and besides, I really liked the idea of being chauffered around. Very Diva-for-a-Week. Jackson is more than a foot taller than me and he is no diva. I say to Bryan I think I was picked for this tour because of my short legs. “Why yes”, said Bryan. “We keep all the authors’ leg measurements on file. Sure…” he says, sounding a bit like a Marx brother, “Sure that’s how it’s done.”

We have been a funny combination touring this stretch of the Province. Especially Jackson and Bryan, they are very funny ha ha—my favourite kind of funny. Jackson is recognized everywhere he goes. People come up to him and ask “How’s it goin’? How’s Jesse?” like they’ve known him forever. He’s nice to everyone and he wakes up the friendliness in other people.

I do a double-take seeing my name next to Jackson’s on the town marquee in Fort St. James. If you’d told me when I was a girl, sitting in my beanbag chair eating creamed tuna on toast with my family and watching The Beachcombers that I’d one day write for children and go on a book tour with Constable Constable, I never would have believed it. You can’t make this stuff up.


Posted by Victoria Miles | Filed under: | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 26, 2013

Dogs of Cow Bay

April 26, 2013

This is one of my favourite photos from the whole tour.

They look like readers.


Posted by Victoria Miles | Filed under: | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 26, 2013

Page 183

I’m coming to the end of Bruno and the Beach. I’m on page 183, reading about the episode when Umberto Menghi guest-starred as a used-Ferrari salesman. I only have a few pages to go, and I’m trying to make it last.

We really enjoyed this interview and meeting Zameer of Prince George’s CKPG. He had done his homework and had great questions for both of us!

TV interview with CKPG

Posted by Victoria Miles | Filed under: | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 26, 2013

One More Day Up North

I’ve been having a blast with Jackson Davies and Victoria Miles on the Northern BC tour! Today we’re visiting Burns Lake and Smithers, and tomorrow we wrap up this tour leg at our public event at Misty River Books in Terrace. Here are some photos from the Northern tour:

Victoria Miles with a budding writer at Kildala Elementary in Kitimat

Victoria with a budding writer at Kildala Elementary in Kitimat

Jackson with students at Charles Hays Secondary in Prince Rupert

Jackson with students at Charles Hays Secondary in Prince Rupert

Victoria Miles and Jackson Davies at the Museum of Northern BC in Prince Rupert

Victoria and Jackson at the Museum of Northern BC in Prince Rupert

Victoria, Jackson & Sarah at Books & Company in Prince George

Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize finalist and Prince George resident Sarah de Leeuw joined Jackson and Victoria at Books & Company for the public reading

TV interview with CKPG

CKPG interviewing Victoria and Jackson

The Interior BC tour leg with Stefan Czernecki and Evelyn Lau kicks off on Monday with school visits in Trail and Nelson, and a public event in Cranbrook. Stay tuned for blog posts and photos from this and our Vancouver Island tour!

Posted by Bryan Pike | Filed under: Northern Leg 2013 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 25, 2013

Sarah Leeuw at Books and Company

Sarah de Leeuw at Books & Company in Prince George

April 25, 2013

Poet Sarah Leeuw, a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and an assistant professor at the University of Northern BC, joined us last night to read at the very cozy Books and Company in Prince George. She added a new element to the road show; between the three of us we offered something for all ages!

Posted by Victoria Miles | Filed under: | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 25, 2013

Son of Jack

April 25, 2013

I failed to negotiate that hefty advance for blogging (it helps if you actually bring it up). But that’s okay, when you sit in a car with Jackson and Bryan, there’s no shortage of material to work with. Really, I should be paying them.
A friend texted me with a couple of questions for Jackson.

Q: What does he miss most about Bruno?

Jackson: He was one of the few people I’ve ever known who had an unbridled passion. We would to a place called the Omega, a restaurant in Gibson’s and he’d get all fired up about something. I called it his “Italian aerobics.”

Q: Jackson Davies’ name is unique. What’s the story? Did he have a unique upbringing?

Jackson: I come from a small town in Alberta and my parents were very supportive when I wanted to become an actor. I didn’t have a theatrical upbringing, the first play I ever saw I was in. My dad worked for Northern Alberta Gas; Mum was a singer. She still sings. She’s part of a group. She told me over the phone not long ago: “We’re going to entertain the seniors at the home today.” She’s 86.

My real name is John Davies. My Dad’s name was John, and people sometimes called him Jack. So I was Jack’s son.

When I go home, I answer to both.

But my mum calls me Johnny.

Posted by Victoria Miles | Filed under: | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 25, 2013

Tea with a twist

Tea is very important to me. Without tea I couldn’t write. Jackson and Bryan have discovered that I am also a much nicer person after I’ve had my tea. So after they dropped me off to read at Silverthorne Elementary in Houston, they went on a scouting mission.

“Good news!” says Bryan when they pick me up. “We found a place for tea!”

“We’re taking you to McDonald’s,” says Jackson.

They think they are very funny. Methinks not so much.

“You can get a McTea!” says Bryan.

Now they are really cracking up.

“Maybe there’ll even be a little McChicken floating on the top!” says Bryan, but instead of pulling in to the Golden Arches, he veers left to his newest roadside find. Like a mirage out of the desert, except it’s real and the proprietress is a charming woman from Sweden who stocks teas like Chocolate Iguana Chai and Blackforest cheesecake tea. For the less adventurous (me!) also has a fine variety of peach and apricot. So this explains Jackson’s twist and my well, we are not quite sure what I am doing. But its a kind of happy dance. 

Posted by Victoria Miles | Filed under: | 1 Comments | Permalink

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