No GG for me – this time!

Congratulations to Christopher Moore,  who has just won the Governor General’s Literary Award (Children’s Text), for his book , From Then to Now (non-fiction history of the world).  As a “loser”, I’m in good company – Deborah Ellis, Kenneth Oppel and Tim Wynne-Jones. Of course, I would love to have had HARE chosen, but I honestly had little expectation of that happening, considering the other contenders all are about a dozen novels ahead of me, or so.  No trip to Toronto, or Rideau Hall for me, not this year, at least…And as my editor has said, being a GG Finalist for my first novel is an achievement I’ll always have and cherish.  I do have two new projects on the go, in addition to the full-length novel I’ve been working on for about a year and a half.  I’ll be retelling a classic novel for JLS, the Korean publisher – condensing a 100-page novel into about 25, so that should be an interesting challenge.  Another editor called last week expressing interest in a novel for reluctant middle-school readers, so I expect to get a contract signed for that in the near future, as well.

One thing I gained from my GG nomination experience is becoming more comfortable being interviewed.  I had a great live chat with Carmen Klassen of CBC Radio’s “Close to Home” last week – she’s very good at her job, and made me feel as though we were just having a personal chat on the telephone. It’s a little awkward because the GG people tell the “losers” about a week ahead of the announcement date, so I had to spend a week pretending I didn’t know I hadn’t won. One question Carmen asked was what I had learned from writing HARE; I wasn’t expecting that question, and very quickly said I learned that you can do “good” through your writing; not just in a financial way (as in supporting Wadeng Wings of Hope), but also in opening young readers’ eyes to situations in which children in other parts of the world find themselves; helping build empathy.

So many people have called and written expressing their support for HARE’s nomination and this segment of my writing journey  – thank you everybody for that!  I tend to be fairly goal-oriented, so maybe a new goal for me should be winning a Governor General’s Award – next time!  Back to work…