Terry MacLeod interviews Pat Barter Cook
In the weeks leading up to the 2017 Manitoba Book Awards gala, Terry MacLeod who was co-hosting the event, roved the aisles of McNally Robinson Booksellers interviewing people about the books they were reading. Videos of the interviews were posted on the Writers Guild Facebook page. One woman Terry interviewed was Pat Barter Cook and she talked about the book A Man Called Ove. She said it was a story about an older grief-stricken man named Ove who got up every morning with a plan to kill himself. If that wasn’t enough to hook future readers Pat also told us despite the fact Ove was pretty curmudgeonly she had grown to love him almost immediately. On Thursday when I was at McNallys for my writers’ group meeting I walked past the book A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman displayed at the end of an aisle and couldn’t help but buy it based on Pat’s intriguing interview with Terry.
I wasn’t disappointed. The book tells the story of how Ove is forced, despite himself, to engage in relationships with his neighbors and that engages him in life again. This all happens in a very funny touching way. The book reminded me of a Ted Talk by Harvard researcher Robert Waldinger who describes an in-depth 75 year study of the same people’s lives. The results clearly show relationships keep us happier and healthier. Social connections are good for us and loneliness kills. People who have good social connections live longer, are physically and mentally healthier, and are happier.
A Man Called Ove makes that point in spades! I throughly enjoyed the novel. Thanks Terry MacLeod and Pat Barter Cook for the prompt to buy it.
A Glamourous Evening at the Manitoba Book Awards
Getting to Know Emma Donoghue in Person
A Novel That Took Us Through Eight States
Filed under Books, Winnipeg
I attended the Manitoba Book Awards on Saturday. It is an annual event organized by the Manitoba Writers Guild. I have been a member of the guild ever since I moved to Winnipeg six years ago. It was through the guild I heard about Vast Imaginations the first children’s writers’ group I joined in Winnipeg. The friends I made there helped me find my way into The Anita Factor a collective of talented and published children’s authors who have been mentoring me in my quest to learn the fine art of writing picture books and novels for young people. So I was delighted to be able to attend the Manitoba Book Awards last Saturday with members of The Anita Factor.
Here I am with some of the members of my writing group The Anita Factor. Larry on the far right is a former Manitoba book award winner, Jodi was a Manitoba book award nominee last year and Pat who is standing next to me just published a book with Pembroke Publishers.
This was the first year the event was held in the elegant Fort Garry Hotel and it was a first class evening in every way.
These creative candleholders spotlighted the names of previous Manitoba Book Award winners.
It featured great musical entertainment, professional Winnipeg broadcasters Terry MacLeod and Lara Rae as hosts, a delicious meal expertly served, good wine, and polished and articulate presenters that included last year’s Book of The Year winner Wab Kinew and Rochelle Squires the Manitoba Minister of Sports, Culture and Heritage. We each received a complimentary copy of the latest issue of Walrus Magazine. They were one of the offical sponsors of the evening. That chocolate book in the corner is real and oh so deliciously decadent. Each attendee received one from the talented chocolatier Constance Popp.
After the meal I bought Angeline Schellenberg’s book of poetry Tell Them It Was Mozart at the table set up by McNally Robinson Book Sellers. Angeline’s debut into the literary world garnered her three awards on Saturday night and I consumed her moving book of poems in one fell swoop on Sunday morning. I want to go back and read them all again.
It was great to see Manitoba authors celebrated. Kudos to my fellow Anita Factor member Melanie Matheson who is the executive director of the Manitoba Writers Guild and Ellen MacDonald the guild’s event coordinator who did such a fantastic job organizing the evening. I’m already looking forward to next year’s awards night.
Not One Book Launch But Three
Writer or Palaeontologist?
The nominees for the Manitoba Book Awards have been announced and three members of my writing group The Anitas have made the short lists. Suzanne Costigan is nominated in the fiction for older children category for her book Empty Cup. Suzanne’s novel has also been selected as a featured book in the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Spring 2015 edition of Best Books for Kids & Teens.
Deborah Froese is among the nominees in the fiction for younger children category for her picture book Mr. Jacobson’s Window.
Melanie Matheson is nominated in the same category as Deborah, for her picture book Hokey Dowa Gerda and the Snowflake Girl.
Some other good news for The Anitas recently was the announcement that Jodi Carmichael’s novel Forever Julia was featured in an article in Quill and Quire. Jodi launches her book April 16th at McNally Robinson.
Highlights for our writing group this past year have been the publication and launch of Melinda Friesen’s book Enslavement and Pat Trottier’s The Other R in Education and the great news that Gabriele Goldstone had signed a contract for the publication of three historical novels for young people.
I realize how very fortunate I am to be taking my baby steps in the world of children’s writing and publishing with people as accomplished and successful as this! I can’t thank The Anitas enough for taking me in and allowing me to become a part of their group almost two years ago. Talk about being in good company!
Note: Before I joined The Anitas I was part of a children’s writing group called Vast Imaginations which eventually came to an end and that’s when The Anitas took me in. Larry Verstraete was a member of Vast Imaginations and gave me lots of advice and encouragement on my very first manuscripts. Larry is also nominated for a Manitoba Book Award this year for his novel Missing in Paradise.
Not One Book But Three
A Book Set Right Here in Winnipeg
Writing My First Amazon Review