Harper Presents: An Evening with Kelly Rimmer

I was fortunate to be one of the attendees at last night’s Harper Presents event. The spaces at these events go quickly and I have learned that in order to attend, you need to respond asap.

Unfortunately one of the authors planned to attend the event could not attend due to personal reasons but we still got to hear from Kelly Rimmer, a bestselling author whose recent books I have enjoyed.

I brought a friend of mine along as I had told her about these events and she was curious to attend one with me. Having her at my side was definitely a bonus as we chatted and caught up with all our news.

I enjoyed listening to Kelly Rimmer speak about her upcoming novel Truths I Never Told You. She told us the synopsis of the story and mentioned the fact that it speaks to postpartum depression. It was perfect to hear her speak about this topic as yesterday was a day of mental awareness in Canada.

I look forward to reading the ARC I received from the publisher. Reading it will be even more enjoyable now that I have heard the author speak.

Have you read any of Kelly Rimmer’s books?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

Grateful for Author Event

On Tuesday I headed to the opposite side of the city from where I live to attend a #HarperPresents event organised by the marketing team at Harper Collins Canada. I was especially excited for the event as I was to hear one of my favourite authors speak, Gilly MacMillan.

As I had been late for the previous event due to traffic, I left home a little early. Arriving at the location early, I found myself standing near the front of the line to enter. I looked around for people to chat to and what I noticed was that if a person was alone, they were looking at their phone. The person in front of me was one such woman. I attempted to make conversation with her but it was definitely one-sided. The questions I put to her were answered briefly and not reciprocated; she had more interest in looking at her phone and scrolling through her social media accounts than in getting to know someone new. I resigned myself to continuing solo, knowing that tonight making a connection with someone was slim – especially as most people around me were accompanied by friends.

At 6;30pm, we entered the large room and I found myself a spot. We were given time to eat a snack and to chat. People were buzzing with interest and reconnecting with friends. I chatted to some of the organisers of the event and looked at the display of candles that were set up on the table.

The highlight of the evening for me was definitely hearing the authors speak: Gilly Macmillan, Tarryn Fisher, and Shari Lapena. Shari was an excellent moderator and she kept an interesting conversation going. The authors and audience shared some laughs (quite a few actually). The authors did not speak too much about their new novels in order to avoid spoilers but what was mentioned about psychological thrillers in general is that they are an exploration of human nature – a viewpoint I agree with totally. It was interesting to learn, as well, that these big authors are both ‘pantsers’ in that they do not write an outline before they begin writing their story. This, apparently, is quite a headache for the publishers. 🙂

The second part of the evening was set aside to make a candle using sustainable materials. I have not done candle making before of any sort and it was interesting to see the process. I chose a scent that I know my husband enjoys too – sandalwood – and even now as I am typing this, I can smell the aroma. I know that this candle will be used by me in many of my future bookish posts as I love the way it turned out and it will be a while before I actually burn it.

This week I am grateful that Harper Collins Canada organises these events – and that I have the opportunity to attend them. It was an enjoyable evening and one I do not regret attending – even though I was tired the day after!

What are you grateful for this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is part of my weekly gratitude reflection. You are welcome to join in and share your post in the comments.)

Frenzy Presents: Brian Francis

Last night I attended a Frenzy Presents event to launch a new release by Brian Francis. Break In Case of Emergency is his first YA novel which deals with mental health issues and the protagonist’s coming of age. I was excited to meet the author and read the words of a novelist I had not read before.

The evening had another attraction for me: I would see my dear friend who lives quite a distance from me. Normally when school is on, we don’t see one another. However, her children’s sports programmes have not yet started so she was able to meet me at the event.

I was enjoying her company so much that I forgot to take pictures! The snacks offered were yummy and the author was so nice to chat to. As the event was held at a restaurant, he came to each table and chatted with us for a while. So pleasant. My only regret was that he could not chat with us for longer! (And that I forgot to take a photo with him!)

Last night was a night to smile. I met an author, chatted with him, received a lovely novel to read, and spent time with my dear friend.

What has made you smile this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

Frenzy Presents Ben Philippe

Yesterday evening I attended an event to celebrate the release of Ben Philippe’s debut novel The Field Guide to the North American Teenager (you can read my review here). The event, held by Harper Collins Canada for book bloggers, took place at a pie and coffee shop in the Kensington area of Toronto. As my daughter and I walked along the street, we recognised that we had strolled along the same road during the past summer and that we had actually walked past this store front but not gone in. We walked in, curious about this venue that had been chosen by the organisers of the event.

The vibe at the venue was thrumming once everyone had arrived and we were all keen to hear Ben Philippe speak. Most of us had already read his novel and wished to learn a little more about the writer. Unfortunately he did not speak long to the large group as the venue was noisy and he could not be heard clearly. However when he personalised the copies of our books, we had the opportunity to speak to him a bit. I loved that he is enthusiastic about his story, and that he was curious how people responded to the ending. I agree with the way he ended the story, though not everyone in attendance did.

My daughter and I had a lovely evening at the event. We met new people, had the chance to meet a wonderful debut author, and had some key lime pie (which is often mentioned in the novel 🙂 )

Do you wish to read The Field Guide to the North American Teenager?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

An End of the Week Smile

Last week was super busy. I went in early to school, and came home late. Why? “Twas the season of report cards and parent interviews. By Friday I was tired but I had something to look forward to – a chance to hear David Baldacci speak,  one of my favourite authors. I was excited to hear him speak that I went out even though I was tired and it was snowing.

I was surprised at the small number of people attending the talk. I am guessing that the event was not well advertised – and that many people have other things to do on a Friday night. The people who were present, though, listened attentively as the author spoke.

He looked just as he does on the dust jackets of his many novels. He had prepared a speech and recounted many humorous anecdotes. I laughed a number of times – totally unexpected as his novels are not funny at all.

But even though he made us laugh, Baldacci was quiet and reserved during the actual book signing. Most of the author events I have been to, the authors do chat a little with the readers. This writer, however, did not feel comfortable doing so – which is surprising as he must have done so many of these events. I guess it all comes down to personality. And many writers, I believe, are quiet people at heart.

The author event was the perfect start to a busy weekend. But those smiles are for another post. 🙂

Weekly Smile #WeeklySmileHave you heard David Baldacci speak?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

A Last Minute Author Event

When I heard about Jodi Picoult coming to Toronto to speak about her latest book A Spark of Light, I was interested in attending as I have read a number of her books and enjoyed them. Her event, unfortunately was sold out. I put myself on the waiting list as someone might cancel their ticket.

The event was on Monday and I had swept it out of my mind. When checking my email during lunch, I saw that I had received a notification stating that more spaces had opened up: I quickly messaged my cousin to let him know (he enjoyed her books as well), and bought tickets. Going to the event was a bit rushed as it was last minute but I thought it would be worth it as she is a well-known and successful author.

When I arrived at the venue in the evening, I was surprised at how many people were in attendance – over 500! It is the biggest author event that I have been to. I liked that they had large screens to project the conversation to the audience. As a result I did not mind that I was at the back of the hall.

It was interesting to listen to someone who has written so many successful novels. She is very confident – and very political. To be honest, I was disappointed that she spoke so much about American politics. The election may have been the following day, but we were there to listen to her speak about her book as well as her writing process.

I am still glad I went to the event, however, as what she said will give me a better understanding of the novel when I read it.

Weekly Smile #WeeklySmileHave you read any of Jodi Picoult’s novels?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)