March 17, 2017: An evening with C.C. Humphreys and Tilar Mazzeo.
Chris (C.C.) Humphreys was born in Toronto and grew up in the UK. He is an actor and writer of historical novels. He has acted all over the world and appeared on stages ranging from London’s West End to Hollywood’s Twentieth Century Fox. The first of his novels, The French Executioner told the tale of the man who killed Anne Boleyn, was runner up for the CWA Steel Dagger for Thrillers 2002, and has been optioned for the screen. Its sequel was Blood Ties. Having played Jack Absolute, he stole the character and has written three books on this 007 of the 1770’s – Jack Absolute, The Blooding of Jack Absolute, and Absolute Honour – short listed for the 2007 Evergreen Prize by the Ontario Library Association. He has also written a trilogy for young adults The Runestone Saga, a heady brew of Norse myth, runic magic, time travel and horror. His newest book is Fire, a thrilling reimagining of the events of the 1666 Great Fire of London.
Dr. Tilar Mazzeo is the Clara C. Piper Associate Professor of English at Colby College, in Waterville, Maine. She is the author of numerous works of narrative nonfiction, and several of her books have been New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Los Angeles Times bestsellers. She divides her time among coastal Maine, New York City, and Saanichton, British Columbia, where she lives with her husband at Parsell Vineyard. Her latest book, Irena’s Children is the remarkable history of a “female Schindler,” Irena Sendler (1910-2008), who saved more than 2,500 Jewish children from the Nazis. The New York Journal of Books says “Mazzeo delivers with creativity and passion” and calls Irena’s Children “evocative, haunting and gripping and impeccably researched. Mazzeo’s work as a wine writer has appeared in numerous national outlets in the United States, including Food and Wine magazine.
February 10, 2017: An evening with Lorna Crozier and Arleen Paré.
An Officer of the Order of Canada, Lorna Crozier has been acknowledged for her contributions to Canadian literature, her teaching and her mentoring with five honourary doctorates, most recently from McGill and Simon Fraser Universities. Her books have received numerous national awards, including the Governor-General’s Award for Poetry. The Globe and Mail declared The Book of Marvels: A Compendium of Everyday Things one of its Top 100 Books of the Year, and Amazon chose her memoir as one of the 100 books you should read in your lifetime. A Professor Emerita at the University of Victoria, she has performed for Queen Elizabeth II and has read her poetry, which has been translated into several languages, on every continent except Antarctica. Her latest books are The Wrong Cat and The Wild in You, a collaboration with photographer Ian McAllister.
Arleen Paré has graduate degrees in Social Work, Adult Education and Creative Writing (Poetry). Originally from Montreal, she worked for over two decades in Vancouver in Social Service bureaucracies. Paré has published four books, Paper Trail, Leaving Now, and Lake of Two Mountains, and He Leaves His Face in the Funeral Car. She now resides in Victoria, where she lives with her partner, Chris Fox. She has two adult sons.
November 18, 2016: An evening with Steven Price and Pauline Holdstock.
Steven Price is the author of two award-winning poetry books, Anatomy of Keys (2006), winner of the Gerald Lampert Award, and Omens in the Year of the Ox (2012), winner of the ReLit Award. His first novel, Into That Darkness, was published by Thomas Allen to critical acclaim in 2011. Steven’s new novel By Gaslight will be published in six countries. Quill and Quire has By Gaslight an “engrossing read” with “twists and turns that deepen our understanding of the characters even as they advance multiple plot strands.” It “immerses us in a world of sights and smells so precisely rendered they are nearly tangible.”
Pauline Holdstock is an internationally published novelist, short fiction writer and essayist. Her most recent novel is The Hunter and the Wild Girl, a finalist for the 2016 BC Book Prizes. Her work has been shortlisted for a number of awards, among them the Best First Novel Award, the Scotia Bank Giller prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Her historical novel Beyond Measure was the winner of the BC Book Prizes Ethel Wilson Award for Fiction. She lives here on the peninsula and spends writing time in France, where her latest novel is set.
The National Post called The Hunter and the Wild Girl “a provocative fable on what it means to be a human being, faced with freedoms both conventional and absolute.”
Photos from Event
October 28, 2016: An evening with M.A.C. Farrant and Barbara Smith.
M.A.C. Farrant is the author of fourteen works of fiction, non-fiction, memoir, and over one hundred book reviews and essays for the Vancouver Sun and the Toronto Globe & Mail. Her memoir, My Turquoise Years, which she adapted for the stage, premiered in 2013 at the Arts Club Theatre’s in Vancouver, British Columbia..The World Afloat – Miniatures, won the City of Victoria Book Butler Book Prize in 2014. Her latest book of fiction (Fall 2016), is “The Days—Forecasts Warnings, Advice”. The Vancouver Sun says it “is great fun but also makes you look at the world in a new way.” A full-time writer, Farrant’s work as been nominated for many awards.
Barbara Smith was born and raised in Toronto and lived most of her life in Edmonton before settling in the Victoria area in 2006. Barbara is a full-time writer whose work is inspired by a love of mystery combined with her lifelong interest in social history. She has published over thirty books, twenty of which are collections of true ghost stories. Her latest book, The Valiant Nellie McClung highlights a selection of Nellie McClung’s columns—covering themes such as war, the strength of the family unit, and the pleasure of gardening—and offers a unique reflection of our country’s history and an uncanny resonance today.
Photos from Event
September 30, 2016: An evening with Arthur Black and Susan Juby.
Arthur Black is one of Canada’s best-known humorists, and one of only three living writers to have won the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour three times. A former host of the CBC radio program, Basic Black, and the author of a syndicated newspaper column, Black is now permanently transplanted to Salt Spring Island, BC. His most recent book is Paint the Town Black (Harbour).
Susan Juby is the author of the critically acclaimed Getting the Girl and Another Kind of Cowboy, as well as the bestselling Alice series (Alice, I Think; Miss Smithers (winner of the Sheila Egoff award); Alice MacLeod, Realist at Last) and The Woefield Poultry Collective. Her latest novel is The Truth Commission. Dryly funny and knife-sharp it was written as “creative nonfiction” by the protagonist Normandy Pale, and features footnotes, illustrations, and a combination mystery/love story that will capture readers from the first page.
Photos from Event
June 22, 2016: An evening with John Crouch and Briony Penn.
John Crouch is a well-known athlete and writer who has published three successful guidebooks: Bike Victoria, Walk Victoria, and Hike Victoria, along with a memoir. John Crouch’s latest guidebook, Cycling the Islands, is the perfect resource and the ultimate guidebook for travellers looking to explore the beauty and splendour of British Columbia’s Gulf Islands and the American San Juan Islands by bicycle.
Salt Spring Island author Briony Penn is a naturalist, writer, educator, and broadcaster well known in BC for her indomitable spirit and tireless devotion to protecting endangered species and sensitive ecosystems in her native British Columbia. Her latest book, The Real Thing: The Natural History of Ian McTaggart Cowan, is a 2016 BC Book Prize Winner.
June 8, 2016: An evening of mystery and sci-fi with Janet Brons and Chad Ganske
Before taking to crime writing, Janet Brons worked as a foreign affairs consultant following a seventeen-year career in the Canadian foreign service, with postings in Kuala Lumpur, Warsaw, and Moscow. She holds a Master of Arts in political science and international relations, and has lived in Sidney since retiring in 2004. Her latest book, Not a Clue, is the second instalment in her Forsyth and Hay mystery series.
Chad Ganske was born in Red Deer, Alberta in 1976, relocating with his family to Sidney in the late eighties. He published his first novel, a dark science fiction tale called Idyllic Avenue in 2014, followed in March of this year by the sequel, Salus. He still lives in Sidney, enjoying the quiet life, as well as spending a great deal of time alternating between states of elation and frustration watching the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL.
May 18, 2016: An Evening with Tricia Dower and Grant McKenzie
Brentwood Bay resident Tricia Dower began writing in 2002 upon retirement from corporate life. Her first book, Silent Girl, features 8 short stories all with strong female leads inspired by Shakespearean characters, and dealing with contemporary issues. It was followed, Stony River, a powerful coming-of-age story and first in a planned trilogy. The second novel, Becoming Lin, is deftly crafted and deals with identity, trauma, and finding your place in a turbulent world.
Grant McKenzie is well known in the Victoria literary landscape as a journalist, Communications Director for Our Place, and author of six ‘edge of your seat’ crime novels. Under the pen-name M.C. Grant he is the author of the Dixie Flynn mysteries. Published internationally, McKenzie’s reputation is well established amongst fans of crime novels and thrillers.
March 17, 2016: An Evening with Gwen Curry
Gwen Curry’s book, Tod Inlet: A Healing Place, takes us on walks down to the inlet. Her beautiful photographs capture the spirit of present-day Tod Inlet, while her sensitive prose gives us glimpses into the Inlet’s natural, industrial, and First Nations history. Tod Inlet: A Healing Place has been short listed for the BC Book Prizes’ Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize.