I was moved this morning by a blog post by Deryn Collier about the impact a talk I gave at a library in British Columbia has had on her.

This was years ago. Four had showed up for the event. I was in full 17th century costume and felt somewhat overdressed. But like any writer, I give my all, whether it be to one or one hundred.

Deryn writes:

Sandra Gulland was amazing. Dressed in period costume, in the musty basement of the old Creston library building,  she was regal, gracious and kind to each of the four people in attendance. And she told a story I will never forget. She was a mom, at home with her kids, living in a small town in Ontario. …

(Regal! Moi?)

I recall talking about writing and being a mother, and how it was possible to do both. It was a message Deryn, at home with her son, was ready to hear. I wrote Perseverance! Bon courage! in her copy of the Trilogy. She has heeded those word well, and I’m touched.

Her memory of what I said differs from my own recollection in one respect, however. I gave up paying work because my husband insisted I write. “Think of Van Gogh,” he would say whenever I questioned the wisdom of spending years on a novel (Josephine B.) that was not apt ever to get published.

I dedicated The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B., my first published novel, “To Richard, who insisted.” He teared when he opened the book.

Amusing aside: the dedication in the German translation translates back to English as: “To Richard, who allows no peace.” We had a laugh about that.

{The image of British Columbia is from Deryn Collier’s blog.}