In the days before I flew west for the Banff Book Discussion Weekend, I was in “a state,” overwhelmed by 1) revising The Novel, 2) setting up Sandra Gulland Ink, my e-publishing venture, and 3) the prospect of giving a PowerPoint presentation, a banquet speech, and a reading/talk: none of which I’d yet to prepare.

By Friday, I had most of my talks more or less in hand, but once at Banff, I practiced and revised like crazy—so much so that by the time I gave my first presentation on Saturday, I was hoarse. (Note to self: learn how to look after my voice!)

It went, I thought, exceptionally well: the tech crew was great, the venue awesome, and PowerPoint is a breeze. I love it. It’s particularly suited to historical subjects. I used to often give slide show presentations about Josephine B., but when one technology gave way to another, I stopped. Now I’m nuts to do more.

I was blown away by the Banff Centre (great accommodations, great foot, great place), but most of all by the Banff Book Discussion Weekend itself. Reading fervour! Book talk fervour! The event was beautifully organized, and I’m honoured to have been invited to be the guest author for their 50th anniversary.

{Photo by Jane Paul of me and my “twin” look-alike, Janette Reynolds. Janette had been to my reading in Calgary a few years before.}

Writing a novel is such a long and solitary labour, it’s wonderful to get out and meet readers. I’m chuffed!

Plus: I learned how Petite (and Athénaïs, for that matter) likely disguised their pregnancies. Also, in a talk with another reader, I got the germ of an idea on how to possibly revise the beginning of Mistress of the Sun.

Yes, one never stops!