I’ve been thinking a lot about the event for tomorrow night here in Toronto, and the way that the last few weeks feel desperately out of order.
It says "Launch" and while that’s technically correct, having just been signing and touring this book for a month, it seems weird to be launching it after it seems… well. Launched. I was talking about it with Joe and he pointed out that it wasn’t ever really launched here in Canada, and it is the first Canadian event, and that the book’s already been on the New York Times Bestseller list – and he’d like to celebrate that, and that frankly, even if it hadn’t been on the list, he would still be pretty freaking proud that I wrote another book, and that he appreciates the night to feel good about that accomplishment, and he wishes I would too.
It’s not that I don’t feel proud either – I feel nervous and worried. The hometown crowd always freaks me out. Canadians are a proud and restrained people and the enthusiasm we hold for our own, while fierce, is sort of quiet, and we don’t like to tell our artists too much that they’re awesome, and we certainly don’t want them to tell us. It is important to us that they’re still regular Canadians, and we’ll like… maybe see them at the pub or something. It’s hard to explain, but when you contrast American and Canadian public enthusiasm, it makes total sense which culture invented cheerleading, and why most Canadians have a certain ennui for publicity stunts or gigs. (This does not apply to hockey or The Hip.) This is a strange thing if you’re expected to promote a book in Canada – because publicity is inherently the opposite of what we think is in good taste, unless you’re going on Q – which I’m not.
This leaves me worried that an event in Toronto might be… rude? Inconvenient? Over-reaching? In the past I’ve made up for this by making sure that there was value added. You know, it wasn’t just me – I didn’t expect anyone to turn up for me, so I did scavenger hunts and had the musical opening acts and essentially, tried to make sure that it was worth it for people to come, because really, I’m not worth it by myself, which sounds like I have really low self-esteem, but it’s not that, it’s that publicity is just so damned AWKWARD.
This time, I didn’t know what to do, so let’s just do it the way we do it. I’ll talk and read you some stories, while you guys freak out a whole downtown bookstore by knitting en masse, then we’ll go for a pint. To make sure that we’re still us, Natalie and Rachel H will be ready to accept donations for MSF (the Toronto office was sweet enough to send me a card congratulating me on the NYT bestseller list) see one of them, and we’ll see what we can do to spread the knitter goodness around.
Chapters, John and Richmond.
November 17th, 2011
If you want to hang out and knit and drink after with a NY Times bestselling author who’s pretty thrilled about it and really would like to celebrate (that’s me, by the way)
The Old York Bar and Grill
167 Niagara St. (Niagara and Wellington, a block south of King between Bathurst and Strachan)
Donations accepted at both spots. Dress casual.
Knitting not required, but makes a lot of sense.
PS. The Old York is my sister’s pub.
PPS. I’d love to know if you’re coming.
PPPS. I finished some socks.