“Oh My God! It’s Kevin friggin’ Major!!!”

From Plates to Pages (Part II) is a recap of a perfect week for this foodie and book lover. It all began with the out of the blue invite to dine with Chef Michael Smith . Then by the weekend, I was rubbing elbows with some high caliber east coast authors at Word on the Street Halifax; a celebration of books, authors, artists, publishers and more.

Word on the Street 2016

The highlights from this literary festival are too many to mention.  Starting with how humble I felt after being invited back two years in a row; even without a new book to promote. This festival feels more like home every time I go. This year I was given the opportunity to sit on a panel with other successful “Pitch the Publisher” authors.

Word on the Street Authors with their books

Sandwiched between Steve Vernon and Emma Fitzgerald was quite a thrill. All of us sharing similar yet different accounts of how Pitch the Publisher shaped our paths; leading us very willingly into the literary world. Long before I uttered a word to tell my magical real life fairy tale, my angels were at work again.

Butterfly Angels

Oh, where to begin! Setting the stage on the night before the festival, nestled away in the heart of the city, at the Cambridge Military Library. Surrounded by over 6000 volumes of reading material I was captured in a time warp. I always feel at ease in a library. But in the Cambridge Library, I felt an urgency; a form of bliss that can only come when surrounded by generations of hardcovers and lost souls. I wanted to stay there, to discover stories. This library has convinced me that historical fiction is a course I must continue to chart.

Cambridge Military Library

There are far too many words that want to pour out of me about the reception alone. I would most likely bore you with each and every detail of my 24 hours which felt like heaven, also known as Word on the Street. I will focus in on my favourite moment of all.

Kevin friggin' MajorI had been chatting with Cristy Ann Conlin, Momento author, when I noticed my husband chatting with two enchanting souls. After I wished Cristy Ann good luck at the festival, I made my way over. “This is my lovely wife Renée, Renée this is Anne, and Kev…”

I interrupted him as I fanned girled out realizing who was standing in front of me, “My God, it’s Kevin friggin’ Major, sure I knows who this is,” my Newfoundland accent immediately made an appearance.

Anne and my husband chuckled at my revelation as Kevin calmly smiled at my enthusiasm. The man has written 18 books for cripes sakes! 

Kevin was gracious enough to spend some time chatting about our great loves; writing, our children, Newfoundland and then off he went, but not without giving me a hug. Such a sweetie pie, as was Anne. A charming couple indeed.

Donna Morrissey at Word on the StreetAnd I haven’t even got to the best part yet. When I arrived at the festival the next day, my intention was to sit in on Kevin’s first session. I did not realize that Donna Morrissey was also presenting for One Book Nova Scotia at the same time. It was like having to choose between my kids. What to do??? Well, Donna decided for me. She came blowing in like a gust of wind ready to storm the coast. I greeted her with a big hug and reminded her that I was the crazy elephant lady that came to one of her classes. She didn’t know where she was going but I did, so I took her to the registration desk. We both checked in and I was pulled to her session despite feeling sad about missing Kevins reading.

There were a million moments during Donna’s reading that spoke to me. It really was where I was supposed to be. Afterward, I had to go do my own session. Following Donna would be hard but I was soaring from her energy; I knew it would feel great. And it did.Word on the Street

Desperately Seeking Kevin!

From there I went on the hunt for Kevin. I absolutely needed to add a signed copy of his book to my Newfoundland authors collection. I tweeted that I was looking for him. Little did I know that my friend Sherry was also there doing the same. She saw my tweet then came to find me. “Have you found Kevin yet?”

Desperately Seeking Kevin

I love Sherry. And she loves books even more than me. She is honestly my favourite person to go to literary events with. She decided to leave her book with me hoping I would find him. I was volunteering at the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia table. It was a prime spot to watch for authors coming and going. About five minutes after Sherry left, I got a text from her. “Kevin is on his way over, I found him at the wine store.”

In that moment I could easily imagine her calling out “Kevin, my book is with Renée, you must go sign it.”

And that was what he did. He came to find me and two books were signed. One for Sherry’s father and one for me. My day was complete.

There is a ton more I could share about that day. Moments of pure joy, authentic conversations, tears, laughter, and new friendships. Word on the Street will forever be the most magical time of the year for me. Christmas cannot even compare. I feel so close to my spirit when I am surrounded by books and the authors that write them.

PS: I will most likely post another blog about Word on the Street soon. I really want to share with you a new author I stumbled upon. I believe wholeheartedly that Dr. Dyer orchestrated our meeting. Proving once again that love has no limits.