From January 3rd until March 31st, I had the amazing opportunity to live in Pierre Berton’s house up in Dawson City, Yukon. It was the best three months of my life. Seriously, the best.
Not only was it a cozy home with a great space for getting writing done, the community up there is friendly, welcoming and vibrant, rife with stuff to do!
You might be thinking, “A small town in the middle of the Yukon in the dead of winter? What could there be to do?”
Well, I curled, I hiked, I snowshoed. I went dog mushing. I played a lot of ping pong. I went to trivia nights. I attended potlucks and worked with the kids at the school on writing for the newspaper, and on writing a survival guide for school. I went to concerts, movies, and plays. I also learned how to skijore, which is the best! It’s cross country skiing, but you also harness your body to a sled dog. They pull while you ski, and it’s so fast and sweaty and super fun! I saw the northern lights a lot, and I got to take a weekend trip up to Inuvik, which is in the Northwest Territories and even farther north than I was!
I would say that it was a once in a lifetime experience, but I don’t think it is. I’m already planning my return trip back next winter.
I’m very honoured that A Year in the Life of a Total and Complete Genius was awarded the Chocolate Lily award for 2016! It’s amazing to be nominated for awards, and I’m so stoked that I actually won one! It means so much to an author to know that their book was chosen by readers as the best one of the bunch, especially with so many amazing novels in the race. It just warms my heart to know that kids around BC have connected with Arthur Bean and friends! So this is my huge thank you to all the readers who chose my book; I’m so thankful to you all. You guys rock!
In other very awesome news, I found out that A Year in the Life of a Complete and Total Genius was up for a record ten awards in a classroom “Academy Awards” style competition at Deerfield elementary school in Short Hills, New Jersey! This idea is amazing; I love hearing about kids celebrating their reading accomplishments, and how creative and engaging to have them vote in different categories. Arthur and friends won six awards in total, including Best Book of the Year, and I won Author of the Year! I celebrated by eating pie* for breakfast (because my day is only starting when school is ending in New Jersey, so it only seemed right to celebrate at breakfast.) They celebrated by eating cake based on the American cover, and they shared a photo of this epic cake. It’s amazing, so I’m sharing it here with you!
Lastly, Scenes from the Epic Life of a Total Genius was nominated for the Manitoba Reader’s Choice Award! Thanks, Manitoba! You’re a real peach to include my book on a list of epic proportions!
*You’re probably wondering what kind of pie. It was strawberry and cream cheese pie. And it was delicious.
My first book, A Year in the Life of a Complete and Total Genius, came out in the States in November, and it’s getting some great press that I wanted to share with you!
There’s a lovely review on Publishers Weekly that you can read here.
It’s been chosen for the Junior Library Guild! This is a big deal; I even got a pin in the mail to celebrate!
Hooray for me!
This is a photo of me sweeping, in true Western Canada fashion.
It’s official: A Year in the Life of a Total and Complete Genius is getting some play in the Western provinces. As of today, it’s been nominated for all four Readers’ Choice Awards in Western Canada! If you, or kids you know, would like to participate in voting, here’s the information for each province.
British Columbia: The Chocolate Lily Award
Alberta: The Rocky Mountain Book Award
Saskatchewan: The Snow Willow Award
Manitoba: Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award
I’m so excited to be on lists with such fantastic books! I hope I get a chance to read many of the other nominated books; the lists look amazing. (But if I could vote, I’d still vote for my own book. I’m selfish that way.)