Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Can’t Believe I’ve Met


How did I come to be so lucky?

  1. Erin Bow, whose talk at the Vancouver Writer’s Festival this winter was phenomonal, and whose reading from The Scorpion Rules was uncannily perfect. Are we absolutely certain she’s not secretly one of Talis’ Swan Riders? Also, she said right before the book signing began that she knew not everybody could afford to buy new books, and she was happy to sign bookmarks for anyone who wanted them. So she’s both thoughtful and gracious as well as a good writer.
  2. Jacqueline Woodson, whose talks are as poetic, moving, and soul-stirring as her books. Also, when you hand over your books to sign, she looks up at you, really looks at you as a person, and speaks with such warmth you really believe she is glad that you, you in particular, are there.
  3. Rachel Hartman, who spoke at a creative writing class at UBC and shortly after at the book launch for Shadow Scale. She’s funny and frank and all my fingers are crossed that she and Kidsbooks will hold a launch party for Tess of the Road.
  4. JM Landels and Mel Anastaisou, who are kind, practical, encouraging, and have great senses of humour. Also, Jen will kick your butt with a sword or on horseback, and Mel will rock your socks off with her guitar-playing.
  5. Kenneth Oppel: I was too embarrassed to say anything to him (his Silverwing books informed my childhood, okay? I am one of the hundreds of kids who grew up fascinated by bats), but his talk was funny and entirely engaging.
  6. Kit Pearson and Sarah Ellis: is there a kid in Canada of my generation who didn’t read their books, growing up? These are Big Names. And so down-to-earth, all keen ears and observation and kindness.
  7. Judi Saltman: ever-encouraging, full of funny stories, sharp, gentle, full of surprises, inimitable. Also, very good-natured about it when she passes out books as examples of what she is lecturing about, and you get so lost in reading that you laugh out loud.
  8. Maggie de Vries: so kind and so gentle you at first don’t see her steel-eyed (steel-spined?) editor and teacher core. Maggie is full of insight and encouragement and always seeking the truth of this character and this story.
  9. Kallie George, who took the time to meet with A Complete Stranger to give her advice on how to become an editor without starving to death first. Cheerful, patient, and generous. Similarly, Paola Opal, who spoke with a friend of a friend, aka A Complete Stranger, about her experiences in the book trade: as an artist; on working with editors; on boardbooks.
  10. Neil Gaiman, who kindly answered my questions about Diana Wynne Jones’s books during the signing time of his (then-)latest.
  11. Farah Mendlesohn, who is brilliant and also kind, even when she is very jet-lagged.


I haven’t met nearly as many authors as Janet has, but I have met a few! I think I need to get out into the book world more!

  1. Kit Pearson, who happily signed my much-loved childhood copy of The Sky is Falling.
  2. Sarah Ellis, who was actually a children’s librarian before becoming an award-winning writer. She’s a great speaker, too!
  3. Terry Brooks, who signed a copy of one of his new books for my partner. To be honest, I’m not much of a fan of his works, but he was such a sweet, friendly and all-around lovely man.
  4. Bruce Campbell – OK, so he’s best known as an actor, but I did get to meet him when he stopped in Vancouver during his “If Chins Could Kill” book tour!
  5. Lynn Johnstone, who dedicated a copy of one of her anthologies to my cat.
  6. Maggie de Vries, who was also my instructor!
  7. Jeremy Tankard, who asked me for the key to the family washroom when I was working at the library. We exchanged words, so it counts, right?
  8. Alan Woo, who wrote the wonderful “Maggie’s Chopstics”, and who came to an LGBTQ kidslit workshop I organized.


Hmmmmm. Let’s see.

  1. Kenneth Oppel.
    I was actually sitting right beside him at an event I was giving a talk at and utterly embarrassed that I still haven’t read a book by him. I did get a signed book from him but  *whispers* I still haven’t read it.
  2. Rachel Hartman
    I met her at WORD Vancouver and embarrassed myself by gushing about how much I love her books. She’s super cool.
  3. Maggie de Vries
    Was my thesis supervisor. I know, however did I get so lucky?
  4. Kallie George
    We actually shared a dorm room (she had one side of it and a friend and I had the other when we worked for the same organization a couple of years ago.
  5. Lee Edward Fodi
    He was my boss. Heh.
  6. Oliver Jeffers
    He is super cool.
  7. Maria Semple
    She is very funny though I have yet to read her book.
  8. Susin Nielsen
    She is so effervescent. Her talks are always fun.
  9. Maggie Stievater
    I met her when I went to her talk at one of the VWF events.
  10. Maureen Johnson
    Gave the talk with Maggie Stievater.
  11. Marissa Meyer
    Went for her event at Chapters.

I’ve met a couple of other authors that I can’t rightly remember at this moment. But special mention goes to Alison Croggon and Kate Elliott who I have never met but have enjoyed talks with over social media.