Being greeted with a smile and pure excitement from a stranger had to be the best way to begin my morning at the Knowlton Literary Festival.
She didn't stay a stranger long, however, the second Diane shared her last name, I knew exactly who she was.
My dad had told me how between the Redmiles, Pages, Blumenfelds, and McKells, they had enough kids to form two baseball teams when he was growing up.
"You were on one of the baseball teams!" I said to Diane, growing excited.
"Your aunt Georgina and I were best friends. I was always up at Uncle Harry and Aunt Ethel's," she happily told me.
Growing up in the country, we pretty much all joke about how small the world is and everyone knows everyone, or at least someone. And who knew, my book, would bring Diane and I together that day.
Everyone was so welcoming; the festival's volunteers, fellow authors, bookworms, and dare I say (cue blushing), my own fans?
Roger Williams was the "master of ceremonies' that weekend and hosted our little panel of local authors. Everything ran smoothly and time flew by, mostly thanks to him.
I was lucky enough to share the stage with three other talented writers, including: Fred Langan, Ross Murray, and Heather Croghan Moreland.
The audience were kind and eager to ask questions, some directed at certain writers, or some which applied to everyone.
Thoroughly enjoying the entire experience, I hope I'm invited back next year again as an author. Meeting fellow bookworms and those interested in beginning their writing journey.
A huge thank you to Lucy and Danny at Brome Lake Books, who nominated me to be part of this wonderful and important festival in the beautiful Eastern Townships of Quebec.
Who knew this would happen? Not me. Especially not me a few years ago when I first attended the festival with my mom on the opening night.
I listened to the local author panel answer questions, looked over their work for sale at the tables bordering the small room at the festival, and held onto my book proposal letter in the hopes I'd either, A: Find *that* important person to make my dream come true. B: Have the courage to hand over said letter to said person. Neither happened.
I found the courage to ask questions at a workshop and discussion, but sadly didn't get what I needed. However, it did light a fire under me and now I find myself in the count down to being a participant!
I don't know exactly what to expect, honestly. But I will be there with my books and tea, pen in hand, ready to sign copies, and will hopefully have the answers to the questions asked by both fans of my writing and writers themselves.
If I can at least be the person I searched for at the festival, before I was published, I'll be more than happy.