Notes from the Cinnamon Canada Tour

For this week's post I was planning on writing a nice long summary of my recent Canadian tour promoting Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World - with lots of advice, 'do's and 'don't's, and wise lessons for us all. But do you know what? After five cities and enough time zone switching to bewilder Dr. Who, I am a babbling wreck and can barely remember my own name. (Janis or something. Close enough.) So instead I'm going to present the final post from my time in Canada, also available on my short-term blog 'What Goes on Tour'. If you'd like to see the other tour posts, they are:

Here Goes         Edmonton         Calgary         Vancouver         Toronto

And of course, the last one, written on a plane and first posted, tearfully, at Pearson airport:

Nova Scotia - the End

Whew! Wednesday, May 22, was quite a day. At six am I was waking up in Toronto and halifax nsby 1 pm I was at the Chicken Burger in Bedford having lunch with my mother and my Aunt Judy. It was wonderful to be back in the Maritimes, even if all I could think about was grabbing a nap before the launch at the Company House in Halifax that night. But before I knew it, it was time to zip up the gold boots again and get moving. The launch was scheduled for 6 pm.

At the Company House I was interviewed for the Chronicle Herald while the band scheduled for later that night rehearsed – this meant there was more yelling involved in this interview than I'd been expecting, but the band sounded really good, and I think I got my point across. Though if a story appears about me being married to someone named 'Oodent', I hope my husband will understand.

All through this tour I'd been looking forward to the Halifax event. I'm from the area and so is the book. Loads of people had promised to come. It was going to be one big reunion of Cinnamon love. 5:45 the place was still deserted. I watched the clock. I watched the door. One person wandered in. Two. 'Crud', I thought. 'Nobody likes me.'

res-pile of books at bookmarkBut then around 6:15 a few more people arrived, with an explanation: apparently I' everyone on earth, repeatedly, in multiple Facebook posts, Twitter blats and on this website, that the launch was at 6:30, not six. Why? I don't know. But the folks at the Company House were flexible enough to change the start time just for me. By 6:30 the place was filling up and I was one joyful girl, hugging friends and signing books like nobody's business. But I couldn't hang around doing that forever – it was time to hit the stage!  Mike from the Bookmark on Spring Garden introduced me. It was a great speech. He told me later that he'd written it in the parking lot a few minutes beforehand, but it didn't sound like that to me.

My turn next! I had a big retro microphone and a write-up I'd practiced in the car with my aunt, but I didn't look at it. Instead I just talked about the book and read a few pages from the Chinese restaurant scene where Stephen has a serious chat with his mother – fantastic talking to a room full of people who remembered actual Garden View restaurant, torn down in my second year of university to make room for Park Lane. What a great crowd! The band from the afternoon reappeared towards the end of the Q&A, and then it was time to wrap things up and hit the road so they could play. I'd wanted to go out and celebrate, but a few minutes after leaving The Company House I had a massive energy crash. At one point my mother and I were very close to going out for Chinese food. Perfect, no?  But the thought of sitting upright for all those courses defeated me.

The next morning I met with some lovely independent booksellers and enjoyed a root bookmark window display and mebeer float, and then went to visit the front window of the Bookmark on Spring Garden. A whole window full of Cinnamon Toast! With a rainbow flag, no less! Damn, I love that display. Thank you, Mike from the Bookmark. Then I hung out at Woozles Bookshop for a while and hit the road for my reading at the Box of Delights (great bookstore) in Wolfville. I was almost on time.

Wolfville is in the Annapolis Valley, very close to the fictional town of Riverside where the book is set. It was great to see some familiar faces from the area, and more who were just interested in Cinnamon Toast. I talked for a bit, read for a bit, signed some books and...that was it! The end of the tour. Holy crapdoodle. I did it. Coast to freakin' coast!

Except that was just the last public event. The real end was the next morning with a couple of bookstore visits and signings, the last at MicMac Mall on the site of the old Pop Shoppe. Very fitting, considering I spent the first years of my life in Dartmouth and fondly remembered many family expeditions to this place.

That night my Aunt Judy made the whole family a wonderful lobster dinner. I had a good time fighting the red-shelled beast for its precious meat and spraying my family and loved ones with lobster guck and coleslaw. Someday they might even forgive me. Two very emotional days followed visiting family (hi, Dad!)and friends in my hometown of Bridgetown, population 893, where I walked across the railway bridge for old times' sake and made friends with a small dog named Milo.

Now I'm on a plane to Toronto. From there I look forward to hanging around Pearson airport for five hours and then it'll be off to Dublin.

I'm trying not to cry, mostly failing - wiped out in every conceivable way, but very happy. Big squishy hugs to everybody I met during the last three weeks, anyone who came to the readings, all those who bought a book, all the people who are helping to sell it now. It was fantastic. Why can't it be tour-time all year round?

Oh, and just for the hell of it, one last travelling song:

Get your copy of Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World here Ireland and the UK 

51U3E6BPgnL  SL500 AA300  Cinnamon Toast pb cover low res

In the U.S.A.

In Canada...or try here. Or go independent.

"...astonishingly good....a juicy coming-of-age story...also an important read." The Globe and Mail

"...poignant...heart-wrenching. This stunning debut will surely appeal to both teenage readers and adults." Quill & Quire, starred review

"Witty, devastating, with a melancholy humour..." Sunday Business Post

", top drawer stuff..." BGE Book Club

"...warm, witty, heartfelt and utterly engaging..." The Irish News

"A stunning debut. I loved it." The Irish Examiner