It was not my intent to piss off Margaret Atwood.
The opposite, in fact. I wanted her to know she was an inspiration.
She was giving a reading at the University of New Brunswick in my student days. I attended, but there was quite the gathering and she was whisked away at the end. However, I overheard there was a ‘gathering’ in her honour. Invitation only, of course. Academia and literati.
I crashed the party (that was the term used by the professor who clapped his sturdy hand upon my shoulder but – happily – did not thrust me into the night).
But Ms. Atwood was kept deep in many a learned conversation and I had no opportunity to converse. I did, however, overhear where she would be spending next afternoon – the historic University Observatory.
Next day I knocked upon the Observatory door.
It was not a cheerful Margaret Atwood who answered, and answered with alacrity.
She asked my name.
She asked my business.
And she asked how the hell I knew where she was. She had stolen the day to do some writing. Some ‘real’ writing, in this window-of-opportunity grudgingly offered on the book tour.
At least I was there to praise Atwood and not to bury her with some essay question.
Nor had I a manuscript to hand to her.
I might not have garnered a smile, but her curt thank you was reward enough.
For me, at least.
I owe my life to Hitler, though I never met the man. My father was paid to stop Hitler, so there is no conflict of interest. I was given a thunk on the back o' the head by God when I was fifteen, and within a week began to write. I haven't stopped. My first novel was accepted 'over the transom'. My first editor/author luncheon in New York included a naked man with roller skates at the next table. For the sake of research I have lain on Kafka's grave, but I did not weep. I wish upon my own gravestone the phrase "Thank God He Didn't Die A Virgin". There is truth in every truth - so watch out.
My published novels include the popular fantasy A Lost Tale and the thriller The Bonner Deception. I also have two editions of humorous and spiritual short stories, The Elephant Talks to God, which are appreciated by both young and old.
My manuscripts range from stories about unicorns and druids in the 'Passing Through Trilogy' to the 9/11 destruction of New York. I have filled in the missing diaries of Franz Kafka; recounted the first person dementia of a serial killer; explored the outrageous lifestyle of the famous; and listened in while an elephant and God converse. I currently switch my attention between the saga of a family of onion farmers, from Fourth century Italy to the present day, and a contemporary NATO thriller.
I live in Canada and make Nova Scotia my home.
I prefer to travel by train, but embrace the computer age with passion. I am always on the hunt for unique onion recipes.
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