Autumn leaves…

Thinking of the wonderful song, but could also mean all the fall departures I’ve had – and will have. (Best version of ‘Autumn Leaves’? My favourite is Duke’s band on ‘Ellington Indigos’, with a stunning, soaring vocal.)

I’m just back from really enjoyable experiences in Vancouver and Ottawa at their author festivals. Vancouver was the amusingly-billed ‘Intimate Evening with Guy Gavriel Kay’. I teased that I half-thought I was expected to wear a red velvet smoking jacket, carry a glass of armagnac, and sound like Vincent Price. No. None of that happened. I told some stories, read my elegy for my friend George Jonas, who died early this year, then read from Children, and there were a lot of really good questions. Ottawa was a shorter reading then an onstage interview with Kate Heartfield, writer, teacher, ex of the Ottawa Citizen editorial board. I had a first in that signing line: signed a book for a 4 1/2 months in the womb baby, at the mother-to-be’s request. Have signed for (very) small kids, as parents wanted them to read the books when they grow up, but this was new. In Toronto, at their festival Monday, I was on a panel discussing writing about history (yes, you know I love this stuff) and also introduced my dear friend and agent, Linda McKnight, as she received the Ivy Prize for lifetime contribution to Canadian publishing. A really lovely moment.

Next up, tomorrow morning to Columbus, where World Fantasy Con is this year. I am Sad because my Aussie whisky-drinking chums, Garth Nix and Jonathan Strahan, are AWOL this year. Will expect to seek solace in various bars to cheer for the Cubs – in Ohio, yet!

Next week is an event for the Writers’ Trust here Tuesday afternoon, then another visit to Waterloo for their Wild Writers Festival (yes, they called it that) on Thursday night. I’m in Halifax reading at the library on the 17th, then talking the next day to a graduate seminar at Dalhousie, which is studying my work as filtered through various medieval texts and themes.

And yes, I’m reading. A lot. Trying to discover what the next novel wants to be. No, it hasn’t told me. Yet. Well, hints, gleanings, possibilities…the usual process for me, in fact.

Here, so you have it in one place, is the fall schedule. Hope to see some of you yet as I move around.