The author and her precious lanyard.
My skin is breaking out, I keep slipping on wet leaves, and I bought a new pencil case... That must mean it's autumn! Which also means The International Festival of Authors is on!
Many of my greatest book-related memories have happened at this festival (see here and here), so needless to say, I've long been dreaming about being a part of it. And holy crap of craps that's actually (sort of) happened! I picked up my lanyard yesterday, which gives me access to events and meals and things, including parties I would normally be asked to leave. I'm not featured in the main Toronto programme, but I get to do some behind-the-scenes stuff because of IFOA LitonTour, a spot I was lucky to get.
Yesterday was my first official Toronto event: lunch atop a tall waterfront hotel. The restaurant used to turn 360 degrees, apparently? Thankfully, the owners put a stop to that nonsense because my stomach was already summersaulting. After all, I'm still wholly unknown, unreviewed, overwhelmed and not even part of the programme! It was intimidating as f---.
Thank goodness for the kindness of the IFOA team, who made me feel like less of an interloper than I was. The other writers were fantastic too. I sat next to Lotte Hammer, a popular crime fiction writer from Denmark. She kept the whole table laughing, so if you get a chance to see her at IFOA on Sunday, I recommend it. The very cool/smart Kate Taylor, Globe & Mail columnist and novelist, sat across from me. Her new book sounds fascinating. She'll be reading from it next Friday if you're interested.
So yeah. It was nice. No one thought I was a zero. Everyone was cool and human. Lesson learned for next time? Don't panic, stupid; it's just lunch.
Thanks to the IFOA for literally giving me a place at the table.