It’s hard to believe that Winds of L’Acadie came out TEN years ago! I’ll never forget that feeling of seeing my book on the shelves at the bookstores for the first time. What a thrill!
That was the beginning of a whole new world. A world filled with creative people who were authors and illustrators and storytellers. I joined the Young Alberta Book Society and was invited to participate in the Taleblazer’s Festival, sharing my book with students in rural Alberta. Edmonton and Calgary. Through the generous sponsorship of Suncor and now Cenovus, I have also had several opportunities to tour schools in northern Alberta communities and southern Alberta towns.
The summer of 2008, found me touring through Nova Scotia, doing book signings in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and P.E.I. The two big highlights of that tour were signings at the Grand Pré National Historic Site, where the story takes place and The Fortress of Louisbourg, where fortress life during 1755 is reenacted. Historians at both sites read Winds of L’Acadie and approved it as historically accurate. How rewarding to know all of that research paid off!
Fast forward to spring of 2009 and I was walking across the stage at historic Pier 21 in Halifax, with an enthusiastic student carrying a huge placard with my name and my book on it. The Hackmatack Awards. What an honour! I especially loved my week of touring schools in Nova Scotia and meeting the other very talented authors whose amazing books were also contenders for this Atlantic Canada Reader’s Choice Awards.
Winds of L’Acadie was shortlisted for the Golden Eagle Award so I got to tour Southern Alberta and attend yet another awards ceremony, meeting more great authors.
I have met many wonderful Acadian people from the publication of Winds and heard countless stories of courage and perseverance that have been passed down by word of mouth through the generations.
Winds of L’Acadie continues to do well and I’m still thrilled every time a student tells me they read my book from the school library or that they chose Winds of L’Acadie for their book report project. And I still get class sets of letters from students who read it for a novel study. Pictures, letters, even individual awards from students are treasures I love. Treasures that remind me why I write.
It’s easy to get frustrated when the new work-in-progress doesn’t progress as quickly as I think it should, but when I stop and think about all the wonderful experiences that have been mine during the past ten years, well, I have a lot to be thankful for.
Thank you to all of the readers, young and old and everywhere in between! You continue to make the journey worthwhile!
Here are a few comments I received last week from students studying Winds of L’Acadie in their class.
I really enjoyed reading your book because it combines drama, education, and action all rolled into one book! You are one of my favourite authors. I also love how you chose to use the quill box as the time travel trinket. I simply love how you decided to make… oops I’ll leave out that spoiler! Hannah, Gr. 5
My teacher was talking nonstop about your great words. My favourite book was Winds of L’Acadie because you mixed action, adventure and a little bit of romance. I can’t believe you included all of that interesting detail into your awesome book. I can just picture myself flying away with the wind. Aysia
The reason why I like Winds of L’Acadie is how it had so much imagination. I could imagine the book in my mind and all the actions that take place. Charlee.
What I am the most proud of, looking back over ten years, is the impact the story of the deportation of the Acadians from Nova Scotia has had on readers of all ages. So many people, adults included, have told me that they hadn’t known the story prior to reading Winds and that my story made this historic event real to them. That was my goal. It’s a wonderful to feel that my story in some way touches the people who read it.
The most common question? Are you going to get it translated into French? Maybe that would be worth looking into on this tenth anniversary!
Thank you to Ronsdale Press for believing in this project from the beginning!