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Forster’s Book Garden celebrates Independent Bookseller’s Day

May 2, 2019   ·   0 Comments

Written By KIRA WRONSKA DORWARD

Forster’s Book Garden celebrated Independent Bookseller’s Day and their 20th anniversary on Saturday April 27th, with such a great turnout that it was difficult to move between shelves and stacks. Besides books and authors, on offer was coffee donated by Starbucks, an anniversary cake, and a hot sauce and cheese tasting table. It was an event for all genres and flavours.

Special guests in attendance were Caledon authors Meaghan Ferrari, Angela Addams, and Loredana Cunti, children’s books illustrator Aino Anto, as well as other local talent, Jim Jones and Sarah Dolamore of Mount Wolfe Farm.

Jones sat in the back room, demonstrating “greenwood” woodworking complete with axe, stump, and pile of logs. From the latter he was carving bookmarks, and a display of his wooden spoons was displayed.

“Greenwood work” is the use of unseasoned, freshly cut wood, which is a much easier material to cut and shape. The techniques he uses will be part of Mount Wolfe’s continuing Ontario rural workshops this summer and fall, the schedule for which can be found at www.ontarioruralskillsnetwork.com.

Dolamore, Mount Wolfe’s Farm Manager, also was there with hand designed farm-themed colouring pages, as well as a Plant-A-Bean station and a display explaining the work that goes on at Mount Wolfe.

The guest authors and illustrator on hand were there to present their work and encourage up-and-coming writers. Ferrari, who lives in Bolton and grew up coming to Forster’s, credits the bookstore with contributing “to my love of reading and my dream to be a published author one day.”

Ferrari was there promoting her novel The Garden, the story of a Syrian refugee family in Canada and the challenges they face. After an enormous amount of research, Ferrari, an elementary school teacher, even had a Syrian refugee student of hers and his family read the draft to correct any inaccuracies and improve authenticity.

Of being back in Forster’s to promote her book, Ferrari said “it’s surreal!” For up-and-coming writers, she advises them to “read voraciously, to take classes in the community, and to join a writer’s group who can offer support and feedback.”

Loredana Cunti, originally from Bolton and “happy to be back”, returned to her hometown (where her parents still live) to promote her fifth (and first illustrated) children’s book, Karate Kakapo. A mother of two, her children serve as the inspiration for her writing. Cunti says “Kids say all kinds of things, don’t they? So that’s how I get my ideas.”

For aspiring writers, Cunti offers this advice: “Just sit down and write. And I know that’s really hard, but don’t give up…People say ‘write what you know’, but it’s true- it’s best to be honest. It’s a lot of work and you have to keep revising and revising, but it’s worth it.”

Angela Addams, a writer of paranormal erotica/romance from Tottenham behind such series as Order of the Wolf, The Dark War, and The Witches of White Willow (which she describes as the “Grey’s Anatomy of witches”) was also present at the event.

Addams is considering starting writing workshops in the area. “I write all the time…but now I’m thinking about running writing workshops. I’ve been publishing for twelve years and writing my whole life. So that’s what I’m thinking about now, and seeing if there’s an interest.” Considering Ferrari’s advice, there might be a place in Caledon for a workshop by an experienced writer in the near future. Her advice to writers? “Don’t give up, you gotta keep going and put yourself out there, whatever it may be.”

Showcasing another aspect of the book publishing business, children’s book illustrator Aino Anto (who has recently illustrated two Jean Little Christmas books) was on hand to demonstrate her technique and the fascinating process that goes into conceptualizing a book through images.

“Illustrating is different from drawing,” explains Anto. “It’s creating a meaningful connection for the reader from the author. In this particular book,” she says, indicating the piece she is working on, a beautifully shaded illustration of a child sits at the bottom of a flight of stairs, “there’s a place where the story here might connect with my own past in meaningful ways that I can elucidate for the reader.” The job of the illustrator, she goes on, “is to control where your eye goes and how you read the page.”

Winners of the Spinal Poetry Contest, where participants created a poem based on combinations of book titles, were (in order) Charlie Mindy, Michele Fisher and Victoria Edwards. Bolton’s librarian Mary Maw was responsible for going through the entries and selecting the winners.

The organizers of all of this fun for the eyes, taste buds, and mind, Donna and Paul “would simply like to thank everyone who came out to celebrate Independent Booksellers Day and our twentieth anniversary…Indie book stores are disappearing at an alarming rate, Because of that, something needs to highlight the importance of them, and that’s what this day is for.”



         

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