I'm enjoying being out in Halifax for two main reasons. The people and the people. Sounds redundant, but it's not. First, the people of Halifax, God Love 'em are sweet and kind and friendly and make a person feel at home. Second, the people I'm here at the conference with, my work colleagues, are a fantastic group - similarly friendly, and all with some phenomenal ideas about our sludging through the campus book store experience.
I did two book signings; one on Friday night at the Coles at Halifax Shopping Centre and then on Saturday night at the Chapters in Bayers Lake. While I enjoyed both events, and the staff at both stores were friendly and great hosts, I did much better at one signing than the other. And ironically despite the hurricane that was passing through on Saturday evening, my event at the Chapters was more successful.
Despite a distinct lack of customers in the store.
I mean, while the locals were all pretty calm and "matter of fact" about the hurricane blowing around over our heads a good many of them decided not to head out that evening. Who can blame 'em, either, particularly with memories of the devastating Hurricane Juan a few years ago?
But a small group of customers did filter in through the store and many greeted me and stopped to see what my book was all about. (The store was only able to get in One Hand Screaming. Their order for North of Infinity 2 was still outstanding - though NOI 2 had arrived at the Coles) A handful of folks had me sign them a copy of my book and I had some pleasant chats and conversations with several customers and staff members. But the highlight of the evening would have to be fellow horror fan who worked at the neighbouring Starbucks and her relaying to me several local folklore and legends -- she practically offered a virtual "haunted walk" of Halifax, and one of her descriptions inspired me to start a new story that I started writing when I got back to my hotel room and which I'm pretty pumped about. Gotta love that. Thanks Ashley.
I capped off the evening when meeting up with an old friend from my early school days. Maki Stewart who I went to public school and high school with and hadn't seen in perhaps 15 years, lives in Halifax with his wife and two kids. He stopped by and we ended up lounging in Starbucks after my signing, catching up, talking about the days of our youth, our shared love of Spider-Man and comic books, and trading the many joys and humorous stories of fatherhood.
Is it any wonder Halifax is so wonderful? And I haven't even gotten into describing the phenomenal history of this town, nor the beautiful sights . . .