When I was a kid, some of my favourite books were the Accidental Detectives series, by Sigmund Brouwer. I wanted to be Lisa. When I found out that the author lived only one hour away, I was thrilled! I always hoped I’d meet him.
Shortly after my thirteenth birthday, I found out that he was doing a young writers course in Ponoka. Although it was only supposed to go up to age 12, somehow, two friends and I were able to attend. I think my friend’s mom had a lot to do with that.
I learned so much that Saturday. I’m sure I still have my notes somewhere. Or maybe I don’t, because they always reminded me how I embarrassed myself. One of the exercises was to solve a mystery that went something like this:
A prisoner is in jail. The only thing in his cell is a bed, a sink, and a 2-foot-tall bucket. There was one window, hight in the wall. It was about four feet higher than the prisoner could reach. One morning, after a freezing cold night, the guards discovered that he had escaped! How did he do it?
After we had some time to work on the problem, Mr. Brouwer called on me to give an answer. My awsomely clever idea was that maybe the prisoner was a high-jumper and just jumped up to the window. I was so smrt. The real answer involved ice frozen in the bucket.
After the class, my friend and I browsed the book tables and got a chance to talk to Mr. Brouwer. He mentioned that it had taken him eight years to get his first book published. Like a dork, I further embarrassed myself by saying, “Well, I’ve been writing since I was eight! I only have three years left!”
I hope I have developed better social and deductive skills since then.
And that is the story of the first time I met a Real Live Author.
PS: I still love Sigmund Brouwer’s Winds of Light books that we discovered that day. They introduced me to medieval fiction other than fairy tales. I’m currently reading his book The Canary List.