Happy December, everyone! We at DriverWorks Ink (that would be Al and I) want to make your holiday gift-giving as easy as possible, so we recommend a number of our books that might be of interest to specific people on your gift list … Oh, wait, we did that last year (see my blog).
Okay, let’s try that again.
We want to give you a special gift when you buy our books as gifts for the people you love (or the people you like and want to buy gifts for etc. etc.).
If you purchase $20 worth of DriverWorks Ink books from us (either from our website, by mail order or in person), you’ll receive a free key chain flashlight – which is excellent for finding your way down a hallway in the dark (just ask our grandchildren – who turned out the hall lights and proved this to be true). There are a multitude of other uses for these handy little items, such as holding your keys – but that’s for you to discover on your own.
And… If you buy $40 worth of DriverWorks Ink books from us (same ways as above), we’ll give you one of our new fancy dancy DriverWorks Ink tote bags. They’re just downright useful. And pretty. (See photo below). So place your orders today. We’re pretty efficient at filling orders, so any order placed between now and December 18 should ensure receipt of the books within Canada before Christmas (if Santa’s helpers are working up to speed, that is).
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In other news, we are happily back in our office and not on the road, for the first time in the last four months. First, there was that wonderful once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe (which our Never Leave Your Wingman book has blogged about as a fun way to share our travels (See the first blog or skip straight to this one, where we met the amazing Sue Elliott, the ‘little Dutch girl’ who is the subject of Alan Buick’s book The Little Coat).
Then we spent most of the last three months travelling in the three Prairie Provinces of Western Canada. From September 5 to November 30, we participated in nine craft/trade shows and made a total of 62 author/publisher presentations in 27 communities. We spoke to 3,200 students and 159 adults at schools, libraries, seniors' residences, bookstores and museums. And we had a blast! Thank you, Saskatchewan Arts Board, for the Creative Industries Transition Fund which allowed us to do this important work! Thank you to everyone who welcomed us into their communities. We'd do it all again in a flash... but maybe not until we've rested up a bit.
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While we were on the road, we learned that two of our books won awards at book award contests in the United States. Pretty cool news to receive while on a Saskatchewan highway – or anywhere, for that matter. The inspiring Never Leave Your Wingman: Dionne and Graham Warner’s Story of Hope book by Regina author Deana J. Driver (that’s me) was awarded Honourable Mention in the Biography/Autobiography category of the 2013 Great Midwest Book Festival. The touching, yet humourous Letters to Jennifer From Maudie & Oliver book by Winnipeg author Sharon Gray won an Honourable Mention as well, in the Cats category of the 2013 Animals, Animals, Animals Book Festival! (See all of our books on our website – www.driverworks.ca.)
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Here are some other bits of news we’d like to share with you, our readers:
- Since October, we have been very pleased with the response to Regina author Shae Therrien’s memoir Interrupted With Bipolar. A man told us that he was sitting at a local swimming pool, reading Shae's book while waiting for his daughter to finish her swim. A woman beside him began chatting with him and then shared her history of mental illness with him, because she saw the courage that Shae must have to share his personal story through his book. Another woman at a trade show commented to us about Shae: “He is no doubt one of the ‘unsung Canadian heroes’ you talk about in your pamphlet.” Yes, he is.
- We are pleased that we now have copies of Called By The Spirit: Calling Lakes Centre Celebrates 60 Years by Holly L. Schick for sale. We helped this United Church of Canada educational facility, once known as Prairie Christian Training Centre, self-publish their history and are pleased to provide another way for folks to purchase this great book. More than 50 contributors complement the writing of author Holly Schick by sharing their stories and memories of spending time enjoying the Centre's programs – and there are great photos, too!
- We realized this fall that two of our books revolve around events that happened on the same day – December 25, 1944, during the Second World War. The Little Coat by Alan J. Buick and The Sailor and the Christmas Trees by Deana Driver are touching war stories with a timeless message of the importance of giving. We invite you to check them out this Christmas season.
- And we can’t let you go without telling you about the great responses we've been having to Dave Driver’s funny children’s book SuperMom and the Big Baby. We've read parts of the book and shown it to hundreds of school children these past months and have enjoyed hearing their giggles. Parents of children from ages 2 to 9 have told us how much their children love the book. Recently, some Grade 2 students sent their grandma to Regina to buy the book after we read it to them in Vibank, Saskatchewan. Oops, I hope we didn't spoil someone's Christmas gift!
- And finally, here are some of the unique questions asked and some conversations we've had with Kindergarten to Grade 4 students on our tour:
o “How many books have you written?” Five.
o “Which of the books you wrote do you like the best?” I don’t have a favourite book. They’re all like my babies, and you shouldn't choose a favourite baby. Any other questions?
o “How many books did you write?” Uh… I've written five books.
o “When did you start to write?” When I was in Grade 2, and I've been writing ever since.
o Does anyone have a question? “My name is John .” (relating to John Hanlon of The Sailor and the Christmas Trees book.) Oh, that’s great… but that’s not a question. Remember, questions start with ‘who, what, when, where and how’.
o Yes, what is your question? “My dad’s name is Al.” (relating to publisher Al Driver.)
o (In a Saskatchewan school) “Where were you born in Alberta?” Athabasca. Were you born in Alberta? “Yes.” Nice.
o “How do you write your books?” I ask a lot of questions, because I’m curious. I gather all the information and I put it all together.
o “Have you ever been to Port Coquitlam, B.C.?” Yes, as a matter of fact, I have. Did you come here from Port Coquitlam? Nod. Welcome to Saskatchewan! Smile.
o “Are you Ukrainian?” (Inside my head – wha??? But we were in the Canora, SK area.) As a matter of fact, I am. My dad was Ukrainian. Do I look like your Baba? Nod.
o And our favourite of them all…. “When did you start growing?” (Deflect the question and ask Al to show them how tall he is.) “Whoa!”
Happy Holidays, everyone!
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