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Word on the Street, Sept. 23, 2012, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Don presenting with Lesley Choyce

At this year's Word on the Street, Don shared the CBC stage with fellow YA author Lesley Choyce, Don reading from his novel Running on Empty and Lesley reading from Breaking Point. Following this, they participated in a panel discussion called "Writing for Boys," answering some great questions from the audience.










Read by the Sea, July 21, 2012

Don with Eleanor Robertson Hall

Every July, Nova Scotia's North Shore community of River John hosts Read by the Sea, an event that brings readers and authors together to celebrate writing, and Don was invited to conduct a fiction workshop for several budding teen authors. Imagine his surprise when he saw his former grade 12 English teacher, Eleanor Robertson Hall, among those young faces. "I hadn't seen her in years, and it was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect and to let her know how much her support meant to me when I was a teenager." At his graduation decades earlier, Ms. Hall (pictured at left) gave Don the prize for creative writing.








Book Tour, May 14-16, 2012

Kelley Armstrong speaking at Harbourfront

On his way home from his TD Book Week Tour of southern Alberta, Don visited the Greater Toronto Area where he presented to teens during the week of the Ontario Library Association's 2012 Festival of Trees, which honoured books nominated for the OLA's Forest of Reading awards. Although Don's nominated novel The Fifth Rule didn't win the White Pine Award, he thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to meet fans at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre on May 15th. "It was my third time at this event," Don said, "and it never gets old. Those enthusiastic White Pine readers made all of us authors feel like rock stars."

Besides being a nominee and presenter, Don got to play the part of fan to authors like Kelley Armstrong (pictured at left), whose novel The Gathering was the winner of this year's White Pine Award.




TD Book Tour, May 5-12, 2012

Don in Banff

Don was one of several writers who took part in the TD Book Week Tour in May, when he visited schools and libraries in southern Alberta, sharing with audiences his novel, Running on Empty. He was especially eager to visit Calgary, since that will be the setting for the final installment of his Reef Kennedy trilogy, which began with The First Stone and continued with The Fifth Rule










Book Tour, April 16-20, 2012


Don with Evelynne Berstein at Lawrence Park C.I.

In the month prior to the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Trees award ceremony, Don took part in another author tour in and around Toronto, where he gave presentations and workshops at several libraries and schools like Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute, pictured here. As always, he was impressed not only by the warm welcome he received but also by the high level of interest in reading and writing expressed by the teenagers he met. "I wish Nova Scotia had had a program like the White Pine when I was in school," he said, praising Ontario teachers and librarians for their efforts in organizing and facilitating book clubs in participating schools. "I would've loved having the opportunity to meet with fellow students to dialogue about new books and vote for my favourite."






Writers in the Schools Program (2011-2012)


Don is currently taking part in Nova Scotia's WITS program, which makes it possible for schools across the province to host authors. To date during the 2011-2012 academic year, Don has visited six schools, most recently St. Mary's Bay Academy in Weymouth, where students and staff made him feel right at home. Below are some of the comments that SMBA students made following Don's presentation:


"Definitely not lacking in swagg."

"His presentation was awesome."

"It was the first presentation where I didn't want to fall asleep."

"He wasn’t what I thought he would be. A teacher, in his fifties, he writes books—but he was funny!"



Book Tour, November 20-25, 2011


Promotion of Don's novel The Fifth Rule included a tour of southern Ontario during the week of November 20-25, 2011. Organized by Authors' Booking Service, Don's tour included visits to schools and libraries in Toronto as well as in Mississauga, Oshawa, Brampton, and Ajax. Don was very impressed not only by the tremendous effort each host made in preparing for his visit but also by the teenagers whom he had the opportunity to meet. Besides expressing keen interest in what Don had to share, many of the teenagers he spoke to made insightful observations about his craft and asked a variety of excellent questions, making this tour one of the most enjoyable of Don's career.



White Pine Nomination, October 17, 2011

2012 White Pine Nominee

The Ontario Library Association has nominated Don's novel The Fifth Rule for the 2012 White Pine Award, one segment of the OLA’s Forest of Reading program. Don’s previous novel, The Space Between, was nominated for the 2008 White Pine, and his novel The First Stone won the award in 2004. This year’s winner will be announced at the Festival of Trees ceremony in Toronto on May 15, 2012.

Read more about The Fifth Rule here.

Check out all of the 2012 White Pine fiction nominees.







Word on the Street, Sept. 25, 2011, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Don with Jill MacLean and Sheree Fitch

Don took part in the panel "Bad Boys in Young Adult Literature," which included Jill MacLean, author of Home Truths, and Sheree Fitch, author of Pluto's Ghost. Don read from his novel The Fifth Rule and, along with Jill and Sheree, answered questions from moderator James Leck and the audience about their "dark" characters.











Don enjoying a Q&A moment with Vicki Grant

Don enjoyed listening to Vicki Grant read from her novel Betsy Wickwire's Dirty Secret, after which the two authors responded to questions from the audience and each other. Most intriguing comment during the session? Vicki's revelation about where she got the name for the community in her novel The Puppet Wrangler. Hilarious!










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