Extremely phat rain and blustery winds yesterday didn't prevent Newfoundland author Michael Crummey from arriving in Fredericton for his 8 pm reading at the UNB Arts Centre.
Author of the Giller Award-finalist novel River Thieves, Michael Crummey was on tour promoting his new novel The Wreckage (Doubleday Canada, 2005).
I have had an advanced reading copy since his signing at BookExpo Canada in Toronto in June. We discussed doing an interview for my radio program when he got to town. He knew his Fredericton reading was scheduled for late November.
Getting closer to the date, things became less certain as to when or where, even if, we'd do the interview. My preference all along was to have Michael live on air at CHSR across the mixing board for me in the Master Control Room. Being a community radio producer-host is a volunteer activity for me and I can't and don't want to give over my workday time and resources to do a homemade version of CBC. I'll leave that to my cousin Ted and his merry band.
Last week, I discovered that two groups I'm involved with had scheduled a 12 noon meeting downtown and a 5:30 CHSR general meeting in the UNB/STU SUB. Knowing that, I was even more inclined to getting Michael live on air. I left it that way in an email to the publicist as I ran to catch the Acadian bus to Sackville for the Beth Powning workshop and interview.
Returned to emails from the Atlantic publicist going offline because of house construction and to a phone message from someone with the publisher in Toronto. They were both leaning toward an interview recorded at some earlier time on the same day. Michael was open to doing the interview, but was inclined toward a pre-recorded because of the unknown factor of dinner with UNB-types before his reading.
On Monday, I emailed Michael, hoping that he was checking email because he read at UNB-Saint John that night, to asked how his Tuesday afternoon was looking.
Perhaps the weather was a deciding factor . . . Wasn't fit to walk about Fredericton yesterday. Michael was lodged at the Delta out beyond Old Government House on the Woodstock Road. When we talked by phone in the afternoon he said Mark Jarman was collecting him for dinner at 5:30 and that Mark would try to get him to CHSR as close to 7 pm as possible.
It worked. We went on air at 7:12 and talked, with a short reading thrown into the mix, until 7:36. Because of the technical aspects of making two simultaneous recordings of a show that ended at 8 pm, I arrived at Memorial Hall in the UNB Arts Centre after the introduction and his reading had started.
Afterwards, a bunch of the audience went across to Alden Nowlan House-Windsor Castle Bar to hoist a pint.
shirt: plain purple
sound: The Beatles, "Here, There and Everywhere"