In the past, I have attended Word on the Street in Toronto. This year, I decided to cut back on the driving and go to Kitchener instead.
I was not disappointed.
In fact, I found the whole experience a pleasant and enjoyable one. In Kitchener, Word on the Street takes place in the heart of the city at Victoria Park. The tents and displays are well positioned and allow the visitors ample room and opportunity to travel between them.
I spent most of my time in the CTV Authors Tent. I enjoyed listening to the following four authors:
While I had read about the Hamilton doctor who wrote novels, this was my first opportunity to hear Ross Pennie read from three of his books. The specialist in infectious diseases gets up at 6:00 a.m. each day and writes for two hours. This is his "Me" time. He writes 400 words a day and then heads to the hospital. He read from his memoir, The Unforgiving Tides, and two of his novels, Tainted and Tampered.
I was impressed by Sarita Mandanna, the young woman who wrote Tiger Hills. Her debut novel has been described as the the Indian Gone with the Wind crossed with The Thornbirds. I enjoyed hearing about her journey as a writer. While working as a private equity investor in New York, she wrote between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. It took her five years to write this epic novel based in Coorg, the Scotland of India.
Trevor Cole is an entertaining speaker. The former radio copywriter and journalist, read from his novel, Practical Jean. He likes to likes to shine a light on dark subjects; in this case, he wrote about a well-intentioned murderess who targets her friends.
Iain Reid is an new writer. In One Bird's Choice, he writes about food, family and growing up. In his late twenties, Reid returned to his parents' house. A temporary arrangement stretched into one year. In this memoir, he pokes fun at his parents and his new lifestyle.
While visiting the other displays, I stopped at the Human Library Tent. The Kitchener Public Library featured a group of real people who volunteered to share their stories. I spent some time visiting with the professional astrologer.