Happy Book Anniversary!

Oct 5, 2022

Copies of the 10th Anniversary Edition of The Year Mrs. Montague Cried arrived today. My debut novel is seeing a second life, a re-issuing, an anniversary edition. How amazing is that! I think back to the moments in a quiet classroom while my grade four students were busy writing a provincial assessment, when there wasn’t  much required of their  teacher except to be present, when I jotted down the seeds of an idea that had been simmering since the first nights of sleeplessness after my son’s death the year before . I remember sitting in the quiet stillness of the night after tumultuous days of grieving and preparing for my oldest son’s funeral; an act too unimaginable to truly process but unavoidable. My husband and our other three kids slept while I filled page after page attempting to make some sense of the  nightmare we were living through. I knew in those moments a book honoring Zac would someday surface.  So on that day a year later  in that  testing silence I scribbled the framework of how that book would take shape. I knew the title early on and I knew the ending but at that point I knew very little. The most important thing I knew was that I needed to write it. I made a plan which was attainable but not immediate. I would apply for a 4/5 deferred leave and on the fifth year I would write The Year Mrs. Montague Cried. From that first jotting until the moment I held a copy of the book in my hand  there are  more stories than this one blog entry can hold but I remember the journey in detail. It was a journey toward publication of course but more than that it was a journey toward finding a way to live with the ever present sorrow of burying  my first born child. Tonight I celebrate the 10th anniversary of the publication of my first book ( a year late), I acknowledge  twenty-three and a half years of living without Zac, twenty-two and a half years since getting the idea  for the book to honor my son,  sixteen years since taking the year off to write it,  twelve years since the manuscript  won first place in the Atlantic Writing Competition, eleven  years since  Acorn Press published it, ten years since it won the Ann Connor Brimer Excellence in Children’s Literature Award. This little debut novel  has now been returned to stores and bookshelves and to reader’s hands. I can again offer it up with the eleven books I wrote and saw published after making sure I told the story I needed to tell first.  Happy Book Anniversary !


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