Darlene Foster's Blog

A Happy Traveler

Posted on: November 9, 2019

I was missing in action for the last month as I went to Canada to promote the latest Amanda Travels book as well as visit friends and family. It was a very successful trip, although a bit tiring. Here’s a sample of what I was up to.

I visited four schools in Alberta and BC, consisting of a variety of class sizes and students. All delightful with many questions and comments. My favourite part of being a published author is visiting schools and reading to the children. When I walked into one class, a young boy shouted, “She´s here! She´s here! I can´t believe she´s here!” For a moment I felt like a rock star. 

Amanda Travels fans in Okotoks, Alberta

“Any questions?” Look at all those hands in Airdrie, Alberta

Reading to students in the comfy chair in Sunrise Ridge, BC. It doesn´t get any better.

Eager students in Stirling, Alberta

I launched my latest book, Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action, at Albany Books in Tsawwassen, BC, a community I lived in for fifteen years. I love this friendly, locally-owned, independant bookstore that has supported my books since the start. 

With my amazing publisher at Albany Books

I also held a book signing at Chapters Indigo in Coquitlam, on the other side of the city, which was also well attended. Chapters is a large Canadian chain, with each store run like a local independent store. The staff and atmosphere at Pine Tree Village couldn’t have been more friendly and welcoming.

At Chapters/Indigo in Pine Tree Village, Coquitlam, BC

I also had a table at the Surrey International Writer’s Conference where I sold books and met other wonderful writers including Diana Gabaldon, the creator of the Outlander series. I love her books and her.

My table at SiWC, one of the largest writers´ conferences in North America
A favourite author, Diana Gabaldon. A fabulous writer and a lovely person.

In Medicine Hat, my home town, I held a reading and signing at the charming Inspire Art Cafe. It was awesome to see so many folks come out and support my writing. I had a sweet young helper too.

At Inspire Art Cafe with a special helper

It wasn’t all about books though. I spent wonderful times with family and friends.

I visited my great aunt and great uncle in their new home. My great aunt is the last of my grandparents’ siblings and doing very well in spite of breaking her hip earlier this year at ninety-five years old.

And later I met their great-grandaughter, Anika, at a library presentation in Calgary.

Anika is my fourth cousin.

I stopped in to have a cup of tea with my Aunt Peggy and she made an apple pie, from scratch, just for me!

The best apple pie ever, warm from the oven!

Of course, I spent some good times with mom and my son and his family

Mom loves her Tim Horton’s ice caps!
Mom with my grandsons and great-granddaughters
My son and his granddaughter

I took a floatplane to Gabriola Island to spend three glorious days with my potter daughter
On the floatplane to Gabriola Island
The little green and yellow rowboat is how I got to her island

I watched her make horsehair raku pottery. Fascinating.

Creating horsehair raku
Sharing Ethiopian food with my brother

There were many visits with other family members and friends, shared meals, coffees, and sleepovers. Everyone had pets so I had lots of fur babies to cuddle. I may share those pictures on another post.

I encountered rain, snow, sunshine, strong winds and more rain, sometimes all on the same day! I traveled by plane, train, car, bus, truck, taxi, floatplane, and rowboat. It was a busy time with never a dull moment but I loved every minute!

101 Responses to "A Happy Traveler"

A big trip! Glad you were able to reconnect with family and friends ❤

Wow! What a trip!

It was a great trip. I forgot to mention, I had a coffee with Wendy Philips on Gabriola Island. I had so much going on.

Wow. What a great journey. How fun to mix visiting family, friends, and entertaining all these children, and meeting a famous author. Thrilling!

It was an amazing journey, took a lot of organizing but it all fell into place. Well, most of it did!

Looks like great fun being a Rock Star 👍👍👏👏

Thanks. It was fun, although I didn’t quite feel like a rock star while waiting in the rain for the bus!

Welcome back, Darlene. I am glad it all went so well and that you had a chance to see so many relatives into the bargain. All the best with the book. 👍

Thanks, Fatima. It is good to be back in the warm sun.

Lucky you! Pouring down in the UK at the moment with widespread flooding in the north, especially Yorkshire. 😪

So I have heard. Keep dry.

Kudos for a successful launch and tour. My tour lasted two weeks, not four. Still, I came home completely pooped. Still am – because marketing continues! Maybe some day I’ll visit you in Spain.

P. S. Your mom is SO cute – and that apple pie looks delicious!

Yes, you were doing the same. It is quite tiring especially with the long flight there and back. Of course, I picked up a cold too so I am still not recovered. But still glad I did it. Mom is so cute and doing very well. I’m sure Aunt Peggy’s apple pie would be very similar to your family recipe.

Hope you feel better soon!

Reblogged this on Campbells World and commented:
My brown eyes have turned green reading this wondrous blog post of this author’s adventures while promoting her latest book.
Make sure to click over to read all.

Thanks for the reblog, Patty. It was quite an adventure.

My you were busy. I am so impressed with your school presentations. How wonderful for the kids to get to meet a real author! And that apple pie sure looks scrumptious.

I do love doing school presentations. I find them exhilarating. My Aunt Peggy makes the best apple pies!

I enjoyed reading this summary of your fantastic trip. I especially liked seeing how responsive your audiences were. Your list of relatives boggles my mind. You really packed a lot into this trip. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Thanks, Anne. It is a long way to travel so I try to get as much in as possible. Like you, I like to make a point of seeing folks when I´m in the area. I do have a huge family.

I think you outdid yourself seeing so many people on this trip. What a happy time was had by all!

Congratulations on a wonderful Canadian visit, Darlene.
BTW – Your Aunt Peggy’s pie sounds delicious!

Thanks! It was wonderful. I dream of my aunt´s fabulous apple pie. All others pale in comparison.

What a whirlwind month for you Darlene and I love that every picture of you has that glowing smile. I loved the description of the boy so excited to meet you. Now that must be such a fabulous feeling to know you are influencing young readers like that.

Thanks, Sue. It does feel good to know kids are reading and enjoying my books. I hope you get a chance to read the latest one as you will see how I pick up ideas and slip them in. xo

Great story! Kids make you feel like a rock star!

Kids will do that! Thanks, Pete.

Darlene, you really had a fantastic trip meeting so many wonderful people. Your book seems to have gone down a treat too. Smiles all around.


Thanks so much, Miriam. It was great to see everyone and to see the enthusiasm over a new Amanda Travels book.

Wow – that’s a lot of travel! You must be relaxing in the sunshine now! Love when classrooms have nice comfy chairs for reading:)

It was a lot and yes, I´m resting in the sunshine right now. It was a lovely little corner for reading and listening at that school. Perfect.

What a lovely trip, and how wonderful to be welcomed like a rock star!

It was truly great!! Thanks.

Wow, Darlene! That was quite a trip. And what great photos too. Such a good post. 🙂

Pleased you liked the post, Anne.

What a wonderful time you had! Great post.

Thanks, Stevie. Now I need a bit of a rest.

“She’s here! She’s here!” I love that. So sweet. 🙂 Looks like a great month, Darlene. Glad you got to enjoy quality time with family.

It was so cool to hear him say that. It was a super month, happy times.

Wonderful! What an amazing time you’ve had – and always with that lovely smile!

What a wonderful home experience, Darlene. So lovely for you to see all your family. Lovely also that the children are so keen on reading.

Meeting children that love to read is so inspiring. It was so great to see the family.

Hi Darlene, Such happiness in this post. Shows a life well-lived and being well lived!

Awe, thanks so much. And it was so great to see you again. Thanks for being such a loyal Amanda fan. You will soon be reading the books to your grandchildren.

What a fabulous time you had! Love you sharing the pics of family! So happy you able to do readings with the students…the impact on them is more than most of us realize!! Awesome!!

I have to admit, reading to the kids at school is the icing on the cake for me as a writer. It was a wonderful time and so great to see everyone. It’s amazing how those grandkids have grown up so quickly.

Darlene, you really have been a busy bee! But from you broad smile I can see you loved it all. Such fantastic reception you got from all the schools. Kids are so honest with their thoughts, it must have been amazing to get such warm welcome from them. I am glad you also managed to spend time with your family.

Thanka, Gilda. Spending time with kids is refreshing. And spending time with my family made it even more special.

Great to read Darlene

Hard to sum it up n a few words and pictures. I felt like I lived a year in one month. Thanks for your support and help in making it successful. Hugs!!

How wonderful Darlene, you have been busy! What an inspiration you are 🙂

Thanks. Back in Spain resting now.

How wonderful, Darlene! What a big trip! I loved all the photos.

It was a big trip with big events. At one school when I asked for questions a young boy eagerly put up his hand and said, “I have a big question.” Lots of big memories. xo

Awww… that’s a great story! How many schools and libraries did you visit? Of course you were sandwiching in family, too 🙂.

I presented at 4 schools, 1 library, 2 bookstores and 1 coffeeshop in 8 different towns/cities.

Wow!! That is amazing, Darlene. 😃

Congratulations Darlene. Amazing accomplishment….

You’ve packed so much into that amazing trip Darlene! I’m so thrilled for you!

Thanks, Dean. We do what we have to do to get our books in the hands of readers. Seeing family along the way is a great bonus.

Absolutely Darlene! I would love to be able to jetset to Canada one day. I owe Michelle a great big kiss!

Lovely photos Darlene, and yes, you are a rock-star – of words. Visiting schools is such a wonderful thing for a published author to do. I bet some of those children will remember how they felt for decades.

What a trip you’ve had, and how nice that you’ve allowed us this glimpse.

Thank you so much, Cath! I guess I would have been quite excited if a published author would have visited our school when I was that age. I tried to visit schools in smaller communities this time as they often get overlooked.

What a trip, Darlene – you did it all! I know you must love reading to the kids – and you are a rock star!

Congratulations on a wonderful trip in Canada, Darlene. I love how you spend reading time with the students. It’s a powerful way to positively influence young minds. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of your listeners or helpers become a writer in the future. Time with family is precious, too and the home-made apple pie is love. #senisal

Thanks, Natalie. Some of the students did express an interest in becoming a writer. One young man said he was working on a book about the effects of 911 on kids born after the disaster. He was all of 11 years old!! Incredible.

Wow! Darlene, I’m breathless from your whirlwind tour! Congratulations, Rock Star! 😀😀 I’m in awe of all your school visit, talks and even launching your latest book. The children all look so engaged and eager and as for the rocking chair … life doesn’t get any better for an author doing a book reading! Your family look lovely, warm, kind and loving! It must have felt precious beyond words for you all to be together. Hugs xx

It was so wonderful to be with my family and of course, the children at the schools were just amazing! Glad you enjoyed reading about it.

Sounds like it was a great trip, Darlene. Love the part about feeling like “a rock star!”

Thanks, Nancy. It was an amazing trip in so many ways.

Just wonderful. I love the books. They open up so much for children. My windows were opened when I was a child and my grandfather read the books by Holling C. Holling. I so appreciate what you are doing for today’s kids. Thank you.

Thank you for your kind words. Such wonderful memories of your grandfather reading to you and opening up your world.

Amazing tour Darlene! Too bad you were on the opposite site of our country or I would have loved to be there. 🙂

I know, it would have been so great to see you. xo

You are clearly a rock star, Darlene. How nice to be able to catch up with family, meet adoring fans, and hobnob with other fabulous authors. A fun post full of smiles.

It was a fun post to write as it reminded me of what a fabulous time I had. I slept for about a week when I got home. xo

Ha ha. I’ll bet. It sounds like it was a non-stop whirlwind of activity.

That was quite a trip! You looked like you were having the time of your life!!!

It was a wonderful time. Thanks, Liz.

I’m glad the trip was so successful for you, Darlene. It was wonderful to see you in person!

I was delighted that you came to my book signing on that horrible rainy day! Thanks!!

What a great trip you had in Canada. Congrats on all the signings and sales of your new book. Love hearing and seeing pics of your travels.

Thanks, Diane. Glad you enjoyed the post. xo

Darlene, looks like you had a wonderful trip filled with happy memories. Congratulations! 🙂

Thanks, Carol. Some great memories!!

Wonderful all around, Darlene! 🙂

Thanks, Bette. It was.

wow what a busy and fun time. You Rock Star you xx How fabulous. and as you should be. Lovely to catch up with family as well. That apple pie looked yummy. Now what has intrigued me is the “horsehair pottery”? is it horsehair..or is that just a name for a different type of pottery.must google. #SeniSal

Thanks so much. Here is a bit about horsehair pottery I found on the internet. https://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-horsehair-pottery.htm
Horsehair pottery is pottery that, as the name implies, incorporates hair from the manes and tails of horses into its design. The process of creating horsehair pottery involves applying strands of hair to the surface of a hot clay pot that has just been removed from the kiln. The hair carbonizes, leaving random patterns in the pot’s surface. Horse hair makes especially dramatic patterns because of its coarseness and length. Tail hair is thicker, so it leaves bolder patterns, and finer mane hair produces more subtle lines.
I think I will write a post about it. I brought a piece back from New Mexico and gave it to my daughter who decided to try making it herself. Thanks for your interest.

wow thanks for the link. How interesting and yes do write a piece about it. thank you x

Reblogged this on Darlene Foster's Blog and commented:

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! We have so much to be thankful for. What was I doing at this time last year? I was launching Amanda in Holland and visiting friends and family. I am so thankful I was able to do that. For now, I am thankful I have the pictures to look back on. Stay safe everyone. xo

Lovely post thnx to share this lovely post 🙂🙂

What a wonderful tour, Darlene – your family must be so proud of you. You’re a real star. Toni x

Thank you, Toni! My family is a huge supporter and motivator. I am so lucky.

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