On a very rainy Tuesday, Best Friend and I headed into the big city (aka Toronto) to cheer on author Vikki VanSickle at the launch of her new book Summer Days, Starry Nights (Scholastic Canada). The launch took place at 3030 on Dundas Street W, a venue I had never been to before but was easy enough to find. If you are thinking of throwing an event and don’t know where to do it, I highly recommend 3030! It is such a fantastic space with rock walls, funky tables, a stage, and local artwork on display.
We were some of the first to arrive, but the place filled up pretty quickly and was soon packed. I was happy to see several familiar faces and got the chance to chat with some coworkers from my days as a HarperCollins intern. The folks from Mabel’s Fables were also there selling Vikki’s books— but I already had a copy thanks to the wonderful Scholastic team.
Vikki (looking gorgeous and retro) took the stage and gave a speech thanking everyone for their support. She talked a bit about what influenced Summer Days, Starry Nights, which she describes as “Dirty Dancing without the dirty.” Turns out trips to flea markets and her parents records were big factors in the books conception, as was her love of anything summer.
Then Vikki read three excerpts from her novel, introducing us to the protagonist Reenie Starr, her glamour obsessed mother, and the not-so-saintly ballerina Gwen. Vikki was a fantastic reader and was really able to capture the different voices of the characters and the tone of the book. I would definitely go to another Vikki VanSickle reading. When she finished I wanted to open my copy right there and start reading—but I resisted (with great difficulty).
Vikki spent the next hour or so signing away while her good friend and singer/fiddler Miranda Mulholland performed on stage accompanied by James Robertson on guitar and banjo. These two were incredible! I love, love, love Miranda’s voice — it has a very Celtic, ethereal sound. I was very impressed and will be keeping an eye out for more performances by her. When their set finished DJ SplatterMonkey did a great job of getting everyone grooving to songs from the 60s. There was even a space for people to dance—Evan Munday took to the dance floor with particular zeal (major props to him on his moves!)
Best Friend and I waited for the signing line to die down a bit before we went and got our books signed. We chatted with Vikki about summer smells and cottage country. Then we couldn’t deny the call of the music any longer and joined some others on the dance floor.
I’m not sure what time the partying continued to because we didn’t stay much longer after that—we still had a long drive ahead of us. Thankfully the rain had stopped long enough for us to get back to our car without getting soaked. And then we were off down the foggy highway, signed copies in our purses and 60s tunes still playing in our heads.