Friday, May 27, 2011

Sarah Turner reads from her book, The Littlest Monkey

Here's a video we made of Sarah Turner reading from her book,
The Littlest Monkey

Thursday, May 26, 2011

More pictures from our Working with Wool book launch

More pictures from our Working with Wool, a Coast Salish Legacy and the Cowichan Sweater by Sylvia Olsen, book launch.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Coming home

Jim said it looks like I'm driving downhill but I'm actually driving up our steep mountain road (please excuse the annoying clicking sound from my camera).

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Working with Wool book launch

Here are just a few of the people who wore their Cowichan sweaters and hats to our Working with Wool book launch at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria on Sunday December 5, 2010.
Photo credit: Tom Kerr.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

SNP Audio Sylvia Olsen CBC Radio

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Video for Sylvia Olsen's Working with Wool

Sylvia Olsen chats about her new book Working with Wool: A Coast Salish Legacy and the Cowichan Sweater.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Patricia Young reads from her new book, An Auto-erotic History of Swings

Patricia Young speaks about the inspiration behind her new collection of poems and reads the title poem, An Auto-erotic History of Swings. Her book will be out in September, 2010.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Dorothy Field reading from her new poetry book, The Blackbird Must Be

This September Sono Nis Press will be releasing Dorothy Field's latest poetry book, The Blackbird Must Be.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Bear Alert!

After dinner one night last week, I was walking across the lawn to go back to work and noticed a bear standing near the back of the shop. I quickly went back to our house to put Gussy Buster Boy inside and grabbed my camera. The bear was non-aggressive and very kindly took off after I told it to go home.

Excellent review of Counting on Hope

Sylvia Olsen's latest book, Counting on Hope received an excellent review in CM Magazine.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

A Day at the Office

One of my favourite things to do is make little movies om my Mac computer. I made this one back in 2009. It's 7 or 8 hours of time-lapse photography condensed into 2 1/2 minutes.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Garden That You Are

Shelagh Rogers will be interviewing Gabriola Island author Katherine Gordon about our Slocan Valley gardening book, The Garden That You Are on Sounds Like Canada, Monday May 19. I'm preparing for an onslaught of orders after it airs!

Because we are a small publishing company (that chooses not to do business with Chapters/Coles/Indigo) it will probably be difficult to find The Garden That You Are in bookstores across Canada. If you're unable to locate a copy at your local bookstore, you can order directly from us - we specialize in individual orders.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Two nominations!

Yetsa's Sweater by Sylvia Olsen and Chasing the Moon by Penny Chamberlain have been nominated for the 2007-2008 Chocolate Lily Award; congratulations Penny and Sylvia!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Summer's here!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Children's book banned in Saskatchewan

Last week a school librarian from Kindersley, Saskatchewan called to say a library committee at her school has decided to pull our Saskatchewan Willow Award nominated book, Trouble on Tarragon Island by Nikki Tate from their shelves and they are returning all copies to their supplier. The librarian told me that the committee felt our book was not appropriate for the age level it was listed at (8 - 12) and they were offended by the words "saggy breasts" and "bazoongas" and in particular by the sentence on page 11, line 14: "And Simon had his hands cupped around two invisible melons suspended in front of him." That sentence is part of the opening scene in the book where the protagonist, Heather Blake, is being bullied at school after her tree-hugging Grandma has posed semi-nude in a Ladies of the Forest calendar to protest logging in an oldgrowth forest. The committee feels that by allowing students to read our book, they are condoning behaviour that they have zero tolerance for in their school.

Trouble on Tarragon Island 's author Nikki Tate has written a very interesting commentary about it on her blog here along with sending out a press release about it.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Italy, here we come!

It's official! I've booked Nikki's and my plane tickets for the Bologna Children's Book Fair next March; needless to say, we're both very excited! Not only will this be my first trip to Europe, but we'll get to immerse ourselves for four full days in the children's book publishing industry. And the best part is we're flying there business class thanks to my huge stash of Air Canada Aeromiles!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Another nomination!

Trouble on Tarragon Island by Nikki Tate has been nominated for the 2007 - 2008 Red Cedar Young Readers' Choice Award. Congratulations Nikki!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Gus and Jen go jogging

Monday, May 21, 2007

Another launch in Victoria

Another whirlwind trip to Victoria for me, right on the heels of a five day trip to Toronto where I served on an Ontario Arts Council jury. Between trips, I had to get our BPIDP grant application finished and sent off by its May 15th deadline and get our Fall 2007 catalogue ready for the printers. It's been extremely hectic around here, to say the least! My trip to Victoria was to launch Robert Turner's beautiful new railroad book, Steam Along the Boundary at the Pacific Rails 2007 Rail Convention at the University of Victoria. Over 1300 rail fans attended on Sunday - it was a roaring success!
Bob (sitting) was a popular attraction at the convention:

On Saturday night, I hosted a Sono Nis author dinner at the Med Grill to celebrate Bob and Rosemary Neering's latest books (both looking at the camera):

Also in the picture are: Bob Whetham (back to camera), Sylvia Olsen and her partner Tom, Penny Chamberlain, Richard Mackie and his wife Cathy, Tony Owen and his wife Alma, Bob's wife Nancy Turner, Rosemary's husband Joe, and Nikki Tate. We had a great time and the food was delicious!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Another nomination!

Just Ask Us by Sylvia Olsen has been nominated for The Steller Book Award: B.C.'s Teen Readers Choice Award. The nominees were selected by groups of teens in the Comox area on Vancouver Island. Teens named this award, drew the graphics, wrote the "book blurbs" and participate on the selections and steering committees. Congratulations Sylvia!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

And the winner is...

What an exciting evening we had!! Jim and I flew back to Victoria to attend the BC Book Prize Awards Ceremony held at Government House on Saturday. There were twelve of us in our group including Katherine Gordon (nominated for her book, Made to Measure ) Sylvia Olsen and Joan Larson (nominated for their book, Yetsa's Sweater) their partners, Marc, Tom, and Paul; Penny and Adrian Chamberlain, Nikki Tate, and even little Yetsa joined us. We all met outside Government House at 4:30 sharp so we could attend the VIP reception which was held downstairs in one of my favourite rooms in Government House, the MacClure Room. After mingling with a glass of wine, were were given pointers about what to do if we won and then we were instructed to form a circle around the room. Her Honour, Iona Campagnolo, went around the room to meet each one of us - she is an amazing woman! Then we all went upstairs to the Great Hall where the awards ceremony was held - it looked spectacular!
We were all thrilled when Katherine's name was announced as the winner of the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize! Congratulations Katherine!! You are so deserving of winning this award.
Here's a picture of Jim and me with Katherine:

To read our press release about Katherine's win click here and to read Liz Pogue's writeup in the Victoria Time's Colonist entitled: Island literati glitter at gala: Lieutenant Governor pays tribute to leading lights of writing world at B.C. Book Prizes click here.

For more pictures of the event: click here.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Book launch in Victoria

Jim and I are back from a whirlwind weekend trip to Victoria to launch our latest book, Government House: The Ceremonial Home of All British Columbians. We had an incredible time! Before the launch, we were invited to a special luncheon hosted by Her Honour, Iona Campagnolo, The Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. We arrived at Government House a little early so we could walk around the beautiful gardens; after we went inside, Jim and I were led upstairs with the other eight guests to Her Honour's private suite. After introductions, we had a glass of sherry and then at the appointed time, we went across the hall and had lunch in the elegant Rattenbury Dining Room. Then we were taken downstairs to have our official portrait taken before going outside to listen to Her Honour pay tribute to the remaiming fifteen firefighters that fought the fire that burned down the previous Government House 50 years ago. Then Her Honour unveiled our book - it was very exciting! We then went inside to the bookselling table, where Rosemary Neering and Tony Owen signed autographs and Jim and I sold books. It was extremely busy - I think over 2000 people attended the open house! After the launch we were invited for tea downstairs in the MacClure Room with the staff and Her Honour. Needless to say, it was a very memorable day!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Two nominations!

Exciting news! Two of the four books we published last year have been nominated for the prestigious BC Book Awards. Katherine Gordon's, Made to Measure: a History of Land Surveying in British Columbia has been nominated for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize and Sylvia Olsen's, Yetsa's Sweater (illustrated by Joan Larson), has been nominated for the BC Booksellers Choice Award. The Bookseller's Choice Award honours the author, illustrator, and publisher, which makes Sono Nis an official finalist, too! The BC Book Prize winners will be announced at the Lieutenant Governor's BC Book Prizes Gala on Saturday, April 28th at Government House in Victoria. This is the second time Katherine and Sylvia have been nominated for BC Book Awards in the last two years! Congratulations to Sylvia, Joan and Katherine! See you on the 28th!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Three more nominations!

Three of our authors have been nominated for Victoria's Monday Magazine M Award under the category "Favourite Childrens' Author". Five authors were nominated in all, two men and three women. Congratulations to: Penny Chamberlain, Nikki Tate, and Sylvia Olsen! You all deserve to win!!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Three nominations!!!

Wow, three of our books have been nominated for the 2007 Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Willow Awards.
Yetsa's Sweater by Sylvia Olsen has been nominated for the Shining Willow Award; Trouble on Tarragon Island by Nikki Tate and Tabasco, the Saucy Raccoon by Lyn Hancock have both been nominated for the Diamond Willow Award. Congratulations to Sylvia, Nikki and Lyn!

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

Here I am welcoming in 1960. Look at those legs!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Gussy Buster Boy

Gus had a great Christmas; he loves the squeaky bone his aunt Judy gave him and takes it everywhere, even to bed. When it was time to open Santa's present, he didn't want to put his new squeaky bone down; when he finally opened it, he immediately forgot about the squeaky bone and wanted to take his new rawhide bone outside. After lying in the snow and chewing on it for an hour or so, he buried it somewhere and we haven't seen it since!

We've been having a lot of fun cross-country skiing on our property over the holidays!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Happy Birthday Jen!

Happy Birthday to my beautiful daughter Jen, who was born 26 years ago today. I'm so lucky to have such an inspiring, wise, creative and beautiful daughter.
In the spirit of the season, I thought I'd post this absolutely adorable picture taken when Jen was almost five years old.

Snow dog!

Here's a picture of Gus (a.k.a. Mr. Personality) sitting in the snow in front of our office building.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 18, 2006

A huge sigh of relief

If you'd been in the office on Friday (Dec 15) you'd have heard a huge sigh of relief when I finished packaging up the last of our grant applications to take down to the post office. From mid-November to mid-December, it's the busiest, craziest, and most hectic and chaotic time of the year for me. Most people think it's because of all the Christmas orders we send out at this time of the year; well, that's only part of it. It starts with getting sales material ready for our Kate Walker sales conference in Vancouver at the end of November, which includes having finished catalogue copy and sales material of our Spring '07 books for our 15 Canadian sales reps. Then it's on to our Canada Council block grant application which is due December 1st: six very full pages of writing about our company and the books we've produced and will be producing next year along with a ton of financial forms to fill out. Part of the process means working with our accountants to get our fiscal year end finished off, so I can fill in the financial information. And this year, add in my trip to Victoria in early December for a few meetings with our publicist and authors about the new and exciting grant from Canada Council for special project funding (SOFI - Supplementary Operating Funds Initiative) and a meeting with Rosemary Neering and Government House officials to show various samples of special editions they can choose from for the Government House book we're publishing this spring, and then back to Winlaw just in time to send our Spring catalogue off to the printers, work on the BC Arts Council block grant application (due Dec 15), write Christmas cards, do up a brand new contract for illustrators, and work on the CC SOFI grant which was also due Dec 15. Then add to the mix, Joanne, my main employee, was very ill and ended up having an emergency appendectomy on December 15!
Every year I worry that we'll get snowed in and I won't be able to get to the post office to mail the grant applications off or that the power will go off before I get everything finalized on the computer and printed out. So on Thursday night (Dec 14) Jim and I were both wide awake at 2 am; he was worrying about all the snow coming down and was thinking he should go outside and shovel it before the rain that was forecast started coming down. And I was worrying that with all the heavy snow, the power would go off and I wouldn't be able to download the copy edited version of the applications our superb copy editor, Dawn, had so very diligently worked on all day and night and emailed to me after I went to bed. So we both got up and Jim lead the way to our office building, shovelling the walkway, with me following in my pj's and snow boots. I worked for just over an hour formatting both of the copy edited grant applications, writing the cover letters, and then photocopying all the financial pages I'd previously filled out. The lights were flickering the entire time but fortunately the power stayed on!
So, phew, it's all done and a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Now I can concentrate on getting the last minute rush orders out the door the same day as receiving them, clean up the very messy office, finish sewing a couple of Christmas presents, do a bit of Christmas baking, send off some last minute Christmas presents, and decorate the house (and clean it too). Oh, and Gus (the handsome cover model for our Spring '07 catalogue) wants to go for a walk on our property with Jim and I to find a small Christmas tree for the house. He can't wait to put all his Christmas presents under it!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Ten Days of Crittermas

Jim made me this interactive Christmas card from our dog Gus and the cats. It's called The Ten Days of Crittermas. Click here to view it!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Two excellent reviews for Chasing the Moon

Penny Chamberlain's latest book, Chasing the Moon has received two fantastic reviews since it was released just six weeks ago. The first glowing review was in the Victoria Times Colonist and reviewer Barbara Julian starts with high praise: "This elegant piece of storytelling is hard not to gush about"; the second review is in CM Magazine, the reviewer Vikki VanSickle writes: "Chasing the Moon is a solid sophomore novel from a promising Canadian writer." Congratulations, Penny!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Yetsa's Sweater a top 10 book

Yetsa's Sweater by Sylvia Olsen (illustrated by Joan Larson) was one of the ten children's books featured in "the best of the current crop" in Susan Perren's Globe and Mail article, "Ten titles to tickle the tots" in Saturday's edition. Congratulations to Sylvia and Joan for creating such a fabulous book!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A new member of the family

Since my two daughters are grownups now, it feels right that I sponsor two little girls through World Vision. Meet the newest member of our World Vision family, Sililo, who lives in Zambia, Africa. Sililo is seven years old and doesn't go to school. I think by my sponsoring her, she'll be provided with a school uniform that will enable her to go to school. I'm looking forward to getting to know her, as I'm getting to know Hameimida, my other World Vision daughter who lives in Mauritania, Africa. Hamemida writes to me at least once a month; we seem to have a strong bond with each other - what a gift!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

In Memoriam

May 1991 - November 16, 2006
It was a sad day today as our precious little Ariel has gone to kitty heaven. I'd had her for over 15 years, since she was a tiny little kitten. Her health started going downhill very fast and our vet said the kindest thing would be to euthanize her. She went to sleep with her little head in my hand, purring happily til the end. May her sweet little soul rest in peace.

Friday, November 10, 2006

First review of Yetsa's Sweater

Here's a great review of Yetsa's Sweater in CM Magazine. I particularly like how the reviewer, Gregory Bryan, says: "It is so well written and so artistically illustrated, however, that it is a book that will appeal to a much wider audience. Olsen’s and Larson’s collaboration provides an interesting insight into a unique aspect of Canada’s diverse heritage."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Bestselling books

For the fourth week in a row, Yetsa's Sweater by Sylvia Olsen has made the children's BC Bestseller list, this time in the #1 position; and Chasing the Moon by Penny Chamberlain made the list for a third time! Congratulations to Penny and Sylvia!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Nikki visits!

Nikki Tate arrived on Friday for a visit before starting a grueling week-long school tour here in the Kootenays. On Saturday, Jim went hiking with a friend, so we had the day to ourselves; Nikki worked in the office creating a new awards deadline database for us (of course, she did an amazing job!) and helped me get started on my first clothing sewing project - pajama bottoms. Then we had a nice walk with Gus up to the log house our friends and new-neighbours-to-be Deryl and Jan are building. On Sunday there was a scheduled 6 hour power-outage from 8 am - 2 pm; before the power went off I made lots of coffee for the thermal carafe, put toast in a hot oven and Jim made us brie omlettes. We had a wonderful morning relaxing by the fire and reading to our hearts content, taking breaks to refill our coffee mugs, and have little chats. It was a perfect morning!
Nikki left early Sunday afternoon to drive to Kaslo. With daylight savings having just started, she had to leave early so she wasn't driving in the dark. It's a good thing she did, as she ended up driving in a terrible snow storm. You can follow Nikki's trip here.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sylvia Olsen and May Sam interviewed on CBC

Joanne Roberts, host of CBC's All Point's West interviewed Sylvia Olsen and May Sam about the Coast Salish tradition of making Cowichan sweaters and the making of our book, Yetsa's Sweater.
To listen to this interesting interview, click here.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Two bestsellers!

I arrived home from attending the BC Teacher-Librarians' Conference in Victoria to the wonderful news that both Yetsa's Sweater (Sylvia Olsen) and Chasing the Moon (Penny Chamberlain) made the BC Bestseller list this week - congratulations Penny and Sylvia!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Yetsa's Sweater a bestseller!

Only a handful of weeks after being released, Yetsa's Sweater has made the BC Bestseller list. Many congratulations to Sylvia Olsen and Joan Larson for creating such a beautiful book.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Yetsa's Sweater and Chasing the Moon launched in Victoria

What a week we had! Seven wonderful days launching our two newest children's books at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney, BC.
We began the week by launching Yetsa' Sweater on Thursday night. The gallery looked spectacular with Joan Larson's beautiful artwork for the book hanging on two walls; a third wall held some of her latest equestrian artwork, for which she is best known for. Nikki Tate's very talented daughter, Dani, put together an informative display about Cowichan knitting in one of the large display cases, and we had the NFB documentary, The Story of Coast Salish Knitters (based on Sylvia's thesis) playing beside it. The real Yetsa, who is Sylvia's adorable granddaughter, was there along with Joni, Sylvia's eldest daughter (and Yetsa's aunt); they were the models Joan Larson used to pose as Yetsa and her mother. May Sam, who posed as the grandmother, was also there; she showed us how to spin wool and make pompoms for Cowichan sweaters. She was a huge hit!

Sylvia Olsen, May Sam, Joan Larson and Yetsa:

Group hug!

On Friday school groups visited; one class had a 45 minute session with Penny Chamberlain (Chasing the Moon)

while the other had a session with Sylvia Olsen, Joan Larson and May. Then they swapped. A two for one deal!

Everyone got a kick out of Sylvia showing how cool we thought we looked in our Cowichan Sweaters and hats back in the 70s!

On Saturday we had an open house for the public. May was the main attraction.

On Sunday we launched Penny Chamberlain's, Chasing the Moon:

The Maritime Museum put up a great display on rum-running:

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday school groups visited for sessions with the authors in the mornings and afternoons. I think we had over 750 children visit. Whew!
Many, many thanks to Nikki Tate and her ever-so-helpful daughter Dani for the countless (unpaid) hours they put in helping me put on this huge event and for the (usual) incredible job performed by Nikki contacting and scheduling all the school visits and keeping us all on schedule.
And also a big thank you to Sylvia Olsen, Penny Chamberlain, Joan Larson and May Sam; you are all exceptionally talented women and it was an honour to work with such remarkable women!
Nikki Tate manning our busy sales table: