This morning I woke up with an idea – I’m in Toronto – the Queen is visiting, why not do something really impossible and present my book to her.
I didn’t actually think this could happen, but after ascertaining that the Queen would be doing one last public appearance at Queen’s Park, where Ontario’s Legislature sits, and that she would be trying to ‘see as many Canadians as possible before she leaves’, I decided ‘oh well, why not’, I’ll just go down there and give it a try. Sitting on the subway, I wrote a note to Her Majesty on the inside cover of the book, humbly presenting the story to her as a gift, and hoping that she would enjoy it. ‘This story made my four-year-old son laugh, and I hope that it amuses you too. If that can happen, then anything is possible’, I wrote.
Soon, I joined the throngs of well-wishers and fans on the green grass of Queen’s Park, all of whom were trying to gauge where the Queen would walk and if they were positioned to see her best. After placing myself in about a dozen locations, I settled myself behing an elderly lady, right behind the barricade in a place where a policeman confided ‘I’m told she’ll pass this way’.
The lady in front of me encouraged me to just stick my hand out with the book as the Queen went by, saying that I reminded her with my bright face of her own grandson, who is also a writer. I told the policeman referred to above of my intention to present the Queen with my book, and he promptly said, ‘it’s not going to happen’. But a minute later the Queen did appear, coming our way, and with my heart in my throat I extended my hand (the elderly lady bent down to let me through) and said in a clear voice, ‘Your majesty, I’d like to present you with my first book. I hope it makes you laugh and I hope you can read it on your flight.’ The Queen smiled, took the book in her hand and moved along her way, a copy of Pickle Impossible in tow!
The onlookers beside me were beside themselves and congratulated me, saying things like ‘wow, she usually only takes only flowers!’
In the next few days I received several pictures from some very nice bystanders who happened to take a snapshots at the exact right moment:
I very much hope Her Majesty enjoys reading about Pierre and Aurore and will be very happy to present my next novel to her when it comes out. I am honored and thrilled.
And I hope to continue to do ‘impossible things’ here in Toronto and beyond. Next up, perhaps – reading Pickle while standing on thin air!