Author Eric Wilson lived only a few blocks from Hume Elementary School when he wrote his mysteries The Kootenay Kidnapper, Vampires of Ottawa and Disneyland Hostage. And when he swung by on Thursday afternoon to give a presentation he had plenty of stories to tell the students.
“I began writing in 1970, 45 years ago,” Wilson told the kids, sharing the story of how his first book Fat Boy Speeding was repeatedly rejected. He told all of them to never give up, and to work towards publishing their own stories “after high school”.
“Before I write any of my mysteries I go to the place, I live there, and I get my ideas for a new story,” Wilson told them. He showed a slide show of his travels in Nunavut as an example of his process.
Wilson had the kids participate in faux interrogations (Grade 3 student Chloe Radcliffe was the suspect), he read to them from his work and gave out autographs. During the reading he had students cover their eyes so they could better picture the action and engage with the sensory details of his story.
He told the students if they want to read a sample chapter from each of his 22 books they should visit his website, and encouraged all of them to use their imaginations and get busy working on their own narratives.
“I’ve always loved mysteries and that’s why I like writing them. This is from when I was your age, reading Hardy Boys. That’s what got me into reading.”
Wilson was in town before the world premiere of his play Murder on the Canadian. He also gave a reading at Otter Books.
For more information visit ericwilson.com.