Last Tuesday was the re-release of his fan favourite “Northern Frights,” collected in one volume for the first time and inspired by Norse mythology.
Slade visited the Coaldale Public Library on a mini southern Alberta tour to talk to Grade 6 students from R.I. Baker Middle School about reading and writing.
“It’s a library tour. It’s the typical tour for a children’s author, as I’m going to schools and going to libraries and talking about what it’s like to be a writer and kind of my own experience writing books and where I get ideas from and all the things that people are kind of interested in, especially people who read want to know how did you get an idea for a crazy book like that? I try to explain it but sometimes it’s unexplainable,” said Slade, who lives in Saskatoon, Sask., adding he feels like a rock band hitting every little small venue in southern Alberta, which reminds him of home.
Slade also paid a visit to St. Joseph’s School in Coaldale, earlier last Tuesday morning.
“It’s been good. Some of them are fans and they know what you’ve written but probably the majority of them are there because they have to be there. For them, it’s kind of a surprise because I try to make my presentation fun and light and entertaining and I think they kind of get into it plus they don’t have to do any homework, for them that’s the really fun part,” he joked.
Over the years Slade has written many award-winning books including “The Hunchback Assignments,” which won the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. Another book “Dust” was the winner of the Governor General’s Award and other books in Slade’s vast arsenal of literary delights include “Monsterology,” Villainology” and the “Canadian Chills” series.
“Being in the writing industry, every year you hear about how people don’t read anymore and the writing industry’s dead and it just doesn’t seem to happen so much when you’re writing for a younger audience. There’s always schools and there’s always kids who want to hear stories and it’s really heartening for me, as a writer, to come out because I spend so much of my time at home writing books, you don’t get to present them and you don’t get to see the reaction when you’re reading something aloud. It’s entertaining and when I get home it makes me just want to write more,” said Slade.
Last Tuesday, oddly enough, was the actual relaunch of the “Northern Frights” series, which previously was published in 1997 but according to Slade was out of print for over eight years. The new collection of stories has been re-released by another publisher.
Right now, Slade is working on writing another book.
“It’s called ‘Flickers’ and it actually starts out just outside of Lethbridge and ends up in Hollywood. It’s kind of a happy little horror story that takes place in 1920s Hollywood.”