Morrissey is doing two readings of her new while in town. The first is a special reading for the students at the Dr. John C. Wickwire Academy on Friday, April 13.
The second reading is open to everyone, and is at the Thomas H. Raddall Library on Sunday April, 15 at 1 p.m.
At both readings Morrissey says she wants to have fun with the children, and answer any questions they may have.
Morrissey is also hosting a workshop at Lane’s Privateer Inn on April 14 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The roots for her latest book start almost a decade ago, with what she calls a bizarre dream about a cross old women looking for a place called love valley. Morrissey mentioned her dream to her daughter Bridgette, an art student at the time, and she thought it would make a good book.
The idea was tucked away for several years while Morrissey worked on other projects. However two years ago Bridgette was looking for an art project, and suggested working on the story together.
Morrissey pitched the idea to her publisher Penguin Canada, to see it they were interested. Though they were unsure about it at first, since neither Morrissey nor her daughter had done a children’s book before, they gave the go ahead.
“They took a chance and it worked beautifully I think,” says Morrissey.
She describes the book as a metaphor about life, about an unhappy old woman who goes looking for happiness. On her journey she meets three different characters. The first is a bullying rabbit, which represents what society pushes us to do. The second is a flashy fox, which represents riches and fame that we think might bring us happiness. The last is a magic fountain, which makes you feel good for a time but is fleeting. Does the old woman find happiness? Morrissey says you will have to read the book to find out.
“The ending is a nice twist and surprise,” she says.
Morrissey says it was a lot of fun to collaborate with her daughter on the book, though she adds it wasn’t without challenges.
Things that we might think of as small, like filling the whole page with detail, takes a long time to finish. Since it was their first time creating a children’s book, there was a lot of back and forth with the publisher as well. Characters needed tweaks to make them less serious, and each page had to be carefully broken down to plan both text and pictures to go along with it.
All in all, the book took about two years to complete.
Though Morrissey didn’t realize the whole process would take so long, she enjoyed working on the project.
“I’m really proud of it. It is a great product,” she says.
The workshops are aimed at adults or older students looking to learn the craft of writing. Morrissey has hosted workshops before in Liverpool, usually centred on a certain theme. For this workshop, the focus will be on creating settings for a story.
Morrissey says she likes to keep her workshops structured but interactive, spending time both writing and reading their works aloud.
Teaching is second nature to her, she says, and Morrissey has taught workshops around the country and also is a teacher at Humber College in Toronto
Morrissey is the author of five novels, drawing on her experiences growing up in Newfoundland.
For more information on the workshops, call 902-425-1120, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.