Le printemps arrive. (Spring is coming)

Carrousel de Paris (Author photo, edited)

Let’s get right to it. There’s been a lot happening on the writing/publishing front for me over the past month. Spring is coming, and the year’s picking up speed. Here’s the recap:

Book Launch Celebration Event

Yes, that’s an unnecessarily long and awkward title. But while at first I thought you could only have one actual book launch, I came to the realization that and is better than or. There’s nothing saying I can’t do a whole series of events. Mind. Blown. 🤯

So in that spirit, the first book launch celebration event for Provenance Unknown will take place on Sunday afternoon, April 2, 2023.

The venue is the Roundhouse Cafe in Saanich (Greater Victoria, British Columbia), right next to Rutledge Park, one of the key locations in the book!

What to expect:
✍🏻 Author meet-and-greet
📚 Books available for purchase ($20, cash only)
📖 Book signing

Grab a coffee and treat (support local!), pick up a copy of Provenance Unknown, and see some of the locations featured in the story, (including Rutley, the pink elephant structure). Drop in anytime between 1:00 and 4:00 pm.

Thank you to the Roundhouse Cafe for hosting. Situated right in the heart of main character Michele’s neighbourhood, it’s the perfect spot for this event.

Rutley, the pink elephant structure at Rutledge Park. (Author photo)

Where’s the Writer?

Like Where’s Waldo. Sort of.

As book promotion kicks into high gear, I’ve been “spotted” both around town and online. Postcards continue to be distributed in little free libraries across Greater Victoria, thanks to Saanich Councillor Dr. Teale Phelps-Bondaroff. (See his Twitter account for photos!)

In the last year, the Association of Canadian Archivists In the Field blog has interviewed archivists “who have written novels in addition to RAD descriptions.” (A little archives humour.) In a two-part series, they featured the Archivists Who Write, a writing group made up of Denise Dale, Emily Lonie, Sylvia Stopforth, and myself. In Part One, read about the ups and downs of the writing life and the value of the connections found in a group like this one.

Important sidebar: I couldn’t have asked for a better critique group—I feel lucky to have found these supportive, talented people whom I now call friends.

In Part Two, meet each member of the writing group and get to know the why, how, what, and where of our writing practice. To read both blog posts, head to In the Field.

Author and her novel Provenance Unknown paired with Bourgogne Chardonnay, Maison Louis Latour, 2020. (S. Nesbitt photo)

In other news, I’m officially part of the Books and Bevies family! 🥂 Check out my 🇫🇷 French wine pairing, and while you’re on the blog, find other wonderful authors to follow and support. 🎉

The brainchild of author Kerry Fryar Freeman, the blog features writers … with a “twist.” Authors choose the perfect beverage to pair with their work. It’s a fun concept, and I’m glad I decided to participate.

I was also happy to be a guest on the South Branch Scribbler. Thanks to fellow Canadian author Allan Hudson for having me. In the post, I share “the story behind the story” for Provenance Unknown, plus some insights into me as a writer. If you’re a fan of behind-the-scenes, give it a read!

Brick wall in black and white. A silhouette of a person wearing a hat is painted on the wall. The words “South Branch Scribbler” are written in red script at the top right corner.
South Branch Scribbler logo.

I met Sonia on Twitter when I was drawn to the beautiful cover on her debut novel and she kindly accepted my offer to be our guest this week.
When you visit her website you will read,
“Using my words for good.”
I like that.
Let’s go meet Sonia.

South Branch Scribbler

What About the Writing?

It may seem like all I’ve been doing lately is promotion, but occasionally some actual writing happens. I’ve nearly finished the first draft of A Year of Summer (more on that another time)—I’m in love with this novel and can’t wait to share it with you. I know, I know: one step at a time. But the finished product will be out there eventually. Maybe next year? 🤞

My latest publication credit appears in For Page and Screen, a magazine which began as a single-person blog run by writer/filmmaker Sarah Edmonds. It has since expanded to include a variety of voices from all different kinds of storytellers. Their goal is to explore the creative process. To find similarities and differences in how they tell stories across genre and form. Recently, they’ve added their own literature and film magazine to the mix so that they can help to showcase amazing work from storytellers around the world.

“Through the Looking Glass” is one of only six stories in Issue 3: “After”. 😮 Sincerest thanks to For Page and Screen for including my work.

Sometimes the routines and mundanity of our day-to-day lives can trick us into believing that the present state of being is as it will always be. In reality, we and the world around us are in a perpetual state of change. Our lives may change from the expected to the absurd, from feeling content to being ripped from your comfort zone, or even moving from a place of hopelessness to finding that one small thing that makes tomorrow worth living. While the reality of our lives is fluid, we often measure our time in moments and define our growth by the moments of greatest change. The amazingly talented storytellers included in this third issue of For Page & Screen Magazine understand that, when every moment holds so much potential, there is only one question left to answer. What happens after?”

Introduction to Issue 3, For Page & Screen.

Les Bouquinistes

Les Bouquinistes, riverside booksellers, are an enormous ‘open-air bookshop’ that is a part of the Parisian landscape, adding to the charm of the Seine riverbanks. They provide a lively atmosphere, cultural attraction, and literary and historic heritage. Located on the Right Bank, from Pont Marie to Quai du Louvre, and on the Left Bank, from Quai de la Tournelle to Quai Voltaire, some 226 riverside booksellers with their 900 ‘book boxes’ have 300,000 or so old and modern literary works to discover – a veritable treasure.

Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau

I won’t be able to offer nearly as many books as they do, but it’s a fitting name, I think, for a new feature where I share Paris-themed books, blogs, and more. A small way for me to pay it forward after receiving so much support on my publishing journey. Read on to discover a few gems—if you haven’t already found them on your own.

An American in Pandemic Paris. A Coming-of-Retirement-Age Memoir by Michelle Facos.

What would you do? Stay in Paris indefinitely or return to one of two homelands: a polarized and chaotic U.S. or a let’s-pretend-everything’s-normal-even-though-it-isn’t Sweden? After two weeks in Paris, Michelle’s choice was clear, persuaded by President Macron’s reassuring leadership and the imagined thrill of frolicking in a tourist-free Paris. A series of incremental incidents that left her ‘stranded’ in France without income converted Michelle’s two-month stay for camaraderie, cuisine, and culture into a transformative sixteen-month journey of self-discovery, path realignment, romantic adventure, and a deeper relationship with the City of Light, one often haunted by memories of her rich, insouciant ex-lover, Trocadéro Man.

Join Michelle the Art Historian as she explores the jasmine-scented streets of Paris, navigates the world of senior dating, weekends with aristocrats, winters on the Côte d’Azur, and converses with her favorite artworks. Meet the new people in her world–Puzzle Man of Montparnasse, Amazing Accordionist, Madame Chocolat, Jim the Expat, and Caroline the Professor–who made her (first) pandemic year one of metamorphosis and joy.

Book cover for An American in Pandemic Paris.

The Honeybee Emeralds by Amy Tector

The Honeybee Emeralds is a lighthearted mystery set in the world of Parisian expats as four women work together to uncover the secrets of a stunning diamond and emerald necklace.

Alice Ahmadi has never been certain of where she belongs. When she discovers a famed emerald necklace while interning at a struggling Parisian magazine, she is plunged into a glittering world of diamonds and emeralds, courtesans and spies, and the long-buried secrets surrounding the necklace and its glamorous former owners.

When Alice realizes the mysterious Honeybee Emeralds could be her chance to save the magazine, she recruits her friends Lily and Daphne to form the “Fellowship of the Necklace.” Together, they set out to uncover the romantic history of the gems. Through diaries, letters, and investigations through the winding streets and iconic historic landmarks of Paris, the trio begins to unravel more than just the secrets of the necklace’s obsolete past. Along the way, Lily and Daphne’s relationships are challenged, tempered, and changed. Lily faces her long-standing attraction to a friend, who has achieved the writing success that eluded her. Daphne confronts her failing relationship with her husband, while also facing simmering problems in her friendship with Lily. And, at last, Alice finds her place in the world―although one mystery still remains: how did the Honeybee Emeralds go from the neck of American singer Josephine Baker during the Roaring Twenties to the basement of a Parisian magazine?

Book cover for The Honeybee Emeralds.

Bonjour: A Francophile Blog (bonjourdarlene.com)

“Written in California by a Francophile who loves books, movies, music, and more.”

The 5-year-old blog is run by Darlene, a San Francisco Bay Area native, mom, and academic human resources professional. She admits to being a Francophile since she was 12 years old. (I can relate!)

It aims to:

  • connect with people from all around the world and exchange ideas
  • inspire more travel through its postcard series
  • promote the study of French language and culture through a French song playlist, book reviews, and more

Read the blog, or follow the content on Twitter or Instagram.

Logo for Bonjour: A Francophile Blog.

Loulabelle’s FrancoFiles (loulabellesfrancofiles.com)

The blog is meant to accompany the Loulabelle’s FrancoFiles podcast about all things French. Episodes provide “tips and ideas that aren’t in the tourist brochures for Aussies travelling to France” (but I’m sure are applicable to all!), and share French experiences and inspiration. The links to listen to the podcasts are in each blog post.

Subscribe wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts or follow Loulabelle’s FrancoFiles on Instagram and Facebook to be notified when new episodes are out.

Logo for Loulabelle’s FrancoFiles.

Thanks for hanging in all the way to the end of a newsletter that turned out to be much longer than I expected. Things at this time of year have a tendency to grow. It’s almost Spring, after all. (In Victoria, anyway.)

As always, thank you for reading. I truly appreciate your support.



Published by Sonia Nicholson

Sonia Nicholson is an archivist, executive assistant, and writer. She was born and raised in Osoyoos, British Columbia, Canada and studied French and Spanish at the University of Victoria. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia with her husband, two children, and two rescue dogs. Follow her on Twitter @nicholsonsonia_

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