I went to Montreal, P.Q. this past weekend...
The trip to Montreal was half business, half pleasure. I met up with a few friends, but the catalyst for the trip was to do some book store signings in a city (any city!) outside of Toronto (most of my book promo events thus far have been in the Toronto area).
Montreal is a good sized city (one of the three biggest cities in Canada) and it seemed like a good idea to try to build some word of mouth in another urban centre.
BUT... Montreal, or at least the province of Quebec, is French speaking (officially). Montreal, however, does have a large English and/or bilingual population, so I figured it would probably be okay to try a signing there...
WOW! It went even better than I had expected, and - ironically- it was even better than some of my Toronto events!
I signed on Saturday afternoon at Chapters Pointe Claire and on Sunday afternoon at Chapters on Rue Ste. Catherine; I sold 20 and 24 copies of Blood and Groom respectively.
What blew me away, though, was how incredibly supportive and encouraging the staff at each store were! The Ste. Catherine staff - in particular Sam, Mathieu, and Ian - were awesome!!!! They steered people my way, they made sure all the staff on duty were aware of the event and knew about the book. It was a great feeling, a really positive environment, and I look forward to signing there again someday. I also have to give a shout out to Craig and the staff at Pointe Claire, they were fantastic as well.
As for the language issue, well, it wasn't an issue at all, really. A few customers were French speakers (or readers) only, but many people were interested in talking with me about the book and no one gave me grief for chatting them up in English.
So all in all, it was a great weekend. A big, hearty THANK YOU to Chapters Quebec!