|Paul Martin and Caroline Woodward|
To generate excitement for the third book in the series, we held a national contest and it was to be about one of our living former leaders, Paul Martin. We called it ‘The Early Adventure of Paul Martin’ contest. We asked any student in Canada – whether secondary or post-secondary – for the first chapter of a book on a 13-year-old Paul Martin as well as a one-page outline. The winner would receive a publishing contract for their book and it would be published as the third book in the Leaders & Legacies series. Obviously, we expected a university student to win, perhaps someone in a writing program.
The quality of the entries was indeed excellent. But we were even more surprised with our favourite entry – because it was created by a 15-year-old girl from Ottawa by the name of Caroline Woodward. Caroline’s proposed outline was well-researched, well thought out, and her ability to foreshadow young Paul Martin’s life to come was what drew us to her entry.
When we told Mr. Martin what we had planned he was beyond generous. He did media interviews while the contest was on, he read the manuscript itself and made helpful suggestions. He wrote the foreword for the book. He asked his sister to open up their family cottage to Caroline so she could tour it, in order to capture that level of realism for the novel. Then, to top it all off, he agreed to do a joint book signing with young Caroline in November. As you can imagine, there was a crush of media – from CTV, Global, CBC, the Globe and Mail, and talk show programs.
Roderick told me later this year they are publishing the 4th book, which may have the title of Richard Bennett – The Hero of Hopewell Hill, in the series. It will be the first in the series in Maritime Canada. Bennett grew up in New Brunswick.
The website for Fireside, http://www.firesidepublishinghouse.com/default.html, has extensive information about the series.
My next post on Thursday will feature a Q & A with Caroline. She is a gifted young woman.