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Online Event, Niagara Parks

Coast to Coast: Canada’s Determined Women Literary Series

This four-part speaker series highlights Canadian female authors, their unique perspectives and published works, inside the home of one of Canada’s best known heroines, Laura Secord. Enjoy wine and cheese as we celebrate these extraordinary Canadian authors.
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Coast to Coast “Canada’s Determined Women” Literary Series

This four-part online speaker series highlights Canadian female authors, their unique perspectives and published works. Join us in this exceptional and interactive online series as we celebrate extraordinary Canadian authors. Tickets are just $10 per speaker or $30 for access to the entire series.

This year’s Coast to Coast Literary Series is delivered as a live-streamed, digital event. Tickets grant access using any computer, tablet or mobile device for these live, interactive sessions with four incredible Canadian authors.

The Authors

Once again, the Niagara Parks Coast to Coast speaker series features the stories of four incredible Canadian women. All sessions are at 7:00 p.m.

Catharine Hernandez

Crosshairs September 10

Michelle Good

Five Little Indians October 8

Natalie Zina Walschots

Hench November 12

Kate Hilton

Better Luck Next Time December 10

A photo of the novel, Crosshairs, by Catherine Hernandez

Catherine Hernandez Crosshairs

Catherine Hernandez is a proud queer woman of colour, a radical mother, a theatre practitioner, an award-winning author and the artistic director of b current performing arts. She is of Filipino, Spanish, Chinese and Indian heritage, and she is married into the Navajo Nation. Her novel, Scarborough, which is soon to be a motion picture, won the Jim Wong-Chu Award for the unpublished manuscript; was a finalist for the Toronto Book Award, the Evergreen Forest of Reading Award, the Edmund White Award and the Trillium Book Award; and was longlisted for Canada Reads. She has also written the plays Singkil and Kilt Pins, as well as the children’s book M Is for Mustache: A Pride ABC Book. Crosshairs is her second novel. She lives in Toronto.

CROSSHAIRS SYNOPSIS
In a terrifyingly familiar near-future, with massive floods that lead to rampant homelessness and devastation, a government-sanctioned regime called the Boots seizes the opportunity to force communities of colour, the disabled, and the LGBTQ2S+ into labour camps in the city of Toronto. In the shadows, a new hero emerges. After his livelihood and the love of his life are taken away, Kay joins the resistance alongside Bahadur, a transmasculine refugee, and Firuzeh, a headstrong social worker. Guiding them in the use of weapons and close-quarters combat is Beck, a rogue army officer who helps them plan an uprising at a major internationally televised event.

Michelle Good Five Little Indians

Michelle Good is a Cree writer and a member of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. After working for Indigenous organizations for twenty-five years and advocating for residential school survivors, she obtained a law degree. She earned her MFA in creative writing at UBC while still practicing law. Her poems, short stories and essays have been published in magazines and anthologies across Canada. Michelle Good now lives in the southern Okanagan in BC.

FIVE LITTLE INDIANS SYNOPSIS
Taken from their families when they are very small and sent to a remote, church-run residential school, Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie are barely out of childhood when they are finally released after years of detention.

Alone and without any skills, support or families, the teens find their way to the seedy and foreign world of Downtown Eastside Vancouver, where they cling together, striving to find a place of safety and belonging in a world that doesn’t want them. The paths of the five friends cross and crisscross over the decades as they struggle to overcome, or at least forget, the trauma they endured during their years at the Mission.

Fuelled by rage and furious with God, Clara finds her way into the dangerous, highly charged world of the American Indian Movement. Maisie internalizes her pain and continually places herself in dangerous situations. Famous for his daring escapes from the school, Kenny can’t stop running and moves restlessly from job to job—through fishing grounds, orchards and logging camps—trying to outrun his memories and his addiction. Lucy finds peace in motherhood and nurtures a secret compulsive disorder as she waits for Kenny to return to the life they once hoped to share together. After almost beating one of his tormentors to death, Howie serves time in prison, then tries once again to re-enter society and begin life anew.
With compassion and insight, Five Little Indians chronicles the desperate quest of these residential school survivors to come to terms with their past and, ultimately, find a way forward.

A photo of the novel, Five Little Indians, by Michelle Good
A photo of the novel, Hench, Natalie Zina Walschots

Natalie Zina Walschots Hench

Natalie Zina Walschots is a freelance writer, community manager and bailed academic based in Toronto. She writes everything from reviews of science fiction novels and interviews with heavy metal musicians to to in-depth feminist games criticism and pieces of long-form journalism. She is the author of two books of poetry. In her free time she has been exploring the poetic potential of the notes engine in the video game Bloodborne, writing a collection of polyamorous fairytales, developing interactive narrative classes and composing short text-based body horror games. She also plays a lot of D&D, participates in a lot of Nordic LARPs, watches a lot of horror movies and reads a lot of speculative fiction.

HENCH SYNOPSIS
Anna does boring things for terrible people because even criminals need office help and she needs a job. Working for a monster lurking beneath the surface of the world isn’t glamorous. But is it really worse than working for an oil conglomerate or an insurance company? In this economy?

As a temp, she’s just a cog in the machine. But when she finally gets a promising assignment, everything goes very wrong, and an encounter with the so-called “hero” leaves her badly injured. And, to her horror, compared to the other bodies strewn about, she’s the lucky one.

So, of course, then she gets laid off.

With no money and no mobility, with only her anger and internet research acumen, she discovers her suffering at the hands of a hero is far from unique. When people start listening to the story that her data tells, she realizes she might not be as powerless as she thinks.

Because the key to everything is data: knowing how to collate it, how to manipulate it, and how to weaponize it. By tallying up the human cost these caped forces of nature wreak upon the world, she discovers that the line between good and evil is mostly marketing. And with social media and viral videos, she can control that appearance.

It’s not too long before she’s employed once more, this time by one of the worst villains on earth. As she becomes an increasingly valuable lieutenant, she might just save the world.

A sharp, witty, modern debut, Hench explores the individual cost of justice through a fascinating mix of Millennial office politics, heroism measured through data science, body horror, and a profound misunderstanding of quantum mechanics.

Kate Hilton Better Luck Next Time

Kate Hilton is the bestselling author of The Hole in the Middle, Just Like Family and Better Luck Next Time. Before settling on writing fiction, she pursued careers in law, university administration, publishing and major fundraising. Her non-fiction writing has appeared in the National Post, Canadian Living and the Huffington Post, on topics ranging from working motherhood to creativity to reinvention. Kate Hilton lives in Toronto in a blended family that includes a husband, two sons, a stepdaughter and a rescue dog.
It isn’t easy being related to a feminist icon, especially when she’s celebrating the greatest moment of her storied career.

BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME SYNOPSIS
Just ask the daughters of Lydia Hennessey, who could have it all if only they’d stop self-destructing. Mariana, the eldest, is on the verge of throwing away a distinguished reputation in journalism, along with her marriage. Nina, the middle daughter, has returned from a medical mission overseas as a changed woman but won’t discuss it with anyone. And Beata, the youngest, has a hostile teenaged son who just discovered the existence of a father who didn’t know about him either. Meanwhile, their cousin Zoe is making divorce look like a death match, while her brother, Zack, is grappling with the fallout from his popular television dramedy, which is based far too closely on Lydia herself.

It might be easier to find their paths if they could step out of Lydia’s shadow—but the biggest women’s march in history is underway, and Lydia and her family are at the centre of it.

Over the course of an eventful year, the Hennessey children contend with the big struggles of midlife: aging parents, raging teens, crumbling marriages and bodies, new loves and the choice between playing it safe or taking life-altering risks. And as they inch toward a new definition of happiness, they might even persuade their parents—and themselves—that they’re all grown up.

A photo of the novel, Better Luck Next Time, by Kate Hilton