A yarn, a reading and a song was the lead in for the Winnipeg launch of Alan Doyle’s first book, Where I Belong: Small Town to Great Big Sea, at McNally Robinson’s on Wednesday evening.
Staged as a conversation with Melissa Martin of The Winnipeg Free Press, the lead singer of the band Great Big Sea, needed little prompting to take the audience on a storytelling journey of his family, his home town of Petty Harbour, Newfoundland, and some of his experiences that are contained in the book.
The cadence, dropped and rounded consonants of Mr. Doyle baritone voice, took me back to my island roots. Me brudder (brother), me mudder (mother) and me buddy, were words from a dialogue mainlanders may poke fun at, but last night they provided an opportunity to journey back and hear home, as well as see home in my mind.
It was an evening of standing room only, even though I was there 30 minutes early, in the atrium of McNally Robinson’s for the largest audience turnout for a first time author. While answering audience questions and before the one hour formal event was over, fans were lined up out through the mall room doors at the book signing table.
Without a book release, it would have been possible to draw an audience of listeners. This folk rock band singer can add to his credits the title of storyteller.
With the missus in attendance, I’m looking forward to reading my Christmas gift – a signed copy of Mr. Doyle’s new book.