A weird thought struck me as I was about to write this, and that’s that I’ve actually only met Kevin Sylvester three times in person. It’s weird because I feel like he’s a really close friend. And then it dawns on me that, wait … that’s just who Kevin is. He makes the people around him feel like they are in his inner circle of favorite people. I don’t think this is some kind of Killgrave (from “Jessica Jones”) mind-control, I think it’s just his personality. Somehow you wind up feeling just a little bit smarter and a little bit funnier and a little bit cooler in his presence. I suppose it’s no wonder that he’s also a CBC radio personality; he makes people feel like they’re worth listening to. I met Kevin first at Saskatoon’s wonderful Lit for Life event. We didn’t talk a lot, but about this summer I realized we were both going to be in Moose Jaw at the awesome Saskatchewan Festival of Words. Then I basically glommed onto him the whole time we were there. If he minded, he was kind enough not to say a word. He organized all sorts of outings around Moose Jaw – this is not a man who spends his downtime at a festival in his hotel room. He wants to experience the place. So we went on a river walk with the lovely, talent poet Jane Byers.
We went kayaking with equally talented and beautiful Deryn Collier (who writes an excellent mystery series). And we had fat and sugar induced comas after gorging ourselves on chicken, poutine and milk shakes with Arthur Slade at Deja Vu.I confess it was only after Moose Jaw that I read one of Kevin’s books, the first in the Neil Flambe´mystery series. “Aaagh, he’s also a great, comedic writer!” I thought. And his new novel, MinRs, has been getting great reviews. Here it is in the window at Kidsbooks in Vancouver (beside Kevin Sands’s novel, “Blackthorn Key.”As if that isn’t enough talent, he also draws. Here is the portrait he did of me in Moose Jaw. I don’t understand why I look so snarky. Since when am I snarky? Ahem.