Nikki Tate is a writer and storyteller living on Vancouver Island in British Columbia with her daughter and several furred and feathered friends. She is the author of the Tarragon Island novels (about a young writer living on a fictitious Gulf Island), the StableMates series of horse novels, and Cave of Departure, the first book in the Estorian Chronicles, a fantasy series about a tribe of nomadic storytellers.
Her newest books are: a short historical novel about the Pony Express and set in Nevada (Orca Books, Spring 2002) and the 7th book in the StableMates series, Keeping Secrets at Dark Creek. She is currently working on new titles in each of her existing three series.
Tate also works as a freelance writer, writing on subjects from tattoos to compost. Her articles, reviews, and opinion pieces have appeared in publications in Canada, Japan and the USA. She is much in demand as a workshop leader, public speaker, and professional storyteller. Her high-energy storytelling performances of the Arthurian legends mesmerize audiences from ages twelve through adult.
When she's not writing or performing, Tate enjoys pottering in her garden or horseback riding through the picturesque countryside of the Saanich Peninsula.
Author Presentations for Schools
Nikki brings an over-sized scrapbook or a Powerpoint presentation that includes everything from copies of her earliest stories (written when she was eight years old) to examples of faxes sent from the illustrator to the publisher when cover designs are being considered. Her presentation includes:
Â· where her ideas come from
Â· writing the first draft
Â· keeping track of characters
Â· the editing process
Â· book design
Â· fan mail
Â· many anecdotes and stories about the writing life.
Though the presentation is interactive throughout, there is also a question and answer period at the end. Each presentation also includes a brief reading (selections vary depending on group size and age).
The presentation runs from 60-90 minutes and concludes with a draw for door prizes. Typically, the better prepared the students, the longer the question and answer period will last.
When time permits, Nikki is happy to stay after a presentation for autographs. Please note that on a tour it is not always possible to stay long enough to sign every bookmark! (children who bring books to sign will, of course, be accommodated). Please check with the author prior to promising children an autograph session.
Schools interested in making books available for sale to students should let Nikki know this well in advance. Schools are generally offered a 40% discount on all titles purchased directly from the publisher. This discount may either be passed along to students or used as a fundraiser.
During her presentation Nikki requires:
Â· sturdy easel with a lip
Â· large table on which to display notebooks, character cards, books, etc.
Â· separate table and chair if book sales will be required
Â· glass of water
Please note: Nikki prefers to have children sitting on the floor rather than on chairs or benches.
How to Prepare for an Author Reading
The difference between speaking to students who have received some preparation and those who have not is astounding. The ideal situation is for each child to have read at least one of Nikki Tate's novels. If this is not possible, then teachers are encouraged to read at least a few chapters aloud in class. Each confirmation package includes additional resources for teachers (e.g. reproducible crossword puzzles and activities relating to several of Nikki's novels). Information can also be found at Nikki's various websites:
Â· Includes general author information and photos with an emphasis on the StableMates novels
Â· Includes writing exercises, links to author pages, and further information of particular interest to young writers
Â· Work in Progress â€“ an online journal tracking Nikki's progress on her current projects, travels, etc.
Nikki Tate's novels include:
Â· The StableMates books
These novels are set on Vancouver Island and are ideal for children aged 8-12. Though all contain a horsey adventure, each also includes sub-plots not directly related to the riding world. For example, Return to Skoki Lake deals extensively with a child diagnosed with a chronic illness (diabetes) and is based loosely on the author's experiences with her daughter, Danielle, an insulin-dependent diabetic since the age of six.
Â· Tarragon Island and No CafÃ©s in Narnia
The Tarragon Island novels are set on a fictitious Gulf Island and follow twelve year-old Heather Blake's trials and tribulations as she struggles to adapt to island life. Heather is a book-lover who loves to write and both of these novels include information about the writing process (as experienced by the young protagonist). These novels are suitable for ages ten and up.
Â· Cave of Departure
The first of The Estorian Chronicles fantasy trilogy is suitable for 10-14 year-olds. After failing a deathly serious initiation challenge, twelve year-old Dominique sets out on a dangerous quest on the Isle of Tanga.
Â· Jo's Triumph
This short historical novel is part of Orca Book Publishers' Young Readers series. Set in Utah Territory in the early 1860's, this is an adventure story set against the backdrop of the Paiute Indian wars and the Pony Express.
Prior to the author's visit, it is very helpful if children can think of questions they would like to ask. As many of the author's personal experiences provide the inspiration for her novels, teachers may wish to discuss the way fiction and reality intersect in the novel form. This idea is also explored during the presentation.
Storytelling Performances for Schools
Nikki Tate's dramatic storytelling performances have enthralled audiences of all ages in the United States and Canada. Let Mary Elizabeth May Cotter, chambermaid to King Arthur's Court, regale you with her version of the goings-on at Camelot.
Each Arthurian presentation lasts approximately 1 hr 15 minutes and includes a dramatic retelling of one of the Arthurian legends, a discussion of the universal elements of stories (theme, plot, character, setting), a discussion of the storyteller's art (finding and memorizing stories, physical and voice preparation), and a brief question and answer session. Suitable for Grades 7 - Adult.
"Nikki Tate is an inspirational and animated story-teller! Her stories paint vivid pictures in one's mind!" (Mr. Tom Chan, Principal of River Elm Elementary School in Winnipeg)
The Great Pony Express Adventure
To celebrate the launch of Jo's Triumph, Nikki Tate will be riding along sections of the Pony Express trail in Nevada in September, 2002. Check the Wild West Section of Nikki's website (www.stablemates.net) for the latest schedule updates and to track her progress as she delivers mail to school children in Nevada. If you'd like to become a trip sponsor by purchasing copies of Jo's Triumph for school children in B.C. and Nevada, visit Nikki's website for details.
September 6, 2002 - Ely, Nevada
September 7 - Ruth
Egan Canyon Pony Express Station
Cherry Creek Pony Express Station
Ruby Lake, Ruby Mountains, Jiggs
September 8 - Jiggs
September 9 - Eureka
Robert's Creek Pony Express Station
September 10 - Battle Mountain, Winnemucca
September 11-12 - Trail sections in the Stillwater and New Pass mountain ranges
September 13 - Fallon and Pony Express Trail near Fort Churchill
September 14 - Pony Express Trail near Dayton and Virginia City
September 15 - Carson City
September 16 - Minden and Gardnerville, Genoa
September 17 - Sparks
September 18-20 Washoe County
September 21 - Great Basin Book Fair, Reno
California Road Trip Commences
September 23 - Sacramento
September 24 - Oakland
September 25 - Fresno
September 26 - Bakersfield
September 27 - Ventura Beach Adventures for Kids Bookstore
October 17 - West Vancouver - Tentative drop-off date for mail collected in Nevada (Mulgrave School)
October 17 - Evening event at Vancouver Kidsbooks - come learn all about the ride, see photos, get your copy of Jo's Triumph signed
October 19 - Harrison Hot Springs - presenter/signing at BC Teacher-Librarian Conference
October 21 - Courtenay - Tentative drop-off date for mail collected in Nevada (Miracle Beach Elementary)
October 22 - Victoria - Tentative drop-off date for mail collected in Nevada (Glenlyon-Norfolk School and Sir James Douglas School)
October 25-27 - Denver - Women Writing the West Conference - Bringing History to Life for Young Readers
Nikki Tate - Writing Credits
The Ride, Sono Nis Press, Spring, 2009
Venom (Orca Sports), Spring, 2009
Behind the Scenes: Horse Vet, Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Spring 2009
Behind the Scenes: Racehorse, Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Spring 2008
Double Take: A Biography of Karen Brain, Sono Nis Press, Fall 2007
Text for Family Museum Guide â€“ Royal BC Museum (2006)
Jo's Journey, Orca Books, Spring 2006
Trouble on Tarragon Island, Sono Nis Press, Fall, 2005 ISBN: 1550391542
Grandparents' Day, Annick Press, Fall, 2004 ISBN: 1550378422
The Battle For Carnillo, Sono Nis Press (Estorian Chronicles II), Spring, 2003 ISBN: 1550391275
Keeping Secrets at Dark Creek, Sono Nis Press (StableMates 7), Spring, 2002 ISBN: 1550391232
Jo's Triumph at Ruby Lake, Orca Books, Spring, 2002 ISBN: 1551431998
The Cave of Departure, Sono Nis Press, September, 2001 ISBN: 1550391194
No Cafes in Narnia, Sono Nis Press, September, 2000 ISBN: 1550391070
Return to Skoki Lake (StableMates 6), Sono Nis Press, December, 1999 ISBN: 155039102X
Tarragon Island, Sono Nis Press, October, 1999 ISBN: 1550391232
Ravenâ€™s Revenge, Sono Nis Press (StableMates 5), April, 1999 ISBN: 1550390953
Siennaâ€™s Rescue, (StableMates 4), Sono Nis Press, September, 1998 ISBN: 1550390937
Jessa Be Nimble, Rebel Be Quick (StableMates 3), Sono Nis Press, April, 1998 ISBN: 1550390880
Team Trouble at Dark Creek (StableMates 2), Sono Nis Press, November, 1997 ISBN: 1550390821
Rebel of Dark Creek (StableMates 1), Sono Nis Press, September, 1997 ISBN: 1550390821
The American Life, Tahaus Publishing, Tokyo, 1990
Anthologies and Literary Magazines
The Canadian Writer's Guide, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Fall 2002 â€“ Writing Series Fiction for Young Readers
The New Orphic Review, Fall, 1999 â€“ Pink Delight (from adult novel in progress, Crazy Spoons)
America Today, Mini-World Books, 1996 (Reprint of article on the formation of Nunavut)
Since 1987 Nikki Tate has published more than 500 articles, reviews, and opinion pieces in newspapers and magazines in Canada, the United States, and Japan. Topics include education, politics, parenting, travel, business, health, childrenâ€™s literature, and the environment. Some publications include:
Discovery Magazine â€“ RBCM (museum programs); Bolen Bookworm: Children's Book Newsletter (Editor 2003-2007), Kite Tales, Los Angeles (author events); Off the Wall, Ontario (art); Active English, Tokyo (1989-1991 Regular contributor of radio melodrama scripts); Mini-World Magazine, Tokyo (1990-1994 Canadian Correspondent â€“ Canadian culture); Cross Section Magazine, Tokyo (North American current affairs); Highlights for Children, USA (art); Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, USA (travel); City Plus Magazine, Florida, USA (short features, local topics); Coral Springs Monthly Magazine, USA (feature articles, various topics); Myrtle Beach Sun News, USA (short features â€“ travel); Sea Kayaker Magazine, USA (kayaking history/travel); B.C. Woman to Woman Magazine, BC (feature articles â€“ regional/women); Vancouver Sun, BC (op-ed pieces); Islander Magazine, Times Colonist, BC (regional/art); Monday Magazine, Victoria, BC; Canadian Book Review Annual, 1999-present; Island Parent Magazine, 1997- present (monthly column of book reviews); Island Parent Radio, 1997 â€“ present (childrenâ€™s book reviewer)
Awards and Recognition
M Award â€“ Favourite Childrenâ€™s Author (Winner 2007, 2002)
Trouble on Tarragon Island, Red Cedar Award Nominee 2007
Trouble on Tarragon Island, Chocolate Lily Award Nominee 2007
Trouble on Tarragon Island Diamond Willow Nominee 2007
Grandparentsâ€™ Day World Storytelling Award Honour Book
Battle for Carnillo nominated for BC Chocolate Lily Award, 2003-2004
Jo's Triumph nominated for a 2002 Spur Award â€“ Western Writers of America
Favourite Kids' Author â€“ Monday Magazine Awards - 2002
Jo's Triumph nominated for Ontario Silver Birch Award, 2002-2003
Jo's Triumph nominated for Willa Award, 2002-2003 â€“ Women Writing the West
Favourite Childrenâ€™s Author â€“ M Awards, 2002
No Cafes in Narnia nominated for Manitoba Young Readers Choice Award, 2001
No Cafes in Narnia nominated for BC Chocolate Lily Award, 2002-2003
No Cafes in Narnia Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Award, 2001 â€“ Honour Book
Cave of Departure nominated for BC Chocolate Lily Award, 2002-2003
Tarragon Island received BC 2000 Book Award, 2000
Tarragon Island Sheila A. Egoff Childrenâ€™s Literature Award, 2000 â€“ Honour Book
No Cafes in Narnia and Return to Skoki Lake included in Resource Links, The Year's Best 2000 list
StableMates novels, Tarragon Island, No Cafes in Narnia, and Grandparentsâ€™ Day included on the Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice list
Nikki Tate is a dynamic public speaker and inspirational workshop leader whose many public appearances include:
Author in Residence, Lucerne Elementary School (Spring, 2008)
Author in Residence, Nakusp Elementary School (Spring, 2008)
TD Canada Bookweek Tour â€“ Saskatchewan (Fall, 2007)
Chilliwack School District Tour (2007)
East Kootenays Storytelling Tour (2007)
Kootenay Library Federation Tour (2006)
Orca Coast Book Splash (2006)
Author Workshop Series â€“ Dunsmuir Middle School (2006)
Bayside Reading Week (2006)
Author Workshop Series â€“ George Bonner Middle School (2006)
Okanagan Young Author's Conference (2005)
Learning to Love Literacy Project, Victoria (2005)
Chemainus Young Author's Conference (1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007)
Victoria Young Author's Conference (2005)
National Association of College Bookstores Conference, San Antonio (2004)
Author in Residence, Collingwood School, West Vancouver (Fall, 2003)
Book Expo USA (Spring, 2003)
Reading Lights the Way â€“ Nevada Reading Week Conference (2003)
Women Writing the West Conference, Denver, Colorado (Fall, 2002)
Great Basin Book Fair, Reno, Nevada (Fall, 2002)
BC Teacher-Librarian Association AGM (Fall, 2002)
Kamloops Young Authors Conference (2002)
Maple Ridge Young Authors Conference (2002)
Salt Spring Island Family Arts Festival (2002)
Canadian Children's Book Centre: Canadian Children's Book Week Tour (2001)
Vancouver International Writers Festival (2001)
Cowichan Young Authors Conference (2001, 2003)
Victoria School of Writing, Writing for Children (2001)
Great Canadian Book Camp, Vancouver (2001)
BC Festival of the Arts, Writing Mentor (1999, 2000)
Malaspina Community College, Writing for Children, Creating Believable Characters (2000-present)
Children's Literature Roundtable (storytelling, series fiction panel member)
Each year Nikki Tate visits thousands of school children to share her love of reading and writing. School programs include author presentations, storytelling performances, workshops for young writers, and professional development workshops for teachers.
Victoria Children's Literature Roundtable, past Chair
Vancouver Island Reading Council (International Reading Association), past Chair
Greater Victoria Arts Commission, past Chair
VP Public Relations - Toastmasters Sidney, BC