I made up the book Swamp Water when I was in Fredericton, New Brunswick doing a concert tour. Usually I do not make up stories while I am touring. With 1000 or 2000 kids in front of me, I get conservative and stick to stuff that works. I do not go on concert tours to make up new stories. At least I do not plan to make up new stories, but sometimes stuff happens – Like before my show in Fredericton. I was having lunch at the Lord Beaverbrook Hotel, which was directly across the street from the theater. The lunch before the show is definitely not a high point for story creativity. I had NEVER, EVER made up a story during lunch before a show. After we were half done, a grandmother and her granddaughter came in for lunch. The kid had the 15 story collection of mine on the table, and when we were done I went over and offered to sign her book. That is how I knew that her name was Victoria. Backstage, before the show, I thought about Victoria going to a fancy restaurant with her grandma.
“Victoria, for your birthday I am taking you to the fancy restaurant at the Beaverbrook Hotel.”
“Grandma, does it have Pizza?”
“Does it have Hamburgers?”
“Does it have Fried Chicken?”
And there I was making up a story just 10 minutes before a show, making it up for Victoria, whose last name I did not even know. It turned out to be a good story and I told it during the show. I did not have contact information for Victoria so later contacted the newspaper in Fredericton and asked them to help me locate her. They ran a story about how I met her and got the idea and I got a letter from her shortly afterwards.