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Lisa Moore

What has been your favorite or most unusual experience at a reading or a literary festival?

I recently read with Anne Enright on Fogo Island, an island that has been designated as one of the four corners of the earth. Afterwards we sat out in plastic lawn chairs and watched a meteor shower, drinking red wine, the ocean nearby. Her reading was spectacular.

If someone loves your latest book, what would you recommend they read next?

The books I read that thrilled me while I was writing my novel, Caught, were: The Wild Palms by William Faulkner, everything by Elizabeth Bowen,  Norwood by Charles Portis, and the short stories of Lorrie Moore and Mavis Gallant. The books I read and loved after I wrote Caught were Claire Wilkshire's Maxine, Michael Winter's Minister Without Portfolio, and Michael Crummey's Under the Keel

What books might we be surprised to find on your bookshelf?

Pilates for Dummies. I think the dummies referred to in the title are more advanced than me.  

What are you most looking forward to in coming to this year’s Vancouver Writers Fest?

Readings, readings, partying, readings, partying, readings, readings, readings.

Elizabeth Ruth

What has been your favorite or most unusual experience at a reading or a literary festival?

Hands down, the prize for the most unusual thing to happen at one of my readings took place during an audience Q & A back in 2001 when I was touring my first novel, Ten Good Seconds of Silence. This was a book about mental health and mother/daughter relationships. It featured a psychic single mother who found missing children for the police. The discussion veered from the book's central themes and characters when a man in the audience took the microphone and complimented me on the writing of the birthing scene in my novel. He went on to share with the rest of us that he watched birthing videos and experienced them as highly erotic, much in the same way, he said, that other men watched porn. He took time to graphically detail what he found most exciting, as mothers in the audience cringed and squirmed in their seats. When I focussed him on his question the man finally asked whether I thought men experienced womb envy the way women (according to Freud) experienced penis envy? Needless to say, I was at a loss for words.

If someone loves your latest book, what would you recommend they read next?

If readers enjoyed Matadora I'm guessing they would also enjoy other novels featuring strong female protagonists. A Canadian choice would be In Calamity's Wake, by Natalee Caple. Our styles are very different, and Natalee's book has more of an academic influence to its research, but both novels feature women who buck convention. Similarly, Robert Hough's first novel, The Final Confession of Mabel Stark might appeal. Finally, UK writer, Jeanette Winterson's novel, Lighthousekeeping.

What books might we be surprised to find on your bookshelf?

The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science by Normal Doidge. I am fascinated by neuroplasticity and what it might mean for human creativity. And Perhaps Vladimir Nabakov, Alphabet in Colour.

What are you most looking forward to in coming to this year’s Vancouver Writers Fest?

This will be my first time attending the Festival. I am very much looking forward to spending time surrounded by writers and stunning scenery. I lived in Vancouver for one year, in the early 1990's, and have been back only twice since then. The city and I have both changed, I'm sure, but I'm eager to see how we fit now. I will be making a special effort to attend events headlined by writers from New Zealand, China and the UK. Wonderful to have the opportunity to hear these international voices. Oh, and if it's still there, having a slice of chocolate banana cream pie at that place on Denman!

Wayne Johnston

What has been your favorite or most unusual experience at a reading or a literary festival?

I was once stalked—seriously stalked—for four days of a literary/film festival. It seemed like fun for about an hour and went downhill quickly after that. Police intervention was required—I lived to tell the tale. On another occasion, I read just after a woman who, while reading, took off all her clothes.

If someone loves your latest book, what would you recommend they read next?

I would recommend they read my next book, or my first, The Story of Bobby O'Malley. The latter is thematically similar, but also very different.

What books might we be surprised to find on your bookshelf?

Well, I'd be surprised to find Fifty Shades of Grey because it's not on my bookshelf. You might be as surprised as my wife was to find so much gay and lesbian fiction.

What are you most looking forward to in coming to this year’s Vancouver Writers Fest?

I love Granville Island—the hotel, the water taxis, the float planes and, yes, the Festival. And I really like the brewery.

Tanya Evanson

What has been your favorite or most unusual experience at a reading or a literary festival?

In Montreal at my first ever public reading in 1995, Jake Brown recited poetry while removing all his clothing then dusting himself with baby powder followed by dollops of ketchup. Also, at the Calgary Spoken Word Festival, John Giorno's every word kissed the air—heart contact, wisdom content.

If someone loves your latest book, what would you recommend they read next?

Read Rumi, listen to Saul Williams.

What books might we be surprised to find on your bookshelf?

This is my gypsy year so the books are all in storage. I'm reading the book of human being. Great read!

What are you most looking forward to in coming to this year’s Vancouver Writers Fest?

Tomson Highway, Michel Tremblay and Margaret Atwood.

Will Self

What has been your favorite or most unusual experience at a reading or a literary
festival?

Back in the days when I was hip rather than hip replacement, a young woman asked me to sign her body after one of my readings. When I asked which part she said: "Many people consider my breasts to be my best feature..."

If someone loves your latest book, what would you recommend they read next?

Mrs. Dalloway  by Virginia Woolf

What books might we be surprised to find on your bookshelf?

It's more the unholy miscegenation than the titles themselves: Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Legacy of Late Capitalism  lies down happily beside 101 Pot Dishes.

What are you most looking forward to in coming to this year's Vancouver Writers
Fest?

The little I know of the region comes from the writing of Jonathan Raban, and in particular his fine and soulful book Passage to Juneau; in the short time I have I'll be looking to confirm or deny Raban's impressions.

Andrew Kaufman

What has been your favorite or most unusual experience at a reading or a literary festival?

Once at the Edinburgh International Book Festival I stood there and stared as Adam Levin shaved his entire head, on-stage, during a reading inside this giant circus tent.

If someone loves your latest book, what would you recommend they read next?

Kurt Vonnegut? J.D. Salinger? George Saunders? You know, back to the sources were I stole all my ideas from…

What books might we be surprised to find on your bookshelf?

I have this mild obsession with detective fiction. I love it. I have shelves filled with it.

What are you most looking forward to in coming to this year’s Vancouver Writers Fest?

Anne Carson, no doubt. I don’t even have to talk to her. I just want to stand next to her and bask in the glow.

Raise your Dram!

The 11th annual Dram Come True, the Vancouver Writers Fest’s annual scotch tasting fundraiser, was a lively celebration of spirits from Scotland and beyond. With ten tasting bars, 36 varieties of whisky on offer and 250 guests in attendance, it was our largest event to date and our most successful, raising $21,800(net) for the Festival.

This year marked our move to a new venue, the stately Hycroft Manor. With rich wood panels, marble mantles, Italian tile work, ornate chandeliers, and even a hidden bar from the time of prohibition, Hycroft was the perfect backdrop for sampling several fine drams and snacking on scrumptious finger food from Emelle’s Catering. It was a thrill for guests to explore the private rooms that once housed parties with Vancouver’s “Who’s Who” of the 20s and 30s, and the balmy spring weather drew guests out onto the terrace and into the garden.

Writers on Reading: paulo da costa

What book is currently on your bedside table?
I read several books concurrently. On my night table I always build a leaning Tower of Pisa made of books. I am reading Saunders, Dobozy, Galeano, Tranströmer, Ian Williams, J. Vigna, J. Donaldson, Shaun Tan, Mia Couto, Jori Graham and more.

When and where do you like to read?
Outdoors, in nature, preferably near moving water… otherwise in bed, preferably still.

The Proust Questionnaire: Ania Szado

The Proust Questionnaire is believed to reveal an individual’s true nature. We have asked 2013 Incite authors 17 questions inspired by the questionnaire in an attempt to uncover who they are...

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A shot of pure happiness, unmitigated by worries or anxieties, comes when I've been working very intently, alone, for hours -- and at the end of the day I see clearly that I've accomplished something, on my own.

What does your ideal day look like?
I crawl out of a tent and the day is warm, the coffee hot. For once, I'm not the last one to get her sleeping bag and backpack pulled together. I paddle in the canoe's bow for hours, with trees and rocks rising on every side, then pick a quiet spot for a well-earned meal and sleep. A chorus of frogs keeps me awake, smiling. Or I'm alone for a week or a month, writing for 15 or 20 hours daily; that, too, is bliss. Or I'm driving all day on a road trip, singing along to loud CDs with my two kids, and no one is cranky, and we all feel as though we're where we should be.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Good camping equipment, especially lightweight gear and solar gadgets. It isn't a necessity (like books or food or wine) but it makes me happy and is hard to resist.

What possession would you be heartbroken if you lost?
A big silver ring designed and made by my husband, that I wear on my right hand.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would be braver.

What childhood fear has followed you into adulthood?
The fear of losing those I love. The fear of not being believed.

Do you take comfort in darkness or light?
I yearn for light, but darkness is often a relief. Daylight holds distractions -- and people. I think differently in the dark.

Do you remember your dreams?
I usually do remember my dreams. I wish I could shake some that seem to have been clinging to me for years.

How do you collect snippets of observations and ideas that come to you unexpectedly?
I carry notebooks and write in them. Or on envelopes. Or on my hand. Or I'll use my phone to email myself.

The Proust Questionnaire: Barbara Lambert

The Proust Questionnaire is believed to reveal an individual’s true nature. We have asked 2013 Incite authors 17 questions inspired by the questionnaire in an attempt to uncover who they are...

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Sitting at a long table with family and friends while talk swooshes around on a current of Okanagan wine (and everyone is in love with everyone else).

What does your ideal day look like?
At four in the morning the moon slips through the branches of the Ponderosa pine outside my study window. I have three hours before the world wakes, or so I tell myself. I turn on my laptop—turn off my wireless connection—and, before even I am quite awake, sink effortlessly into the stream of words where I left off the day before ... If even part of that works out, the rest of the day can do what it likes.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Books.

What possession would you be heartbroken if you lost?
Our orchard home, built during a time of hard-scrabble poverty by my artist parents, where (thanks to my life partner) I now have the great gift of being able to live and write.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d be braver.

What childhood fear has followed you into adulthood?
It is more a sense of diffuseness, of never knowing quite who I am. As a writer, this probably helps. But it took me a long time to figure that out.

Do you take comfort in darkness or light?
I love the liminal hours. Winter dusk. The glassy sky before dawn.

Do you remember your dreams?
Yes.

How do you collect snippets of observations and ideas that come to you unexpectedly?
File cards in my hip pocket when out walking. Pulling to the side of the road when driving and scribbling on grocery lists or any other handy scrap of paper.

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