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Dale Mayer

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

I was attending a Writer's conference several years ago. On the second day, I was honored to spend time with Jack Whyte, Diane Galbadon and Anne Perry in the same morning! The different perspectives that these writers who all wrote such different genres was inspiring and heart warming.

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

If they haven't read the earlier books in the same series, I'd recommend that they start there. However if they have read the earlier books, I'd suggest they hop over and try a whole new series! I have five different series on the go.

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

I love an eclectic variety of subjects and pick up any and all books that catch my interest. That can include self help topics, forensic science, criminal mind psychology, English grammar, poetry books, and novels, of course. I read across the genres from horror, medical, christian, historical and of course, paranormal—of all kinds!

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

This is my first time attending the Vancouver Writers Festival and am looking forward to immersing myself in everything that is available to attend. That includes meeting readers and writers, as well as sharing my experiences with Wattpad on a panel. It all sounds like fun!

Nancy Jo Cullen

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

I'm pretty much a festival newbie but, as an audience member, my favourite reading was listening to Lynda Barry at IFOA. She was unpretentious and had me crying with laughter.

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

Anything my Miriam Toews who balances tragedy and humour to great effect. A short story collection I've loved is Ali Smith's First Person and Other Stories.

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

I don't know that I have anything surprising on my bookshelf. I have a King James Bible.  Perhaps that would be surprising to some people.

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

I'm pretty pumped about the events I've been invited to take part in—the writers I'll be reading with! Very exciting. Also, smelling the Pacific, walking the seawall, seeing some old friends and family.

Andrew Pyper

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

Oh, many favourites, and none too shy on the unusual either.  But I think, over the last couple years, I've most appreciated the way the audiences who come to my readings have changed, from people who were dipping their toes in the water, to people who have read all my work and can offer enlightening insights about it.  They aren't overwhelmingly great in number, mind you, but to meet and talk with an actual, dedicated readership is an enormous pleasure.

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

As far as thrillers go, if you haven't read Gillian Flynn's novel Gone Girl yet, you really should.  And as far as the demonological goes, there's a short novel by Sara Gran called Come Closer that's very, very good.

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

First, one might be taken by the number of cookbooks, and then wonder "Does this guy actually make any of this stuff?"  (The answer would be yes, the guy tries).  And then one might be taken by the weird pockets of non-fiction focused on specific, seemingly unrelated topics—grizzly bears, the Kennedys, abandoned towns in northern Ontario, witchcraft.  That's research.

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

I'm most looking forward to seeing so many colleagues—both ones I've met already and ones I hope to meet—all in one place.  Writers are an odd lot, and observing them in the wild is always amusing.

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.

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