Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Writers on TV Survey: Emily M. Keeler

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Next up in our ongoing series of asking-writers-what-they-watch is National Post Books Editor Emily M. Keeler.

Name: Emily M. Keeler

Recent work:

How much time do you spend watching TV in a week? Most weeks, maybe an couple hours or so. 

How much time do you spend watching TV in a week when the new Downton Abbey/Game of Thrones/etc comes out? Game of Thrones is the only show I try to watch along with the culture, as it's happening. Everything else I'll just wait 'till it hits Netflix or DVD. But yeah, still only two, maybe three hours a week, most weeks. Then, a couple times a year, there are weekend long binges where my partner and I will sit on the couch for 12 or more hours to kill a whole season of something in one groggy, unbecoming swoop.

How much time do you spend reading in a week? Hard to say. I want to say most days I spend two or more hours reading, plus a bigger chunk on the weekend, so probably between 16 and 24 hours. (Partially for and at work, I should add.)

Do you identify as a TV binge watcher?  

Do you stream shows online (legally or illegally)?
Yes—legally. (I don't know how to illegally stream anything, and when I tried to figure it out I got a bunch of mal- and spyware and learned my lesson.)

Do you post about TV on social media (be honest)?  
Yes, but not excessively, I hope. I was going to say no, but then remembered how I was tweeting about how hilariously bad the novelist on this season of House of Cards is. 

Favourite TV show (current/all-time): This is a tough one, but probably Homicide: Life on the Streets. (An adaptation of a book, I realize!) Or no, wait, I also love The Prisoner. 

Favourite Canadian book/short story TV adaptation: Are there lots of these? I actually can only name a couple, none of which I've actually seen. 

Worst book/short story TV adaptation of all time: Again, I feel like I don't know all that many examples of literature being adapted into television; do made for TV movies count? Also, I don't [watch] enough to know about worst. Like, the one that jumps to mind is Friday Night Lights, but I haven't read the book and really liked the show??? This is a lot of words when I could've used just one. Pass. 

Canadian book/short story you would like to see on TV:
I think Elisabeth de Mariaffi's The Devil You Know would make a great TV show, a vintage cop drama that's wholly aware of today’s politics, a Canadian version of Mad Men by way of The Fall or something. 

Graphic novel that you would like to see made into a TV series:
Walter Scott's episodic comic, Wendy, is an obvious candidate; a druggy Canadian Seinfeld for the art world! 

TV series that could be (mistakenly) based on a book:
Roseanne. A working-class opus with dynamic characters, hardened like Carver but with a warmer heart. Roseanne, if it were a book, would be like something a 1980s version of  Steinbeck could've written if a) was a feminist, and b) had a sense of humour! 

Are TV series the new novels?
No. TV can be good, can work well in the narrative mode, without being shoehorned into being like a novel. And novels aren't going anywhere, are in fact still pretty new themselves, all things considered. These things aren't in competition with each other.

Do you ever watch TV the old-fashioned way, y'know, on the television?
Yes. I watch Netflix on a boxy, early 2000s television set. 

How does that feel?
Fine! I also sometimes watch TV on my phone, which is also fine. 

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Carey Toane

Carey Toane is a librarian, journalist and poet. Her first collection of poems, The Crystal Palace, was published in 2011 by Mansfield Press. She lives in Toronto, where she is currently working on a collection of poems inspired by and dedicated to Twin Peaks. Follow her on Twitter here.

You can contact Carey throughout the month of May at

Go to Carey Toane’s Author Page