Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Corey Redekop

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Corey Redekop was born in Thompson, Manitoba. He was raised in Thompson, Manitoba. He then left Thompson, Manitoba, to become (in no particular order) an actor, a waiter, a tree planter, a world traveler, a lawyer, a barista, a broadcaster, and a film editor. Then, through mysterious circumstances, he found himself back in Thompson, Manitoba. He currently earns a living as director of the Thompson Public Library in Thompson, Manitoba. Somehow, amidst all this, he published his first novel, the critically acclaimed Shelf Monkey (ECW Press, 2007). His website is

Ten Questions With Corey Redekop


What was your first publication and where was it published?


My first (and only so far) publication is my novel Shelf Monkey, published in Canada in April of 2007.


Describe a recent Canadian cultural experience that influenced your writing.

Recent Writer In Residence Posts

Is this the end?

Yup. My tenure as January's Writer-in-Residence has come to its inevitable conclusion. A friend suggested that I end on something controversial to get people talking, but that's not me. I have my opinions, but this is not the venue. Oh, but if you ever meet me in person, I have some doozies to get off my chest.

Okay, one quick rant.

The breathless anticipation of Dan Brown's next piece of hackneyed plotting to save the slumping publishing industry makes me weep uncontrollably. He's a horrible, horrible author truly undeserving of his fame. Seriously.

There, I said it. Let the hate mail commence!

Rather reluctantly, the conclusion to The Jedi's Revenge

Despite my promise to finish reprinting my first-ever novel The Jedi's Revenge (written by Corey Redekop, age eleven), I find myself somewhat reticent. My problem can be explained thusly:

The damn thing is no damn good.

I'm not being modest. I thought this would be fun, to revisit my storytelling roots, but this is just sad. The child me has no talent in plotting or characterization. Or even continuity. This is supposed to be the sequel to The Empire Strikes Back, and not once do I mention that Darth Vader is Luke's father? What, did I forget that niggling little plot point?

Star Wars 3, part II

And now, the continuation of eleven-year-old Corey Redekop's sci-fi masterpiece The Jedi's Revenge. It's just like Return of the Jedi, but shorter, and with no ewoks!

Again, all errors are kept intact for posterity's sake.


Boba Fett brought Solo to Jabba the Hut.

“How can I ever thank you for brining Solo to me alive?” Jabba asked.

“Oh, nothing,” replied Fett, “but I think I’ll stick around.”

“Suit yourself,” said Jabba as he marched Han down the street. When they got to his cell, Jabba undid Han’s handcuffs and pushed him in.

“I’ll see you in the morning,” said Jabba as he locked Han’s cell.

“Yeah,” said Solo gloomily.


Random notes from the road - like Kerouac, but less incisive

A few random notes from my nine-hour bus trip back to the northern climes:

A) Nine hours on a bus is a great time to catch up on reading. I both started and completed an ARC of Peter Carey's newest novel His Illegal Self. Quite frankly brilliant. Carey's writing is unobtrusive yet seamlessly challenging, effortlessly screaming this is how you use language!

B) Nine hours on a bus is, well, nine hours on a bus. You simply cannot ever be comfortable. Ever. Ever ever ever. Did I mention ever? Ever.

C) Boy but do I eat badly when I'm on the road. Would it kill me to order a salad, or a V8?

Tommorow's post: The Jedi's Revenge, Part II

So tired

A real quick one, as I've just returned from an exhausting three-day book tour. I think I should talk about stamina, but I'm too tired. Simply put: eat well, pace yourself, get plenty of rest.

Thanks to Katherine and Curiousity House Books for a great time. I love your bookstore, and was deeply pleased at the invitation.

And for others who may be in the Creemore area, Paul Quarrington may be stopping by Katherine's booktique in the near future, so keep your ears open.

My first unsolicited fan recognition

I guess it's a milestone of sorts...I was recognized! In Toronto! And not at the reading I was doing, but well beforehand, at a completely different bookstore!

Now I know how George Clooney must feel. I mean pre-ER Clooney, of course - Facts of Life Clooney, not Ocean's Eleven Clooney.

But pretty cool nonetheless. It's deeply strange to have someone come up to you out of context to what you're doing and ask, "Are you (insert your name here)?" But immensely flattering. I highly recommend the experience.

What young master Corey spent his time dreaming about

I thought I’d make a little detour through time today, and revisit myself *ahem* 27 years or so ago.

Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking to a grade 4 class on the publishing process. During my talk, I mentioned that the students should save everything they write, as they will want to revisit their past efforts at some point. While I said this, I thought back to my own magnum opus of my youth, a sequel to George Lucas’ The Empire Strikes Back. I thought the story was lost to the packing boxes and dumpsters of time.

Go forward 4 months, and my mother unearths the very story, complete with barely-competent illustrations and scratch-and-sniff stickers adorning the cover (The pickle still smells!).

There's free stuff on the Internet? Gee whiz!

It’s late, the library is closed, there’s nothing on the tube, you’ve read everything on your shelves, and have no extra change to go out and purchase the latest magazines. What, oh what, shall you do?

Consider these three online ‘zines, chockablock crammed with great stories by both established pros and promising newcomers:

Is this even satire anymore?

For proof of the way the wind seems to be blowing, check out this article (via The Onion):

Area Eccentric Reads Entire Book

Sitting in a quiet downtown diner, local hospital administrator Philip Meyer looks as normal and well-adjusted as can be. Yet, there's more to this 27-year-old than first meets the eye: Meyer has recently finished reading a book.

Is it just me, or is this so close to the truth that it barely counts as satire? I've gotten dirty looks on the bus for reading, as if somehow my enjoyment is spoiling their whole day.

An open letter to the people of Ontario (and, really, the rest of Canada)


Now, I realize that, as Canadians, we all pride ourselves on our hardiness, our ruggedness, our strength of will when it comes to the elements.



I'll continue with the blog when the feeling returns to my extremities, and that blackened finger, at long last, drops off.

The perils of being honest

I’d like to write on one of the most nerve-wracking elements of getting published: the reviews.

I SO want to do this...

Perfect for the literary types with extra time and a knowledge of home decoration techniques:

Dictionary wallpaper!

*Big gracias to Bookninja for the link.

Your public persona

So, you’ve written a book. Bravo. You’ve gotten a publisher. Double bravo. Think you’re done? Not even close.

It’s time for Marketing 101; Putting Your Pretty Face Out There.

Yes, many authors seek the literary life because they enjoy the solitude. I could not tell you the statistics on how many authors are natural extroverts, but I’m betting it’s a low percentage. We have rich inner lives. It’s just you, the paper and ink, and whatever gossamer you can spin from the ether. We don’t aspire to the spotlight for ourselves; we want the work to speak for itself.

Catch me if you can

I'll have a longer entry on the dos and do not dos of public readings up soon, but first, some housekeeping.

I will be reading and signing copies of my novel Shelf Monkey at:

Type Books

883 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON
Date: Thursday, January 24, 2008
Time: 7pm-9pm

And if that weren't enough excitement:

Curiosity House Books

134A Mill Street
Creemore, ON
Date: Saturday, January 26, 2008
Time: 2pm-4pm

After which, of course, I check to see if I can see my shadow, and then vanish into the ground, subjecting you all to unrelenting winter. Yes, I have that power.


Remember that piece I wrote on luck a while back? That deep, penetrating look at that most intangible yet important resource to the writer?

Well, if you're not having any luck lately, I think I know why; this author has it all, with none to spare.


*Thanks to Bookninja for the info.

Second time at bat

When I was young and marginally more stupid than I am now – ah, those heady days of youth, how fleeting they seem now to this aged mind! – I took a one-day course in skydiving. Well, parachuting, really, as you have to work your way up to skydiving freefall. Signing up, I had visions of every WWII movie I’ve ever seen; a lineup of eager recruits by the gaping door of a transit plane, each jumping out headlong into the endless abyss. Wheee!

Time for a break

Ok, you’ve been writing for hours. Your carpal is flaming, your fingers are numb, and you can’t stare at the screen without screaming. Time for a break. Time for a movie.

A movie about writing, of course. Can’t stray too far off topic here.

Authors get inked

For those of you who have considered the possibility of intense, irreversible body modification, the Victoria-based online book retailer has a fascinating article on authors who've gotten tattoos.

Turns out such noted authors as John Irving (a maple leaf), George Orwell (blue spots on his knuckles), and Canada's own Alissa York (gecko) have willingly gone under the needle.

Luck be a lady tonight

I’d like to speak from my soapbox, if I may, on one of the most important tools in the first-time writer’s arsenal: luck.

Yes, talent, ambition, and perseverance still play a major part, don’t get me wrong. Yet – and let’s be honest here – how many of us have read a successful published novel by a name author and said afterward, “Someone published this?”

Waste time and help others

So you’re sitting there, staring at the screen, and nothing comes out. Writer's block. What do you do?

Like most of us, I waste time. HUGE amounts of time. So, if we’re all going to waste time, we might as well do something constructive at the same time.

Enter FreeRice. A sister site to, FreeRice is a game wherein the player guesses at the correct definition of a given word. For every correct answer, 20 grains of rice is donated to the United Nations World Food Program.

So, when you’re stuck for a word, surf on over to FreeRice, and
a) waste a little time,
b) improve your vocabulary, and
c) help those who need it most.

I'm not afraid of you, 2008!

Ah, a new year is finally upon us. A whole new year, a whole new set of resolutions, a whole new set of outright lies intended to delude ourselves into believing we have the will to change.

Yes, I’m bitter about my 2007 performance, couldn’t you tell? I finally read Moby Dick, but all the other resolutions, the running more, eating less, etcetera? Bupkis.

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.