Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Ten Questions, with PS Jevanael

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PS

July 14, 2011 -

Open Book: Toronto:

What was your first publication and where was it published?

PS Jevanael:

The Reality Filter published by Fireside Publications.

OBT:

Describe a recent Canadian cultural experience that influenced your writing.

PSJ:

When I was writing The Reality Filter, I was in university studying the inner workings of the publishing industry and pursuing my lifetime goal of becoming a published author. After that program was over, I moved to Brantford, where my mom lives, and that was a culture shock. Brantford is a small city where not much happens, and to go into that from everyday life in Toronto was a huge change and a very different experience. I based The Reality Filter’s setting completely on the area of Brantford that I lived in at the time, because I was inspired by how different places in such close proximity can really be.

OBT:

If you had to choose three books as a “Welcome to Canada” gift, what would those books be?

PSJ:

Anything by Margaret Atwood or Timothy Findley. I think writers like those two can be used to define the credibility that Canadian writers have. I think that writers like Michael Ondaatje also opened up the realm of Canadian writers to show that we weren’t all clones of the classics and there is huge potential to discover Canadian literature in every genre.

OBT:

Describe your ideal writing environment.

PSJ:

The evening, with a thunderstorm outside my window, sitting on the couch with just a floor lamp on behind me and sipping a vanilla latte. But I’ll settle for all of it without the thunderstorm too, it’s just fun to have background noise sometimes.

OBT:

William Faulkner was once asked what book he wished he had written; he chose Moby-Dick (with Winnie-the-Pooh as a close second). Is there a book that you wish you had written?

PSJ:

Anything that Edgar Allan Poe did. I aspire to be as eerie and have my stories last as long.

OBT:

Is there a book that you think you should have read by now but haven’t?

PSJ:

I hear Eat, Pray, Love is pretty good.

OBT:

What are you reading right now?

PSJ:

The series by James Patterson, When the Wind Blows, The Lake House and Maximum Ride.

OBT:

Do you have a specific readership in mind when you write?

PSJ:

Not at all. I’ll probably sound crazy saying this, but I just write what the muse tells me. I’ll get a character in my head and that will be that, the story will flow. I don’t concern myself with a specific audience in mind, because I think that way the story will appeal to a lot more people.

OBT:

What are you working on right now?

PSJ:

I’m working on two books right now, and I’m not sure which one will get the chance to be published first. One is a book I’ve been working on for a while off and on about vampires, male geisha and the harmful effects of vanity and love, set in Tokugawa, Japan. The other is the story of the creation and fall of the demon Belial, which challenges the public’s view on religion. In all my work, I aim to make people think and sometimes even question opinions or beliefs they already had.

OBT:

Do you have any advice for writers who are trying to get published?

PSJ:

Never give up, never surrender!! It took me nine years of work to get my first book published, even in a small press. But that was nine years or rejection letter after rejection letter, research and more research, and I never gave up once. If writing is for you, and you want to make it your life’s work to share your stories, then you just have to do it no matter what.

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