Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Writers at Night: The Writers' Trust Gala Series with Brian Francis

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Brian Francis

Grab your bowties and gowns — the 26th annual Writers' Trust Gala kicks off in just a few hours. The black tie gala raises funds for the Writers' Trust, a charitable organization which supports Canadian writers via a programming roster of awards, prizes, grants and more.

For the final instalment of our Writers at Night series, Open Book speaks with Brian Francis, author of Natural Order (Random House Canada).

Read on for Brian's responses, and check out the rest of the Writers at Night series for more great interviews with talented guest authors from the gala.

Open Book:

Is this your first time attending the Writers' Trust Gala? If so, to what aspect of the event are you most looking forward? If you've attended before, what is one of your favourite gala memories?

Brian Francis:

I’ve been to the Writer's Trust Gala twice. As to my favourite aspect, there's no point lying. It's seeing what people are wearing. But I’ve yet to make any fashion arrests. Last year's gala stands out as memorable only because I was getting over a head cold and my voice was raspy. It's hard being a gracious table host when you sound like the offspring of Brenda Vaccaro and Harvey Fierstein.


Each guest at your table receives a copy of your latest book as a gift. Tell us a bit about your recent book.


Natural Order tells the story of an elderly woman coming to terms with the death of her adult son 25 years ago. It’s a book about redemption and second chances and the mistakes we make in the name of love and protection.


What will you be wearing to the gala?


Funny you should ask that. I recently conducted an in-depth poll among my fans, asking them to vote on what I should wear to the gala. Neither of them of them responded. So I’ve opted to go with a black suit from GotStyle. If you’re interested in the boxers or briefs thing, slip me five bucks at the gala and we’ll talk.


What Canadian writer, living or dead, would you most like to sit next to at dinner? What might you ask him or her?


Margaret Laurence. I think she’d be a hoot. I’d ask her if Piquette in The Loons was a real person. Then we’d swing back the rum and Cokes and pass out fashion violations.

Brian Francis' first novel, Fruit, was a 2009 Canada Reads finalist. He has worked as a freelance writer for a variety of magazines and newspapers. In 2000, Francis received the Writers' Union of Canada's Emerging Author Award. He lives in Toronto.

For more information about Natural Order please visit the Random House Canada website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

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