Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

A lot can happen when you're scared

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When the team at Dundurn was getting Something Wiki ready for its print run of advance review copies, my publicist (which will never stop being fun and weird to say) asked me to write an introductory letter to go along with it.

I'm guessing that no one expected me to extol the virtues of aspartame and fear, but that's just what happened.


I wrote Something Wiki while I was unemployed. And kind of scared.

I had just quit a steady retail gig so I could take on an internship with a publisher, but there was no guarantee that it would lead to something permanent.

And it didn’t. But I learned a lot.

So my internship ended and I had nothing to do. Taking on another internship didn’t appeal to me, so I set about working for myself. Kind of.

I took my busted laptop with me every day to the library down the street from where I was living (a house with three roommates and one cat), and set up shop at one of the rare tables with a power outlet. The Parkdale Library may well be the noisiest branch in Toronto, but it's also where this novel was born. And I’m grateful for that din.

So I wrote, and I wrote, and I took breaks for ramen and Vanilla Coke Zero, and eventually (eventually...) it was finished. The first draft, anyway — it took many more drafts to arrive at the one you're holding in your hands. And that — the fact that this exists for you to hold in your hands—is pretty cool.

All this to say that a lot can happen when you're scared. When you're desperate.

When you're living at the library and subsisting on instant noodles and free Wi-Fi. This book was born from insecurity, fierce hope and fair bit of aspartame.

And since then I’ve been lucky enough to see things turn around. My first novel came out and didn’t bomb, and I got an interview for a job with an amazing publisher—and that didn’t bomb either.

So this is Something Wiki. I hope you like it.

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.

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