Shelf Life Books
Sound Sugar Radio Interview (Audio)
Can you share a little on your background and how you became a writer?
I became a writer because I wanted to try to do what my favourite authors did ― create other worlds. One of my early memories is walking home from the library with my mom and a bag of Curious George books I couldn’t wait to read.
My mother encouraged me to send my poems and stories to The Western Producer newspaper which had a children’s section. Yes, I became a published author at age 8. My nom de plume was Kami, our town’s Rainbow Trout mascot.
I studied English and Creative Writing at the University of Victoria, the University of Calgary, UBC’s Booming Ground and the Banff Centre Wired Writing Studio.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Structuring a novel, that is tough. I try not to get sidetracked from writing by doing “research” ― for example, telling myself I must understand the history of the Cuban revolution before I write a particular scene. The correct use of the em dash.
How much do you feel you’ve improved in the last few years?
In my travel writing, I think I am less discursive, and get to the heart of the piece more quickly.
Who is your favourite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I tend to have favourite books. I love Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance and Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things for the beautiful language, finely drawn characters and humanity. I will read anything by Caroline Adderson, Jon Lee Anderson, Toni Morrison, Gayla Reid, Bill Gaston, Jonathan Franzen and Zadie Smith.