Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Ten Questions with Kathy Kacer

Share |

Kathy

December 1, 2008 -

OB:

What was your first publication and where was it published?

KK:

My first publication was my historical fiction novel entitled The Secret of Gabi’s Dresser, published by Second Story Press. I wrote lots of short stories before that, but never tried to get anything published.

OB:

Describe a recent Canadian cultural experience that influenced your writing.

KK:

We are huge theatre goers in my family. I recently saw the play Scorched at the Tarragon Theatre. Written by Wajdi Mouawad, Scorched is about a twin boy and girl struggling to understand their mother's past growing up during the civil war in Lebanon. The language (translated from French) was sheer poetry. While I can’t tell you just how it will influence my writing, I know that I came away with a new appreciation for language that will certainly have some kind of impact on how I write.

OB:

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

KK:

Anne of Green Gables (of course)
None is Too Many (it’s a fascinating and little know piece of Canada’s history during the Second World War)
Run (a story about Terry Fox)

OB:

Describe your ideal writing environment.

KK:

Physical space is very important to me in my writing. I have a bright sunny writing room at the front of my house – lots of windows and light. It faces the street and I love street sounds when I’m working. My walls are covered with awards that I’ve won, pictures of me in readings, posters of writing events and illustrations from my favourite artists. It all inspires me. I need the air to be cool, and other than the street sounds, I can’t have any other noise; no talking and no music or else I begin to sing along!

OB:

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?

KK:

Because I write historical fiction, so much of what I read is also historical fiction. Years ago I read The Winds of War by Herman Wouk. His description of where God was during the Holocaust moved me beyond belief. I wish I had written that.

OB:

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

KK:

I never read Life of Pi – not sure why, but everyone talks about it, so I should read it at some point.

OB:

What are you reading right now?

KK:

I’m reading a couple of things: A Might Heart by Mariane Pearl and Your Sad Eyes and Unforgettable Mouth by Edeet Ravel

OB:

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

KK:

All of my books up until now have been written for a middle grade and young adult readership, so my stories are geared to that audience. However, I don’t edit myself too much when I am writing. I simply write what I think is a good story. I worry about language, content and other things much later.

OB:

What are you working on right now?

KK:

I am writing my first adult book. It’s a fascinating story about stolen art during the Second World War. It spans fifty years, three generations and two continents. It involves an art thief and is filled with moments of suspense, espionage and a family’s vindication. It’s also a true story which makes it even more remarkable.

OB:

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

KK:

Persistence is certainly a key in getting published. If you have what you think is a good story, then keep sending it out to as many publishers as you can find. Take the advice of editors, teachers and publishers to review and change parts of your manuscript. Submit your stories to publishing contests. The more you are willing to put yourself out there, the better your chances for publication.

Related item from our archives