Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Ten Questions with Pj Kwong

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Pj

July 30, 2010 -

Open Book: Toronto:

What was your first publication and where was it published?

Pj Kwong:

I have been writing my whole life without ever thinking of it as a way of making a living. My first publication would have been in a 6th grade newsletter.

OBT:

Describe a recent Canadian cultural experience that influenced your writing.

PjK:

Walking in Vancouver during the Olympics in 2010 (where I was working as a PA announcer at figure skating) was an amazing experience for me. I didn’t expect to experience or observe the national pride that I did. There was so much going on that it was impossible not to be affected.

OBT:

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

PjK:

My book: Taking the Ice – Success Stories from the World of Canadian Figure Skating because the relationship between ice, sport and Canada is undeniable

A French-English dictionary: As a self-professed language nerd, I love the fact we are a bilingual nation

Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw by Will Ferguson : There is no better way to get a crash course on Canada and Canadians.

OBT:

Describe your ideal writing environment.

PjK:

I don’t really have one. I frequently wear earphones and listen to music while writing.

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?

PjK:

No. Any book already written would be a greatly different book if it were written by someone else.

OBT:

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

PjK:

I am sure there are lots. '

OBT:

What are you reading right now?

PjK:

I do so much reading for work that at home, I like to read for fun and relaxation. I am reading Jilly Cooper’s Wicked!

OBT:

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

PjK:

The figure skating world is the target market for my first book but in general I am not really concerned as much with my readership as I am in expressing what I would like to express.

OBT:

What are you working on right now?

PjK:

I am working on a novel with writing partner Paul Dore.

OBT:

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

PjK:

My experience has been that if you only have one goal in mind professionally, you might have a hard time. Try not to think of being published as the only goal and continue to improve and become well-rounded as a writer. The more things a person does, the more opportunities a person has to do things, especially if they are open-minded. You never know when that door is going to open.

1 comment

Welcome, PJ! You're going to love OB...enjoy!

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