Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

A Day in the Life of a Launching Author: Then I Spot the Audience

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Yesterday, I celebrated the first day of June and the first official day of my Open Book residency – hi y’all! – by appearing on the slate of a Globe and Mail/Ben McNally Books Authors' Brunch event at the King Edward Hotel.

Independent bookseller Ben McNally of the eponymous bookstore is a great friend to writers, publishers and readers alike, has a hilarious deadpan manner of speaking and an awesome white ponytail,

and was kind enough to introduce me to a full house of avid readers at the brunch series he runs in conjunction with the Globe and Mail.

I was the only novelist (and only woman) speaking – the other three authors were men who had written non-fiction books: Trent university professor Robert Wright was there with The Night Canada Stood Still, a book about the 1995 Quebec referendum, American writer William Rosen spoke about his book The Third Horseman; Climate Change and the Great Famine of the 14th Century, and lawyer/entrepreneur Mark Sakamoto represented his family memoir: Forgiveness, A Gift from My Grandparents.

The rule at this event is that authors must speak about their books, not read from them, so I had prepared a ten minute talk about how the works of three writers I admire had influenced me. When putting together The Oakdale Dinner Club, I said, I had borrowed elements of the structure and plot interweaving techniques from Evening Class by Maeve Binchy, employed food, infidelity and humour in homage to Nora Ephron’s novel Heartburn, and given my two main characters the ability to communicate telepathically à la John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids.

After the talks were over, we authors repaired to the signing tables, where a reader who had bought a book said, “You had me at Ephron.” I clarified that I wasn’t claiming that I write as resonantly or wittily as Nora Ephron did, only that she (among others) had inspired me to write, but the reader was happy to talk instead about her admiration for Nora Ephron, and so was I.

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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Kim Moritsugu

Kim Moritsugu is the author of six novels to date, including Looks Perfect, nominated for the Toronto Book Award; The Glenwood Treasure, shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Best Crime Novel award; The Restoration of Emily, serialized on CBC Radio; and the just published comedy of suburban manners The Oakdale Dinner Club. She also leads a walking tour for Heritage Toronto and teaches creative writing through The Humber School for Writers.

Go to Kim Moritsugu’s Author Page