Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Dirty Dozen, with J.E. Forman

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J.E. Forman

In J.E. Forman's Really Dead (Dundurn) reality TV gets a little too real for travel writer Ria Butler. While in the British Virgin Isles working on her brother's television show, Ria finds herself pursuing a murderer after a tattooed foot turns up — minus its body.

J.E. joins us today as part of our Dirty Dozen series, where authors share twelve unexpected facts about themselves. She tells us about a writing endorsement any author would envy, a bullet hole in an unexpected place and driving Mr. Dressup to frustration.

You can catch J.E. in person at the Hamilton Public Library (Ancaster branch, 300 Wilson Street) in Ancaster at 7:00p.m. on January 29, 2014.

  1. One of the reasons I write is because Margaret Laurence told me I could ... and should.
  2. I gave Ria the family name of Butler as an homage to my first twu wuv — a boy I was besotted with in Grade 2.
  3. Giller finalist John Gould and I were the co-winners of a very prestigious literary award … the Creative Writing Prize (in Grade 3).
  4. I spent my formative years sleeping over a bullet hole in the floor under my bed — the by-product of a kidnapping gone wrong.
  5. My first television “job” was as a guest dancer on CBC’s Butternut Square in the mid-1960’s. I can still remember how frustrated Mr. Dressup and Mister Rogers were by my complete lack of coordination.
  6. My first paid job was newspaper girl, delivering the Globe & Mail ... by boat. Most of the newspapers miraculously landed on the docks I threw them at. (See above re: lack of coordination.)
  7. Family legend has it that I’m a descendant of Henry VIII’s Lord Mayor of London in 1538, Sir William Forman and the Scottish woman who was the inspiration for Sir Walter Scott’s The Fair Maid of Perth. Then again, family legend also has it that the silver mug, with my greatnth-grandfather’s name and the date 1844 engraved on it, that’s been handed down through the generations was given to my greatnth-grandfather when he was the winning coxswain for Cambridge in the Oxford/Cambridge Race. One small problem with that legend — I recently did some research and found out that there wasn’t a Race in 1844.
  8. More recent ancestors include a great-aunt who was as crazy as a loon — she washed newspapers and thought her refrigerator was talking to her, and a great-uncle who got shot in the butt during a robbery when he was a Toronto bank manager in the late 1940’s.
  9. My mother was the third woman in Canada to earn a Fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. She was an endocrinologist and her graphic descriptions of gooey glandular activity turned me right off ever considering a career in medicine.
  10. I almost fed my only child to a saltwater crocodile while camping in The Kakadu, just south of Darwin, Australia. (Oops!)
  11. Our cottage burned to the ground … twice.
  12. I love travelling, but travelling doesn’t love me. I’ve survived a boat crash (the boat didn’t — it sank), a car crash (the car didn’t — it broke into pieces), a 6.6 earthquake (parts of the hotel I was in didn’t — they fell down), a Category 5 cyclone (the coast I was on didn’t — swaths of it were literally obliterated), and an airplane falling instead of landing (thankfully, the emergency chutes survived).


J.E. Forman was once a relatively sane television producer. She moved from cameras to keyboards, adding screenwriter and romance novelist (under a pseudonym) to her list of credits. Really Dead is her first mystery. She’s already working on Ria and Glenn’s next case from her home base in Toronto.

For more information about Really Dead please visit the Dundurn website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

Check out all the Dirty Dozen interviews in our archives.

Related item from our archives

JF Robitaille: Minor Dedications

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