Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Dirty Dozen, with Leesa Culp

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Leesa Culp

Sudden Death: The Incredible Saga of the 1986 Swift Current Broncos (Dundurn) tells the story of the titular team, which faced tragedy when a bus crash killed four of its players. Written by Leesa Culp, Gregg Drinnan and former Bronco Bob Wilkie, it is a story of rebuilding and hope that will inspire any hockey fan.

Today Leesa joins us to take on the Dirty Dozen, an interview series that asks authors to share twelve unexpected facts about themselves. She speaks to Open Book about how the Broncos help her get through long runs, "powder puff" car racing and forbidden dancing.

  1. According to my parents, when I was young I had two imaginary friends named “Gaga” and “Susu”.
  2. My favorite colour is blue.
  3. My sister and I used to sing in Church on Sundays, although I wasn’t a big fan of doing so. At 13, I finally got the nerve to tell my Mom I didn’t want to sing in front of people anymore. Much to her dismay, she never made me sing again. To this day, I struggle with public speaking and I wouldn’t think of singing in front of anyone!
  4. My favorite movie is The Proposal. I absolutely love Sandra Bullock, Betty White and Ryan Reynolds. Second favorite is Bridesmaids.
  5. Whenever I’m on a long walk or run and I need inspiration to keep going, I always think of the Swift Current Broncos and how they overcame tremendous adversity to win the Memorial Cup. Of course, you can read all about the Broncos hockey team in my new book Sudden Death!
  6. My favorite Christmas album is a tie between The Barenaked Ladies and Michael Bublé.
  7. When I lived in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in the early 1980’s I had a friend named Kevin Kay who was involved in car racing. I volunteered to drive in the all-female “Powder Puff” race one night. I was told to just take it easy and not to try to win the race. However, as soon as I got behind the wheel and the checkered green flag waved, I wanted to win! I would have won if I hadn’t gone around the corner too fast on that first lap and whipped out, taking two other cars with me. My car was fine, but I never got asked to drive again!
  8. My favorite weekend snack is a bowl of popcorn. I like to eat it with a spoon. That way my fingers don’t get all greasy!
  9. My favorite sport is hockey. My favorite aspect of it is watching my son Carter play as a goal tender. I also enjoy Major Junior hockey. In fact, I try to get the family out to see the Niagara Ice Dogs whenever we can. Some day I’d like get enough courage to get out and play myself.
  10. My Husband Bill and I share the same birthday, although he is a year older than me. Oddly enough, we both share our birthday with our dog Shadow.
  11. My husband Bill is a talented full time musician. My daughter Maggie is following in his footsteps. I often get asked if I play anything and typically I say “I can play the radio, LOL!” In truth, I can play five instruments, piano, guitar, drums, melodica and recorder. The problem is I only know one song on each and I play them poorly!
  12. I come from a Free Methodist background and dancing was a prohibited activity. However, in grade 7 I used to go to my friend Kim’s house and dance in the basement as we’d play her older brother’s records. The band I remember dancing to the most was the BeeGees.


Leesa Culp was one of the few witnesses to the crash of the Swift Current Broncos. She has been published by The Hockey News, the Penticton Herald, and the Sudbury Star.

For more information about Sudden Death 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.

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