Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Dirty Dozen, with Craig Davidson

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Craig Davidson

If you are finding yourself in need of goosebumps, Nick Cutter's The Deep (Simon & Schuster Canada) has got your covered. In The Deep, a new disease threatens the entire human race. The disease causes victim to forget — starting with small things, like your phone number, until finally your body forgets how to function. A potential cure is found deep in the Marianas Trench, but communications from the research team, stationed miles below the ocean's surface, have suddenly stopped.

This is Nick Cutter's second such edge of your seat thriller, after 2014's terrifying The Troop.

However, we're not speaking to Nick Cutter today — in fact, no one ever speaks to Nick Cutter. That's because Nick Cutter doesn't exist — he is the pseudonym adopted by Scotiabank Giller Prize nominated author Craig Davidson for his acclaimed horror fiction, which has been praised by Stephen King as "old school horror at its best".

So today we're speaking to Craig as part of our Dirty Dozen series, which asks authors to share twelve unexpected facts about themselves. Craig tells Open Book about his bad luck with two-wheeled vehicles and why watching him sleep would be scary.

And since it's only fair from an author so adept at scaring his readers, Craig tells us what scares him the most.

You can find more information about The Deep at the book's website.

  1. I used to weigh about 250 pounds. I was always big in high school, but I put on the freshman fifty in university. I was . . . girthy. Went tree planting a few summers and started to shed weight. Took up jogging. Got things under control.

  2. I played the part of "Figgy Pudding" in my Grade One Christmas play. Reviews were middling.

  3. I lived in Japan for a year, where I ate horsemeat sashimi and passed out (from drink, not the horsemeat) on a bench in downtown Tokyo.

  4. I spent six months in Thailand, where I fell off a moped and nearly broke my neck. That would be an ignominious way to go, on a moped.

  5. I don't like to eat raw mushrooms. They are spongy and fungoid. Cooked mushrooms I'm totally onboard with.

  6. I have never won a fistfight in my natural life, despite having gotten into quite a few of them. One day I will learn.

  7. I have a huge honking scar on my knee from a childhood accident where I tried to jump a scooter off a skateboard ramp. This is only slightly less embarrassing than nearly breaking my neck on a moped.

  8. I sleep totally still on my back with my arms crossed over my chest. My fiancee says I look like a vampire.

  9. I am utterly terrified of sharks.

  10. Also cockroaches.

  11. Also enclosed spaces.

  12. When I'm putting my toddler son to bed at night he always says, "Kiss for Daddy?" and I know that one day he won't want a kiss anymore because he'll be too old and it won't be cool to give his Dad a kiss anymore, and this probably scares me most of all.


Craig Davidson was born and grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario, near Niagara Falls. He has published three previous books of literary fiction: Rust and Bone, which was made into an Oscar-nominated feature film of the same name, The Fighter, and Sarah Court. Davidson is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and his articles and journalism have been published in the National Post, Esquire, GQ, The Walrus and The Washington Post, among other places. He lives in Toronto, Canada, with his partner and their child. Davidson also writes under the pseudonym Nick Cutter in the horror fiction genre. Stephen King raved The Troop “scared the hell out of me and I couldn’t put it down.…old-school horror at its best.”

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