Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Questions (Trillium Finalists Series) with Helen Humphreys

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Questions (Trillium Finalists Series) with Helen Humphreys

Helen Humphreys's novel, Coventry (HarperCollins Canada, 2008), has been nominated for the 2009 Trillium Book Award. She is also the author of four previous acclaimed novels: Leaving Earth, Afterimage, The Lost Garden and Wild Dogs. Her recent non-fiction work, The Frozen Thames, was a national bestseller.

Enter Open Book's June contest to win an Ontario Authors Prizepack that includes the nine English-language Trillium-nominated books.

OBT:

First, a huge congrats on being a Finalist for the 22nd Annual Trillium Book Awards! Could you tell us about your nominated book, Coventry?

HH:

The story takes place on the night of November 14, 1940, when the city of Coventry was destroyed by a German bombing raid. The story follows three characters as they make their way through the city during the raid.

OBT:

Did you have a specific readership in mind when you wrote Coventry?

HH:

No. Of course I would always like there to be readers for my books, but I never have a specific audience in mind when I write them.

OBT:

What were you doing when you received news of your Trillium nomination?

HH:

I was actually on holiday – my first real holiday in years – in Italy. I was staying at a villa in the Marche region and I had borrowed a friend’s computer to check my email, and the message from my publisher was there.

OBT:

Describe your ideal writing environment.

HH:

Solitude is my main requirement when writing, and the actual environment matters less than the fact that I’m alone. I can write in a city, or in the country. I do like to have a window to look out, and a room with a door that closes.

OBT:

What was your first publication?

HH:

A poetry book, Gods and Other Mortals, in 1986, when I was twenty-five.

OBT:

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

HH:

Land To Light On by Dionne Brand; The Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje; and Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden.

OBT:

What are you reading right now?

HH:

I’ve been reading a lot of research books for the novel I’m writing, so I’m a little behind on my fiction reading. But I’ve just started The Girls by Lori Lansen and I’m liking it very much.



Read more about Coventry at the author's website, hhumphreys.com, and at HarperCollins Canada.

For more information on the Trillium Book Award, go to the Ontario Media Development Corporation's website.

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