Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Ten Questions with Anthony Dalton

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Ten Questions with Anthony Dalton

Anthony Dalton talks to Open Book about reading, writing and his latest book, Adventures with Camera and Pen (BookLand Press).

Open Book: Toronto:

Tell us about your latest book.

Anthony Dalton:

Adventures with Camera and Pen is a collection of tales from my nomadic life as an adventurer and photojournalist. The stories run the gamut from searching for Polar bears on the shores of Hudson Bay through mountain climbing in Western Canada to tracking Royal Bengal tigers in Bangladesh jungle. They depict often hilarious encounters with an eclectic variety of wildlife in places as diverse as the Canadian Arctic, Afghanistan, the Sahara, the Falkland Islands, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Australia, among others.

OBT:

Did you have a specific readership in mind when you wrote your book?

AD:

Yes, mostly for armchair travellers, but also for those who enjoy getting out and experiencing strange places.

OBT:

Describe your ideal writing environment.

AD:

A bright room with wall to wall bookcases (filled with books) in a quiet house and a dog at my feet.

OBT:

What was your first publication?

AD:

"Timbuktu: Myth and Reality," I wrote it for the Edmonton Journal newspaper about 30 years ago. Since then, in various forms and languages, it has sold to newspapers and magazines on an almost annual basis.

OBT:

Describe a recent Canadian cultural experience that influenced your writing.

AD:

Every time I attend a writers’ conference or gathering I find stimulation. Most recently I was at the annual MagNet conference in Toronto. Attended by book authors, magazine writers and illustrators, editors and poets, etc., it was an excellent opportunity for networking and learning.

OBT:

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

AD:

Well, I’m an author: I would give three of my books, of course, plus I would add something by Pierre Berton: probably The Last Spike. Maybe Farley Mowat too: perhaps Bay of Spirits. And for humour – anything by the Ferguson brothers (that’s Ian and Will).

OBT:

What are you reading right now?

AD:

Jack Bumsted’s excellent history book: Lord Selkirk: A Life. And Richard North Patterson’s Exile.

OBT:

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received as a writer?

AD:

Australian novelist Bryce Courtney told me the only way to achieve success in this business is to employ bum glue. Pour it over the seat of your chair, park your bum on it and let it set while you work at the computer.

OBT:

What advice do you have for writers who are trying to get published?

AD:

Never quit. Rejection letters should be considered educational tools. Just make sure your writing improves with each attempt.

OBT:

What is your next project?

AD:

I have just finished a book called River Rough, River Smooth. It’s about my adventures paddling the 650 kilometres of the magnificent and rapid-strewn Hayes River in Manitoba.


Anthony Dalton is an adventurer, author and public speaker. He is the author of five non-fiction books and he has collaborated on two others. His illustrated non-fiction articles have been published in magazines and newspapers in twenty countries and nine languages. He is currently working on two television documentaries based on his books. Anthony is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Fellow of the Explorers Club, a Member of the Welsh Academy and the National President of the Canadian Authors Association.


For more information about Adventures with Camera and Pen please visit the BookLand Press website.


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

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