Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Ten Questions with Carol Little

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Ten Questions with Carol Little

Author Carol Little talks to Open Book about her new novel, Hide Your Life Away (Meanwhile Studios).

Open Book: Toronto:

Tell us about your novel, Hide Your Life Away.

Carol Little:

The first draft of Hide Your Life Away was written over Labour Day weekend 2007 during the International 3-Day Novel Competition. The protagonist, Jason Mahoney, is a 32-year-old slacker with a job as a part-time stock boy at a grocery store in a Canadian small town. It’s a satirical story that takes place over a weekend (as did the writing of the first draft), during which time Jason’s sole goal is to watch his newly acquired Star Trek DVD box set. Jason spends the weekend trying to fend off his girlfriend’s sexual advances and a late night job offer from a friend in order to sit in his filthy apartment and watch television uninterrupted.


OBT:

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

CL:

I never write with the reader in mind. I find that to do so can be creatively stifling and take away from the project. I try to write for myself and let the characters guide the story.


OBT:

What other projects are you currently working on?

CL:

I’m editing my second novel, A Life Within Limits, and my first book of poetry, A Study in Love, is coming out on June 8th.


OBT:

Describe your ideal writing environment.

CL:

I do all my writing in busy coffee shops with my iPod on. I work best amidst the chaos and with a consistent supply of soy lattes. I have a great office at home, and have tried to work in it, but find it difficult to stay mentally stimulated at home. Plus, I have 4 year old twin daughters that demand a lot of attention. :P


OBT:

What was your first publication?

CL:

Hide Your Life Away is my first published book.


OBT:

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

CL:

Life of Pi by Yann Martel, The Last of the Crazy People by Timothy Findley, The Mountain and the Valley by Ernest Buckler.


OBT:

What are you reading right now?

CL:

Shampoo Planet by Douglas Coupland, Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution edited by Alix Olson and Eve Ensler, Moral Disorder and Other Stories by Margaret Atwood, Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut.


OBT:

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

CL:

Write something every single day, even if it’s only a grocery list.


OBT:

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

CL:

Keep writing and submitting despite the inevitable barrage of rejection letters … J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected by 60 publishers before being accepted.


OBT:

What is your next project?

CL:

When A Life Within Limits is edited to my satisfaction, I’ll resume work on what will be my third novel, For A Girl. I began work on this project in November 2009 when I wrote the first draft as part of National Novel Writing Month.


Carol Little is a novelist and poet. Her first novel, Hide Your Life Away, was nominated for the 2009 Montaigne Medal, winner in the General Fiction category of the 2009 Eric Hoffer Book Awards, and a finalist in the 2009 Indie Book Awards. Little has had poems printed in publications in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. She is a member of the League of Canadian Poets, and has been invited to read at numerous universities and festivals, including the 2009 Canada Games Artistic Mentor Program. Little’s first collection of poetry, A Study in Love will be published in June 2010.
Visit her website here

For more information about Hide Your Life Away please visit Meanwhile Studios' website.

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

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