Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Ten Questions with Doug Lennox

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Ten Questions with Doug Lennox

Doug Lennox is an internationally acclaimed broadcaster, a veteran character actor, a commercial voice artist and the bestselling author of the popular Now You Know series from Dundurn Press. Do you want to know the difference between a pirate and a privateer? What a "doubloon" is? Who Typhoid Mary was? Why Canadian engineers wear iron rings? You'll find the answers in Now You Know Pirates and Now You Know Natural Disasters, the latest books in Doug's series.

OB:

Tell us about your Now You Know series.

DL:

The series began on radio as a nationally syndicated Astral radio network feature which continues to this day. While researching another series (Life In The 20th Century) I was continually digging up the sources of customs, habits and everyday language which intrigued me even though it couldn't be integrated into the subject for my research. When I realized the fascination and the abundance of this information, I turned it into a radio program which eventually became the first of what has become a series of books.

OB:

Describe your two latest books in the series, Now You Know Disasters and Now You Know Pirates.

DL:

Natural disasters have been chronicled since the beginning of time and as this planet hurdles through space, we can be assured that many more are on their way. These have changed history and many have become mythical such as those from Biblical times. Exploring these and their cause and impact is the subject of Now You Know Disasters. Now You Know Pirates is a colourful insight into the historical relevance of some of the greatest adventures on the high seas.

OB:

How do you research your books?

DL:

Research is a plodding process no matter what the subject. Its fun is in the discovery of clues that lead to enlightening the researcher and consequently the reader. It's like conducting a police investigation and requires interest, discipline and patience. I scour book stores, visit reference libraries and verify using the internet.

OB:

Describe your ideal writing environment.

DL:

Early morning tranquility!

OB:

What was your first publication?

DL:

I've had articles published in periodicals before but Now You Know: The Book of Answers was my first book.

OB:

Is there one book you think everyone should read?

DL:

On Aggression by Dr. Konrad Lorenz.

OB:

What are you reading right now?

DL:

The newspaper! ...I’m writing, so my mental focus is on outgoing not incoming!

OB:

Describe the most memorable response you've received from a reader.

DL:

I've had emails and letters from around the world but those from children are the most memorable. One 8 yr old boy wrote an essay from a subject within one of the books and thanked me for helping him get an "A."

OB:

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

DL:

I've never had any, but I've learned that "writers block" is simply losing confidence. Take a break, believe in yourself and press on!

OB:

In fall 2008 your next two books in the Now You Know Series, Now You Know Weddings and Now You Know Divorces, are being published with Dundurn Press. What’s next?

DL:

The next in our continuing series are still being decided by our editorial and planning personnel at Dundurn Press and will be revealed in due time, but I can promise that they will be as interesting, educational and easy to read as those preceding them.

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