Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Ten Questions with Kevin Callan

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Ten Questions with Kevin Callan

Kevin Callan is the author of several books about camping and canoeing, including The Happy Camper (Boston Mills Press, 2005) and the popular A Paddler's Guide series (Boston Mills Press). He is the recipient of three National Magazine awards and four film awards, including top award at the prestigious Waterwalker Film Festival. Callan's latest book, Wilderness Pleasures: A Practical Guide to Camping Bliss (Boston Mills Press), is available in stores across Canada on September 1st.

OB:

Tell us about your book, Wilderness Pleasures: A Practical Guide to Camping Bliss.

KC:

It all started as a possible addition to my popular book The Happy Camper. But I wasn’t very interested in doing a second "how to book." I was more interested in doing a "deep thinking, comical" write-up dealing with why we go camping. Wilderness Pleasures quickly became both. After all, while telling people about why you go I just couldn’t resist writing down a few tips along the way, especially when most of what I’ve learned out there had a good story to go along wit it.

OB:

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

KC:

Yes, the general camper; not the elitist. More specifically to the one who just wants to spend as much time outdoors as possible and generally can’t find the time. Hopefully, this book will make them change their lifestyle to ensure they get out more.

OB:

Describe your research for Wilderness Pleasures.

KC:

The basis is on years of spending time in the out-of-doors, and making silly mistakes along the way. Not being a perfectionist (and laughing at more own errors) has made me a perfectionist on writing such a book.

OB:

What's the most important piece of advice that you have for someone new to camping?

KC:

Just go out and camp. Worry about the gear and skills later.

OB:

What is your ideal writing environment?

KC:

Back deck with a cup of coffee

OB:

What was your first publication?

KC:

A history book/guide to Ontario’s Killarney Provincial Park – the area still remains to be my favorite place to go camping

OB:

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

KC:

Bill Mason’s Path of the Paddle
Eric Morse’s Freshwater Saga
Don Standfield and Liz Lundell’s Stories from the Bow Seat: The Wisdom and Waggery of Canoe Tripping

OB:

What are you reading right now?

KC:

Lawrence W. Coady’s The Lost Canoe: A Labrador Adventure (Nimbus Publishing, 2008)

OB:

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

KC:

A family recently walked up to me at a camping show and stated “You inspired us to go on our first canoe trip this year and before it was over we were planning our next.”

* This has always been the main reason I write what I write – if people don’t go out into the wilderness they’ll never want to fight to protect it.

OB:

What's your next project?

KC:

Good question. I’ve been thinking recently to write up a book with one strong story line on one particular trip, paddling around Algonquin for a few weeks maybe, and then have each chapter explain not only what happened along the way but a bunch of side-bars explaining how I planned for such a length trip – basically, it’s a Wilderness Pleasures book idea for the more experiences camper.

Wilderness Pleasures Read more about Wilderness Pleasures: A Practical Guide to Camping Bliss by Kevin Callan.

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