Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Ten Questions with Mary Borsky

Share |
Ten Questions with Mary Borsky

Mary Borsky is the author of three books in the Tundra Books Benny Bensky series, Benny Bensky and the Perogy Palace, Benny Bensky and the Giant Pumpkin Heist and Benny Bensky and the Parrot-Napper. Her fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, and her adult short story collections, Influence of the Moon and Cobalt Blue are critically acclaimed. In 2006, The New Quarterly magazine named Mary Borsky one of “the best-loved living Canadian writers.”

OBT:

Tell us about your book, Benny Benksy and the Parrot-Napper.

MB:

Benny Bensky and the Parrot-Napper is a mystery-adventure story about a big black dog, Benny Bensky, and his best friends, Rosie and Fran. Rosie and Fran have taken on the job of baby-sitting a parrot at the very same time that parrots begin to disappear from their homes in Smith Falls. Can you guess what happens?

OBT:

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

MB:

Yes, I was expecting my book to be interesting to girls and boys from 6 to 12.

OBT:

Describe your detective, Benny Bensky.

MB:

Benny Bensky is big, he is black, he is not very well behaved (for example, Benny gets jealous when Rosie and Fran fall in love with the parrot they are parrot-sitting), but Benny Bensky also has a heart as big as the town of Smith Falls.

OBT:

Describe your ideal writing environment.

MB:

My ideal writing environment is a quiet house, lots of time and a large hot pot of tea nearby.

OBT:

What was your first publication?

MB:

My first publication was a collection of stories called Influence of the Moon. They are stories for adults about a girl growing up in Alberta.

OBT:

What are you reading right now?

MB:

I usually have several books on the go. Right now I am reading an Alice Munro story, an Ann Beattie story, a graphic novel about Jung, a story by a friend, and the recent New Yorker.

OBT:

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

MB:

I would love to give these three books to a young Canadian immigrant: Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier and Benny Bensky and the Perogy Palace by Mary Borsky.

OBT:

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

MB:

I once did a writing class with Frances Itani, and she said something that I found wonderfully encouraging: "Hang on. You'll get there." I plan to someday embroider these words and hang them on the wall!

OBT:

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

MB:

I enjoyed a correspondence with a little girl named Codey. She sent me several letters and included a picture of herself, her dog and her brother.

OBT:

What is your next project?

MB:

My next project is a story for adult readers, but after that, I hope to go back to writing again for children. I have a story in mind for 12 to 14 year olds. This one will likely not include Benny Bensky, but it may include a dog. Maybe the dog should be one of Benny's descendents?


Praise for Benny Bensky and the Giant Pumpkin Heist:
"...a fun-loving tale that young readers will thoroughly enjoy." — CM Magazine

Praise for Benny Bensky and the Perogy Palace:
“[Borsky] creates her characters deftly... Youngsters will particularly like getting inside Benny’s head, seeing things from a dog’s eye view.” — The Hamilton Spectator


Read more about Benny Bensky and the Parrot-Napper by Mary Borsky at the Tundra Books website.

Related item from our archives

JF Robitaille: Minor Dedications

Dundurn

Open Book App Ad