Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Word on the Street Interview Series: Carrie Snyder

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The Word on the Street Interview Series: Carrie Snyder

Acclaimed author Carrie Snyder is the second writer in our 2014 The Word on the Street interview series, which celebrates the fantastic readers of the Vibrant Voices of Ontario tent.

With readings by some of the country's finest writers in every genre, amazing and interactive children's programming and a marketplace populated by publishers of all your favourite books and magazines, The Word on the Street is a highlight of the literary season and a community celebration of the love of reading.

Carrie's most recent book is the novel Girl Runner (House of Anansi Press), which follows fictional former Olympian Aganetha Smart, now 104 and living, apparently forgotten, in a nursing home. When two young strangers arrive and take Aganetha to her childhood home, both mysteries and memories spring up. Despite confusion and neglect, Aganetha finds the same spirit of adventure that drove her as a young woman will urge her now to find the truth.

Today Carrie tells us about making connections with readers at The Word on the Street, why preparation is key for a great reading and her favourite Ontario books, new and old.

Don't forget to mark September 21, 2014 on your calendar and be sure to visit the Vibrant Voices of Ontario tent to catch Carrie and other fantastic readers!

Open Book:

Tell us about what you’ll be reading in the Vibrant Voices tent.

Carrie Snyder:

I’ll be reading from my new novel, Girl Runner, although I haven’t settled on which section, yet. The book covers the sweep of a long life, so there are many different tones of scene to choose from. Girl Runner is the story of Aganetha Smart, a fictional pioneering athlete who captured world attention during the 1928 Olympics. Now, at the age of 104, alone, and in a nursing home, she seems forgotten by history, but for Aggie, ever competitive and ambitious, life remains unfinished. When her quiet routine is disturbed by two strangers, the past rattles up to meet them all.

OB:

Have you attended The Word on the Street in the past? If so, tell us about a favourite memory. If not, what are you most looking forward to?

CS:

I’ve read at WOTS in Kitchener on several occasions. My favourite memories are of talking afterward with people who’ve attended the readings, and making connections. The last time I read at WOTS Kitchener, I was invited to a book club by a woman in the audience, and I attended a few months later — it turned out to be a terrific evening with warm, generous, and very engaged readers.

OB:

The Vibrant Voices tent celebrates Ontario authored and published books. Tell us about a favourite Ontario author or book.

CS:

Alice Munro has written rural Ontario like no one else ever will; it’s embedded in my imagination. This year’s favourites include Michelle Berry’s Interference, and Tasneem Jamal’s Where the Air is Sweet, very different books, but both offering unique perspectives on life here in Ontario. I’m also looking forward to reading Alison Pick’s Between Gods — she’s originally from Kitchener-Waterloo, too, as is Tasneem.

OB:

What’s the best advice about public readings you have ever received?

CS:

Prepare! I prepare for readings like I would prepare for any performance. I read passages out loud, I time them, I give thought to what I’d like to say, I get dressed up so I feel like I’m doing something special, and then when it’s time to speak, I just try to trust all that preparation, and relax and be myself.

OB:

Word on the Street is happening simultaneously in Toronto, Lethbridge, Saskatoon and Halifax on September 21 this year (as well as in Kitchener on September 20). If you could be in two places at once, which WOTS festival, in addition to Toronto, would you attend?

CS:

I’ll be at Kitchener’s WOTS on September 20, so I will manage to be in two places, not quite at once. I love the ocean, so I would pick Halifax, too.

OB:

Do you have a favourite spot in Ontario?

KM:

Farm country in and around Ayr, Ontario, and along the Nith River. It’s just heart-achingly beautiful.

OB:

What can you tell us about your next project?

CS:

I have a children’s picture book coming out next spring with OwlKids, called The Candy Conspiracy. And I’m researching my next fiction project, but that’s all I’ll say …


Carrie Snyder is the author of two books of short fiction. Her first, Hair Hat, was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Award for Short Fiction, and her second, The Juliet Stories was a finalist for the 2012 Governor General’s Literary Award. She lives in Waterloo with her husband, four children, and two dogs.

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