Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Word On The Street Interview Series: Monica Heisey

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Monica Heisey

Who amongst us hasn't said to ourselves "Really? That's it?" at some point. But often times, if we can shift our perspectives a little, there's humour in our unexpected disappointments — a fact that Monica Heisey mines for laughs in I Can't Believe It's Not Better: A Woman's Guide to Coping with Life (Fitzhenry & Whiteside). If you need a good laugh (and want to meet one of Canada's wittiest new writers), don't miss Monica at The Word On The Street this Sunday, September 27, 2015!. She'll be reading in the Vibrant Voices of Ontario Tent, along with a fantastic crowd of her fellow talented authors.

Today we speak to Monica for the last but certainly not least instalment in our The Word On The Street interview series, where we have been speaking to several fantastic authors from the Vibrant Voices tent.

Monica tells us about a favourite Ontario writer of hers, why picturing the audience in their underwear can backfire, and the Toronto neighbourhood she loves most of all.

Don't forget to mark September 27, 2015 on your calendars to catch Monica and dozens of other fantastic authors at The Word On The Street.

Open Book:

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

Monica Heisey:

I’m reading from I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better, which is my first-ever published book. It’s a collection of weird essays, poems, true and fictional short stories, weird drawings, and a quiz or two, all designed to make you laugh.


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?


I’m really looking forward to meeting other local authors in the Ontario tent. Aside from that I plan to spend the rest of the day in the Living Well tent scamming food samples.


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


I’m always very pleased to remember that Sheila Heti is ours.


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


I mean definitely ignore that “imagine everyone naked” thing. Especially as a newer writer, a lot of the people in the audience are your family. If my parents showed up naked to a reading I would be much more uncomfortable than if I read a bit of my book and no one laughed. Probably the best advice I can give is that you are probably reading too quickly and too quietly. Slow down and soak it up a bit.


Do you have a favourite spot in Ontario?


My favourite place in the world, maybe, is Toronto between Ossington and Dufferin and Dundas and Bloor. I’ve lived in a bunch of different cities and never loved a neighbourhood as much as I love Bloor and Ossington.


What can you tell us about your next project?


I’m hoping to get started on a second book as soon as possible! I’d like for it to be more weird short fiction, the kind of stuff I’ve done for the Hairpin and the New Yorker, which are two of my favourite places to find humour writing in the entire world. Now to think of a suitably cumbersome, weakly punning title...

Monica Heisey is a writer and comedian from Toronto. Her writing has appeared in VICE, Playboy, The Cut,, The Hairpin, The Toast, Reader's Digest, Noisey, New York Magazine, The Guardian, The Huffington Post,, The Toronto Standard,, Munchies and CBC Punchline, among others.

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