Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

From the Mixed Up Files of Zoe T. Leroy

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From the Mixed Up Files of Zoe T. Leroy

In Todd's final entry he wrote, "Every writer in the provinces wants to be in Toronto. I cannot live in Toronto, of course, because I have no money and I am scared of smog." It is true that I am currently broke and frequently undone by pollution-related chest colds, but nevertheless fairly happy with my Toronto digs. I joined a Facebook group (shut up) called Actually...I Like Toronto, and that pretty much sums up my current relationship to the much-maligned grid-city. An initially reluctant attraction turned comfortable marriage. I must admit to being Winnipeg-curious, with an affection for Nova Scotia. But Toronto is where it's at for the extroverted writers, especially this past weekend, with both Word on the Street and Nuit Blanche.

A few exciting things happened to me during said whirlwind 48 hours. I took part in an art installation curated by Abi Slone in the window of This Ain't the Rosedale Library. The Minds’ Eye featured a new writer every hour, including dreamy art stars like Joey Comeau , Mariko Tamaki and Lisa Foad. We were silhouetted in the window typing on a lap-top projected on the store window. The effect was quite amazing, but writing while an audience watched was terrifying. I hate it when people look over my shoulder while I'm typing up a perfunctory email, so you can imagine my paralysis. I mostly checked my facebook, projected my favourite youtube videos and repeated the affirmation "I am not a talentless hack!" while Abi generously provided me with lattes.

On Sunday morning I was interviewed for CBC Newsworld's arts program called The Scene about my novel Bottle Rocket Hearts. Because I read my emails in the thirty seconds I have between work, school, and more work, it's often a cursory scan. I thought I was showing up for a radio spot, but alas, my post-NB mug graced screens from sea-to-sea. The pic attached to this entry is with the interviewer, Jelena Adzic, and my publicist, Sheila Hawks. I tried not to run into traffic hyperventilating before the interview began and succeeded in standing still and not being entirely moronic. Victory!

I received a text this afternoon that Douglas Coupland was taping an interview for The Hour and would I like to be in the audience. YES. Always YES. But sadly, could not attend. My review of his new book The Gum Thief should appear in this weekend's Globe and Mail.

And, like Todd, I was asked to blurb my first book this year and still take every opportunity to mention it. I can't wait to tell people about the jury I was on this summer. Ah, will I eventually look back on this time in my career and blush at my unabashed cherubic enthusiasm at getting a spot beside the big kids? Likely. I penned a glowing endorsement of Stacey May Fowles' first novel called Be Good . Check my blog in the next week or so for an interview with SMF.

Currently listening to: The Weakerthans, Reunion Tour (Genius!)
Reading: Karen Solie's Modern and Normal, and Day by A.L. Kennedy

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Related item from our archives

Zoe Whittall

Zoe Whittall is the author of the novel Bottle Rocket Hearts (Cormorant, 2007) and two volumes of poetry, The Emily Valentine Poems (Snare, 2006) and The Best Ten Minutes of Your Life (McGilligan, 2001).

Go to Zoe Whittall’s Author Page