Warrior masks

Outside+Circle+2Hello again. It’s been a while.

This month, I had the pleasure of interviewing Patti LaBoucane-Benson and Kelly Mellings, the author-illustrator duo behind The Outside Circle (Anansi, 2015), for the Town Crier.

Throughout February, contributors are focused on graphic novels. What is the place of graphic novels in Canadian literary culture? How should we talk about them, write about them?

I was excited to interview LaBoucane-Benson and Mellings after reading The Outside Circle over Christmas. It tells the story of an Aboriginal man named Pete who exchanges a mask of hatred for a Warrior mask. Pete’s story is inspired by many real-life stories of grads from the Stan Daniels Healing Centre’s In Search of Your Warrior program. To prepare for his work on the book, Mellings spent time at the Centre. Says Mellings:

Pete’s true mask, the bear mask, and the other warrior masks that are portrayed [in the novel] were influenced by the masks that were created by actual Warrior program grads. The masks in the book have the same sense of connectedness and individuality that I saw in those masks. There is a confidence in who they are.

Read the full interview here.

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An interview on the art of the interview

Photo by Stephen Brockwell
Photo by Stephen Brockwell

rob mclennan is an institution in the Canadian literary scene: he knows everyone, he’s interviewed almost everyone, he’s read everything.

For this month’s Town Crier theme on nonfiction (curated by the amazing Amanda Leduc of Big Truths), I interviewed rob on the art of the literary interview.

I have a zillion questions on this topic. rob was kind enough to answer a few. Head on over to the Crier to read the full piece.

Will She Or Won’t She? An Interview with Sarah Mian

Officially I’m off the (Canadian) grid this month, but I couldn’t resist sharing this interview I did with Nova Scotia writer Sarah Mian for The Winnipeg Review just before I skipped town.

Mian’s writing is funny and sharp, and her first novel, When the Saints, is a must-read, especially for those who can’t resist poignant family dramas heavily laced with humour.

Read the interview here, then find a copy of When the Saints to read on your own holidays this summer.