Thursday 17 March 2011

Stellar New Review in The Montreal Gazette & Online Interview at Fictionaut

Last Saturday featured an incredibly good Montreal Gazette review of The Meaning of Children, by freelancer Anne Chudobiak! She may just be my ideal reader...

Here's just a taste of it:

"...The Meaning of Children took on the tone of motivational reading, each story a reminder of what an optimistic endeavour it is to parent...

"The book touches on a lot of the biggest parental 'what ifs.' Kidnapping. Hate crime. Death by drowning. Suicide. Even so, it would make a good gift for a new mother. Akerman holds up our greatest fears, not to dwell on them, but to marvel at our commitment to life, especially to passing it on to others. Says one character, looking back, 'Life had been perfect … but I’d been too busy to notice.'"

The book is appearing in Canadian bookstores from Montreal to Calgary..."Only in Canada, you say? Pity."


My first online interview is up at the Fictionaut blog.
Many thanks to interviewer Meg Pokrass and Jürgen Fauth (pictured at right) and the rest of the folks at Fictionaut, a great place to read and share your fiction. Here's an excerpt:

What do you do when you feel stuck or uninspired… suggestions for unblocking creativity?
I’m a big believer in getting out of your comfort zone–I’ve traveled to workshops/fellowships/residencies in Alberta, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Ohio, and Oregon. When I’m unsettled, my emotions are closer to the surface, and I highly recommend it. I’ve even written naked in the Super 8 Airport Motel in Portland–one of my favorite stories poured out there when, after a bad dream, I got up and started writing instead of turning over and trying to get a little more shuteye. I wrote for a couple of hours, made my plane and kept on writing in the stopover at San Francisco (don’t worry: I was clothed by then). Other suggestions: go to art galleries, watch movies, get in touch with nature, take long walks, ride a bike, visit your old neighborhood, join a choir, look at old photos–your own or even strangers’. Whatever it takes to stir yourself up. And work at finding things that make you happy, that make you laugh.

What inspires you?
Kindness and compassion. How much some do for others. The feeling of being in this together, the ol’ John Donne thing. Seeing kids enjoy things. My mother used to take my kids to see plays put on by a local theatre–the rapt look on the faces in the audience used to make me cry. Probably still would. Luckily, my kids are grown and I don’t have to humiliate myself in public that way quite as much anymore. But I’m still trying to move people.
Where do stories come from? What makes them happen… for you? Talk about recurring theme or themes in your own work here…

Again, you can find the rest of the interview at Fictionaut.

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