For Toronto writer Dennis Bock, a Giller Prize finalist for his novel Going Home Again, starting a new book is "a great moment of optimism."

As the annual Giller Prize gala approaches, CBC News presents a chat with each finalist. The 2013 nominees are:

"I start with a narrative voice and a character. I know very little beyond that. What I do is follow my character into certain situations and I find the drama there," he tells CBC News.

"It's sort of like a domino process: one series of challenges causes another."

Going Home Again features a narrator who, after a long time away, decides to return home and discovers things have changed "drastically and tragically," Bock says.

In the attached video, Bock talks to CBC’s Alice Hopton about how he discovered he was a Giller contender, exploring difficult corners of the human heart and why starting new work is so liberating.

The winner of the 2013 Giller Prize will be announced in Toronto the evening of Nov. 5, during a televised gala airing on CBC-TV.