Books

4 questions for 2017 Writers' Trust of Canada Fellow Eden Robinson

Eden Robinson, author of the Scotiabank Giller Prize nominee Son of a Trickster, talks about what she's working on now.
Eden Robinson is the author of the novel Monkey Beach. (Chris Young)

Eden Robinson, author of Monkey Beach and Traplinesis the 2017 recipient of the Writers' Trust of Canada Fellowship. Jurors of the $50,000 award praised Robinson for bringing a "fresh and fearless perspective" to Canadian literature. Her latest novel Son of a Trickster is on the Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist.

CBC Books caught up with Robinson and asked her for some writing wisdom, book recommendations and a glimpse into her next project.

What would you tell your younger self? 

"When you've lost the joy of writing, you need to fill your creative well. When nothing is coming, it doesn't mean you have nothing to say. It means you've exhausted your muse. Remember to play. Remember the reasons you started writing. Honour your process."

What book would you recommend to aspiring writers? 

"The book you've read 50 times, whether it be Nancy Drew or Pride and Prejudice or Not Disappearing. The book that is your oldest friend. But read it with new eyes, writing eyes. Discover the craft your author put into the bones of your story. Find the places that resonate with you and let them be your guide."

What is the best writing advice you've ever received?

"Lisa Moore was driving me around St. John's, and I was bemoaning the craziness my characters were getting up to, and every time I wrestled the story into believability, it ran amok again. She said, 'Then let it be wild.' I was so stuck in my social realism settings, it took that moment to unclench my fists and let the story go where it wanted to go."

What's next for you?

"I've just finished the second draft of Trickster Drift, the sequel to Son of a Trickster. I'm going to take a bit of a break and then start writing the final book, The Return of the Trickster. Then I'm going back to a novel I was working on before, Trashy Band Council Romance."

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