Books·Magic 8 Q&A

Raziel Reid is stealing all your good ideas

The Governor General's Literary Award winner answers eight questions submitted by eight other authors.
Raziel Reid is the author of the novel When Everything Feels like the Movies. (Ash McGregor)

It's hard to sum up author Raziel Reid in one word — though "audacious" comes to mind. The 2014 Governor General's Literary Award winner for his powerful young adult novel When Everything Feels like the Movies — which was also a finalist for Canada Reads 2015 — doesn't disappoint with his original story, "The Youngest, Most Sacred Monster," written for CBC Books' "Heroes and Antiheroes" literary series.

Below, Raziel Reid answers eight questions submitted by eight of his fellow writers in the CBC Books Magic 8 Q&A.

1. William Deverell asks, "Claims of suffering writer's block are just excuses for laziness. Agree or disagree?

Any block has to be manifested. Sounds nearly as preposterous as "trigger warnings." 

2. Russell Smith asks, "Have you ever stolen someone else's idea?"

I'd cut a bitch for an idea! I pretty much just open my eyes and download, process and manipulate the internet and the world around me. What hasn't been inspired by this world appears to have been given to me by another.

3. Susan Juby asks, "What's your approach to reviews and reader feedback? Do you read criticism? Ignore it? Take it into consideration?"

I read reviews, and enjoy blogs written by readers very much. I have a healthy appreciation for criticism, but only take real shit from a select group of geniuses. I've ignored Goodreads after getting drunk one night and scrolling through it. From five-star halos to one-star daggers to the heart. The blood is in the comments! I prefer to keep masochism in the bedroom. 

4. Linden MacIntyre asks, "Once upon a time there was fevered discussion about 'The Great Canadian Novel.' Is there a future for a 'Canadian' novel, period? Or must works of fiction from this country transcend Canadian themes and experience in order to attract international attention?"

The emotion of an experience is universal, so I don't suppose anything needs be transcended or sacrificed. "Great" as a prefix to a novel feels particular to America. Canadians aren't as quick to create banners or worship idols... But are Great American Novels even being promoted anymore? The idea may have expired. A Great Canadian Blog, now maybe.

5. Kenneth Oppel asks, "Would you ghostwrite a trashy book if you were offered enough?"

Trash can change the world. I wouldn't ghostwrite, I'd put my name on the front cover in big pink letters!

6. Nino Ricci asks, "Gore Vidal said, 'It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail.' Discuss."

And give me their tax dollars.

7. Lori Lansens asks, "If you could have dinner with one of your literary heroes, living or dead, who would it be? Where would you eat? What, besides books, would you talk about?"

I'd have tea and cucumber sandwiches with Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas. We'd go up to their hotel suite for dessert. 

8. Erin Bow asks, "Would you write if you could never be read?" 

I'd be writing even if I were dead!