British Columbia

B.C. author Eden Robinson having a productive year despite pandemic disruptions

It's been an eventful year for novelist Eden Robinson. The COVID-19 pandemic hasn't prevented the motion picture adaptations of her novels from hitting the silver screen, and it hasn't kept her from completing her Trickster trilogy.

Adaptations of her novels are being screened at film festivals, and she has finished her Trickster trilogy

The film adaptations of Eden Robinson's novels Son of a Trickster and Monkey Beach are being screened at Toronto and Vancouver film festivals. (CBC)

While 2020 has been unkind to many, it's been an eventful year for Haisla and Heiltsuk novelist Eden Robinson.

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn't prevented the motion picture adaptations of her novels from hitting the silver screen, and it hasn't kept her from writing — completing her Trickster trilogy in the process. 

Monkey Beach, adapted from Robinson's 2000 novel, will be screening at the Vancouver International Film Festival from Sept. 24. And the CBC TV series based on her 2017 book, Son of a Trickster, was featured at the Toronto International Film Festival last week.

More exciting to Robinson fans is that she's finished the final draft of Return of the Trickster, with advanced reading copies expected in November.

The pandemic hasn't slowed the progress of her new book going to print, but she says it has drastically changed the mood of her writing.

"The first draft of Return of the Trickster was so sweet, and everyone had a happy ending," Robinson told Carolina De Ryk, host of CBC's Daybreak North. 

But then Robinson had to self-quarantine for 14 days, following a Prince Rupert class visit where a student had been to a clinic operated by a dentist who attended a Vancouver COVID-19 exposure event in early March.

"In the second draft, everyone died. And my editor asked me if I could go back and not kill everybody," she said.

Robinson is glad that the Monkey Beach film adaptation is being released at a time when viewers are craving online entertainment, but she gave up screenwriting the film, which director Loretta Todd had invited her to do.

"I discovered quite quickly that it's not a form I enjoy, in that the process is completely alien. And I think that novels are my huge passions and it really suits my personality," she said.

Robinson is one of five finalists for this year's Canada Reads, which was postponed due to the pandemic, as were the premieres of her books' film adaptations.

But the novelist said she has been very busy this year, and she's planning a new project after the Trickster trilogy.

"I'm just going to take a few months and keep reading, keep going and crossing my fingers," said Robinson.

Tap the link below to listen to Eden Robinson's interview on Daybreak North:

Subscribe to Daybreak North on CBC Listen or your favourite podcast app, and connect with CBC Northern British Columbia on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

With files from Daybreak North