Giller contender Will Ferguson

Though known for humour, Will Ferguson is a Giller nominee for his modern thriller 419. He talks to CBC about the historical inspiration for the novel and feeling paranoid while writing it.
Though best known as a humorist, Will Ferguson takes a serious turn in his novel 419. He talks to CBC about his Giller contender, a provocative revenge thriller stemming from the ubiquitous internet scams emerging from Nigeria. 4:24

Five Canadian authors are in the running for the 2012 Giller Prize, with one writer set to receive the coveted trophy and $50,000 at a glitzy gala in Toronto on Oct. 30.

Founded by Jack Rabinovitch in 1994 in memory of his late wife, literary journalist Doris Giller, the annual award has become one of the country’s most prominent and lucrative fiction-writing honours.

Will Ferguson, known for his award-winning humour writing, is a nominee for his dark thriller 419, a provocative tale of a woman who sets out on a wide-ranging search for those she believes responsible for her father's death.

In the video above, Calgary-based Ferguson tells CBC about the historical inspiration for those now-ubiquitous email scams coming from Nigeria, life as a Giller nominee and the dark, murky and paranoid mood he was in while writing 419.