From October 20—22, 2017, the Stratford Writers Festival will take over Stratford, Ontario, as some of Canada’s top literary and creative talents come together for this unique three-day festival. With the festival rapidly approaching, we caught up with attending author Glenn Dixon to ask him a few questions about his latest projects, and why literary festivals are important to the Canadian artistic community.
To hear more from Glenn, click here to purchase tickets to his upcoming Stratford Writers Festival panel, My Life: Memoirs as Told by Grief, with Marianne Apostolides and Lorina Mapa, moderated by Alison Wearing.
What is the best piece of writing advice you have ever received?
I went to a writing workshop held once by Douglas Glover who has a book called Attack of the Copula Spiders (I know, it’s crazy). He spoke a lot about always having a ‘turn’—certainly at the end of every scene, but if possible in every paragraph and maybe even every sentence. A turn is something unexpected. A ‘but’ sort of tag at the end. “He was the richest man in town though his boots had holes as big as pennies.” That sort of thing.
Who would you cast as your protagonists, if your book were a movie?
I joked once with my agent that if Juliet’s Answer were to be made into a movie, the lead should be Brad Pitt. She countered that if that were the case, she would need to be on set, you know, just to make sure he got his lines right.
Why do you feel it’s important to meet readers at events such as the Stratford Writers Festival?
I like to talk about how my book was written—kind of like the extra features on a DVD—rather than just do readings from the book. I figure they can read it themselves (and not be haunted by the sound of my voice in their heads), and at the end of my various sessions and panels, I always enjoy the questions the readers ask. I often hear about their own stories of travelling to Verona, or how some aspect of what happened to me, also happened to them.
What is your favourite part about attending writers festivals or literary events?
A big secret is how much fun it is to meet other authors. It’s a singularly solitary occupation, this writing business, so to meet other writers (many of whom I’ve admired from afar for a long time); well, it’s a delight and privilege.
Are you working on any projects right now?
Top secret, of course, but I can tell you that I’m working on a novel now. Juliet’s Answer was my third book and all three have been works of creative non-fiction. The truth is, I’m pretty sure I will never have such an incredible story drop into my lap again (if you read Juliet’s Answer—you’ll know what I mean), and so I’ve decided that, after this, I’m just going to have to make things up.
To hear more, don’t miss Glenn’s panel entitled My Life: Memoirs as Told by Grief on Saturday, October 21, 2017, at 1:30 pm at the Stratford Writers Festival. See you there!
Have you read Juliet’s Answer by Glenn Dixon?