Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Questionless Books Interview: Editor Martha Sharpe

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The Questionless Books Interview: Editor Martha Sharpe

Welcome to the first in the (now-columnar) ongoing series of Questionless Books Interviews. I hope you got a chance to read the first series I did as part of my Residency at OBT in November. The editors here have asked me to make the idea a regular column, so for the foreseeable future, I'll continue asking prominent book people in Canada, the USA, and the UK about books without every asking them a question. I'll be mixing up the "questions" in the future, but for the first little bit, I'll be running interviews that didn't make it into the 30 days of November. First up: former House of Anansi editor Martha Sharpe.

Martha Sharpe currently works at Audible, lives in Brooklyn, and edited and published at Anansi from 1993-2005.

Martha's Links:

Radio Press

I am... on the lam.

I am known to... sing TV theme songs when it’s cold.

I do this in... the winter.

I do this because... it makes it seem less cold.

I do this when I... walk home from the bar.

The way I do this is... as fast and loud as I can.

At her/his core, a Writer is... a wad of blood and guts.

As opposed to an Author, who is... annoying.

A Writer is responsible for... trying not to be boring and horrible.

As opposed to an Author, who is responsible for... boring and horrible books (especially if he/she self-identifies as “an Author”).

At its core, Publishing is... the art of making something known.

As opposed to Editing, which is... a strange kind of listening.

A Publisher should always... take chances with writers.

As opposed to an Editor, who should always... condone taking chances with words.

A Manuscript that's ready to be read by others is... probably not.

As opposed to a Book that's ready to be ready by others, which is... most likely late.

A Manuscript should always... make everything look different.

As opposed to a Book, which should always... change everything.

At its core, Bookselling is... a conversation.

As opposed to Book Marketing, which is... a conversation starter.

The smallest unit of narrative is... the pill.

To be a Book a thing must be... at least 48 published pages (according to the UN).

The biggest reason to be scared of the future is... not that it is unwritten, but, rather, unedited.

The biggest reason to anticipate the future is... the coming peaceful, agrarian anarchy.

In the future we will all... subscribe to our personalities, like to magazines, complete with advertising.

At his/her core, a Reader is... his/her own best self.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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George Murray

George Murray’s six books of poetry include The Rush to Here and The Hunter. His most recent books, Whiteout and Glimpse: Selected Aphorisms, are published by ECW Press. He is the editor of the popular literary website

Go to George Murray’s Author Page