Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Questionless Books Interview: Journalist and Author Leah McLaren

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Leah McLaren

In The Questionless Books Interview, I get a whole bunch of books people (from authors to editors to publishers to sales / publicity / production people, booksellers, designers, librarians, readers, etc) to "answer" a series of unspoken "questions". The results highlight a delightful mix of the opportunities and challenges facing our sector: from doom and gloom to sunshine and rainbows, and every irony in between.

Leah McLaren has been a national columnist with the Globe and Mail since 1999. From 2002-2004 she served as London correspondent, and was nominated for a National Newspaper Award for her work there. Her first novel, The Continuity Girl, published by HarperCollins Canada and Warner US, was an instant national bestseller, spending nine weeks on the Globe and Mail bestseller list.

Leah's Links:

The Continuity Girl
Globe and Mail

I am... a mammal.

I am known to... laugh out loud.

I do this in... my sleep.

I do this because... I can’t help it.

I do this when I... am relaxed or anxious.

The way I do this is... subconscious.

At his/her core, a Writer is... interested.

As opposed to an Author, who is... doubly interested.

A Writer is responsible for... doing the work.

As opposed to an Author, who is responsible for... connecting with people.

At its core, Publishing is... a business.

As opposed to Editing, which is... a craft.

A Publisher should always... consider the margins.

As opposed to an Editor, who should always... consider the reader.

A Manuscript that's ready to be read by others is... as finished as it’s ever going to be.

As opposed to a Book that's ready to be ready by others, which is... exactly the same thing (especially in this day and age).

A Manuscript should always... interest readers.

As opposed to a Book, which should always... do exactly the same thing.

At its core, Bookselling is... often not as lucrative as you might think.

As opposed to Book Marketing, which is... ostensibly important, but endlessly mysterious.

The smallest unit of narrative is... .

The biggest reason to anticipate the future is... to avoid the trap of disappointment.

The biggest reason to be scared of the future is... the impossibility of death.

In the future we will all... be old. Or dead.

At his/her core, a Reader is... interested.

However, the ideal Reader is... interested and extremely good looking.

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