Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Questionless Books Interview: Novelist Tanis Rideout

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Tanis Rideout

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.

Tanis Rideout's first novel, Above All Things, has just been released in Canada and has already been praised widely. Joseph Boyden called it “simply breathtaking,” and Alison Pick said “Prepare to be dazzled.” Above All Things was named one of the five “Big Buzz” books at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2011 and will be published in the US and UK in early 2013.

Tanis's Links:

Above All Things


I am... Tanis Rideout

I am known to... weep uncontrollably at good news.

I do this in... private, as much as possible.

I do this because... it’s cathartic.

I do this when... I don’t know what else to do with myself.

The way I do this is... as silently as I can.

At his/her core, a Writer is... someone who hopes the words on the page add up to the ideal thing in her mind.

As opposed to an Author, who is... someone I want to be when I grow up.

A Writer is responsible for... trying to get it right.

As opposed to an Author, who is responsible for... making it into something that is right enough.

At its core, Publishing is... going outside naked except for a sandwich board detailing your most embarrassing habits.

As opposed to Editing, which is... refining, and sharpening, and kind of wonderful.

A Publisher should always... believe in your book.

As opposed to an Editor, who should always... believe your book can be better.

A Manuscript that's ready to be read by others is... one you think is done.

As opposed to a Book that's ready to be ready by others, which is... one other people thinks is done.

A Manuscript should always... be unfinished.

As opposed to a Book, which should always... feel like it was already there.

At its core, Bookselling is... matchmaking.

As opposed to Book Marketing, which is... putting on your best dress and a good pair of heels.

The smallest unit of narrative is... a breath.

The biggest reason to anticipate the future is... what we might be.

The biggest reason to be scared of the future is... what it might be.

In the future we will all... understand there’s enough.

At his/her core, a Reader is... someone who follows the story.

However, the ideal Reader is... someone who believes the story.

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.

Related item from our archives

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