25th Trillium Award

Focus On: IFOA Ontario, with Janet E. Cameron

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Janet Cameron (Photo Credit: Phillip Leonard)

IFOA Ontario is a literary festival like no other, bringing writers from Canada and around the world to cities and towns throughout the province for readings and discussions at local bookstores, libraries and community centres.

If you live in Windsor, Burlington, Owen Sound, Thunder Bay or any of the ten other IFOA Ontario locations, your favourite authors will be coming right to your doorstep between October 19th to November 3rd. All month long, Open Book: Ontario will share feature interviews with writers who are busy packing their suitcases to get on the road.

Today, Open Book catches up with author Janet E. Cameron, who joins us all the way from Ireland to read from Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World (Hachette). You can find her in Parry Sound on Wednesday, October 23, and in Toronto and Creemore on Saturday, October 26. Visit our Events page for details.

For more information about IFOA Ontario, visit our IFOA Ontario Page.

Open Book:

Tell us about what you?ll be reading at this year?s IFOA Ontario festival.

Janet Cameron:

I?ll be reading a scene or two from my novel Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World. It was published in Canada in May, and is the story of a bright, socially awkward high school senior named Stephen growing up in small town Nova Scotia in the late 1980s. Stephen?s personal world comes to an end when he realizes that he?s in love with his best friend Mark, and he has to figure out how to deal with it. Through most of the book he does the wrong thing, over and over again. I am very fond of it.


What is your preferred method of travel for a reading tour and why?


Sometimes an airport can be a nice neutral space to calm down from the excitement of meeting people and the pressure of being ?on? all the time. They?re awful, but the same all over the world. It?s like being put in a ?time out? corner or spending an hour or six in a quiet space in purgatory. But I really love trains and always have. It?s so easy to read and relax and watch the countryside while still enjoying the feeling that you?re going somewhere.


What is one luxury you allow yourself when you go "on tour" with a book?


Sleep! Well, I try to get sleep and naps whenever I can. It?s not always possible. I love the energy of being on tour, but it can be exhausting. At home I?m on my own most of the time, so even getting used to being social again can take it out of me, energy-wise. When I?m in Canada I?ll also allow myself the ?luxury? of loading up my suitcase with all the Canadian junk food I can?t get in Ireland. Bits and Bites, that salty snack mix of pretzel sticks, Cheerios, Shreddies and Cheese Bits, is a bit of an addiction.


What book (aside from your own) will you have with you in your bag while you travel to the location of your IFOA Ontario reading?


I?m on with several other authors at each of my readings — I will probably have copies of their books as I?m a bit of an autograph hound. If I run out of reading material, I have David Foster Wallace?s Infinite Jest on Kindle. Finally finishing it is going to be one of my goals for this year and possibly the next.

Visit litontour.com for more details about IFOA Ontario.

Janet E. Cameron has been living in Ireland since 2002. She was shortlisted for the Fish Short Story Prize and the Fish Short Memoir Prize, and has published an adaptation of A Midsummer Night?s Dream for young ESL learners. Her first novel, Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World, was a winner at the Irish Writers? Centre Novel Fair Competition.

For more information about Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World please visit the Hachette website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at the publisher, Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

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