INTERVIEW WITH L. M. BRYSKI AUTHOR OF BOOK OF BIRDS, BLOOD CHILL, AND THE HARMONICA TREE
This weekend is the launch of Blood Chill with two live events in Winnipeg, Canada. To mark the occasion, I asked L. M. Bryski ten questions. I hope you enjoy this short interview.
1) What's the inspiration for Blood Chill? Where did you get the idea and how did the writing process go?
Blood Chill's inspiration came from a mixture of events happening in my city followed by my mind saying "What if..."
What if the Virology Institute in my city was one of the places looking for answers to save a world decimated by a deadly virus? What sort of people might work there and what might some of their motivations be?
What if the missing people in that city were the most vulnerable people: homeless or impoverished? Who would they be, and how would they be related to a world searching for that deadly virus's cure? What if the detective searching for answers had a secret of his own? What would that secret be?
2) Describe Canada for your American readers without using the word Chill
Canada is a vast land of many environments and peoples. Its northern climate means shorter summers and colder winters in places. It has a strong history of multiculturalism, yet even within that mix of many cultures, we as a nation still need to come to terms with our painful past of outright discrimination. It is treaty land by grace of the first nations people, that we now acknowledge. Canadians are generally thought of as peaceful and progressive, and we try to honour and live up to that image the best we can. We also like inserting extra U's into words just because we can.
3) What are the best pancake toppings?
The best pancake toppings are those that you prefer. My own favourite is blueberry and banana, and of course maple syrup.
4) What character is your favorite book villain ever?
Hmmm... my favourite book villain ever is in the book Waggles and the Dog Catcher. The Dog Catcher is determined to catch a small white dog, who fools him by changing the colour of his coat over and over with either mud or paint. I read and reread that book many a time, just to see the dog catcher defeated. His malevolent visage and sneaky determination captured my imagination. Sure, he was doing his job in public service, but to my child mind he was unjust. Let the poor dog be free!
5) When Blood Chill lands on the bestsellers list and goes supernovaviralpopular, what will you do with your millions?
Firstly, thank you for that vote of confidence! I really hope Blood Chill makes the supernovaviralpopular list! with my millions and millions of royalties, I plan on travelling to all the places I would like to more fully explore, like Vietnam, Japan, Australia... and I would of course EXPAND MY BOOK COLLECTION!
6) Tell me about your next book project - what's it about?
My next book project has the working title of Anatomy Lessons. It's based in a medical school anatomy lab. The students are dissecting a corpse as part of their lessons, and the corpse is narrator for part of the story, telling the reader about its life before it came to be a slab of flesh in the lab. Overseeing the dissection is a disgraced surgeon who had lost his OR privileges due to addiction.
7) You're a doctor in 'real life', but inquiring minds want to know - could you play one on TV? if not - what about if you stayed at a Holiday Inn Express?
I could definitely play one on TV. I have always adored acting, but never pursued it past high school and the occasional skit production in medical school. I would be quite amateurish about it on TV, being unskilled, but would give it my best ER doc try. And I could definitely portray a doctor staying at a Holiday Inn Express. I'm very good at continental breakfasts.
8) What's one fact about you readers would be STUNNED to hear?
For no school marks but just because it was fun, I wrote a couple plays in middle school, one of which was staged just for my classmates, but the other ended up being staged for the whole school. I had a part in both plays, of course. It was the main reason I wrote them.
9) Do you judge books by their covers?
I do. I am very visual and am a sucker for a great cover illustration. However, I will break habit at times and pick up a great title too for perusal.
10) what authors were/are your biggest influences?
I am fond of Tad Williams. I loved the Dragon-bone chair series for its vastness built on small character that grows in strength. George RR Martin is fabulous for his eversweeping epic. In high school, I stumbled onto the world of Anne McCaffery, Dragon Drums being my first taste of fantasy novels.
Jane Austen. It's an odd choice for me as Im quite basic, yet I love her era and her turn of phrase.
CS Lewis's Narnia. Animals who talk. Aslan. Reepicheep. Need I say more.
The list is even longer, but maybe I'll stop there.
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