Author Interview: Anita Daher

Happy Labour Day, Everyone!!!! We are having some beautiful weather where we are! Hope it’s beautiful where everyone else is as well:) (if not, I recommend the movie, Labour Day, with Kate Winslet. It’s on Canadian Netflix, and it’s a nice, thoughtful flick for the end of summer).

As a special Labour Day treat, I have an interview with the very talented Winnipeg author, Anita Daher! I had a wonderful time taking a creative writing workshop with Anita about a year and a half ago, and her terrific instruction and guidance helped me to develop my latest novel-in-progress, “Moorhouse.” Besides being an excellent writing instructor, writer, and editor (and now an actress!), Anita is such a lovely, uplifting, and fun presence. If you ever get the chance to take one of her workshops, I seriously recommend it! Meanwhile, if you feel like checking out some of her work, her latest book for young people, Wonder Horse, is out now.

In our interview, Anita talks about favourite books, how she came to be a children’s author, and how her newest career has helped her as a writer. Enjoy! 🙂

Emily’s interview with Anita:

1. You’re mainly a writer of children’s and teen’s books. How did you first become interested in that age demographic?

            I’ve always believed that each of us has an emotional age that we most naturally go to when we enter that creative space necessary to write. For me, as I explore a story it is most often through the eyes of someone aged 12 to 17.  It just feels right.

 

2. What are some of your favourite young people’s books (children’s and/or teens’?)

            I have my favourites from when I was a young reader—The Chrysalids, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Xanth novels (all of them!) by Piers Anthony.  More recently…oh gosh, there are so many…the Truth Commission by Susan Juby, Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay, Rabbit Ears by Maggie de Vries, Shadow Town by Duncan Thornton and Forever Julia by Jodi Carmichael.

 

3. Is there any one book or books that have inspired your writing in any way?

            I have been inspired by particular authors for varying reasons, more than particular books: Tim Wynne Jones, Stephen King and James Joyce spring immediately to mind.

 

4. What is your favourite writing snack?

            Jellybeans…or spinach with melted cheese (for those thinking moments when I can sit back and use a utensil)

 

5. You’re an actress now! Do you feel that being a writer helps you in your latest profession (or vice versa)?

            Indeed! Acting deepens my exploration of emotional truth, which encourages me to “go deeper” in my writing, and writing helps with understanding subtext as I read a script.  Though acting and writing I am able to live my life more fully as a creative person. 

 

6. You’ve also spent time as an editor. Has editing changed the way you write?

            I think it has. When I am writing a first draft, I try not to edit myself, but I think my subconscious is more present in terms of pacing, avoiding cliché and potential plot holes. During rewrites the ‘tuning up” may happen a little more quickly and easily.

 

7. Finally (because I’m on a bit of a classics kick), what’s your favourite classic novel (or favourites…)?

            Oh, gosh…how to choose? One of the most influential novels during my adolescent years was The Chrysalids by John Wyndham. I think I was eleven or twelve when I read it, and it was, I believe, my first post apocalyptic story. It showed me that it was not only okay to be different, but desirable.  

I also loved the Narnia series, Little Women, The Black Stallion, A Clockwork Orange, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

*********

Thanks so much for the interview, Anita!

Visit Anita at http://www.anitadaher.com

 

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