The last time I was at the Banff Centre for the Arts, I was working on the first draft of All True. It was a few years ago, and it was May, and snowing, as it was on my first day here this past week. I was very happy to have been assigned the Henriquez studio in the woods again. It's a boat, an actual boat, the Elsie K., suspended in the forest, and I think it's about the best place on earth for writing. I get more written there in a week than I do in a month anywhere else (I worked on many of the stories in The Old Familiar there). So I'm happy, too, to report that the draft of the sequel is coming along.
I hoped for bears but saw none, though I never have. I did see Tanya Tagaq's incredible performance of Nanook of the North at the Centre. I've never seen someone so completely possessed, visibly transformed by what she does onstage. She's physically small and soft-spoken, but the way she sings is the way I hope to write characters' voices--raw, loud, intense, personal. She's a master.
The next day, I heard loud, joyful singing in the trees outside the studio. I opened my door to find a tiny girl on the step asking to come in. Turned out to be Tanya Tagaq's little daughter, and the singing was her ma. They both had a visit in the boat, and we talked about the weird, tangible magic of this place in the Rockies, and I just about managed to contain myself.
I'm the author of My Name is a Knife, All True Not a Lie In It, and The Old Familiar.