Room Magazine invited me to be their feature interview for their Summer 2017 issue, and I was lucky enough to talk about PEDAL with writer and editor Navneet Nagra. If you don’t already subscribe to Room, you should. This issue also features fantastic stories from fellow friends and writers Carleigh Baker and Erika Thorkelson.
Jordan Weir from Feminist Book Club wrote a new review for PEDAL and it’s pretty great. “It will shock you at first, but it’s worth it.” Check it out here.
As a Visiting Fellow for the Kuldip Gill Writing Fellowship, I returned to the University of the Fraser Valley and spoke to Trevor Carolan’s class about the fine line between fiction and fact.
FINAL SWOON: I was honoured to read at the final Swoon Reading Series with fantastic writers Christina Myers, Curtis LeBlanc, D.S. Stymeist and Rob Taylor. I told a story about the first time Taylor and I kissed and it was pretty swoon-y.
Thrilled to be a part of Literary Crush Fest with Dina Del Bucchia, Daniel Zomparelli, Amber Dawn and Jen Sookfong Lee at the legendary Pulp Fiction on Main Street.
REVIEW: A great review of PEDAL in Raspberry Mag. “Part of this novel’s dark and irresistible beauty comes from its blatant dramatic irony; it’s blatantly obvious that Julia needs some kind of paternal closure to move forward, both in life and in her thesis, and yet she so fervently and loudly denies it that the reader begins to doubt it, too. This tense juxtaposition winds the novel tighter and tighter, until it seems as though something has to give. But will it be Julia or the reader’s own certainty that gives way first?” Check it out.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: A new review of PEDAL on Publishers Weekly has this to say: “This is not an easy read. Julia is brash and sometimes violent, and the subject matter is consistently unnerving. But readers who push through will find an intelligent, incredibly well reasoned book that manages to uncover humanity in the internal struggle potentially faced by some pedophiles.”
It’s been three months since my last event and I have spent the summer and early autumn preparing for what will most likely be a severe and testing trial: a crucible.
When I wrote, published and promoted PEDAL, I wanted to change the way people talk about abuse. I wanted more open conversations about abuse: the abuse we experience and the abuse we inflict on others.
Abuse occurs on a continuum and abuse escalates. Minor abuse, unchecked, will get worse.
I tell people now: don’t report. Don’t report to an institution or to the police. Don’t report because of the mechanisms in place securing and maintaining current power structures–power structures that already don’t include you. (When you are abused, you have no power; when you report abuse, you have no power.)
Don’t report. Instead, yell it from the rooftops, if you can. Tell everyone what happened, if you can. Tattoo it on your forehead, if you can. And if you can’t, come to me.
The Backs of Women, June 2016
WEST KINGS DISTRICT HIGH SCHOOL: my Nova Scotian high school invited me to give the commencement speech at this year’s graduation ceremony. I spoke about being a bully in junior high and the Big Lessons that taught me how my own fear of rejection enabled me to treat others poorly. I told students to beware loyalty–it blinds you to abuse–and to be kind. You can read it here.
CCWWP: Michael V. Smith and I held a panel called HOW TO APPROACH A SILENCE at the 2016 Canadian Writers Summit in Toronto.