Interview with Bridget Canning

Author InterviewBridget Canning of St. John’s, Newfoundland, is the author of Indonesian Rice, the story that came in third in Quarter Castle Publishing’s first short story writing contest.

Recently Quarter Castle Publishing interviewed Bridget.

Interview Questions

QCP: When did you decide to become a writer?

I think I was in grade two. My mother was a librarian and read to my siblings and me daily when we were kids.  So at an early age, I had a long list of favourite books. And my father was a great storyteller. I feel like I was always absorbing a story or trying to tell one.

QCP: Do you write every day? If not, how many days do you dedicate to writing?

I write or rewrite in some form every day. When I don’t feel like it, I force myself. It’s like flossing; it can be an ugly process, but you rarely regret it.

Canning, Bridget BandWQCP: Do you use an outline or do you write free style?

I often make a loose outline for a short story, but just as often I get to the end and it goes in a different direction. I try to use outlines as reminders or guides rather than frames.

QCP: What is the hardest thing about writing?

Knowing if the story is “finished.” Actually, “ready” might be a better adjective.

QCP: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

You will rewrite everything you write. Find readers who give good constructive feedback. Make looking and listening a practice. Read a lot. Go for walks on overcast days. Brood.

QCP: Do you have any books or short stories that will be published soon? If so, please share the details about where readers can find them.

Right now, I’m shortlisted for the Cuffer Prize, so I believe that story will be included in their anthology next year. I have two manuscripts I’m working on, one as an apprentice with the Writers Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador Mentorship Program. I remain cautiously hopeful about them.

QCP: Where did the idea for Indonesian Rice Salad come from?

A friend was complaining about a co-worker who claimed to be allergic to a long list of foods, but who was really just picky—they weren’t allergic to certain vegetables; they just didn’t like eating vegetables. Also, I enjoy writing situations where people are thrown together out of obligation over choice.

QCP: How can others learn more about you and your writing?

For now, I’ll probably tweet about it at @BridgetCanning.

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