What gave you the idea to make your most recent book?

I have been angered by the absolute lack of justice when it comes to Missing and Murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2S peoples for as long as I can remember. Sometimes it feels like bashing your head against a wall when it comes to women's rights. The frustration of being unable to go a single day without hearing about some kind of horrific violence against women. This book felt like the accumulation of all of that rage. Although fiction, I hope that it helps women feel empowered and helps curate change.

Was any character the most fun or most difficult to write?

Delilah was a blast. I feel like she's the alter-ego of all of us. She gives voice to the internal thoughts that I so often have but rarely say out loud. Cedar was difficult, I spent a lot of time at my desk sobbing for her. I wanted to capture her spirit and hilarity and strength while also holding tender space for the tragedy.

How long have you been working on it?

I started it in 2021, initially I wrote it as a screenplay (something I'd never done before), but once I was finished I went back in and wrote the novel.

What do you hope people get from your work?

My Mom said it best when she called the novel "a love letter to women." I really hope it's widely received as such.

I also hope that it changes how men treat women, even in ways that seem small: how they talk to women, how they talk about women, whether or not they continue to be allies when they are alone with their friends. I believe it is the little things that are brushed off as trivial that add up and create an environment of violence.

What are some of your favourite books/authors?

Wounds of Passion and All About Love - bell hooks

A Mind Spread Out On The Ground - Alicia Elliott

Johnny Appleseed - Joshua Whitehead

21 Things You May Not Know About The Indian Act - Bob Joseph

Animal and Three Women - Lisa Taddeo

Baby Teeth - Zoje Stage

The Perks of Being A Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky

The Shining - Stephen King

Women Talking - Miriam Toews

Tender is the Flesh - Agustina Bazterrica

Is there any non-book media that influences your writing?

Film and music, for sure. Promising Young Woman by Emerald Fennell was brilliant. Sarah Polley's adaptation of Women Talking had me sobbing within the first two minutes. Tegan and Sara have been my favourite artists since I was 10. Their storytelling abilities have always hugely inspired me. Lana Del Rey is a whole damn mood.

Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what?

As much as I love music and listen to it every other second of the day, I need complete silence while I'm writing. I did however make a corresponding Spotify playlist to go along with ITHOM for those who listen to music while they read.

What is a book that you think is underread/underappreciated?

21 Things You May Not Know About The Indian Act by Bob Joseph is such an important read. It should be required reading in school.

When did you start writing?

When I was 7 I started writing short stories on my mom's typewriter, illustrating, and binding them together with string. I was a loner with a capital L.

What is the best and/or worst writing advice you’ve ever gotten?

I can't think of the worst writing advice, if it didn't resonate I must have just forgotten it. Put it in the trash folder of my brain, you know?

The best probably comes from Stephen King's On Writing. He talks about making a writing schedule and being an avid reader.

"If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things that I'm aware of, no shortcut."

What is your favourite genre to write? Do you want to try writing in other genres?

Spec fiction for sure. I love the freedom to play around with big ideas and opinions while stepping away from reality. I would also love to write a straight up horror novel at some point.

What is an unpopular book you like and a popular book you dislike?

I mean they're kind of poked fun of now, but I was in love with the entire Twilight series. I absolutely hate 50 Shades of Grey.

Tea or coffee?

Coffee in the morning and tea at night :)



January 15, 2024 — Vonda Hazzard

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