Tuesday, May 10, 2011


to Robert Rotenberg and Emma Ruby Sachs on May 17th.
Thanks to all that come out to hear Elizabeth Hay and Antanas Sileika - it was an amazing night!

THIS just came across my desk:

20 Writerly Questions for…Emma Ruby-Sachs

The Water Man's Daughter

EMMA RUBY-SACHS's journalism has been published in The Nation and The Huffington Post. A graduate of Wesleyan University and the University of Toronto law school, Ruby-Sachs lived in South Africa for periods in 2003 and 2004 while studying. She has worked as a civil litigator in Windsor and Toronto and currently works with Avaaz, a progressive online organization. Emma lives in Brooklyn. Her new novel is The Waterman’s Daughter.

1. How would you summarize your book in one sentence? The story of three very different women who are thrown together when a water executive is found murdered in a South African township.

2. How long did it take you to write this book? 6 years, but going to law school kind of slowed down the process.

3. Where is your favorite place to write? Any local coffee shop.

4. How do you choose your characters’ names? They all have meanings that relate to their character – for example, Nomsulwa means purity.

5. How many drafts do you go through? Too many to count!

6. If there was one book you wish you had written what would it be? The Unbearable Lightness of Being – smart and sexy!

7. If your book were to become a movie, who would you like to see star in it? Sarah Polley

8. What’s your favourite city in the world? Toronto, my home town.

9. If you could talk to any writer living or dead who would it be, and what would you ask? Emma Goldman, how do you risk your life to break a man out of jail after he has broken your heart?

10. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kind?? That changes with my mood, everything from Eminem to choirboys

11. Who is the first person who gets to you read your manuscript? My girlfriend.

12. Do you have a guilty pleasure read? Mystery novels, really junky ones where someone is trying to kill the U.S. President with a new bioweapon…

13. What’s on your nightstand right now? Elizabeth Hay’s new novel.

14. What is the first book you remember reading? Lizzy’s Lion by Dennis Lee – best line: “Candy piffle, candy poo!” That always made me crack up.

15. Did you always want to be a writer? Yes – except when I wanted to be professional baseball player…. So maybe no.

16. What do you drink or eat while you write? Coffee, matte, candy, many things that aren’t good for my health. You wouldn’t catch me dead eating carrot sticks and working.

17. Typewriter, laptop, or pen & paper? Laptop - my handwriting is illegible.

18. What did you do immediately after hearing that you were being published for the very first time? I went for a bike ride at my cottage and tired myself out enough to stop shaking from excitement.

19. How do you decide which narrative point of view to write from? I write from many and then figure out which one works best. It’s a totally inefficient process.

20. What is the best gift someone could give a writer? A great book, of course (But I accept cookies and chocolate with a gracious smile…)

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