Sunday, September 21, 2008

Line of Inquiry: Daria Salamon

Daria Salamon is a freelance writer whose work has been published by the Globe and Mail, the Winnipeg Free Press and Uptown Magazine. Her short fiction and creative non-fiction has been shortlisted for the Writers’ Union of Canada’s Emerging Writer Short Fiction Award, the Larry Turner Award for Creative Non-Fiction, and the Canadian Authors Association’s North of 55 Writing Contest.

In 2005, she wrote a monthly humour column on wedding planning for the Winnipeg Free Press called “The Wedding Diaries.”

She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

* * *

1) As a writer (i.e. someone whose artistic practice is predicated on time spent alone) how do you approach performance? What do you get out of it?

I think that performance is the carrot. Lots of writers I know hate it, but I think it's nice to crawl out of that dark hole after years and years of slogging away on a book and actually talk to people.

I don't really have an approach to performance as this is my first crack at it. Any suggestions? Steven Galloway told me that if I'm feeling like my reading is going badly that I should just lift up my shirt, because boobs can fix pretty much any problem. So that is my back up strategy. Or maybe I should just start that way?

2) What do you want people to know about The Prairie Bridesmaid?

Hmmm. Well, first off - the girl on the cover is not actually me.

I love the cover, but it might be a bit misleading for potential readers. The cover is a bit chicklittish - and while the book is funny it deals with some dark issues such as abuse and mental health. I think that readers are surprised by this (in a good and unexpected way).

Let's see - there is a talking squirrel in the book and a blind baba who is totally crazy and refuses to hand over her gun. Someone recently described it as "a coming of age story about a woman in her early thirties." I like that. Don't we spend our whole lives coming of age?

The book comes with a downloadable soundtrack of really awesome music. It's all explained on the website.

3) Will this your first time in Winnipeg? What have you heard? (I know, I know, you're FROM Winnipeg, but I figured you could have fun with this one...)

This will be my first time appearing in Winnipeg, sober. I've heard that it's quite a beautiful city when you're not half in the bag. So, I'm going to try it. No promises. But I'll try.

4) What are you reading right now? What are you writing right now?

I just finished Cormac McCarthy's The Road. I've never actually read anything by him and now I know why. It's been a while since I've lost sleep over a book - not because I'm reading (that happens all the time), but because I can't stop thinking about it. I'm half way through The Flying Troutmans and I'm loving, loving,loving it. On deck is Joan Thomas' new novel Reading by Lightning.

I'm working on a second novel, but I can't say that it's going all that well. I'm a bit stuck. I think I'm paralyzed by the fear that maybe I only have one book in me - or one good book and then another really crappy book that only my mother will read.

5) What's it like to perform at the festival, being from Winnipeg?

Honestly, it's really fantastic. Because I've volunteered at it (well, feigned volunteering so that I could access the free booze in the hospitality suite) for so many years and always dreamed of being part of it. That sounds so fucking cheesy, but it's true. And I know that there are lots of volunteers who participate with that same ambition. Perhaps I can serve as proof that it is possible to cross over. I pretty much had to write a book; my gig was up. Charlene and Tavia were onto me.

* * *

Daria Salamon will be appearing at THIN AIR, Winnipeg International Writers Festival:
September 23 - Campus Program, Red River College, with Duncan Thornton.
September 24 - Mainstage, with David Bergen, Nicole Markotic, and Gerald Hill.

No comments: