FUN FAST FIVE
- In Finding Fraser and Eighty Days to Elsewhere, your protagonists turn into travelers and globe-trotters. I know you have done this globe-trotting yourself to bring authenticity to the journey. Have you always had wanderlust, and what’s the craziest, don’t-go-there-without-your-shots-and-a-dog place you’ve ever been?).
LOVE travel. It’s my second favourite thing to do, after reading. All my books have been inspired, in one way or another, by seeing –and learning — something new, away from home. Without a doubt, the craziest place I’ve ever gone was on a run through the ancient limestone caverns far below the streets of Paris. At the time, I had NO intention of doing this, and in fact did not even know the tunnels existed. But I got lucky, and ended up being escorted by the only man in the city with permission to go into these dangerous caverns. Crawling backwards into that dark little hole in the ground might be the scariest thing I’ve ever done. Still — I got a scene out of it for Romy’s adventure in Eighty Days, so — worth it! (JFL side note: kc is the only person I know who equates “getting lucky” with crawling backwards into dangerous caves below Paris)
- You write both adult fiction and young adult fiction. That is what we in the biz like to call range, baby! Of all the books you’ve written, which one surprised you the most?
I really had to think about this one! Every book I’ve written has provided me with some form of unexpected adventure, but I guess FINDING FRASER was the one that really surprised me the most. I wrote the story on a whim, to cheer myself up during a kind of low point in my writing career. So to see it take off the way it did — an international best-seller — knocked the socks off me! It was absolutely the biggest surprise at the time, and I was beyond delighted to see the way people related to Emma’s adventure. Turns out readers love the idea of dropping everything in a mundane life, and running off to find a real-life version of their book boyfriend!
- You are in the teeth-grindingly enviable position of living a) in British Columbia and b) being a frequent traveler to Scotland. I’m so mad about it I can’t even think of a question. But I would like to know if one place inspires you over the other, or in a different way than the other when you are working?
You know, I am grateful every day for how lucky I am to live where I do. At home, I walk my dogs in the woods every day, and get to watch the sunset over the ocean every night. [When it isn’t raining, that is!] It’s quiet and hermit-like and a perfect haven for writing. As for Scotland, it feels like a home away from home for me these days. I’m answering your questions while tucked into a little cottage in Fife, at the moment! I have family here, and it’s obviously quite an inspirational place, as I’ve set quite a few of my books here. Like anywhere, it is a nation of stark contrasts, but I still feel thrilled every time I look up at Edinburgh Castle. It’s magical. (JFL side note: still mad)
- Everything public-facing about you has your name is kc dyer, lowercase. Even on your book covers. I am dying to know what is behind the lowercase name?
Ha! Pure aesthetics. I’m one of the Olds now, so I started writing before the turn of the last century, and I just really liked the look of my name in lower case at the time. It’s stuck, which makes me happy — and kc dyer fits on a cover a whole lot better than karen alexandra church dyer
- Okay, you’re at dinner with friends. What are you drinking, is dessert cheesecake or ice cream, and what book have you read recently that you’re talking about?
This question pre-supposes that dinner parties are a thing in my life, which [see above notes on hermiting…] they aren’t really. But since I make things up for a living, I’ll fake it. I have a friend who makes incredible lemon drop martinis, so I think that’s what we’d be drinking. Cheesecake [like there’s any question]? And we’d be fighting over books, because all my friends have diverse reading tastes. Personally, I just finished THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY by Matt Haig. Matt’s a British author who’s written a ton of books, but this is the first I’ve read. It’s an insightful, moving fable that muses on the realities of life and death with gentle — tho’ often a little dark — humour. I didn’t expect a story that centers on suicide when I picked it up, but it handles the subject matter with care. I really enjoyed it, which means there will definitely be more of Matt’s books in my future. (JFL sidenote: Read and Loved Midnight Library. Awesome read!)