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Atomic Fez Author Interviews > An interview with Carol Weekes, author of “Terribilis”

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Ian (AtomicFez) | 12 comments Mod
Tea or coffee?
Coffee most often, although when the mood for tea hits me, a mug of the stuff is more than delightful. One of my favourite is Kashmir tea made with black tea, hot milk, and a plethora of spices – cinnamon, cloves, pepper corns, fennel seeds and the like. And of course, I love Starbucks and Tim Horton’s java.

City mouse or country mouse?
Originated in Montréal – beautiful city – the pulse of the place will remain in my heart forever. That said, I’ve lived more of my life in rural settings once I left Montreal to pursue various avenues of life; a decade in Nova Scotia, and the past decade and a half in various rural Ontario towns. I enjoy visiting cities, but prefer the tranquility of the country. Where else can you see deer, raccoon, coyote, and wolf step into your back yard? It’s amazing stuff. Both offer unique experiences, though, and I enjoy a healthy balance of each.

Wine or beer?
Hell, you just giggled creating these questions didn’t you; these absolutes in black and white! Call me Gray. I love both. Beer is wonderful on a blistering Canadian July day (or anywhere hot, for that matter). I prefer darker ales, but will seek out new and wonderful pilsners and other pale ales too. I love good wines as well, both white and red, and on occasion, a dryer rose. I made both at home for years, with the various kits. It was fun at the time, but it’s always fun to peruse the aisles in the liquor store and wineries. I particularly love the Niagara wineries, and find it delightful when people offer a bottle of their homemade brewed specialities. One year a friend gave us a piquant strawberry wine; it made me shut my eyes and just smile. Don’t get me started on good scotches now…

Jazz or blues?
Blues always holds a special place in my heart. I played guitar and bass guitar in bands for a number of years while in my 20’s, and grew up listening to pretty well everything; but there’s nothing like a good, solid blues guitar to pull at the heart – those melancholy minor keys, a bent note on a Telecaster or Stratocaster… makes me swoon, it does. That said, jazz played an important part in my musical past. I can remember purchasing John Coltrane pieces in sheet music form, to learn on the guitar. Talk about some finger-snapping techniques there.

Cats or dogs?
Well, we have five cats and one dog, so I guess you have your answer. Plus, three rats, five toads and frogs, and two euromastyx lizards. Love animals; just love them – they make me go gah-gah with absolute bliss.

How do you feel about snails?
Snails? Adorable. Nothing’s cuter than finding one of these neat little dual-knobbed wonders sliding along a blade of grass. I’m not into escargot. I’d rather play with the snails, which is likely where you’ll find me, in dank places where snails tend to reside, in between writing sessions.

How old were you when you got your first library card?
Seven or eight perhaps; libraries and the Scholastic Book Club were the best things. I love libraries; the sound of them (they aren’t quiet; they contain the held breaths of wonder, the careful turning of pages, the pauses between the turns, the soft scribbles of pencils and pens against note pads); the smell of them – the aroma of words on paper, of old glues and canvas book covers, of inks and wood polish and dust motes hanging in the air. All these aisles filled with knowledge, ideas, inspiration, entertainment – the question always is, in which aisle do you begin today? Libraries are magic waiting to happen when you borrow a book.

What's the first book you remember reading on your own?
It was something about three little kittens; I remember feeling awe at being able to read the words. I wanted to read the story out loud to anyone who would listen. It opened up a new world. I didn’t know that I wanted to be a writer way back then; I just knew that I loved those words, the images, emotions, and this keen sense of adventure words always inspired.

What's the book you've re-read most often (and why do you keep rereading it)?
Ah, another tough one, but I’d have to say John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley: In Search of America . Steinbeck was one of the authors I first encountered early in high school and I couldn’t get enough of him. I encountered Travels with Charley when I was sixteen or seventeen years old and I read the book, cover to cover, in a couple of days. I found myself revisiting passages; his syntax inspired the very thing that he talks about within that book, this yearning to wander, to explore, and to seek new places, experiences, and people. There’s this feeling of wonder, excitement, wanderlust, earthiness, and nostalgia that just rings throughout that book. The man’s words are gold.

Who's the author/what's the book/to whom/with which you'd most like Terribilis to be compared?
Without a doubt, Thomas Harris; his Red Dragon was the inspiration behind Terribilis . First I read the book; then I saw the original film, and years later, the re-make. To this day, that book and film still make me shudder.

What's the one thing you'd like to say to say to someone reading Terribilis?
Thank you so much for showing an interest in reading the book. If you can pop into a book signing somewhere, I’ll buy you a coffee and we can talk books, or weather, or whatever you’d like.

Bonus Q: Why do you write?
I couldn’t imagine not writing; writing encompasses every facet of my daily life. It’s the ability to savour things, to make sense of things; it’s fun, exciting, passionate, and it gives me so much to look forward to every single day.

Terribilis by Carol Weekes


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