Festival of Words to host author Claire Cameron

Lisa Goudy
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Author Claire Cameron will appear at the 2014 Saskatchewan Festival of Words.

Claire Cameron loves using the outdoors to help create suspense in her novels.

“I think I take a literary approach to kind of an adventure suspense story. I play with genres,” she said. “I’m very interested in form and voice, but I’m interested in the adventure and taking risks too. It’s the human aspect of it that I’m most interested in.

“So when you go outside with other people and you’re in sort of a suspenseful or maybe scary situation with other people, you learn so much about them and from a writer’s point a view, that really allows me to get inside my characters.”

Cameron, an author who lives in Toronto, will be attending the Saskatchewan Festival of Words this summer.

“I’m excited because I keep hearing from other writers how much fun the festival is and what an enthusiastic crowd it draws … People have told me that the whole town comes out,” she said.

“Apparently there’s just this real energy that everyone realizes it’s special and the writers come from a distance and it turns into an amazing atmosphere. So I’m excited about that. I’m also excited about these tunnels. My books involve suspense and that sort of thing so the Tunnels of Moose Jaw are part of Canadian history and interesting.”

Cameron’s first book, The Line Painter came out in 2007 and it won the 2008 Northern Lit Award from the Ontario Library Service. It was also nominated for a 2008 Arthur Ellis Crime Writing Award for best first novel.

Her second novel, The Bear came out in 2014 and has been long-listed for the Baileys Women’s Prize for fiction.

“I re-imagined a bear attack that happened in Algonquin Park in Ontario in 1991. In reality what happened was there was a bear attack where two people were killed,” said Cameron. “I re-imagined it to be about a family and it’s a survival story of the two little kids. So it’s told through the eyes of the five-year-old child. It definitely has elements of suspense.”

She has a background in the outdoors as well, having previously been a wilderness instructor for Outward Bound. She also worked for The Taylor Statten Camps in Algonquin Park. She interned for Sierra Club Books in San Francisco and co-founded the consulting company Shift Learning.

Cameron added she is currently working on a new project.

“I love writing. I love being behind my computer, alone and sort of creating things, but I’ve loved the past few months of getting out and actually talking to readers and being more social. Meeting new people has been a lot of fun, actually,” she said.

“I find people who love books are always interesting. You kind of can’t go wrong if you walk into a room full of people who love books. So it’s a really nice way to see the world.”

As for the festival, Cameron said she is really looking forward to it.

 “I haven’t been in that part of Saskatchewan,” she said. “I hope while I’m there, I get some time to go on some hikes and runs to get the feel of it.”

The Saskatchewan Festival of Words will take place from July 17 to 20. Passes are available for $175 until June 1 when the price is $200. Flex passes for individual sessions are $100.

For more information, visit www.festivalofwords.com or contact the office at 306-691-0557.

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.


Organizations: Ontario Library Service, Outward Bound, Sierra Club Books

Geographic location: Toronto, Algonquin Park, San Francisco Saskatchewan

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