Fiction or Nonfiction?
Fiction, because my imaginary friends can do all the heavy lifting while I enjoy a wet dirty martini and do my nails. The E-Z approach to writing!
Is it harder to write funny or sad?
Sad is ‘way harder for me. When I try writing sad, it comes out funny. Which is disconcerting when you read something aloud that you think is heartbreaking and everyone laughs. But I’ve decided to accept it. Go ahead, laugh at my pain.
Long form or short form?
Long, because I can’t stop going off on tangents. I’ve discovered that if you collect all the digressions into chapters...bob’s your uncle, you’ve got a novel. Short form is harder—you have nowhere to hide the bodies of the lovelies you should have killed in the first place.
Poetry or prose?
Prose. My attempts at poetry have been laughable (even when I intended them to be sad). See answer to “funny or sad’ question.
Boxers or kickboxers?
Boxers! They call it the sweet science for a reason. And there was no better scientist than Muhammad Ali, who was funny, fast on his feet, flashy and a way better poet than me. Pretty, too.
Piece that you read and said Wish I’d thought of that?
I envied every sentence of Cintra Wilson’s “Fear and Clothing: Unbuckling American Fashion”. She writes like the unholy love child of Hunter S. Thompson and Diana Vreeland. Gonzo fashion journalism. (Although I kind of resented the fact that every time she saw someone wearing something bland, she referred to it as looking “Canadian”. Ouch!)
Cloned or frozen?
Frozen! Have you seen what happened to the cloned guy (Sam Rockwell) in “Moon”? Or those cloned kids in “Never Let Me Go”? Clones’ lives never end well. I’ll take the “Futurama” route to immortality any day, even if it means detaching my head before freezing. At least I’d catch up on my reading.
Book you read and reread?
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. Because it’s about comic books, one of my big passions. Oh, and it’s a masterpiece. (It won a Pulitzer so I’m not the only one who thinks so.)
When writing is going well…
...the characters sit down next to me, and start pestering me to give them more exciting problems and/or sex partners. When my fictional people intrude on “real life”, I’m in the zone.
Desert Island Book?
1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die: The Ultimate Guide to Comic books, Graphic Noels, and Manga, edited by Paul Gravett (Universe Publishing, 2011). I’ve always loved comic books and comic strips, and I collaborate on CNF graphic novels with my husband. One of my novels (Sputnik’s Children) is about a comic book artist. This book is an indispensible bible for comics lovers like me, starting with genesis (“The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck” by Rodolphe Topffer, a self-published Swiss comic created in 1837) and ending with “Habibi”, a 2011 political fable by Craig Thompson that was influenced by Arabian Nights. The book weighs about 5 kg so I could also use it as a weapon if the desert island were inhabited by radioactive zombie death scorpions or other squishable menaces.
Terri Favro is the author of Sputnik’s Children (a Globe100 and CBC Books Top 10 novel for 2017), Once Upon A Time in West Toronto, The Proxy Bride (winner of the Klonsky-Quattro Novella Award), and Generation Robot: A Century of Science Fiction, Fact and Speculation (recipient of a starred review on Booklist, the review site of the American Library Association). A CBC Literary Prize in Creative Non-Fiction finalist and Accenti Magazine Award winner, Terri collaborates with artist Ron Edding on true-ish graphic novels, most recently, Bella and the Facer Street Gang. Terri grew up in the Niagara region and now lives in Toronto.
For more, follow Terri’s tweets @fluffybaggins
Comic book workshop and presentation about the Bella series of comic books, co-presented with Ron Edding at “Librissimi”, a celebration of Italian-Canadian writing, at the Columbus Centre, 901 Lawrence Avenue West, Toronto on Saturday, May 5th.
Read more in Flash Nonfiction Funny!