Indie Reading Room: Richard Van Camp

One of Canada’s revered and award-winning Indigenous authors, Richard Van Camp is this week’s Indie Reading Room author with his 20th anniversary special edition of Angel Wing Splash Pattern (Kegedonce Press)—a playful and haunting collection of stories grounded in the territory of Canada’s North, and especially that of the Tlicho Dene people, that depicts contemporary Indigenous life.Read on for our Q&A with Richard about the excitement of writing short fiction and his inspirations. Then, head over to the ALU Instagram for Richard’s reading from his book. Bonus: get 20% off Angel Wing Splash Pattern right here on All Lit Up with promo code READINGROOM until October 22!Photo credit William Au


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All Lit Up: Tell us a little about your book and how it came to be. Richard Van Camp: I’m just so in love with having grown up in Fort Smith, NWT, in the ’70s and ’80s and I am so proud to be Tlicho Dene, how could I not be writing stories that celebrate how funny, how resilient and how strong we are up north? 
ALU: What do you enjoy most about writing short fiction? What’s the toughest part?RVC: I can usually see the ending first and it’s always so riveting to hold on and document the slow-motion train crash leading up to it: the glory, the terror, the lead up and delivery. When a short story hits you, it’s like the sweetest lightning ever. The key is getting to the keyboard fast enough to get it all down. ALU: What, outside of literature, inspires and informs your work?RVC: I’m inspired by great movies, great TV shows, my fave podcast “Phased Out” by DJ Acid Wash, superb conversations, giggle fests, Windspeaker Radio, social media, superb and random photography, bizarre graffiti, the magic of daily life, memes—you name it. ALU: Do you have any writing rituals? RVC: I get up at 5am and giv’er until 6:30am before I hear our son get up and then I’m in Dad Mode, Chef Mode, Laundry Mode, Get Outside and Play Mode. It’s a sweet life with our son, Edzazii, and I am grateful to my wife Keavy and Edzazii for making every day filled with laughter, hugs, kisses, and snuggles. 🙂ALU: What’s a book you recently read that you would recommend?RVC: Pass Me By: Gone Fishin’—the graphic novel published by Renegade Arts Entertainment written by Kyle Simmers and illustrated by Ryan Danny Owen. Wow. So original and so lovingly paced. 

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Richard Van Camp is a proud Tlicho Dene from Fort Smith, NWT. He is an internationally renowned storyteller and best-selling author of 24 books in just about every genre. His novel, The Lesser Blessed, is now a feature film with First Generation Films and his graphic novel A Blanket of Butterflies with Scott Henderson was nominated for an Eisner Award. You can visit Richard on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and at

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Get Angel Wing Splash Pattern for 20% off on All Lit Up until October 22 with the Indie Reading Room promo code READINGROOM. Find Richard in the  ALU Indie Reading Room on Instagram, and stay tuned every Thursday until November 12th for  more author readings and Q&As!