We talk with Montreal-based author of the new novel Set-Point (ARP Books) about writing rituals and her perfect writing day (both involve early starts and coffee), why Luanne Platter from King of the Hill is her favourite fictional character, and the novel she’s working on next.
All Lit Up: Do you have any rituals that you abide by when you’re writing?Fawn Parker: I write first thing in the morning and if I don’t then usually I won’t write that day. I tend to write about a half-page and then get up from my desk and leave the room and come back in and write another half-page, etc. I like to have coffee or tea while I work and sometimes I listen to music if I’m writing something…easy. If what I’m working on is stressing me out then I need silence and to be alone. ALU: What was your most rewarding moment as a writer?FP: Publishing a book is a lifelong dream of mine and so receiving my first book contract was my most rewarding moment as a writer. Being able to share that news with my mom before she passed is very special to me. ALU: Who is your favourite fictional character?FP: My favourite fictional character is Luanne Platter from King of the Hill. I think that she is a good example of someone who knows how to have a good time. ALU: What are you working on now?FP: I’m working on a novel about an unfunny aspiring standup comic living with her senile father in Chicago.
Fawn’s writing space.ALU: Describe your perfect writing day.FP: My perfect writing day would begin at 7am. I’d like to get up, get dressed, and get a coffee from the café downstairs which I’d take back home to my office. Then I’d write for a few hours, and have some mango and Greek yogurt for breakfast. Afterwards I’d go for a run along the canal and come back to the park behind my building to do some stretches. Then I’d do something with my hands like baking or cleaning my apartment, and think through my current project while I do that. If something occurred to me I would return to my desk and write more. Then I would make dinner at home with my partner, probably something like grilled salmon and a big salad, and have some white wine. After dinner I’d go to a reading with friends or see a local band play. ALU: Why do you write?I’ve been writing stories since I was about 6 or 7—pretty much since I learned how to write full sentences. When I was in middle school I used to wake up early on the weekends and write short stories, then print them out and staple them and put them into a filing cabinet in my dad’s office where I would pretend I was mailing in submissions. Being a writer has been a lifelong dream and the greatest source of happiness and fulfillment I’ve had. I learn things about myself in the process of creating work and I communicate intimate things to others when I show them my work. I write because I can’t imagine doing anything else. * * *Fawn Parker lives in Montreal and works remotely at the University of Toronto’s school of continuing studies. She lives with her partner Evan Smith in Montreal’s Little Burgundy neighbourhood, in an apartment on top of a jewelry store. Fawn’s favourite restaurant is a Filipino restaurant called Junior, where she recommends the Milkfish. Her favourite musicians are Harry Nilsson and Donovan. Her publications include Looking Good and Having a Good Time (Metatron Press, 2015); Weak Spot (Anstruther, 2018); Set-Point (ARP Books, 2019). * * *Thanks so much to Fawn for answering our questions, and to Todd at ARP Books for making the connection. Fawn’s newest novel Set-Pointis available on All Lit Up.For more Writer’s Block, click here.