Heather O’Neill

If you get a chance to listen to Heather O’Neill read from her novels GO. She is as fun and entertaining as her books. A week ago I attended the launch of her book The Girl Who Was Saturday Night in a packed theater.

 In the interview, after she read excerpts from her book, she said that she always starts her novels with the characters. She gives them negative attributes and then makes them lovable.

Once I have the characters I put them in a situation that’s going to make them react.

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It was seven years ago that she published her award-winning Lullabies For Little Criminals. When asked by the interviewer Laurel Sprengelmeyer (Little Scream) why it took her so long to write this novel, O’Neill stated various reasons. One, was that she was also working on a collection of short stories.  She also spoke about how she likes to write with a lot of metaphors.

If you do that on one page you elevate your writing and so you have to elevate it on the other page.

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 “O’Neill wrote “Lullabies” while busy raising her young daughter, on scraps of paper and the backs of receipts — “a huge grocery bag of a novel, covered literally in dog prints,” she says. The novel’s success came as such a surprise to her that she felt almost as though she was competing with it when writing The Girl Who Was Saturday Night.

“It feels a little bit like (Lullabies) doesn’t belong to me in the same way. It just has its own identity. That’s probably why I was feeling competitive with it a little bit,” she says. “It seems like it kind of walked off and went into the world. It’s like, ‘Thanks. I spent a long time on you and now you’re just abandoning me here and I’m stuck working on another novel. Have fun!”

– See more at: http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/entertainment/horoscopes/heather-o-neill-finds-independence-in-the-girl-who-was-saturday-night-1.1057431#sthash.4rR0Tqrb.dpuf

 

HEATHER O’ NEILL’s first novel, Lullabies for Little Criminals, earned accolades around the world, including being named winner of Canada Reads 2007 and the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction, and being a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Orange Prize. She is a regular contributor to CBC Books, CBC Radio, National Public Radio, The New York Times MagazineThe Gazette (Montreal) and The Walrus. She was born in Montreal, where she currently lives.  Harper Collins Canada