IFOA: What was your favourite book as a child?
Celona: The Ant and Bee books by Angela Banner, particularly the ones featuring ‘Kind Dog.’
IFOA: You grew up in Victoria, where Y is set, but you wrote the book while living in upstate New York. Does putting distance between you and the place you’re writing about make things easier, or more difficult?
Celona: People sometimes ask whether I write at home, or in a coffee shop, or at the beach. And whether my surroundings matter—and whether I need to be in a beautiful space. I have to say that none of these things matter when I write. There was a certain similarity to the landscape, believe it or not, in the woods of central New York State and Vancouver Island, and this was at times helpful, but, really, I’d be lying if I said that where I am has any kind of bearing on what I write.
IFOA: What time of day do you usually write, and why?
Celona: For the most part, it doesn’t matter—if I’m working on something, I can work on it any time. When I wrote Y, I wrote every other day, sometimes all day.
IFOA: Who are you most excited to see at the Festival?
Celona: Alice Munro.
IFOA: Finish this sentence: If I could change one thing…
Celona: . . . about what? If it were up to me, I’d change something about everything.
For more about Celona and her appearance at IFOA, visit readings.org.