Canadian writer Lisa Moore has written four novels. Her debut, Alligator, won the Giller Prize, the 2006 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and was long-listed for the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her latest novel, February is long-listed for this year’s Man Booker Prize and is published by Chatto & Windus.
What’s the first record you ever bought?
It was called “Sound Explosion” and was advertised on television. I ordered it through the mail. It had the song called “I Don’t Like Spiders and Snakes” on it. Very subversive.
What’s your favourite smell?
Cinnamon, when it hits the hot burner of the stove by accident.
Have you ever had a nickname?
No, but I had an imaginary friend named Pingalie. My daughter had an imaginary friend named Rain-drizzle-and-fog.
What is your favourite room in your house?
My husband just built a floating dock with a room covered in bug screen. We float on the lake looking at the stars.
What are your guilty pleasures?
I like people reading to me while I drive long distances. Skinny dipping. Tiramisu. Scruncheons (fried bits of fatback pork) with deep-fried cod and chips.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I’m a vegetarian.
Who is your closest female friend?
I went to an all-girls Catholic school and so I have a lot of very close female friends. They are all talented and beautiful and very funny. They just happen to have those things in common.
Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
No, but I have few battle scars.
Where would you most like to live?
In downtown St. John’s, Newfoundland with a view of the harbour.
Who was your first kiss and where did it happen?
Oh. Oh. My parents had friends over and they’d brought a boy. I was thirteen; the guy was sixteen. He was very handsome. It was a Spring day, but there was still tons of snow. Everything was sparkling and I had let a horse out of the barn and it was galloping in the field around us in wide circles bucking and rearing, sending up sprays of snow and – surprise – he kissed me (the boy, not the horse). Beautiful. Amazing. Unforgettable. Except by him. I think he forgot it. I never saw him again.
What’s the most unusual question you’ve ever been asked?
“Where does it hurt?”
What’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
Four giant stretchers, for stretching canvas for painting.
What is your favourite word?
Who was your first love?
Paul. He is now a marine biologist. He has visited the very deepest darkest bottom of the ocean in a one person submersible. I once made him a eight-layered chocolate cake for his birthday which slithered and splatted apart and I wept and he mushed it back together and jammed knitting needles into it so it stayed together and he made me feel better.
If you weren’t doing what you do, what might you have become?
Art teacher. I love mucking around with clay and paint and charcoal. I love watching children make art.
Is there a book you’ve bought several times as a gift for someone?
Mavis Gallant’s The Paris Stories.
What happens after we die?
What female historical figure do you admire most?
Sum yourself up in three words:
Dandelion-fluff, granite, crepuscular.
And finally… What are you anti? What are you pro?
Anti-video games. Pro-barbeques on a lake in the wilderness.