The Dirty Dozen, with Hilary Davidson
Our newest interview series, The Dirty Dozen, lets authors share 12 unexpected things about themselves — a chance for us to get to know the individual behind the book.
Read on for Hilary's Dirty Dozen, where she tells us about her cover model gig, her slightly spooky ambulatory tastes and her surprising family nickname.
- I’m a sci-fi nerd: I don’t write science fiction, but I read and watch plenty of it. Harlan Ellison is one of my favourite writers, and I’m obsessed with Babylon 5 and with Battlestar Galactica (the reboot, which I’m finally watching, years late, on DVD).
- I moved from Toronto to New York City in October 2001. Even though I didn’t want to admit it at the time, I was apprehensive; it was right after the September 11th attacks. But my husband is a born-and-bred New Yorker, and we’d already decided we wanted to live in his hometown. I’ve never regretted that decision.
- My brothers call me “Beast.” I think it’s a term of affection. Mostly.
- I love kitschy souvenirs from trips. My bookshelves are filled with quirky replicas: an Easter Island moai, the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, one of the statues from Gaudi’s La Pedrera in Barcelona, and a carved stone llama from Pisac in Peru. I am also fond of magnets; my fridge is covered in them.
- I’ve studied martial arts since I was eight years old. My training is mostly in karate (chito-ryu style), but more recently I’ve been dabbling with krav maga and loving it.
- I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2004. This may be one of the best things that ever happened to me, because the diagnosis helped me get rid of some medical issues I’d had for years, including stomach problems, hypoglycemia, blood clots, and migraine headaches. I’ve been on a strict gluten-free diet since the diagnosis and have never felt better.
- I was the cover model for the February 1996 issue of Harper’s Magazine.
- When I travel, I always bring two things with me: a silver ring my mother gave me and a silver half-crown coin from my great-uncle Jim. I can’t say whether these talismans have brought me luck, but they make me happy.
- I love walking through cemeteries. What’s not appealing about a green space filled with statues and other monuments? Two of my favourites are Toronto’s St. James Cemetery and Brooklyn’s Green-Wood.
- I’m fond of creatures that are often considered creepy, such as snakes and spiders. That sentiment does not extend to mosquitoes, which I kill on sight.
- I once ghostwrote a nonfiction book for a famous novelist. She was very nice to work with, but the overall experience with the book packager who put the deal together convinced me never to ghostwrite anything again.
- I don’t like to swim, but I’ve gone snorkeling with sharks in the Bahamas and scuba-diving for shipwrecks in the St. Lawrence River. The truth is that my fear is always outweighed by my desire to get a great story.