Ten Questions with Lori Ann Bloomfield

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Ten Questions with Lori Ann Bloomfield

Open Book talks to Lori Ann Bloomfield about reading, writing and her first novel, The Last River Child (Second Story Press).

Open Book: Toronto:

Tell us about your latest book.

Lori Ann Bloomfield:

The Last River Child is a novel about a girl named Peg Staynor who all her life has been haunted by the small town of Walvern's belief that she is a river child, destined to bring bad luck to those around her. When her mother dies suddenly on the day World War I is declared, Peg is held to blame not just by the superstitious townsfolk, but by her own father as well.

From a secret friendship with a daring young aviator to the repercussions of life with Sarah, her reckless older sister, Peg will not let herself be ruled by the limits of small minds. Her courage plays out against changing times, as the impact of the Great War filters back to the town of Walvern, altering the course of everyone's life.

OBT:

Did you have a specific readership in mind when you wrote your book?

LAB:

No, I never have a specific readership in mind when I am writing. The writing process is so private for me, it is just me and the page until I am finished.

OBT:

Describe your ideal writing environment.

LAB:

Quiet, first of all. A big desk. I write in longhand in this crazy way that results in lots and lots of sheets of paper being scattered all over the place. A comfy chair. A window to stare out of. Not too hot, not too cold. But when that isn't available I can write just about anywhere.

OBT:

What was your first publication?

LAB:

My very first publication was in the literary journal White Wall Review. It was a poem called "Lights Flashing By." I remember when it came out I used to go to bookstores and turn to the page my poem was on just to see my name. It amazed me every time I saw it.

OBT:

Describe a recent Canadian cultural experience that influenced your writing.

LAB:

My writing is never influenced by outside factors, at least not consciously.

OBT:

If you had to choose three books as a “Welcome to Canada” gift, what would those books be?

LAB:

Souvenir of Canada by Douglas Coupland
The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier
The Last Wilderness: Images of the Canadian Wild by Freeman Patterson

OBT:

What are you reading right now?

LAB:

I often read two books at a time - usually one fiction, one non fiction. At the moment I'm reading Rabbit, Run by John Updike and Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose. I recommend them both.

OBT:

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received as a writer?

LAB:

Margaret Drabble told me to always finish the projects I start and not to let critics get me down.

OBT:

What advice do you have for writers who are trying to get published?

LAB:

I like to pass along Margaret Drabble's advice to me, and to that I add keep writing, keep honing your craft. I think it is important to stay focused on trying to make your writing the best it can be, rather than focusing too much on being published. If the writing is great, publication will eventually follow.

OBT:

What is your next project?

LAB:

I am working on a short story collection which I hope will be finished soon. And I've also started writing my second novel.


Lori Ann Bloomfield grew up on a small farm in rural Ontario before moving to Toronto to be a starving artist. She was an overnight success. She went on to work as a jewelry designer before taking up her pen again, this time to write fiction. She is the host of the First Line blog, a source of inspiration for fiction writers. Lori currently lives with her husband in Toronto. The Last River Child is her first novel.

For more information about The Last River Child please visit the Second Story Press website.


Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

It's Second Story Press double-feature day! Once you're done reading the Ten Questions with Lori Ann Bloomfield, click here to read a Ten Questions with Sarah Felix Burns, author of Song Over Quiet Lake.

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