Q1 I always love learning what has inspired an author to write their masterpieces, so what inspired you write An Ocean of Minutes? Are there life events that you drew from for parts of it, etc?
The most formative experience of my life is that my family moved often, and over long distances, when I was growing up — from Toronto where I was born, to Singapore, and then back, and then back again…And as an adult, I returned to Canada alone. It’s my birth country, but until a few years ago I had no family here save for my sister; my parents lived on a different continent. While I gained so much from these experiences, they were also difficult. These types of dislocations are like small deaths; every time someone immigrates, they lose a way of life. Thinking about endings, and how we process them, and how we live with them, is what got me started on my novel.
Q2 Are there any characters in the book on the whole that you relate to?
One of the qualities I most admire is determination, so: Polly and Donna!
Q3 How did you come up with the name of the novel?
It was originally called “Here’s Where the Story Ends,” taken from this song by the Sundays. While I loved that title, no one could remember it (“Is it called, How it all Begins…or This Is Where the Story Finishes?” was a common refrain.) Finding a new title was a huge challenge for me and my agents, Karolina Sutton and Lucy Morris. Some runner-ups: “The Only Song In the World,” (because I had an infant and every toy she owned played only Brahms’ “Lullaby”), “The People At the Edge of the Night” (from “Under Pressure” by Queen & David Bowie — for some reason I kept looking to songs…) but nothing quite fit. Then just days before we were going to submit to publishers, Lucy came across the words “the ocean of minutes” in my first chapter. I thank my lucky stars for her!
Q4 Do you have a favourite character from the book?
Not really. I’m not like one of those lovely authors who talk about how much they love their characters; heartlessly, I think of my characters as a bit like chess pieces. But Norberto is definitely a character I enjoyed writing: his gloominess, his vulnerability, and his terrible choices.
Q5 Are you currently working on anything new?
I’m working on something to do with grandparents and parallel worlds, but I can’t say more than that 🙂
Please find below the blog tour poster, so you can check out the blogs and posts of the others taking part in the blog tour 🙂