(gentle music) – I think for so long
I felt really unheard, especially as a child. I always felt I was in this
position of invisibility. Then I started writing
short stories for school. It was the one thing I
seemed to really excel at, and there was like a sparkle to it, and it got a different
reaction from people. When I wrote, then I felt that
the teacher suddenly thought, “Oh, maybe there is something worthy about this little white trash entity that sits in the back of my classroom.” I live in the Mile End
neighborhood of Montreal. I think it’s a magical apartment, probably ’cause I’ve
completed all my books while living here. Each book builds on the last one. So far they’ve all been set in Montreal, and then it’s almost as
though this idea of Montreal, with each book I change the physics of it and allow different magical
things to happen within it, and every time I do that, that
moves on to the next novel. (gentle music) I think of my characters as collaborators. Sometimes I’m so pleased with them, and I just find them so attractive and they’ve just done all
this wonderful stuff for me, and like, I’ve learned so
much from them that day, but then the other days they’re just lazy and they refuse to even get
out of bed, and I’m like, “No, we have a novel, you have to like engage with the plot, like, you have to do all sorts of things, like, work with me.” I feel like I’m living in a novel. They say that your fiction
kinda imitates your life, but then I find a lot of ways life just starts to imitate my fiction. I think my writing now has become so much more
politically evolved, almost like this is a puppet theater, and I’m putting on this puppet
play, but make no mistake, I’m behind it with all
my lived experience, and my political views and ideas
about gender and society. When you create these characters I think you’re always,
as a fiction writer, you become very aware
of who a character is, and what version of
themselves they’re performing in different circumstances. I’ve always been interested in that idea. That’s I think where
creativity comes from, this idea that you find different
ways to perform the self. The most wonderful thing about
receiving the Fellowship is just that sense of validation. When I found out it just gave
me this wonderful feeling that I had built something
that was of significance, and that I’ve been able to move people and communicate with
them in different ways. I feel very much that I’m
at the beginning of things. I mean I’ve mistaken
endings for beginnings, and beginnings for endings before, but I feel like there’s something that’s just waiting for me
that I haven’t got to yet. I’m just at the beginning
of what I’m gonna do.