Well Read: Drew Hayden Taylor, author of “Cold”

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      Drew Hayden Taylor’s new novel, Cold, starts out quiet and serene. Before long, though, it starts morphing into steadily-growing chaos.

      A plane crash, a string of mysteriously gruesome murders, a group of characters who start to intersect—Cold creeps more than it sprints. And while a little surface level at times, it is certainly entertaining.

      A playwright, novelist, screenwriter, and documentarian, Taylor is unafraid of pursuing new mediums. The thing that remains constant, however, is his dedication to the art of the story. Here, he muses on the books he wishes he wrote, the book he couldn’t finish, and more.

      Tell us about yourself. 

      I am half Anishnaabe/half Settler who considers himself a contemporary storyteller. I was born, raised, and currently live in my home community of Curve Lake First Nation in Ontario. I write novels, plays, documentaries, and essays. There are so many stories, so little time.

      What’s something you want everyone to know about you?

      I am a Star Trek and butter tart (with raisins) fan, and my partner, Janine Willie, is Kwakwaka’wakw from Kingcome Inlet.

      What’s one book that changed the way you think? 

      Tough question. I would have to say The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.

      What are you currently reading?

      Reading Yann Martel’s The High Mountains of Portugal. And looking forward to tackling VenCo by Cherie Dimaline.

      What’s your favourite book to give as a gift? 

      Probably one of mine. 

      How would you describe your book tastes? 

      Exceedingly eclectic. I read weird non-fiction books of lists; stories about the background behind television and movie shows; international authors; Canadian and American novels; Indigenous everything. There is no rhyme or reason to the books piled in my house.

      What’s one book you can’t wait to read? 

      I don’t know… Maybe a good Stephen King tale…

      What’s one book you thought you’d love but didn’t (or vice versa)? 

      I really tried to get into Temptations of Big Bear by Rudy Wiebe but I couldn’t. For some reason I couldn’t get more than 50 or 60 pages into it. 

      Favourite local author?

      I’m a huge fan of Eden Robinson [who is from Kitamaat, BC].

      Controversial: are you someone who has to finish every book you start, or can you abandon ones that aren’t working for you?

      Yes. If I start it, I must finish it. There are only a handful of books I have given up on.

      What’s one book you wish you wrote?

      Oh my goodness, what an interesting question. As weird as it sounds, probably some non-fiction or biography book. I admire people who can lose themselves in research and create something new from it. That is so not me.

      Where’s your favourite place in Vancouver to read?

      Some cafe, probably.

      Drew Hayden Taylor will be celebrating the launch of “Cold” at Massy Books (229 East Georgia Street) on February 14 at 6pm. This event is free and open to the public; register here.