Natasha Deen is pretty awesome. She’s a YA and children’s writer who’s written more than a dozen books, including The Not So Secret Case Files of Billy Vale, P.I., the Guardian series, and the Retribution series. She criss-crosses Canada teaching new writers and visiting classrooms, and she’s won a string of accolades including nominations for the Sunburst and the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award and wins for the Moonbeam, CCBC Best Pick for Kids and Teens.
Readers keep coming back for her mix of mystery, action, horror, and humour, some of which arise from her own real-life experiences, and teachers keep booking her because her workshops and teaching guides offer genuine value.
Deen met with me at the food court of Westmount Mall in Edmonton on September 26, 2017. She discussed:
Marty Chan is one of E-Town’s most successful writers ever. He’s best known for his popular children’s and young adult books including Keepers of the Vault, Infinity Coil, and the award-winning The Mystery of the Frozen Brains. But he’s also a screenwriter who worked on the TV series Jake and the Kid and received a Gemini nomination for his TV pilot The Orange Seed Myth.
Chan's best-known play is the semi-autobiographical Mom, Dad, I’m Living With a White Girl, about the culture clash of being a Chinese-Canadian finding work and love in the arts in Edmonton. The play’s been produced across Canada and in New York. Chan was the first playwright in residence at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre, Canada’s biggest and busiest regional performing arts centre.
In today’s episode of MF GALAXY, Marty Chan discusses:
Along the way I refer to The Memory Eaters, his unpublished novel he wrote for Book Television 3 Day Novel Contest reality TV series, season 1, for which I was a judge. The novel was a pre-Walking Dead zombie story that was uniquely from the zombie’s perspective and touchingly and profoundly addressed loneliness, isolation, social networks, and love. He also cites his opera The Forbidden Phoenix which incorporated the classic Chinese story of the Monkey King and Chinese Canadian experiences.
We spoke on June 23, 2008 at his home in Edmonton. This interview has never been aired before. And now on MF GALAXY, my conversation with Marty Chan.