Things I Learned from Lawrence Hill

What I learned about Lawrence Hill:

  • He will graciously sign as many books as you can bring him.
  • He writes his entire first draft without editing or worrying about how it reads; when finished, he will cut the unneeded parts and revise; cut and revise again; and so on.
  • His first draft is usually 2 times as long as the finalized novel.
  • He learned not to get attached to his ‘words’ when he worked for the Globe and Mail after university.  His published articles sometimes did not resemble his original piece of work.
  • He started writing fiction when he was 6 years old; age 14 is when he got serious about it.
  • He does not actively choose the gender of his protagonist; he already has a character in mind when he starts a novel.
  • On days he researches, he will always write because researching can be used as an excuse not to write.
  • He found it a challenge to write from a little girl’s point of view for The Book of Negroes.  (I think he nailed it!) 
  • He has learned to write in chaos – he has a family of seven.
  • He ran the the character Ivernia Beech past his mother before his editor because Ivernia is based on her.


Things I learned about myself:

  • When I take a selfie with someone I greatly admire, I will look like a crazed lunatic no matter how many I shots I take.
  • I can’t wait to read The Illegal.


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