A peek into the writing world of Andrew Unger, author of Once Removed and The Best of the Bonnet.
Timothy Heppner, protagonist of Once Removed, perches himself by the window of a small-town coffee shop where, from this vantage point, he can get a good look at the locals and jot down ideas for his writing projects. He’s at the library; he’s at the archives; he’s wandering the streets always in search of ideas. His studio, in a sense, is anywhere he is.
While it’s true that my own writing is often observational in nature—I do glean details from my own experiences and observations—for the most part I’m not at all like Timothy Heppner, certainly not in terms of my preferred studio space. I don’t own a laptop. To be honest, I don’t really like them. I have no desire to be mobile—not when I’m writing—and I rather dislike the cramped keyboard of a laptop. How do you even type on one of those things? When I’m writing, I’m at a desk in my office, surrounded by books, an unused Peloton to my left, and a window to my right. The blinds are always shut.
I guess this sounds a little fussy. Stuck in my ways. Well, yes, but then …
In the room next to me is my collection of records. I love jazz. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned that in an interview before. I’m kind of obsessed with John Coltrane. I don’t listen to music while I’m writing, but sometimes when I need a break, I’ll lay on the couch and put on A Love Supreme and listen to the whole thing straight through without stopping. It’s free, unconstrained, much of it improvised. A beautiful stunning piece of music. Sometimes I’ll listen to it twice in a row. Then, eventually, I’ll get up from the couch, saunter back to the office, and sit back down at the desk to write. This time, though, maybe I’ll open the blinds a little.
Once Removed is a humourous take on small town life.
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