Welcome to Day Two of the new book celebrations! The new book is, of course, A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW, and the celebrations mark the passage of the one and only Darby Christopher [aka Moi] into the world.
You may have noticed this mysterious black cat gracing the pages of kc dyer's blog. Known as the Infamous Kitty Kyi, she can slash out a manuscript at ten paces, leap tall....
Okay, okay -- perhaps she's not an evil villain. Not evil at all, as a matter of fact. Instead, she's here to help celebrate launch week by agreeing to sit down for an interview with me. Let's unmask her first, shall we?
Ahh, that's better! Not the infamous Kitty Kyi, but in fact the amazing and prolific Tanya Lloyd Kyi, writer of ten books of fiction and non-fiction for young people.
Now, I have it on good authority that Tanya once wanted to be a poet, but turned her back on the talented (but very pale and caffeinated) black-clad crowd and took up the baton of non-fiction writing in university. She's never looked back, and has written books profiling everything from Blue Jeans to Fire, with a few rocking Canadian kids thrown in for interest. She agreed to sit down and share a little chat with me.
Darby Christopher: Welcome Tanya! A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW is all about how different people came to live in Canada. Where were you born?
Tanya Lloyd Kyi: I was born at Saint Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, about a 10 minute drive from where I live now. When I was just over a year old, my parents went through some sort of hippie stage and moved to unpopulated regions, where they could grow their own alfalfa sprouts and dress my sister and I in some horrid (and I really mean horrid) homemade clothes. They grew up to be regular citizens and all, but I hightailed it back to Vancouver as soon as I could, just to be safe.
My husband was born in Burma. When he was just over a year old, the country's government changed and his father decided to take the family overseas. At that time, there weren't even phone lines between Canada and Burma. To phone home, they had to drive to Seattle with a jar of change and call Burma from a pay phone.
We often talk about how strange the world is, that a boy from Burma and a girl from a town in rural B.C. could meet at a birthday party in Kitsilano.
DC: Wow -- that is amazing. East meets West, sorta. Where do you live now?
TLK: When I first moved back to Vancouver, a friend's aunt had an extra ticket to an event at the Orpheum. I had never seen anything like the inside of that theatre. It felt as if I'd stepped "through a window" to another world. That was the moment I decided I was living in Vancouver forever.
DC: Hmmm -- walking through windows, eh? I've done a bit of that myself. Do you remember any special stories about your family that you heard when you were a kid? Can you tell me one?
TLK: My dad tells great stories, but I'm not sure they're printable. Here's one from my mother's side of the family: My great-grandmother, Julia, was from Norway. She left her husband there, and travelled all the way to Canada with her kids. And there were a lot of kids! Nine, I think. Some days, when I'm finding it difficult to get my kids to preschool, I think of Great Grandma Julia on the Atlantic, and the walk down the block gets a little easier.
DC: Nine kids! Your great-grandma sounds like a special person. Now speaking of great-grandmas, ifyou had a chance to walk through a window into the past, where would you go?
TLK: I'd go to a country ball in Victorian England, like the ones described in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. I'm sure I would hate wearing them every day, but it would be fun to try on one of those crazy dresses for one night, and dance with such formality.
DC: I have to admit, I'm not really into the big dresses myself. They kinda get in the way of my skateboard wheels. But if you were there in the past, is there anyone special you’d like to meet?
TLK: Well, as long as I'm there, I'd better have tea with Jane Austen. (If that really happened, I'd be too intimidated to talk!) DC: Geez -- I never seem to have that problem with talking! Not to brag, but my particular specialty is skateboarding. My ollie is getting seriously awesome these days. Can you ride a skateboard?
TLK: Um... no. But my sister and I were quite good at our own made-up sport of "bike ballet." Until that one collision...
DC: Yikes! Well you must be pretty tough, because you look like you survived bike ballet just fine. So, besides writing books and performing bike ballet, do you have a secret skill or talent you’d like to share?
TLK: I huck a mean frisbee. DC: Now there's a talent I can truly appreciate! I bet you can work up a decent appetite playing frisbee. When Gramps throws a little spare change my way, I’m personally pretty fond of red licorice. What’s your favourite treat? TLK: Most recently, a ginger latté. DC: I wonder if they make licorice lattes? So when you are not hucking frisbees or drinking lattes, I guess you mostly work on writing. Can you tell me a bit about your latest project?
TLK: Well, that's a bit difficult. I have one manuscript in limbo, one at the proposal stage, and another proposal in progress. Three pans in the fire, but nothing quite cooked.
DC: That's great -- means I have a lot of your writing to look forward to! If I want to learn more about you or your books on-line, where can I go check you out?
It was so cool to talk with Tanya, and she's actually agreed to give us a prize! If you'd like to win a copy of CANADIAN GIRLS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD, just leave your name or a comment in the comment section below (or on kc dyer's blog) and we'll put your name in the draw.
Thanks again to Tanya Lloyd Kyi for taking part in the launch week celebrations!
UPDATE: We have a winner! Check here: http://tinyurl.com/c2c7xy to see if it is you!