Interviewed by Sue Leonard.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 30th March 2013
Beginner’s Pluck. Janet E. Cameron.
Brought up in Nova Scotia, Janet then lived in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto, before working as an English teacher in Tokyo.
“I met an Irishman there, during the 2002 World Cup. I moved to Ireland in March 2005.”
The character for her debut novel came to her during a creative writing assignment in 2006. But she left the story for four years, returning to it before taking the M Phil in Creative writing in Trinity College Dublin.
“I wanted to get some writing finished before I hit 40. I got more ideas for the main character, and decided to see where it would go. And the character kept talking.”
Shortlisted for the Fish Short Story Prize, and the Fish Memoir Prize, Janet won a place at the Novel Fair at The Irish Writers Centre last year. The novel is also being released in Canada.
Who is Janet E. Cameron?
Date of birth: 18th August, 1970 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Education: Bridgetown Regional High school. Dalhousie University; Concordia University in Montreal.
Home: Monkstown, County Dublin.
Family: Husband, the journalist Aodhan O'Faolain, and a cat, Jennie.
The Day Job: “I teach English at the Dublin Business School, two mornings a week. I write the rest of the time.”
Interests: Baking. “I love baking bread, muffins and bagels.”
Favourite Writers: Lorrie Moore; Michael Chaban; Douglas Adams; Miriam Toews.
Second Novel: “I’m working on one. It’s about a family dealing with suicide.”
Top Writing Tip: “Edit all of the time.”
Web: www.asimplejan.com. Twitter: @aSimpleJan
The Debut: Cinnamon Toast and The End of the World. Hachette Books Ireland: €14.99. Kindle: €9.33.
Stephen Shulevitz is about to graduate from high school in Nova Scotia. A misfit with dysfunctional parents, he realises he has fallen in love with his violent best friend. Meanwhile his other friend, Lana, holds a torch for him. Will he be able to move on without being ridiculed, and without hurting those close to him?
The Verdict: A stunning debut. Funny, poignant, and heartfelt. I loved it.
© Sue Leonard. 2013