By Nathan Smith
Annabel Lyon is a Canadian novelist and short story writer, born in Brampton, Ontario, but raised in Coquitlam, British Columbia. Her short story collection, Oxygen, was published in 2000. Since then, she has published a second short collection, two young adult novels, and two historical novels.
The Golden Mean, published by Random House in 2009, was the only novel that year to be nominated for the three major Canadian fiction prizes: the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Governor General’s award for English Language Fiction, and the Scotiabank Giller Prize–the first of which it won. Her most recent novel, a sequel to The Golden Mean, is The Sweet Girl.
Annabel currently teaches in the Creative Writing department at UBC.
What did you do before you were a writer?
My very first ambition as a child was to become a musician. I studied piano intensively and taught it for years, but to make another sports analogy, I was like someone who was 5’5″ and wanted to be in the NBA. It just wasn’t going to happen. I studied philosophy in my undergraduate program with English and French literature minors. I also did a year in the Law program. I initially didn’t think I would be able to sustain myself as a professional writer, so I thought I’d better have a backup. It seemed like the logical next step. After a year I was miserable and I dropped out.
Eventually it just came down to finding the confidence to say, “Okay, I’m going to throw myself into fiction writing wholeheartedly and work as hard at it as with any other profession.” The next day, I woke up at six in the morning and decided to start writing a novel. [Read more…]