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What makes a novelist, a novelist?

Here I am with Joanne Harris, author of one of my favourite books Five Quarters of the Orange but most famously known for her novel Chocolat, which was made into the Oscar-nominated film with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche. I recently had the chance to hear her read from her latest offering blueeyedboy when she came to Ottawa as a guest for Writers Fest. She was part of a series of events that Writers Fest puts on called The Writing Life.

As for me, I don’t think I have what it takes to be a novelist, but I like to lurk around these kinds of events and imagine that it’s possible. And I’m sharing my thoughts on this today at Life As A Human.

Please click here to read them and let me know what you think makes a novelist, a novelist.

This photo was generously taken and shared with me by a local photographer at the event. His name is John W MacDonald and you can check out his work here.


  1. Are we kindred spirits? I love, love Joanne Harris and Five Quarters of the Orange is one of my most favourite novels. I love the story and the imagery. Harris is a wonderful storyteller. All her books are amazing in their own way. It’s wonderful that you got to meet her. You look giddy. I would be too!

  2. Stefania – Well, any one who uses the words “kindred spirit” from my beloved Anne (with an “e”), must be a kindred spirit! :) Have you started her latest one … it’s really different from her other work.

  3. I haven’t read Joanne’s latest novel and I wish I had known that she was in Ottawa recently. I only found out after the fact. I would have liked to hear her speak.

  4. Kathryn says:

    I went to school with John MacDonald!

  5. Kathryn says:

    Whoa, just checked out his site and the last 4 digits of his phone number are the same as mine…

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