readBC ~ Irene N. Watts

We think British Columbia is a pretty special place to live and also a great place to create wonderful children’s literature. readBC is a series of short interviews introducing our readers to our authors and illustrators and their craft. Read the complete series here.
For a list of books created and set in British Columbia, visit this page.

Irene N. Watts
Region: Vancouver, South Coast & Lower Mainland

Are any of your books set in B.C.?
My new book, No Pets Allowed, illustrated by Kathryn E. Shoemaker and published by Tradewind Books, is set in the West End of Vancouver. Eight-year-old Matthew Wade and his single mom have moved here from Alberta. The only apartment building Mrs. Wade can afford, and that is close to work, school and transit, does not allow pets. Matthew is so lonely and sad without his dog Lucky, that he creates an invisible dog.

If you could take a children’s book character for ice cream, whom would you invite?
It would be my privilege to buy and ice-cream for Liesel Memminger, heroine of Markus Zusak’s novel The Book Thief.

What are you working on right now?
I am presently working on the sequel to No Pets Allowed.

Where do you do your work, and/or what’s on your desk?
I work wherever I am — from a hospital bed, on a bus, or traveling somewhere. I call this my prewriting stage. Once I set down my ideas fairly coherently on paper, after maybe two or three drafts, some of them are transposed to the computer. I keep my laptop on an old wooden kitchen table in my tiny office. If the work is going well, the surface of the table is hidden by papers, photos, scraps of paper, notes. If I am not working, it is tidy!

What are your favourite procrastination techniques?
I don’t like procrastination so I have no favorites — though it is a stage I always have to endure: ironing, laundry, shopping, tidying up my files, anything that prevents me from sitting down and facing that empty piece of paper or blank screen. This may take days, weeks, or months, but eventually the hurdle is overcome and the chores are relegated to their rightful place.

To learn more about Irene and her work, please visit her website.
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