Friday, November 18, 2011

A Fireside Chat with Nicholas Ruddock

Last night, local author and doctor Nicholas Ruddock talked about his writing journey at the third in a series of fireside chats at the Guelph Public Library.

In his twenties, Ruddock took a year off to write, but found he had no ideas or inspiration. So, he completed his internship and spent the next thirty years or so practicing medicine in Newfoundland, Yukon, Montreal and Guelph. In 2002, he decided to start writing. At that time, he was "a writer without connections." Using Newfoundland as his base, he wrote poetry and a number of short stories. He has been published in The Dalhousie Review, The Antigonish Review, Fiddlehead, Prism International, Grain, sub-Terrain, Event and Exile. He also entered and won a number of contests, including the Journey Prize.

He wanted to publish a book of his short stories, but his agent suggested he write a novel instead. Using Toronto as his base, he wrote The Parabolist in seven months. He did not intend for the novel to be a thriller, but found himself writing about murder, rape and a police investigation. He sent the novel in installments to his agent. The final manuscript was sent to six publishers. Within 24 hours, Doubleday expressed interest. The book was out in the spring of 2010. He has written another novel which is being reviewed by Doubleday.

He offered the following tips to aspiring writers...
  • Enter contests before writing a novel. You need a track record in Canada before agents and publishers will take you on.
  • A sense of failure is continually present. Your work will be rejected. Rise above it.

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