||‘Print Matters’ brings us literary news and reviews from published works that are related to Toronto. Authors from Toronto, literature that takes place in Toronto, and published works that are about Toronto are all covered here and bring the importance of print to mind.
Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Brad Smith, whose latest novel Crow’s Landing has been receiving rave reviews. This is Brad’s second novel featuring beloved character Virgil Cain, who finds himself in a sticky situation when he fishes a cylinder of cocaine out of the Hudson River. Brad will be speaking on a panel of writers at the International Festival of Authors at the Ex next Monday, August 27th, at 5:30 pm in the Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place. We have 2 signed copies of his book to give away. Just check out our Twitter Link for details on how to get one.
In a moment of sweet synchronicity, I read Crow’s Landing while visiting Upstate New York. It really got me thinking about landscape and writing. I wonder if you might say something about how landscape influences your writing?
Crow’s landing is situated where it is because of the predecessor, Red Means Run, which had a musical background to it. The main villain, if you want to put it that way, was a famous music producer who ends up killing a famous movie producer. So I needed to put it someplace that had a musical background. There’s no place in Canada where that would work. I thought about Nashville, but I’d written a previous book, Big Man Coming Down The Road, in Nashville and it didn’t quite fit what I wanted. So, I was looking around on a map and thought about Woodstock. Of course it’s got all the great history of Bob Dylan, The Band, and Van Morrison lived that at one point. The famous Bearsville studio was there and the concert. It just seemed to be a really good fit. I drove down there and scoped the place out and just loved it. I said, okay, this is where Red Means Run needs to be, and so when it came time to write another one with Virgil Cain, I had this idea about the cocaine cylinder. It actually comes from a true story that happened here in Toronto. A Toronto cop told me it about ten years ago. Some guys were coming into the harbour here with a cylinder full of cocaine and the cops were there and they threw it out. Nobody’s ever found it. So, when we’re done the interview…
Yeah, I’m heading down to the harbour to try to fish out a cylinder… One-eyed Jacks was set in Toronto. Is that the only one of your novels that is set in Toronto?
Yes, and it was a period piece set in the 50s.
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