Quirky, intimate, deep and fun is how author Anny Scoones describes At the Mike.
The event brings together authors and the audience for a reading and discussion on the night’s theme, inside the Fort Cafe.
“The ambiance depends on the writers’ personalities and their material and their interactions,” Scoones said of her previous At the Mike experience. “Last time it was really warm, intimate and fun. I kept picking up the (decorative) telephone and telling Margaret (Thompson) it was for her.”
Scoones and Thompson return for their second round of At the Mike on Tuesday (Jan. 25) alongside Brian Brett. They’ll each read from their Earth- and nature-themed books, then will embark on a discussion with the audience. The topic? The relationship people share with the Earth.
“At the Mike attracts very intelligent people, thoughtful people … and compassionate people, so it gets intense, (but) there’s humour as well,” Scoones said.
“This is going to be heartfelt, compassionate, maybe moving, you know, and intelligent – and really examining our role with nature. My personal view is that we’re part of nature.”
Calgary-based author Lee Kvern travelled to Victoria for At the Mike in November and was impressed with the interaction. She called the feedback she received on her work “invaluable.”
“You get a feel for how a person comes to your book … with their own set of ideas, values, ethics,” she said. “You get that in the questions, especially if they’ve read that book before.”
Kvern read from her book, the Matter of Sylvie, which chronicles the life of a mother raising a child with special needs.
Kvern associates with the actions of the mother in her book, because she grew up with a sister with developmental disabilities.
That night’s discussion around how much truth an author puts into a work of fiction got personal with Kvern, whose uncle was in the audience.
“His reaction to the book was that it was a bit too close to home for him. After listening to where fiction comes from and how it’s close to (real) life he said, ‘You know, I think I can look at (the book) now.’ (Authors) take things from life and put it in another character.”
Scoones hopes her second time with At the Mike will, like the first, inspire deeper thoughts and the sharing of ideas.
“One little idea we discuss that night might blossom into something great.”