Author Interview: Roy MacGregor

Roy MacGregor, Globe and Mail columnist is photographed in the Toronto studio Oct 1 2010 (Fred Lum / The Globe and Mail) DIGITAL IMAGE

Author extraordinaire, Roy MacGregor, will be coming to Backbeat to help us celebrate Authors for Indies on Saturday, April 29th! We feel that he’s the perfect guest because he’s written kids books, middle grade books, adult books, newspaper columns, fiction, non-fiction…seriously, it might be faster to list what he hasn’t written! We hope your whole family will come out for some fun and meet this great writer, enjoy looking at some unique hockey memorabilia (Wayne Gretzky’s silver stick, Daniel Alfredsson’s Team Sweden jersey and Gordie Howe’s stick) and get some books signed by this legendary author.

In the meantime, let’s get to know him a bit better. We recently interviewed him via email and gained some insight about his favourite books, his writing process and battling squirrels.

Backbeat: What are three of your favourite books and why?
Roy MacGregor: William Faulkner (As I Lay Dying) for its writing, sense of place and storytelling; Alistair MacLeod’s No Great Mischief; Margaret Laurence’s The Diviners…for the same reasons.

Backbeat: What is a skill you would like to learn?
RM: Fly an airplane.

Backbeat: How would your best friend describe you?
RM: Simple.

Backbeat: How did you celebrate your first big break as a published author?
RM: Beer.

Backbeat: When you are writing a book, what is your process? (i.e.: Do you write meticulous outlines or streams of consciousness, etc.)
RM: I try every imaginable method, sometimes just to challenge myself. Nothing formal.

Backbeat: What is the last record you listened to or bought on vinyl?
RM: The Band.

Backbeat: What are you currently reading?
RM: Military histories — for an assignment in France.

Backbeat: Do you have any advice for a person who has squirrels in their house?
RM: Get a wolverine.

Backbeat: Have you been able to provide input into your book jacket designs? What is that process like?
RM: Not often. I leave it to the publishers, who know better what works.

Backbeat: What is the craziest or most impulsive thing you’ve ever done?
RM: Refuse to answer this question.

Backbeat: You have raised four kids and are a grandparent to five. What is your best piece of parenting advice?
RM: Have no rules, but do have expectations.

Backbeat: How did the process of co-writing a book (Screech Owls: Reality Check in Detroit) with your daughter compare to your solo writing? How did this collaboration work?
RM: It was harder than writing a book alone. We are both bullheaded.

Backbeat: Pick up the book that is nearest to you right now. What is the opening line?
RM: “In August 1917, the Canadian Corps captured Hill 70, a vital piece of ground just north of the French industrial town of Lens.”


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