Craig Davidson talks about writing as a passion and an obsession

Canadian Writers in Person Lecture Series
Canadian Writers in Person Lecture Series

On Oct. 22, the 2019-20 Canadian Writers in Person Lecture Series presented author Craig Davidson reading from his recent book, The Saturday Night Ghost Club. York University Teaching Assistant Dana Patrascu-Kingsley sent the following report to YFile.

Author Craig Davidson came to the Canadian Writers in Person reading series Oct. 22 to talk about his recent book, The Saturday Night Ghost Club. This novel is a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, described by Penguin Random House as a “short, infectious, and bittersweet coming-of-age story in the vein of Stranger Things and Stand by Me about a group of misfit kids who spend an unforgettable summer investigating local ghost stories and urban legends.” 

Davidson spoke about growing up and reading works by Stephen King and other horror writers, who inspired him to venture into horror territory as well. “Our aesthetics are cobbled together from all of the things we’ve seen and read. I always loved horror movies and literature,” he said.

With this book, he examines how the brain finds ways of coping with trauma, sometimes through displacement on ghosts and other worlds. He told audiences at York University that in his writing he wants to investigate emotions and situations as deeply and profoundly as he can.

The author talked about finding inspiration in details from his own life, and he advised aspiring writers to build on those things they know, and then also accept that doubt and failure are part of the writing process. “One of the most difficult things is maintaining that sense of why I got into writing. Other things leak in… I have to remind myself that I am writing because it is an obsession and a passion. My work is best when I do that,” Davidson said.

On Nov. 5, Kagiso Lesego Molope will be at York University to talk about her book, Such a Lonely, Lovely Road.

The Canadian Writers in Person Lecture Series readings are free and open to any member of the public. For more information, contact Professor Leslie Sanders at leslie@yorku.ca or Professor Gail Vanstone at gailv@yorku.ca. All readings are held Tuesdays from 7 to 9 pm in 206 Accolade West Building, Keele campus.