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Forest of Reading White Pine Award Nomination Q&A with Susan Currie

Susan Currie is the author of Iz the Apocalypse, which has been nominated for the Forest of Reading White Pine Award. We caught up with Susan to ask her about the novel, the nomination, and more.

The cover of Iz the Apocalypse with the Forest of Reading White Pine nominee seal

How did you feel when you found out Iz the Apocalypse was nominated for the Forest of Reading White Pine Award?

 I was completely thrilled! It was an absolute dream come true. I had to read the email several times to be convinced that it was really happening. Little did I know what an incredible year this was going to turn out to be!


 What does this nomination mean to you?

 It means the world. I spent seven difficult years writing Iz the Apocalypse and really lost faith that she would ever see the light of day. I would not ever have imagined that in fact Iz would end up being read by young people across Canada and in other countries too as part of the Forest of Reading Program! This feisty, resilient, brilliant girl is incredibly close to my heart and I am so glad and grateful that she is part of such a distinguished list of books.


What Forest of Reading events will you be participating in this month? 

 I have done author talks and writing workshops in a few schools and will be going to the White Pine ceremony at Harbourfront on May 15th. In the morning before the ceremony, I will be giving an author talk.


Have you received any reader feedback regarding Iz the Apocalypse? Care to share a story?

 There has been some really lovely feedback. I very recently did a writing workshop with grade nine students, and some members of the school’s White Pine club. In the process of doing that, I met several wonderful young people who expressed that they loved the book. One was so shy that her friend basically dragged her over, announcing to me that she was the most incredible person ever and that I should meet her. Once she got over her nerves, we then had the most fabulous discussion about Iz and about writing in general.  Another girl at the same event put her hand on her heart and told me she could not quite find the words to tell me how much Iz meant to her. When I mentioned that a sequel was coming, she literally screamed! That’s about the best feedback I can imagine!


How do you feel about autographs and meeting readers?

 Love them! (Though I always agonize about what to write…)


Are there any easter eggs in Iz the Apocalypse?

 There are lots of sneaky references to classical music and to Franz Schubert’s Winterreise. They show up in imagery, in certain plot points, and even in the dialogue. They also show up in the way the story is told, with certain lines mirroring elements of Winterreise.


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