This Is Not The Shakespeare Stage: Author Chat with Richard Scrimger

2012 marks the return of the This Is Not The Shakespeare Stage! This stage features hourly, genre-based, interactive programming sessions showcasing great Canadian young-adult books, authors, and artists plus the Open Mic Hour.

To celebrate, we asked Sofia Licata, our teen read reviewer, to interview a selection of authors reading on this stage in 2012! As a follow up to her review of his novel Ink Me, Sofia put together this questionnaire for Richard Scrimger, who is presenting on stage at 12 PM with fellow writers Norah McClintock, Shane Peacock and Ted Staunton in the segment titled “The Adventure of Writing Collaboratively – Seven (the series)”.

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1) Why did you choose to write the book as if it was Bunny’s diary, using his bad spelling throughout the book (and not just in the police report)?

Ink Me is set up as Bunny’s police report, written when he is arrested with the other members of the 15th Street Posse.  Later we learn that he is going to submit it as an English project.  I kept the bad spelling to give a sense of Bunny’s character and learning level.  Some of the spellings are real words but the wrong ones, and I like the way the word then has two meanings.  Sum, dint, reel, cud …  By the end of the story I was so used to Bunny-speak that I was riting it all the time.

2) What inspired the character Bunny and his cluelessness?

Bunny is the innocent hero, the pure fool — somewhere between the Arthurian character of Parsifal and Bubbles of Trailer Park Boys.  I like how he is a beat behind everyone else but still has insight and a conscience, and ends up making a real friend.

3) Why did you base Ink Me in the Toronto area?

I wanted to tell an urban gang story and Toronto is my city.  I know it better than any other place, especially that west end part.  Bunny’s home address (2 Tecumseth) is actually a slaughterhouse around a couple of corners from where I was living when I thought of the story.

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