I finally scraped together enough brain cells to figure out when Ryan Knighton was going to be in Toronto and (happily) ended up at his interview with fellow Canadian Don McKellar last Saturday. I've been to a boatload of author readings over the past year or so, so it was a very nice change to watch a writer kick back and talk about writing, reading, and life in general, particularly since Knighton is blind and can't read or write in what we think of as the conventional way. He's also a natural born storyteller, is funny as hell, and isn't afraid to sprinkle his conversations with a few well-placed f-bombs. (Personally, I think judicious use of the word "fuck" can help illuminate most stories.)
He also spoke about his appearance in the upcoming documentary As Slow as Possible, as well as his idea for a travel book based on experiences that revolve around non-sighted senses. His first idea? Traveling to the annual Rattlesnake Roundup in Texas. He made sure to stress that he'll be experiencing it via sound, not touch.
Other than the torturous Starbucks tea (seriously, how can Earl Gray go so wrong?) and the chick sitting beside me who was texting with enormously loud thumbs for the last twenty minutes or so, I had a great time. I stood in a pretty impressive line to have Ryan sign a book for me, so now I have one of my very own, and I don't have to worry about spilling juice on my friend's copy anymore.
If you're in town next year, definitely check the IFOA out. Bravo was there taping the interview - which is great, because there were a few other writers I wanted to see, but couldnt - and I'll be posting the air dates for the festival whenever I figure out when they're going to be. Ryan Knighton's website is: www.ryanknighton.com.