The Spur Questionnaire: Tessa McWatt

Tessa McWatt
Tessa McWatt

Tessa McWatt is the author of six novels, as well as one novella for young adults. She’s also a professor of creative writing at the University of East London in the U.K. She’ll be discussing her latest book, Higher Ed, as part of our Book Bag series.

Tell us about your participation in the 2015 Spur Festival.
I’ve been invited to talk about my new book, Higher Ed, at the Book Bag on Saturday April 25th. I’ve never been to Spur before, but I’ve heard great things about it and am very happy to be participating.

What do you hope Spur Festival attendees will take away from your session?
I hope the attendees will be interested in reading the book, obviously, but I also hope we can talk about the themes of the festival and the book—together alone—and some of the issues raised in the book about difficult economic times and what they mean for ordinary people and how we connect to one another.

What are you most looking forward to about the Spur Festival?
I’m most looking forward to being in Calgary, where I haven’t been for several years.

What is the one item you never leave home without?
My smartphone, sadly.

Which book is currently on your nightstand?
Several: Linda Spalding’s, The Purchase; Akhil Sharma’s Family Life; Patrick Modiano’s The Search Warrant; Helen MacDonald, H is for Hawk.

In the last year, what is the longest you have gone unplugged? No internet, no cell phone, etc.
Five days.

Who was the last person you texted?
My best friend.

The animated show The Jetsons was set in 2062. Is there anything from their futuristic world that wish were a current reality?
George Jetson’s work week: one hour a day, two days a week. That should be for us all.

How do you prefer to communicate with colleagues: by phone, email, text or in person? How do you prefer to communicate with friends?
Colleagues: in person. Friends: in person

What are you most looking forward to about Calgary?
A chinook! And the mountains.

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