Sean Emmett interviewed Christopher Nowlin on Radio AM 1140, on April 28, 2014.
The Calgary Herald published an interview with Christopher Nowlin on April 26, 2014.
The Lethbridge Herald published the following interview with Christopher Nowlin on April 26, 2014.
Joseph Planta interviewed Christopher Nowlin about Tough Tiddlywinks on March 21, 2104. The interview can be heard on Planta’s The Commentary.
Tough Tiddlywinks was featured in The Calgary Sun’s “Cool Stuff” on April 10, 2014. See below:
Tracy Sherlock wrote the following piece about Tough Tiddlywinks in The Vancouver Sun, on March 21, 2014:
Crime yarn wrapped in city politics
Vancouver author, artist and criminal lawyer tackles larger social issues in a murder mystery
Q Tell us about your book.
A It’s the story of Hannah Verso, a woman who has glided through life as a trophy girlfriend. Now in her mid-30s she has become unsettled by her dependency on that identity just when a fork appears in her road. An older, wealthy suitor draws her rightward. A younger, feisty activist draws her leftward. Torn between old and new she takes both trails and soon finds herself implicated in a high-profile murder and the political shenanigans of The Resistance, a hard-core group of bicyclists from East Van. She also finds herself pregnant. Her belly expands as the murder mystery unfolds and the cyclists “occupy” Shaughnessy Estates. When Hannah is assaulted one afternoon a teacher from Detroit helps her out. He’s a little confused, not like other men she has dated, and the two become friends.
Q Why did you write this book?
A In the broadest terms I wrote Tough Tiddlywinks because I wanted to stimulate discussion about certain issues among a wide variety of readers, in an entertaining way. I wanted to engage debate, for example, about our culture’s penchant for “leveraging” its way to success. This is a culture of indebtedness that seems to thrive so precariously, like a house of cards. Many of us feel obliged to follow the financiers’ mantra: keep investing or else the great economic machine in the sky will come crashing catastrophically onto our mortal heads. In my novel I wanted to address this article of faith, just as I wanted to explore the fragile, symbiotic tension between economics and the environment in the 21st century. These are serious issues, so I’ve added tablespoons of sugar — sex, drugs and hockey (who needs rock ’n’ roll when you’ve got hockey?) — to help the medicine go down.
Q What should people expect to find in your book?
A Apart from a few curse words, in French and English, and lots of multimedia illustrations, the reader can expect to encounter a number of individuals suspected of fatally stabbing a Vancouver real estate tycoon. These include the tycoon’s well-tanned wife, a young First Nations man, a hockey-loving contractor from Quebec, an anti-development radical, and others. The reader will also join the flow of the Friday rush-hour “critical mass” bike ride as it winds through Vancouver, sparking honks of support and anger along the way. Eventually the reader will meet the narrator, a female who loves Halloween, but who isn’t even born until halfway through the book — no kidding.
Q You have an interesting background as a criminal lawyer, a painter, a teacher at Langara and now a novelist. Tell us something about how those all work together in this book:
A My experiences defending First Nations people, sometimes for murder, have exposed me to some of the distinct challenges First Nations individuals face in Canada and in relation to the justice system specifically. I wanted to bring some of these troubles to light for others to see. As regards my painting, my earliest images tended to incorporate text, almost in the way of collage. With Tough Tiddlywinks I wanted to create a similar feel, but in book form, so readers can expect a kind of collage of visual surprises as they move through the story. I do have a teacher in my story — or two teachers. One is from Detroit. The other is the city itself. The tumultuous history of the Motor City holds a genuine fascination for me. From its timber walls as a French fort in a forest, through its massive economic and technological influence across America, through its racial strife to its current struggle to survive, I recognize more than a few apt lessons in urban growth, progress, transportation, liberty, and ecological sustainability.
Christopher Nowlin will be launching Tough Tiddlywinks and exhibiting his paintings on Sunday, March 23 at Havana Cafe, 1212 Commercial Dr. firstname.lastname@example.orgSun Books editor
Tracy Sherlock’s piece is also available on-line in: The Ottawa Citizen, The Calgary Herald, Michigan Detroit Crime News, The Windsor Star, The Province, The Regina Leader Post, The Saskatoon Star Phoenix, The Edmonton Journal, The Montreal Gazette
A nice piece about Tough Tiddlywinks and my forthcoming art show was just published (February 27, 2014) in BC Booklook. It is called “Tough Tiddlywinks: two wheels good; four wheels bad.” You may read it here.
David La Riviere wrote a niece piece about Tough Tiddlywinks in this week’s “The Voice,” Langara’s student newspaper. To read La Riviere’s article visit The Voice.
Chris Nowlin’s second novel creates a vivid, lively portrait of contemporary life in Vancouver, from street artists to greedy developers out to make a big buck. His large cast of characters displays a host of contradictions, passions and drive — just like real folk. Best of all, his story is a grabber. A fine follow-up to To See the Sky.
— Jon Redfern, Arthur Ellis Award winner of Trumpets Sound No More
[In Tough Tiddlywinks] Christopher Nowlin gives us a true sense of place and time; he transports us to the gritty streets and building site of Vancouver, made grittier by an economy in free fall in recent years.
— Anne Emery, award-winning author of Sign of the Cross and Children of the Morning