ISSUE 1 VOL 1 PROFILE: Kelda Larsen
HLR: Where do you write?
I write in the quietest spot on the biggest flat surface I can find, wherever I live. In the past year, I’ve lived in three places: Ucluelet, on the wild west coast of Vancouver Island; Kamloops, BC, where I was posted for a park ranger season; and the Alberni Valley, which my man and I call home for now.
HLR: What do you write?
I write fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and a little bit of children’s literature. I recently completed the last of many drafts of my first novel, Slowly With Your Hands Up. Before I wrote fiction, I wrote poetry, and it influences my fiction-writing. The rhythms of line and sound make their way into my work.
HLR: How does travel affect your writing?
If a place I’ve travelled affects me on a lasting level, it usually ends up in my writing. I spent a lot of time in Loreto, a small coastal town in Baja, Mexico, working as a sea kayak guide. Each place has its own feeling, made up of the atmosphere of its people and culture and landscape. I try to convey this feeling through fiction and poetry.
HLR: What are you reading these days?
Right now I’m reading Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard’s novel A Death in the Family. His portrayal of the effort to balance family life and creative work really resonates with me. The last great book I read that stayed with me is Lisa Moore’s Caught.
HLR: How does speaking other languages affect your writing?
I speak Danish, French, and enough Spanish to get by. I think this influences the way I hear and write dialogue, when writing from a character’s point of view to whom English is a second language. Having spent time thinking in and speaking these languages allows me to record the character’s spoken syntax with some authenticity.
Kelda Larsen is a park ranger on Vancouver Island's West Coast Trail. She was published in Sasha Cagen's To-Do List collection, and has twice won the Munro Memorial Prize for Poetry. A Humber School for Writers graduate, she is the author of an unpublished novel, Slowly With Your Hands Up. Kelda is salty, and can often be found on coastal backroads, heading down to Mexico.