I'm stunned by the number of people that liked the brief blogpiece I did for the Straight to plug Chris Walter's booklaunch Thursday (at the Storm Crow Tavern on Commercial Drive, from 7 to 9pm) for Chase the Dragon. I was able to preview the novel and chat with him about it; it's very entertaining, and I agree with Chris that it's his best work of fiction since 2006's East Van (at least of the ones I've read!). The article hit the Straight blog around noon today, and now, not twelve hours later, it has 272 Likes on Facebook - in part because Chris asked his fans to get the word out, but still: that's a stellar amount of support!
There will be, as I mention in the blogpiece, a feature interview in the Straight with Chris forthcoming sometime soon, but various entertaining tidbits didn’t make either that article or the brief thing on the blog - from the fact that all cats in Walter’s books, including this one, are named Mitzy, to the amusing moment where he jogs through his own novel, big, bald, and covered in tattoos (his four-times-weekly route takes him between the Rupert and Clark Skytrain stations, then back to his home off the Drive). Unfortunately he wouldn’t go into detail about the funniest part of the book, which involves the story of notorious bus beheader Vince Weiguang Li, who went Wendigo on poor BC carny Tim McLean a few years ago. “It gives away too much of the book if I say how it comes up or what it leads to,” he told me. “It was a mechanism to move the characters from one place to another; that’s what happens in fiction - if you want something to happen, something else has to happen." I kind of begged him to let me spoil it, but he remained steadfast, saying it's one of his favourite parts of the book; there's probably some wisdom there.
What Walter would do, however, was raise his eyebrows that Vince Li is “now on supervised day release - they take him out of the grounds and he goes to visit this place and that place. What the hell, that’s just wrong," he laughed incredulously. I joked that maybe he'd like to go on a law and order rant on the topic, and he declined - it wasn't a position he wanted to espouse, he just knew he didn’t want to sit next to the guy on a bus!