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Kirsten Brassard, publicist at Groundwood: "Hogwarts. Always."

Tell us a favourite opening line from any children’s book.

”In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.“

What was the first book you ever read all by yourself?

I really couldn’t tell you! I read early and read often, so often in fact that when I finished my school work before the rest of the class the teacher would send me to the library to read some more. I particularly liked The Balloon Tree, The Stinky Cheese Man, and Throw Your Tooth on the Roof.

In which fictional house or land would you like to live?

Hogwarts. (After all this time? Always.)

What book changed the way you look at the world?

Here’s where the YA comes in. 13 Reasons Why, Life on the Refrigerator Door, Going Bovine… These powerful books marked my teenage years.

The Monster at the End of This Book is also a mind-blowing masterpiece.

Choose three adjectives to describe yourself.

Bookish. Booktastic. Bookful. (I hereby submit my petition for more book-derived adjectives!)

What annoys you most in a book?

The simplest things: spelling mistakes.

What was your first book-related job?

One of my many jobs in school was cataloguing the Gibson Collection of Speculative Fiction at the University of Calgary library.

Do you have a secret manuscript stashed away that you haven’t shown anyone yet?

I’ll leave the writing to the professionals for now.

Have you ever stolen a book?

That depends on how you define stolen.

What do you look for first when promoting a new book?

I’m a publicist, so I guess the official answer is that I look for the hook. But really, I look for the heart.

What book did you love as a kid that you realize now was “of its time” and would not be published today?

I love a lot of books by authors with contemptible personal views, such as Roald Dahl and J.K. Rowling. Let’s aim to be smart and independent like Matilda, or brave and loyal like Harry, but more accepting of others than Dahl and Rowling.


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