Meet Our Members: Arthur Slade

Arthur Slade was raised on a ranch in the Cypress Hills of Saskatchewan. He is the author of eighteen novels for young readers including The Hunchback Assignments, which won the prestigious TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and Dust, winner of the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature. He also co-created the graphic novel Modo: Ember’s End.  He lives in Saskatoon, Canada.

Check our Arthur’s website here.


Describe your workspace.

I have a workplace designed by a medieval inquisition. First, I stand on a horrible torture device called a treadmill desk. It is truly frightening, It forces the author to walk and write. AT THE SAME TIME. Also, my eye catching device is called an iMac. It forces the author to stare at the screen until a novel (or Facebook post) is finished. Finally, I have a wireless keyboard. I kind of like it.


Describe a typical workday.

I get up at 6 AM when the rooster crows and write until 8 AM. If it’s a perfect day I continue writing from 9 to 11 AM (after the child is off at school). And spend the afternoon answering emails, being pithy on social media, and drinking tea. That’s the perfect day. Often I’m answering emails and other “stuff” after 9 AM to catch up. I try to always protect those first two hours for writing. At the very least.


List three of your most favourite things in your workspace and why they are meaningful.

My treadmill desk. Yep, I make fun of it. But it keeps me healthy and I do feel more energized as I’m writing. My bookshelves because they have books on them and seeing printed books is somehow inspiring. And I love having a big screen on my iMac for my old, old eyes.  


Do you have any rituals in your work habits?   

Bang my head against my desk for the first five minutes. And whenever I get an edit letter.


What do you listen to while you work?

Heavy Metal. Lots of heavy metal. I follow that up with heavy metal. And Adele.


What is your drink and/or snack of choice while you’re working?

Turtles. The chocolate kind. Not real ones. They don’t taste very good.


How do you develop your story ideas? Do you use an outline, let the muse lead you, or another technique?

I fly by the seat of my imaginary pants. Don’t worry, I have real pants. I’m too lazy to plot.


If you were forced to share your workspace but could share it with anyone of your choosing, who would it be?

Stephen King. Then I could borrow ideas and money from him.


What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve heard or received?

Don’t give up your day job. Keep writing until it becomes your day job.




Thanks to Jennifer Chambliss Bertman for the use of her Creative Spaces interview questions.

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