Edmonton

THE INTERVIEW PROJECT 39: Todd Babiak


Photo by Alistair Henning http://www.AlistairHenning.com

BIO:
Todd Babiak is a Canadian writer and entrepreneur living in Edmonton, Alberta. He is co-founder of Story Engine, and has published three bestselling novels. He is also a mediocre snowboarder and ultimate frisbee player.”

 There are many things to like about Todd Babiak. But first, I’ll start with something a bit different:

My mom doesn’t believe in Todd Babiak.

A few years ago Todd reviewed a Fringe play I wrote called, Aachen. It was a glowing review. It made me blush. It made me feel great. It made me feel so great that I emailed it to my mother in Ontario. I thought to myself, “I’m not wasting my time doing these things. I’m good at this.”

After sending it to my mother I awaited her reply for several hours. It did not come. So I called her and asked her if she got the email.

“Yes, I got it.”

“Well…what did you think?”

“It was funny I guess.”

“Funny?”

“Well, what do you want me to say?”

“I don’t know, but funny wasn’t what I was going for…”

“You did a very nice job writing it.”

“Mom, I didn’t write it. It’s a review of a play that I did…”

“Sure Trent.”

In my mother’s defence, I have been known to cry wolf in the past. For example thisthis and this. With that said, she eventually ‘sort of’ believed me but I think in the back of her mind I’m somewhere out there, writing fictitious reviews for various shows under the Babiak pseudonym.

And now the many things to like:

Being a journalist or a person who writes for a major print publication is extremely tough these days. Print is trying to find it’s relevance and role in a constantly changing digital landscape. Todd Babiak, in my opinion, is an example of what a writer in this position should do after moving on. First of all, he keeps writing. If he isn’t writing, he is talking about the importance of writing. If he is not doing that, he is suggesting ways for writers to keep writing or for people to just be creative in general. He doesn’t sit around and brood about how shitty this perpetually evolving landscape of  words is…he adapts and evolves. Is this not what writing is about? Too many people are scared of change, they get comfy and complacent and docile and stagnant. They get bad habits…habits that turn into expectations. Maybe, just maybe, the print news industry has something to learn from him.

BABIANSWERS:
If you would give yourself a nickname what would it be?

Magpie?

If you could switch one body part with anyone else in the world living or dead, who and what would it be?

I would take the skin of actress Michelle Williams, who is originally from Montana.

In five words, describe your most uncomfortable dream.

Naked in the lecture hall.

What is your favourite word?

Sabbatical.

What does that word smell like?

Freshly cut basil.

What is your spirit animal?

The noble magpie?

If ghosts existed, would you want to meet one? If so, what would you ask it?

I want to want to meet one. But honestly I think I would go mental.

If you could share a bottle of alcohol with anyone who has ever existed, who would it be and what would you drink?

Thomas Cromwell. One of those bottles of warm red wine that made him feel better after a day in the rain. A woman in purple would be playing a lute and later we’d have a bath together, the lute player and me.

What would you rather have as a pet: A dragon, a unicorn Pegasus or Ezra Levant?

They’re all so wonderful. Would it be cheating to say I want to tie up all three naked in my basement?

Finally, if you could live your life over again with guaranteed success, what would you do?

As long as I get to have my wife and daughters I don’t care very much. A novelist who only has to write novels?

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Categories: Edmonton, Other

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