City Adventure: Q&A with Author Josh Malerman


photo credit: @joshmalerman

ashley | Every once in a while, a book comes out that completely steals my attention, to the point that I can’t stop talking about it. I don’t know what it is about Josh Malerman’s debut novel Bird Box, I haven’t even had the chance to read it yet, but as soon as I first read about it, I have been desperate to get my hands on it. Monday night, Josh dropped by the Harper Collins office in Toronto to speak with a few lucky people about his book and I was more than thrilled to be in attendance.

We were seated in a boardroom around a small piano and a couple of microphones. On our chairs were bags with the book, but more importantly, a can of soup (for survival reasons!) and a blindfold. We were greeted and told things would start soon, if we would please put on our blindfolds.

May 26 - Josh Malerman @ Harper Collins 2 cropped

photo credit: @ktvncnt

Everything went dark, the room hushed to silence, the odd whisper here or there but mostly quiet. We heard the creak of a door open and then it started; a haunting, eerie sound coming from the piano and then Josh’s voice, setting the scene as he started to read from the book.

This was much more than just a book reading, though.

May 26 - Josh Malerman @ Harper Collins


While Josh accompanied his reading by playing peculiar sounds on the piano, his partner in crime Allison acted out the female lead, Malorie, her shrieks filling the room, our senses exaggerated as we hid behind our blindfolds. I could feel the suspense building as Josh and Allison described for us Malorie’s blind trek into a deserted bar, right into the path of some creature.

I could almost feel it breathing down my neck, that’s how intense the blindfolded experience was. What an introduction to this already fascinating book!

After the reading, Josh’s publicist interviewed him briefly and the floor opened up for audience questions.

Things you need to know about Josh and Bird Box learned from the Q&A:

– Josh wrote the first draft of Bird Box in 26 days.

– Though Bird Box is his first published book, Josh has written at least 17 books.

– He has been playing music with his band The High Strung for fifteen years.

– Josh listened to horror movie soundtracks while writing Bird Box.

– Bird Box has already been tapped for a movie adaptation.

– Josh is in talks with his agent and Harper Collins about publishing his next book

– Favourite quote: when asked about advice to other aspiring writers “Inspiration is a monster… [write] every single day, if you like it or not. Do not wait for inspiration.”

For lack of better phrasing, the entire night was an experience. A huge thanks to Josh and to the Harper Collins team for an incredible night! I cannot wait to read this book. Review to follow.