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Songwriter and fiction writer Christopher Ward in his Toronto home office, where he spends most of his time writing, reading and creating his music (Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)
Songwriter and fiction writer Christopher Ward in his Toronto home office, where he spends most of his time writing, reading and creating his music (Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)

My Books, My Place

Christopher Ward's room with a leafy view Add to ...

With three dedicated readers here, there are local branches of our home library all over the house. My wife is in a book club; my daughter just started a teen book blog called bibelotdotcom, and I leave Bookhenge-like stacks everywhere. My room for reading, writing, listening and playing is small, but only feels as small as what I'm reading or working on at the time. I've got a leafy view and last winter a brave cardinal accompanied me through the barren months.

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I read according to my mood and am guilty of reading many books at once. For fiction, I love David Mitchell's work; Cloud Atlas is a hugely entertaining and brilliant balancing act. In non-fiction, I recently really enjoyed Summer World; author Bernd Heinrich uses a storyteller's voice to reveal the wonders of nature. In music reading, I was astounded by Bob Dylan's Chronicles: Volume 1. Who knew that after four decades of obfuscation, Dylan would lay it out so clearly!

Books are a huge influence on my songwriting, usually indirectly; but in one case, while working on the lyric for Amanda Marshall's Beautiful Goodbye, I tried to emulate Raymond Chandler and to create a new category of “noir pop.”

Recently, I've moved from the three-minutes-and-20-seconds form to something longer. My first book, a tween novel called Mac in the City of Light, is coming out next year.

Christopher Ward is a songwriter, and a judge on the hit series The Next Star, the finale of which will be broadcast tomorrow on YTV.

 

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