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Dundurn News

Author Interview with Christopher MacKinnon

Today our author interview is with Christopher MacKinnnon, the author of the new release Canadian Sports Sites for Kids.

Caitlyn: Tell us about your book.

Christopher: I came up with the term “sports geography” while working on the book. (I hope the phrase catches on.) Literally hundreds of Canadian places—parks, schools, buildings, arenas—have been named in tribute to famous and not-so-famous people from the world of sports. I tried to highlight this little-known sports geography of ours with Canadian Sports Sites for Kids.

Caitlyn: How did you come up with the subtitle?

Christopher: I wanted the subtitle—Places Named for Speedsters, Scorers and Other Sportsworld Citizens—to emphasize the focus on all men’s and women’s sports, not just hockey. I still marvel that an Ontario city named a park after an armwrestling promoter, or that a street sign in downtown Halifax bears the name of a boxing champ, or that Ottawa honours a badminton pioneer in the name of one of its community rec centres. Canadian Sports Sites for Kids

Caitlyn: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received as a writer?

Christopher: I once heard an interesting story about former Major League baseball pitcher Mike Flanagan. One of his personal axioms—which he’d call to mind when struggling during a game—was “try easier.” When fixing sentences, sometimes trying easier works better than trying harder. Now I have those two words written on an index-card up on a bulletin board beside my writing table. It’s as much about the “try” as it is about the “easier.”

Caitlyn: What are you reading right now?

Christopher: I’m reading None Genuine Without This Signature by Hugh Hood.

Caitlyn: What is your new project?

Christopher: My latest project also features a place name theme—but lately I’ve been pushing the toponymy in new and unorthodox directions. The new manuscript is a comic and offbeat exploration of Canada’s most “colourific” towns, rivers, mountains, lakes, islands and streets—everything from Orangeville, Yellowknife and Blue Mountain to Green Bug Lake in Newfoundland, Orange Juice Creek in BC and Purple Hill in Ontario. I’m calling it Colourful Canada: A Vivid Guide to Our Brightest Place Names.

Christopher MacKinnon has freelanced for several Canadian newspapers, magazines, and online publications, including the National Post, the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, and Sudbury Living Magazine. He is a member of the Canadian Society for the Study of Names and lives in Toronto.

About the author

The Markerting Coordinator at Dundurn, lover of books, tea and dancing in the rain.

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