Claudia Casper

Claudia Casper

Long-form Fiction

Claudia is a novelist who also writes reviews for The Globe and Mail. She has just completed her third novel. Her first two books, The Reconstruction and The Continuation of Love By Other Means, were bestselling and well reviewed. Both are published by Penguin, and optioned for film and published in UK, US and Germany. She focuses on adapting the novel in the age of the internet and discovering ways to increase the drama and power of her narrative. Claudia was a guest lecturer at the University of Shanghai in Spring 2015 and teaches fiction at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

What will VMI participants gain from the program?
The invaluable gift of an honest reflection back of what they’ve created. Clear feedback about what isn’t working, and collaborative discussion about how to make it work. A fellow writer to walk beside you in the difficult process of finishing a book.

What is the most valuable piece of writing advice you have received?
Leonard Cohen said, “Don’t trust my inner feelings, inner feelings come and go.” And paraphrasing Cohen here, if you stay with something long enough, it will yield.

What book, poem or other written work has been most inspirational to you?
Hamlet, King Lear, the Torah, James Joyce Ulysses, Nadine Gordimer, Anita Brookner’s Hotel du Lac, Kurt Vonnegut, J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace

What books do you recommend VMI participants read for additional advice?
That very much depends on what they are working on.

What are you currently working on?
A feature-length screenplay and just beginning a hybrid novel and a short story.

What is the most valuable insight or skill that your VMI writers have learned from you?
This would probably be better coming from them. I can’t really say. I believe I am strong in seeing the whole, helping them articulate what they are aiming for, and mapping a path forward to get where they want to go.

What do you gain from the mentoring process?
The joy of sharing the creative process, of participating in creating something complete and new.

What do you wish you knew when writing your first manuscript that you know now?
That it never gets easier. The feeling of wishing I had a bigger brain to contain the whole suitcase of a novel and a bigger brain to more easily track and reorder all the items inside that suitcase to form an original, cohesive and logical narrative.

What do you enjoy most about being a VMI mentor?
I love the melding of minds to create the best possible book.

What will VMI participants gain from the program?
The invaluable gift of an honest reflection back of what they’ve created. Clear feedback about what isn’t working, and collaborative discussion about how to make it work. A fellow writer to walk beside you in the difficult process of finishing a book.