Writer in Residence

Writers on TV Survey: Evan Munday

By Carey Toane

Happy Tuesday! Author and illustrator Evan Munday answers our Writers on TV survey, in which I ask Toronto authors, editors, agents and others to tell us a bit about their personal reading and viewing habits.

Name: Evan Munday

Recent work: The Dead Kid Detective Agency book series, the third of which, Loyalist to a Fault, will be in stores this September.

How much time do you spend watching TV in a week? 5-8 hours, maybe? I used to watch a lot more. Possibly a destructive amount.

How much time do you spend watching TV in a week when the new Downton Abbey/Game of Thrones/etc comes out? 10-12 hours (I don't watch either of those shows religiously. However, if, say, a made-for-TV Saved by the Bell:The Unauthorized True Story movie was airing, that would bump up my weekly numbers.)

How much time do you spend reading in a week? 6-10 hours?

Do you identify as a TV binge watcher? No. I am all about delayed gratification. I will dole out a season of television like a government war-time rationing office divvying up bread and heating oil.

Do you stream shows online?I have recently started to use my ex-girlfriend's Netflix account (with her permission) to watch things that aren't currently on DVD, like Orange Is the New Black (Season 2) and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Do you post about TV on social media? Probably more than I do about books, really. But it's always really clever, I swear.

Favourite TV show (current/all-time): That's a toss-up between The Prisoner and Veronica Mars.

Favourite Canadian book/short story TV adaptation: Since neither The Littlest Hobo nor Breaker High, as far as I know, were based on books, I'm going to go with the short-lived Alice, I Think series, based on Susan Juby's series of young adult novels.

Worst book/short story TV adaptation of all time: I only saw a couple episodes, but from what I saw, the Hellblazer television series - much like the Keanu Reeves movie - missed a lot of what made the comic book series interesting.

Canadian book/short story you would like to see on TV: I've heard that Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce books are already being developed into a series, and that would have been my first choice. But I also think the new Alexandra Grigorescu novel, Cauchemar, could make for an incredible, more supernatural companion piece to a show like True Detective. 

Graphic novel that you would like to see made into a TV series: Teen Boat! by Dave Roman and John Green (not that John Green) is begging to be made into a television series. "The angst of being a teen, the thrill of being a boat!"

TV series that could be (mistakenly) based on a book: I'm pretty sure beloved Can-Con paean to GO Transit, Train 48, was loosely based on Murder on the Orient Express.

-Favourite book trailer that could work as a TV commercial: I've always loved the book trailer Cormorant Books (and a super-green Carolyn McNeillie, now at House of Anansi) did for Zoe Whittall's Bottle Rocket Hearts. Maybe it's a bit long for a commercial, but it's fun.

Are TV series the new novels? No. I mean, there are still novels – a lot of novels – published every year. And I'd say just as many people have been talking about Gone Girl or The Goldfinch or H is for Hawk or whatever at parties over the past year as they have House of Cards. That said, I do go to a lot of parties populated by people who work in book publishing, so perhaps my perspective is skewed.

Do you ever watch TV the old-fashioned way, y'know, on the television? Most of the time, I do.

How does that feel? Decadent. I have a desktop computer, so if I ever stream a show, I watch while seated at my work desk. But I can watch my television while on the couch or lying on the floor. Such luxury! However, it's rare that I just watch television. Usually, I multitask, inking illustrations or feverishly attempting to complete crosswords while doing viewing.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book.

Carey Toane is a librarian, journalist and poet. Her first collection of poems, The Crystal Palace, was published in 2011 by Mansfield Press. She lives in Toronto, where she is currently working on a collection of poems inspired by and dedicated to Twin Peaks. She is on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/careygrrl

You can contact Carey throughout the month of May at writer@openbooktoronto.com