Seen Reading interviews WordFest attendee Priya Mishra

Hi, all! It’s Julie Wilson, author of Seen Reading, and throughout WordFest 2012, I’ve been checking in with festival attendees. I asked each one the same questions and together we discovered just how varied the responses would be.

My last interview was with Priya Mishra, a most lovely and eloquent reader. Let’s set aside the fact that she’s 17-years-old and focus on well she articulates her reading habits.

A real pleasure, and a fine way to conclude these reader interviews. Who says young people don’t read? Pssh . . .

And many thanks to WordFest for having me. As an invited author: What a joy! As an invited blogger: What a treat!

Keep reading, and be seeing you!

Julie Wilson: Who are/were you looking forward to seeing at WordFest 2012?

Priya Mishra:  I attended last year, too.

JW: OK, let’s start there. Who left an impression?

PM: Tanya Davis. Her style was very unique, and I came with a lot, because I really like poetry, but it’s something that I’ve only gotten into recently, and I enjoyed the way she put herself out there through music.

JW: And this year? Anyone you wanted to see or came away happy you caught?

PM: Everyone was pretty new to me, but I’m glad I saw Sheri-D Wilson.

JW: Wonderful! Why did you like her?

PM: Her poetry was out there! She just put everything into it, and she didn’t hold anything back. And she had so much energy.

JW: And do you have a favourite book of all-time?

PM: The Thief Lord, by Cornelia Funke.

JW: Readers can’t see this right now, but there’s a chorus of other young adults nearby and The Thief Lord just got some fist pumps.


So why do you like that book so much?

PM: I read it when I was really little, and I guess most of what I like is fantasy but there’s no fantasy in The Thief Lord. It’s very real and touching, I found. It has the mythical proportions, but all of it’s highly believable.

JW: Do you have a favourite book of the last year or recent years?

PM: Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of Japanese Manga. There’s D. Gray-Man, by Katsura Hoshino. It’s written by a woman, which isn’t very common for boys’ Manga, and it’s a horror, but also a comedy [laughter], and it really pulls at your heartstrings. Manga doesn’t usually do it as strongly as D. Gray-Man. Usually, you find that more in novels.

JW: So, there’s something about the prose of the D. Gray-Man that appeals to you, like in a novel?

PM: Yes.

JW: You’re a very sophisticated reader, by the way. You’re very good at explaining why something appeals to you as a reader, as well as where the work sits among its peers. A lot of people don’t know how to talk about writing in these terms. I think I’m proud of you.

[awkward silence]

JW: OK. Last question. You wake up on a desert island. You’re not going to a desert island. You wake up there. There’s a  book beside you? Do you know what it is?

PM: [no hesitation] The Lord of the Rings.

JW: All the rings, I take it?

PM: Yes!

JW: Why?

PM: They’re the greatest creation ever!


PM: Ever!


JW: How?!

PM: Because it’s so . . . detailed. There’s everything in there. It could almost be historical.

JW: I’m not gonna lie, I’ve never read The Lord of the Rings, and you’re swaying me.

Actual last question. What are you currently reading?

PM: I’m reading ten books right now!

JW: Are you? GOOD! Do you always have something on the go?

PM: I’m always reading something. The main one I’m focusing on is It, by Stephen King.

JW: IT?! I wasn’t expecting that. You’re how old?

PM: 17-years-old.

JW: OK. What do you like about Stephen King?

PM: Well, it’s interesting, but the first thing I read by Stephen King was The Stand, and I like his larger novels compared to his smaller ones, because there’s so many characters in them, and they’re so fleshed out, and it’s difficult to flesh out so many characters in one book and keep the plot going.

JW: You said 17-years-old? I think you might be my favourite kind of reader.


JW: I have to ask one more question. How many books do you read a year?

PM: 50-70?

JW: [lengthy pause] Poetry. Manga. Horror. Character construction. Fantasy. History. You do know you’re a publisher’s dream?


To follow along with my reader sightings, and to contribute your own—no matter where you live—use the hashtag #seenreading.

If you’re joining us at WordFest 2012, be sure to also include the hashtag #wordfest2012.

And if you see me wandering about, please do say hello. I’d love to know what you’re reading!


Julie Wilson is The Book Madam (@bookmadam), a publishing professional who splits her time between Toronto and San Diego.

She’s an active reader ambassador, coach, and conduit, and creator/author of Seen ReadingFreehand Books & HarperCollins (ebook)—a collection of microfictions written in response to people who read in public. (WordFest’s festival bookseller, Pages on Kensington, also has copies on hand, along with some keen magnetic Seen Reading bookmarks. Stop on by!)

Follow Julie as The Literary Voyeur at @seenreading.

Visit her online homes at and

Julie appears at WordFest 2012 at the following events:

Name Your Sources
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
5-6:30 p.m.
Vertigo Theatre Centre, Studio
with Deni Y. Bechard, Russell Wangersky and Rachel Wyatt

How Should a Writer Be?
Saturday, October 13, 2012
1:30-2:30 p.m.
The Banff Centre
with Joe Meno and Susan Swan


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