Interview with Guy Babineau, author of Channel Surfing in the Sea of Happiness

Can you share a bit about your journey to becoming a writer/published author? Any interests or early signs as a child that hinted you would later put pen to paper?

I grew up surrounded by books and a family that talked about them all the time, so my relationship with writing started early and organically. I always loved wordplay and making things up! I was a child actor and planned to pursue the theatre when I was growing up. 

My first forays into “writing for the public” started with plays in elementary school, through high school and then university where I studied acting. After college, I ended up working behind the scenes in Toronto’s theatre community in PR and Communications, which led me into working in PR for book and magazine publishers. That’s where and when my writing was honed, by working with the best editors in the business.

What originally inspired you to write Channel Surfing in the Sea of Happiness ? What led you to revise, add to, and re-release this book now? Why was now the right time?

I’d had a couple of stories published in literary magazines and was offered a book deal on that basis. I wanted to write about the world I knew, a world at the time that few writers wrote about. The worst years of the AIDS crisis had dovetailed with an explosion of creativity within the LGBTQ+ community. The tension between catastrophe and hilarity was so alive and palpable; I needed to write about it. 

Art is the best way to tough it out through bad times. You know, like now. Horrible people around the world are trying to silence the LGBTQ+ community through barbaric legislation, violence and censorship. Our stories are more important than ever. I rewrote and released the book mainly for young people because I think they’ll relate to it. And be surprised too.

Review HERE!

How does the writing process work for you? Do you schedule a time every day, work madly when inspiration hits or ?

I am always inspired. In fact, too much. I have ADD, so I live in a sea of stories. My problem is being paralyzed by an overactive imagination because I have so many competing thoughts. But I’ve been working as a journalist for a long, long time, and that teaches you discipline. I like to have a goal and a deadline. When I am working on a project, I schedule specific hours during the week to work on it.

As an author - what do you enjoy most about the writing process or comes easily to you? What feels most like a chore - a struggle?

I am happiest when I am writing. I’m in the zone, as they say. The chore part is having to do other things I don’t like as much so I can pay the rent.

What do you most hope readers will take away from reading Channel Surfing in the Sea of Happiness?

That they were taken somewhere they’d never been before, that maybe they think differently about something, and that they want to read more stories from me!

What's next for you as a writer, author and advocate?

I’m working on a novel.

I would love to close with a favourite quote, one either lifts you up during down times or inspires you to become.

"Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself. (I am large, I contain multitudes.)" - Walt Whitman

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