This isn’t just any old Q+A. We asked Eliza some particularly tough questions about her literary heroes, books that smell like cheese, and if she’d wear squeaky shoes for the rest of her life.

Yep, it’s a literary Would You Rather… ?

#1: Would you rather write your stories just by thinking them (no need to physically write or type) but have all your published books smell vaguely like Asiago cheese?


Write your stories on William Faulkner's famous Underwood typewriter but have to use bug excrement for ink?

(Things to consider: Would anyone take your book home if it smelled like cheese? How confident would you be sending out manuscripts that smell like beetle poop?)

Eliza: I hate Asiago cheese! The smell of that stuff kept me from walking to Subway at lunchtime with the cool kids. Never again will Asiago cheese make me less cool. I’ll take the beetle shit. Also: I don’t mind the physical labour of typing. In Kindergarten, my favourite computer game was UltraKey.

#2: Would you rather play in a highly competitive softball league on a team with Margaret Atwood?


Play in the same softball league against a team with Margaret Atwood?

(Things to consider: the amazing between-inning dugout banter; she’s probably not that good at baseball)

Eliza: Are you kidding? That woman is spry. I’ll bet she plays a mean game of softball. Just look at her hair. Also: could you imagine Margaret Atwood chanting intimate writing insults while you pitch or bat the ball? No thank you.

#3: Would you rather be plagiarized by Alice Munro (or other literary hero)?


Win a Nobel Prize for literature but have to wear squeaky shoes for the rest of your life?

(Things to consider: the sincerest form of flattery, inescapable shoe-based nicknames)

Eliza: If I have to walk on grass and plush carpets for the rest of my life in order to win the Nobel Prize, so be it.

#4: Would you rather have one of your stories turned into a film that has Carrot Top in a featured cameo?


Have one of your stories turned into a film starring Adam Sandler in every role?

(Things to consider: Jack and Jill, this)

Eliza: I dislike Carrot Top almost as much as I dislike Asiago cheese. I don’t even know if I’ve seen him act, except that ATT commercial from a decade ago. I remember feeling very annoyed by that commercial. It aired frequently. I have found Adam Sandler charming in a few movies. Every role might be too much. OR: appealingly John Malkovich.

#5: Would you rather be in a class taught by George Saunders?


Be in an hour-long cab ride with George Saunders?

(Things to consider: Did we mention it's a gym class and everyone is wearing 70s style short-shorts? Also, your cab driver is a relentless Nicolas Cage impersonator who’s partial to this version of the man.)

Eliza: Oh wow. Can I have both of these things? If it were a fiction workshop, I would have gone with the cab ride… but P.E.? In 70s short shorts? Say no more! That said, option B touches my longtime affection for Nicolas Cage. Even a Nicolas Cage impersonator having a nervous breakdown. That would bring George Saunders and I closer, don’t you think? Nothing bonds two passengers like a nutty and life-threatening cabdriver. Especially if those passengers are also wearing short shorts.

LF: Brilliant. Thanks.


Purchase WALLFLOWERS from:

Powell’s | Indigo | IndieBound

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