No future, or the submerged punk ethos of Susan Sanford Blades’s Fake It So Real: A review by Steven W. Beattie on his blog That Shakespearean Rag. April 27, 2021
CBC Books covers the 2021 ReLit winners! April 27, 2021
CBC Radio One Victoria: On the Island with Gregor Craigie. March 10, 2021. I did an interview via Zoom with Gregor Craigie for CBC Victoria’s morning show, On The Island. We talked about where the title came from, the redeemability of all of the characters, and how Victoria’s underbelly was the perfect backdrop for Fake It So Real.
BC BookWorld Spring 2021 issue: Alexander Varty wrote a piece on Fake It So Real (how autobiographical IS it) and on what I’m working on now (something involving riot grrrl, serial killers, and adoption, set in Edmonton in the mid-90s). Article is on p. 26.
Get Lit Podcast: “Episode 221 with Susan Sanford Blades” – I had a really great conversation with Jamie Tennant in which we discuss Fake It So Real, my beginnings as a V. C. Andrews fan-fiction writer, how this book wouldn’t have worked if Damian were a member of The New Kids on the Block, how mothers are human beings, and how I avoided writing the COVID-19 pandemic into the novel. February 11, 2021
“Author Q&A: Susan Sanford Blades’s New Book Casts an Eye to 1990s Edmonton” – a Q&A with Steven Sandor for Edmonton magazine EDify. January 25, 2021.
“For The Love of Crust Fiction: An Interview with Susan Sanford Blades” – an interview with Hannah Macready for the Amateurs Project. Posted December 16, 2020. And posted December 22, 2020 on EVENT magazine’s blog.
“Fake It So Real, by Susan Sanford Blades” on Pickle Me This, November 5, 2020
“Local Author Channels ‘punk rock Alice Munro’ with debut book,” by Nicholas Ihmels, Nexus. November 2, 2020.
All Lit Up Mixtape: Fake It So Real. October 20, 2020.
Praise for Fake It So Real
“[T]he book’s complicated and messy depiction of motherhood and womanhood, women who chafe at the limits of ‘wife’ and transgress them [makes it like] Alice Munro, but … punk? … This is not a story of happily ever after, but instead one of hardscrabble and losing, fucking up over and over again. … it’s also just really good, crafted with care and precision. … a book whose effort never shows, whose seams and joints are invisible. It just works, and as a reader, it’s such a pleasure to submit to a book that’s so well constructed. … Fake It So Real manages to be not a glorification of counterculture or a condemnation of it either. This is not a book that comes with an agenda, except to tell a story of love and family that is achingly real.”
Kerry Clare, author of Waiting for a Star to Fall
“One could say that Susan Sanford Blades writes with a unique edgy freshness that breaks the rules and blows the mind in the most satisfying way, but that wouldn’t be diving deep enough. This book broke my heart over and over again, and I relished in the breaking. It feels like my life—even though it doesn’t resemble my life in its events at all, it FEELS like life feels. The emotional veracity, the deep and tabled history of inherited trauma—the way trauma doesn’t register as trauma because of its numbing/truncating impact on us. I fell in love with each of these broken and breaking women, so skillfully, artfully, deliciously rendered—so real. Fake It So Real is a must-must-must read. You’ll want to recommend it to everyone. You’ll wear it like an aura for days afterwards.”
Kyeren Regehr, author of Cult Life
“Tender and lacerating. A jolt and a thump. Reading this book is a downright bodily experience.”
Zoey Leigh Peterson, author of Next Year, For Sure
“This is it. Nobody rocks a sentence like Susan Sanford Blades. Precise and furious at the same time, her writing thrums with the pure energies of sex and music, deep longing and deeper love. This family, these girls and these women, their lives are not like the ones you read about in Alice Munro, but this art is the same: vital, honest and unafraid.”
Alexander MacLeod, author of Light Lifting
“Susan Sanford Blades is a discovery. … She spanks out line after quotable line as if she speaks in aphorisms. … Sentences carved out of the ether but anchored in an incredibly convincing, grubby, and hilariously inept reality.”
Douglas Glover, Numéro Cinq