Q1: What is your favourite breed of dog?
My favourite breed of dog is the Alaskan Malamute. We have owned three. Our first Malamute was named Kodiak and he was 150 pounds and a gorgeous animal with thick, beautiful fur and fluffy pointy ears. He had a beautiful face and a huge smile. Kodiak was so affectionate and protective of our kids but was a terrible watchdog. When people came to visit, he always thought they were there to see him, and he was all over them! He used to make his rounds every day to all the neighbours to say ‘Hello’ and, I suspect, get fed. When he died of bone cancer, we got a second Alaskan Malamute, a female named Stitches (not named by us but by the breeder). She loved the outdoors! She would race through the snow like a rocket and get us all laughing. She thought being inside the house was a punishment.
Our third Malamute was Yuki but she should have been named Houdini. Yuki could get out of any cage, off any leash, out of any collar, and could unlock locks. She was an escape artist who loved to chew wood, including our picnic table, our deck, and the walls of our house. Malamutes are intelligent, independent thinkers, who have a mind of their own and are very stubborn. If you want an obedient dog, do not get a malamute!!! I wonder what it says about us that we would have three. Now we have two cats and need I say more?
Q2: What foodstuffs are you most nostalgic for from your childhood?
I believe they were called Butter Rum Lifesavers? I loved those candies and my grandmother used to always sneak them to us behind my mother’s back, which is why I had so many cavities as a child!
Q3: A new planet is discovered where a human colony can be built – you win the lottery to name it. What name would you choose?
NOUVEAU CANADA is what I would name the new planet. I feel so fortunate to have been born in Canada where, as a woman, I have been able to go to school, university, medical school, establish my own private family practice, publish research papers, vote, drive, wear what I like, marry freely, work where I choose, and write without persecution. I appreciate that many women around the world do not have these things. I would like to see this new planet adopt the same human rights legislation and civil rights protections that are present in Canada. I would like to imagine an entire planet that is devoted to mutual respect and tolerance of others. Like Canada, the planet would be a symbol of freedom.
About Sharon Sasaki I am a third generation Japanese Canadian. From a very young age, I wanted to be a writer and artist. I carried a pad and pencil everywhere, but my parents told me I would 'starve as a writer/artist'. They told me I had to be a doctor or a Ph.D. I went into research and was in a Ph.D. program at the University of Toronto in the Neuroscience field. I published papers in the Journal of Cell Biology and Brain Research but I found that research was just not for me. I went into medical school and became a family doctor. After practicing as a solo GP in a small rural town for over twenty years, having raised two beautiful children with my chiropractor husband, I became 'burnt out' and switched to surgical assisting. It was then that I began to write again. I had feared that the stories in my head had gone forever, but they’ve slowly returned and I attempt to do them justice. I have begun painting again and I create collages with Japanese papers. Whether I become a ‘successful writer’ or not is inconsequential. If I can share my stories with a small group of readers and make them laugh and yell, “Oh!” or “You bastard!” out loud, I will be pleased. My first science fiction novel is about a medical space station and is titled ‘Welcome to the Madhouse’. It received an excellent review from Kirkus Reviews - ’A layered debut that sings odes to the grandmasters of sci-fi’ - and was featured in their September 2015 magazine. The sequel, ‘Bud by the Grace of God’ also received an excellent review - ‘Both a paean to the sci-fi genre and a captivating return to a space station in a complex universe.’ It was featured in the September 2016 Kirkus Reviews magazine in the Indie section. The third book in The Grace Lord Series is titled ‘Amazing Grace’ and will hopefully be published before Christmas. If you are interested in checking out my visual artwork, you can go to my website.