Until recently, without question the highlight of Ken Budd’s literary career, apart from writing, producing, or consulting for over three dozen publications, was the time he spent studying creative writing with the late W. O. Mitchell at the Banff Centre many moons ago. But, a few weeks back, near the end of October, a meeting took place that, for Budd, may rival even that old Banff mainstay memory.
Fresh off a successful signing and reading tour of the Prairies, Budd was back on the road, but this time headed in the other direction. Instead of joining Highway 1 at Horseshoe Bay for a jaunt east, he found himself on BC Ferries’ Coastal Renaissance ship en route to Victoria via Nanaimo. In the back of his mind, Budd knew that his trip to Victoria would involve much more than setting up and taking down book displays, lunching with his editor, and taking in a few flicks. After all, Victoria is the home of Canadian literary icon Jack Hodgins.
To understand why this might matter to Budd, beyond the obvious gratitude for Hodgins having added titles like Broken Ground and A Passion for Narrative to the Canadian literary scene, one has to go back about seven years.