When D. W. Marchwell is not teaching future generations the wonders of science, he can usually be found hiking, writing, riding horses, trying new recipes, or searching for and lovingly restoring discarded antique furniture. A goofy and incurable romantic, D.W. admits that his stories are inspired by actual events and has a soft spot for those where boy not only meets boy but also turns out to be boy’s soul mate. After almost fifteen years of working his way across Canada, D.W has finally found the perfect place to live at the foot of the Canadian Rockies. He still can’t believe how lucky he is, and, as his grandmother taught him, counts his blessings every day.
Welcome to the blog D.W. Glad to have you with us to close out a wonderful two weeks of Canadian authors.
1. If someone was coming to the Canada on vacation, tell them one place they MUST visit (can be as large as the Rocky Mountains, or as specific as a unique museum)?
I would definitely encourage them to visit the prairies, preferably in winter. I may be biased, but I’ve always loved the peace and serenity of the prairies, and the winters are spectacular. It may be -40 degrees Celsius, but the sun will most likely be shining. Also, I don’t think most people are aware of all the wonderful winter activities that take place, especially in the smaller communities. Sleigh rides, jam-pail curling, skating, cross-country skiing, even hot-tubbing (if you know the right people) .
2. Can you ice skate? Do you understand the rules of hockey and have a favourite team? (please don’t be the Maple Leafs)
Yes, like all good Canadians, I can skate and I can play hockey (albeit very badly). I’m not what anyone would call a sports fanatic, but I’ve always rooted for the Winnipeg Jets; since I’m not a devout sports fan, I decided the fairest way to choose a favorite team was to choose that of my hometown.
3. Do you think there is a quintessential Canadian food? What would you serve guests who demand some real Canadian food?
That’s a really tough question, but I’ve lived in many different regions in Canada and there are only a few foods that are known in ALL of these regions: perogies, poutine, Montreal-style bagels, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and shepherd’s pie. Now having stated that, I will freely admit that each region has its own way of preparing these foods.
I’ve been visited many times by friends I’ve made while travelling in their countries, and when they visit, I always serve them a sampling of “Canadian” food. For example, I will serve (besides salad and potatoes, etc.) shepherd’s pie (using my Oma’s recipe) and Maple Syrup cheesecake (again, Oma’s recipe). There might be some variations here and there to the menu, but essentially I try to serve the kinds of foods that my Oma always served. Those meals always seemed “Canadian” to me.
4. How many provinces/territories have you visited? Have you ever been to the arctic?
I have visited every province and territory in Canada, including the arctic and North Pole. I have also been lucky enough to have lived in many of the provinces: Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Alberta.
5. What was your first published story?
6. Have you ever written a story set in Canada? Which one?
I’m a very proud Canadian and am proud to say that all of my stories take place in Canada. Even though a specific location may not feature in the story, there are other clues featured in the stories that will make it easy for readers to know that the characters and locales are Canadian.
7. Who is your favourite Canadian actor or actress?
There are so many talented Canadian actors and actresses, but if you’re forcing me to choose just one of each… Ever since the “Sound of Music”, I’ve had a huge crush on Christopher Plummer. Not only is he a brilliant actor, but I find him so down-to-earth and very funny. My favorite Canadian actress would have to be Geneviève Bujold. There is a magnetic and an open quality about her, so much so that I barely notice anyone who is on the screen with her.
8. Who is your favourite Canadian musical artist?
Once again, there are so many, but… I would probably choose Maureen Forrester. I was one of those geeky kids when I was younger, you know the kind that listen to classical music and eat lunch with the cafeteria ladies. Ms. Forrester, for me, was the epitome of grace and class, not to mention an incredibly beautiful voice, on stage, but could be so raunchy and frank during interviews. A classy, elegant lady, and an enormous talent, who didn’t have a problem kicking back and having a few beer every now and then.
9. If you could be a Canadian animal shifter, what would you be?
It’s probably not sexy in terms of shifting personas, but I have always wondered what it would be like to be a powerful, yet graceful, polar bear. I remember being completely enthralled by them at the zoo. I can spend hours watching them swim gracefully and frolic with each other in the water.
10. Winter – yay or nay? Discuss.
It’s been pointed out to me on several occasions that I’m a “throw-back” to the days when Canadians loved the winter and despised the boiling days of summer. Growing up in Winnipeg, where the summer temperatures can reach well over 30 degrees Celsius, I much preferred (and still do) the winter months. There are smaller crowds, you can stay outside longer (provided you “layer”) and nothing beats that big mug of hot chocolate when you finally come back in.
11. What’s the best thing about being Canadian?
Just that – being a Canadian. No matter where I’ve travelled, Canadians have always been received with open arms. I’m immensely proud of what Canada and Canadians have added to the worlds of sport, science and culture. We live in one of the best countries of the world and have a reputation for being tolerant and accepting, not to mention being willing to help at the drop of a hat (or should I say “tuque”).
Thanks so much D.W. and if you were a polar bear, you’ll definitely have enough layers to keep you warm in winter. You can find D.W. around the internet at the following places: