Local author Christine Walde.

Local author Christine Walde.

Standing out from the landscape

Local Christine Walde, author of two young adult fiction novels on crossing genres, graffiti and finding time for creativity.

Late at night, after her children have gone to sleep, one Saanich mom revels in the silence in front of her computer screen.

Author Christine Walde chips away at her next project in those precious moments of solitude – a concept familiar to parents, especially those whose passions require quiet reflection. Walde fantasizes about hiding out in a cabin and logging some writing hours.

“I don’t have any extra spare time. I would like to create extra meditative space in my life. To be a writer I think you need to have meditative space around questions you have, to explore answers you’re never going to know. It’s a whole different way of thinking,” Walde says. “Working full-time, being a mom and doing all of the other shit that people do, is not conducive to creative thinking.”

In 2013 Walde, a full-time librarian and mother to eight-and 12-year-old children, published her second book of young adult fiction, Burning from the Inside, with Cormorant Books. But don’t call her a YA author.

“I wasn’t actively pursuing a career in young adult literature. I do not like myself to be confined within one type of writing.”

Walde didn’t realize her first book, 2007’s The Candy Darlings, even belonged to the young adult genre until she met its publisher and would-be literary agent, who helped shape the flash fiction into the YA novel it became.

“I was just writing the story that I wanted to write,” she says. “It’s more that the market found me than I went seeking it.”

Walde, also a published author of poetry and creative non-fiction, is drawn to YA specifically for its role in documenting the critical passages from one period of life to the next.

In Burning from the Inside, two young graffiti artists are the ones navigating such a passage – one of whom is undercover to bust the G7 crew, the other is a member. They may just fall in love.

The star-crossed plot circles around the existence of a legendary piece of graffiti, said to reveal quintessential truths about the world.

“They do discover some quintessential truths, but it’s about themselves, not about their work,” Walde says.

Walde found inspiration for the story during a time she was living in London, Ont. in an area well-marked with graffiti.

“Not that it was that fantastic, Berlin Wall kinda stuff,” she says, “but it was important, these were people who had a voice to speak and they were using an expression often used.”

Though conflicted on whether or not graffiti is art – her current stance is closer to a no, than a yes, by the way – Walde’s certain of its appeal as a backdrop for fiction.

“It was this idea of a secret lexicon. In our landscapes we have corporate advertising, we have city signs telling us where to stop or what streets are called, but in terms of anything else, there’s not much out there.

“I was interested in people actually writing in the landscape, literally. And being a voice that stands out from that landscape.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy Everett Bumstead.
The tree planting life on Vancouver Island features in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

Scaredy Cats television series has turned Empress Avenue in Fernwood into a Halloween themed neighbourhood. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Trick or treat! Halloween comes to Fernwood in January

New television series Scaredy Cats filming in Victoria

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)
Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

James Summer, the City of Victoria’s new youth poet laureate. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Slam poetry expert introduced as Victoria’s new youth poet laureate

Vic High alum James Summer will serve in the role for 2021

There are many options for enjoying a meal out locally during Dine Around and Stay in Town, on now through Feb. 7. (10 Acres Commons)
Dine Around Stay in Town Victoria carries added importance during pandemic

Special menu items for eat in or takeout/delivery, staycation deals available through Feb. 7

Peter Crema and Harmony Gray (from left), past participants of the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s Code Switching teen art group, at work in ArtLab in 2019. The NAG will be expanding the space thanks to a $75,000 arts infrastructure program grant. (Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre receive new arts infrastructure funding

Province announces recipients of funding through B.C. Arts Council program

Ty Wesley, Nicole Darlington and Cameron Macaulay (from left) performed in the Beholder Entertainment production <em>Gender Sucks!</em> in the 2020 Nanaimo Fringe Festival. (Video still courtesy Sam Wharram)
Nanaimo Fringe Festival artist lottery open to local and B.C. playwrights

Organizers hope to stage plays in-person at indoor and outdoor venues this summer

Canadian singer-songwriter-actor Joëlle Rabu will join her son, Nico Rhoades, for a livestream performance courtesy the Tidemark Theatre Jan. 29. Photo submitted
Mother/son powerhouses Joelle Rabu and Nico Rhodes join forces for Island livestream

Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre hosts online music revue

Dr. John Hooper is the new conductor of Island Voices. Photo supplied
Island Voices welcomes new conductor

Dr. John Hooper to lead mid-Island based choir

Jorie Benjamin does a modern dance performance to ‘La Vie en rose’ by Édith Piaf, Louis Gugliemi and Marguerite Monnot, choreographed by Elise Sampson during the Cowichan Music Festival’s Highlights Concert at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on March 1, 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Music Festival cancelled for 2021

The festival had already been limited to solo performances only for 2021

<em>Chinook Salmon: Breaking Through</em> by B.C.’s Mark Hobson was selected among 13 entries as the winner of the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Salmon Stamp Competition.
Stained-glass lighting casts a win to B.C. salmon artist

Painting of chinook is Mark Hobson’s third win in annual contest

Most Read