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

Orca 1
Orcas: Our Shared Future

Royal BC Museum dives into the world of orcas with upcoming feature exhibition

Frank Ludwig in a forklift with his long hair during Trooper’s heyday. (Photo submitted)
Humble Island beginnings blossomed into storied career for Trooper keyboardist

Frank Ludwig got his start as a boy pumping the organ in a tiny downtown Chemainus church

Joan Miller with the Vancouver Island North Regional Film Commission says there’s much room for optimism in the region rebounding from COVID-19 and is excited about what the future holds for the region. Black Press File Photo
North Island film industry optimistic about post-COVID rebound

Interest in filming here is still high, according to film commission, once things open back up

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, has been filming in Langford and Colwood over the past two weeks. On April 7, filming will take place on the east side of the Esquimalt Lagoon. (Black Press Media file)
Netflix series ‘Maid’ filming in Colwood

10-episode Warner Bros. production filmed exclusively in Greater Victoria

Victoria mural artists Joshua Lundrigan (from left) and Paul Archer join Rob Chyzowski, co-owner of Belleville’s Watering Hole and Diner in front of an Archer-designed mural that went up on Thursday at the Inner Harbour restaurant. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Positivity rules with new outdoor mural from Victoria artist

Paul Archer teams with Belleville’s Watering Hole and Diner for patio project

Thomas Kuecks, Bellamy Kuecks and Paula Foot have come together to create an album of stories for children. (Nina Foot photo)
Moments with Miss Paula creates musical stories for kids

Music and the spoken word from Island pair available on streaming

Author Eden Robinson poses for a portrait during an interview in Toronto, Wednesday, May 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Trickster trilogy author Eden Robinson hosts online conversation and reading

Haisla and Heiltsuk will join fans in event hosted by Vancouver Island Regional Library

Nanaimo author Lawrence Winkler’s latest book is ‘The Last Casebook of Doctor Sababa.’ (Bulletin file photo/supplied)
Nanaimo author wraps up trilogy following ‘antihero’ Island doctor

Lawrence Winkler presents ‘The Last Casebook of Doctor Sababa’

‘Frank Ney’ by Patrick Flavin, ‘Millstone River Upper Falls’ by John Collison Baker, ‘Labyrinth of Dreams’ by MA Molcan, ‘On the Other Side’ by Liana Ravensbergen, ‘December Snow’ by Laurel Karjala and ‘Jacks Point’ by Dana Smiley (cropped, clockwise from top-left) are among the works in the Nanaimo Arts Council’s latest exhibition. (Photos courtesy Nanaimo Arts Council)
Nanaimo Arts Council presents its first online gallery show

Submissions now open for upcoming ‘Ekphrastic Celebration’ show

Dorothy Sevcov’s exhibition ‘Having Fun With Acrylics’ is on display at Art 10 Gallery until the end of the month. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Experimental paintings now on exhibit at Nanaimo’s Art 10 Gallery

Dorothy Sevcov’s ‘Having Fun With Acrylics’ on display through April

Courtenay artist Christine Boyer presents Alongside My Path: Native Wildflowers of Canada at Gallery Merrick from April 9 to 23. (Photo courtesy Christine Boyer)
Island painter shows off the wildflowers of Western Canada in first solo show

Courtenay’s Christine Boyer presents floral exhibit at Nanaimo’s Gallery Merrick

Nanaimo Harbourfront Library librarian April Ripley led the effort to create a Vancouver Island poetry booklet in recognition of National Poetry Month. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Harbourfront Library publishes booklet for National Poetry Month

Collection features winners of ‘Poem in your Pocket’ contest

SENCOTEN language revitalizationist and filmmaker Renee Sampson’s short film, Bringing Our Language Back to LIfe, shows online during the Reel 2 Real International Youth Film Festival, April 14-23. (Photo courtesy Wapikoni)
SENCOTEN language featured in short film created on Saanich Peninsula

Renee Sampson film highlights importance of passing on traditional languages to youth

Most Read