Will Ferguson: Best Author/Poet in 2018
Best of Calgary is a celebration of the people, places and voices that make Calgary an amazing place to live and call home.
Written by: Kelsey Woods
Summer or winter, everyone needs a good book. Whether you like to brush up on historic facts, pour over epic love stories or get lost in the newest murder mystery, the beauty of reading is that there is something out there for everyone. If you are an avid travel memoir reader or you keep an eye on the best-sellers list, you’ll know the name Will Ferguson.
Will is an award-winning travel writer and novelist who has travelled the world, knows Canada well and has settled in our very own Calgary, Alberta. He has won countless awards during his career as an author, such as the Leacock Medal and the Giller Prize, and he shows no signs of slowing down. You may have read one, or all, of his books: Road Trip Rwanda, Spanish Fly, 419 and, his most recent release in October 2018, The Shoe on the Roof. The Boston Globe praises Will as an author: “sometimes touching, sometimes amusing and always true, as a traveller and a wordsmith, Ferguson knows where he is going.”
Let’s meet the man who’s written for the New York Times, Esquire UK, Flare, Zoomer, the Globe & Mail, National Post, Canadian Geographic and the Vancouver Winter Olympics Closing Ceremonies.
Are you a born and raised Calgarian?
I grew up in northern Alberta, lived abroad in Japan and Ecuador, graduated from university in Toronto and then moved to Calgary in 1999.
What was your dream job growing up? How has this influenced who you are today?
I thought my dream job was to be a “travel writer.” Then I did it, found out I am nowhere near organized enough for practical travel writing (i.e. guidebooks, how-to articles), so I switched to travel memoirs and eventually into fiction writing.
What is your favourite thing about Calgary?
It’s very livable. As much as I enjoy Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, I also find them exhausting at times. Calgary is just the right size.
If you could describe Calgary in one word, what would it be?
What does being a Calgarian mean to you?
It means having access to the best of Western Canada: the arts, the sense of community, the landscape, openness, big skies. It’s funny, whenever I have lived abroad or elsewhere in Canada, it was always the prairie skies that I missed the most.
Do you have a favourite watering hole in Calgary?
The Garrison Pub in Marda Loop, if only because it is staggering distance from my house.
What is your favourite Calgary event/activity or thing to do?
Anything other than the Calgary Stampede.
Where is the best place to people watch in Calgary?
Anywhere other than the mall. All kidding aside, my favourite spot for people watching is Inglewood.
If you were an emoji, what emoji would you be?
The emoji that never uses emojis.
What motivates you to do what you do every day?
I’m an author and I work at home, so it’s not an exciting daily schedule. I don’t have co-workers to feud with, flirt with, complain about or go drinking with.
Anything special coming up we should know about?
My latest novel, The Shoe on the Roof, is a comedic tale of a psychological experiment gone horribly wrong and is now out in paperback.
Check out Will’s latest novels and upcoming events on his website: willferguson.ca
Kelsey Woods is the Content & Editorial Manager for Best of Calgary