Does creativity have a taste? And, if it does, is it salty or sweet?

January Magazine’s “Authors on Snacks” is not meant to be a judgment. Rather it’s a personal peek at what some of our most beloved authors nibble on while pushing forward on their latest work.

This time out we chat with Ken McGoogan, whose newest book, Dead Reckoning, will be released on September 27th. Ken’s previous books include 50 Canadians Who Changed the World, How the Scots Invented Canada and Lady Franklin’s Revenge.


What do you snack on while writing?
Well, I keep a jar of honey-roasted peanuts in a file drawer for easy access. They are not salted, so I figure I am on the moral high ground. Behind me, within easy reach, on the top of a three-tier metal shelf, I keep one or two bars of dark chocolate. Coffee doesn’t count, right?

Do you consider your snacking to be mostly under control or mostly out of control?
As long as I stick with the 85-per cent Lindt Excellence bar, I am good. But certain dark-chocolate-Authors on Snacks covered almonds have been known to get the better of me.

What is your latest book?
Dead Reckoning: The Untold Story of the Northwest Passage which will be out on September 27th from HarperCollins Canada.

Please tell us something about the book.
The recent discoveries of those two long-lost ships, the Erebus and Terror, made international headlines. British historians have convinced everyone that the centuries-long search for the Northwest Passage is a Royal Navy story starring the heroic Sir John Franklin. In Dead Reckoning, I show that Franklin was a hapless bungler who would not have survived his first two Arctic expeditions without the help of the native peoples. Twice they saved his life! He owes his reputation to his widow, Jane Franklin, who created a myth around him after he died. By highlighting the crucial role played by the indigenous peoples, Dead Reckoning tells a completely different story of the Northwest Passage.


Read January Magazine’s 2002 interview with McGoogan here.

You can see previous installments of “Authors on Snacks” here.


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