Sheena Kamal – It All Falls Down

(This is fourth of #LitFest2019 features on writers attending the Galiano Literary FestivalFebruary 22-24 on Galiano Island. Tickets on sale now (250) 539-3340 or

Sheena Kamal was born in the Caribbean and immigrated to Canada as a child. She holds an HBA in Political Science from the University of Toronto, and was awarded a TD Canada Trust scholarship for community leadership and activism around the issue of homelessness.

Her bestselling debut novel The Lost Ones won her a 2018 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize, a Strand Magazine Critics Award and Macavity Award for Best First Novel. The sequel It All Falls Down is now available and has been called “a stunning, emotionally resonant thriller” in its Kirkus starred review.

Her next thriller in the Nora Watts crime series and her first YA novel Fight Like A Girl will both drop in 2020.

Her writing has been featured in The Guardian, Bustle, The Irish Times, Writer’s Digest and Entertainment Weekly.

Prior to writing novels, Kamal worked as a crime and investigative journalism researcher for the film and television industry — among other rather unsavory professions.

We at Galiano Island Books are excited to welcome Sheena to Galiano Literary Festival and had a chance to catchup with her and do a little Q & A…

KK – Were you good at English growing up and in school?

SK – Yes. Always. But I took it for granted for a very long time.

Loving books and being able to express myself through the written word came so naturally to me that I didn’t believe there to be anything special about it.

KK – What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

SK – In college, I went to James Joyce’s tower at Sandycove in Dublin. I have never been able to power through a Joyce novel, but I was in Dublin and I relished the idea that I could at that time. I was sadly mistaken, but it was a fantastic day trip. And I even saw a seal at Sandycove, so I was very pleased. I lugged a copy of Ulysses back with me to Canada and then promptly lost it. Go figure.

KK – Does writing energize or exhaust you?

SK – Both. I’m fortunate enough to be a working writer. This is what I do all day, every day. Sometimes there are moments of great inspiration and at other times that blank page just demolishes me.

KK – Do you thinking that having big ego helps or hurts writers?

SK – Hurts. That being said, you must know your worth without finding ways to inflate it.

KK – What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

I paid for a trip to New York to go to Thrillerfest, where I pitched my debut novel The Lost Ones to agents. I did get an agent there and, boom, my life changed.

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Galiano Literary 2019 is February 22-24. Buy your tickets today by contacting (250) 539-3340 or

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