Meet Room Collective member Nailah King

Interview by 
Rachel Thompson

Meet Room collective member and marketing coordinator Nailah King.

ROOM: You have worked for more traditionally organized magazines. What’s different about working with a collective?

NK: It’s a little cheesy, but it’s like having a tight-knit extended family. In the process there are, of course, chal-lenges, but it’s a supportive structure that I’m ultimately very grateful for.

ROOM: What books are you currently reading?

NK: In Evil Hour by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. And by reading, I mean guiltily avoiding its gaze as it sits dusty and neglected on my bedside table.

ROOM: Read any good mysteries?

NK: My first forays into mystery writing were with Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, believe it or not, and a children’s cartoon called Night Hood based on the fictional thief Arsène Lupin, which is based on the writings of Maurice Leblanc. I also really enjoyed The Woman in White but Wilkie Collins lost me after I read The Moonstone. While I’m not currently reading any mystery novels, I’m a huge fan of the British television show Midsomer Murders, based on the writings of British author Caroline Graham.

ROOM: You’re a big fan of Young Adult books. Tell us about that.

NK: Around age eleven, I read a fantasy novel called The Spiral Maze, by Canadian author Patricia Bow. It kickstarted my love of YA and also my love for magical realism. What I love about YA is when done right, as in The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause, the genre opens up a space for teens to engage and dialogue about issues they struggle with in a non-patronizing or preachy way. My favourite YA writer is probably a tie between Phillip Pullman and John Green. Pullman made high school bearable, and Green’s Looking for Alaska changed my life.

ROOM: You’re also a writer. What lead you to writing?

NK: My love affair with narrative started before I read books. I loved Mom’s retelling of regional lore and Caribbean folk tales. Telling stories seemed to me like having a superpower, a power I so eagerly wanted to possess.

“It's Canadian, feminist, and one of my favourite things ever.”

—bucketofrhymes, "29 Amazing Literary Magazines You Need To Be Reading", Buzzfeed Books

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