April 14th, 2008


Bookseller Interview: Michelle Sagara, Bakka-Phoenix Books

Given the positive reaction to my last bookseller interview, I'll be working to post a few more. And I promise I'll branch out beyond the Toronto stores! But Bakka-Phoenix (bakkaphoenix) is a great SF/F store, and Michelle Sagara (msagara) has the unusual advantage of being both author and bookseller. In other words, she knows a lot of stuff, and you should listen to her.

1. So who are you, where do you work, and who is your favorite muppet?

First things first: OSCAR THE GROUCH! Although it's true I wouldn't want to eat the food of his people. (I have just had a twenty-minute argument with a friend because I told him about this question with gleeful enthusiasm, and he said "well, technically, he's not a muppet", which, I want you to know, is profoundly wrong. I was forced to correct this, but will spare you the violent details). I have a large Oscar the Grouch sweatshirt and it is my favourite shirt -ever-.

Okay, so, a bit about me. Obviously, the subject of muppets makes me violent.

I'm Michelle Sagara, and I write under both that name and Michelle West. And Michelle Sagara West.

I work part-time at Bakka-Phoenix books in Toronto; it's an SF/F specialty store which has been around (under a slightly different name) since 1972. I worked there full-time, and managed the store until the birth of my oldest son. Before that, I worked at the Classics chain in Toronto, in a bunch of different stores as a floating part-timer; it was bought eventually by W.H. Smith, a chain that was eventually absorbed by Coles. Which became Chapters. Which was bought by Indigo.

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