Novel, she wrote



STARFest presents Mary Walsh, hosted by Peter Brown

Sunday, March 4 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. including wine reception

Arden Theatre

This STARFest event had to be rescheduled. The theatre will honour tickets purchased for the Nov. 6 show.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the customer service desk at the St. Albert Public Library, by calling the library at 780-459-1530, or online through Eventbrite.

Visit for more.

March is now fully set to come in like a lion, especially with the fierce, funny, fabulous and fantastic Mary Walsh dropping into the city for her rescheduled STARFest appearance. She was originally set to pop by in the fall during the festival but circumstances kept her at bay until now.

Walsh is very well known as the co-creator and co-star of CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes, which is one of the funniest things to ever happen to television especially with her Marg Delahunty character. She’s taken home many Geminis and the Canadian comedy and Canadian screen awards for her brilliance and fearlessness. Oh, and she also has an Order of Canada and a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement at home too.

Her comedic chops are superlative but it’s her literary prowess that brings her to town.

Not one to rest on one’s laurels, Walsh has once again expanded her impressive skill-set with a new book. Crying for the Moon is her first work of fiction just published last year but she’s been working towards it her whole life. This book, to her, is a dream come true.

“I guess I never thought I could write a book. It’s just that I always desperately wanted to write a book. I wanted to be a novelist all my life. I didn’t really think I could be a novelist but then I turned 60 and I thought I don’t want to be one of those people who is on their deathbed having not tried to do what they always wanted to do. So, I decided to try to do it. Getting older, it’s like ‘if not now, when?’” she said. “It’s pretty daunting, I must say. It took me five years.”

In the same breath, she admits that she has been writing all her life with her comedy routines. That kind of work is writing intensive even if it is still vastly different from putting a full-length story on paper.

Her novel, Crying for the Moon, is a decidedly dramatic turn for Walsh although it does have some great comedic moments. It’s the late 1960s and Maureen is a young woman from Newfoundland. Her home life might not be the greatest. Okay, it stinks. Her mom is always angry and her dad is a drunk. School is no better with the austere nuns making sure that her life is as miserable as it can be.

On a trip to Montreal, Maureen escapes and gets into an adventure filled with bad decisions and one noteworthy Canadian poet-singer. Her life will never be the same after it.

While the story’s setting has a lot of similarities to Walsh’s own upbringing, she ensures that this is pure fiction straight from her own highly creative brain.

“Ursula Le Guin wrote science fiction but I would say that a lot of the science fiction was based in her, Ursula Le Guin’s experience, because where would things come from if somehow or other you hadn’t experienced something like it. We only can use what is in us. What is not in us cannot come out.”

The reception to Crying for the Moon has been pretty positive so far, enough so as to give the author enough courage to keep going. She’s taken it across the country and states that there hasn’t been anything about it that she hasn’t enjoyed immensely.

“It’s just been the best that’s ever happened to me. It’s right up there with having my son and getting sober 25 years ago. It’s been an extraordinary thing for me.”


About Author

Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.