PAC'N HEAT: Meet The Contributors! Myna Wallin

PAC'N HEAT: A Noir Homage To Ms. Pac-Man will be available November 2016! Advance Copies will be for sale at CANZINE 2016! Let's Meet The Contributors...

Myna Wallin



Did you ever play Ms. Pac-Man?

Yes, absolutely! I remember when they had the tabletop version, where you could sit down and operate the game with one hand on the joystick and those quarters got eaten faster than any bananas Ms. Pac-Man ever gobbled down. The game was ubiquitous in pubs and restaurants at the time. We’d listen to music, drink and take turns playing Ms. Pac-Man. I remember my heart racing when I made it to the next level, and the competitive edge it brought out in me. And I can still hear the techno-bopping music that accompanied the game and the special vrooming sound when Ms. Pac-Man ate a coveted ghost.


Do you/Did you play other video games?

Aside from Ms. Pac-man, my heart still beats for Asteroids. My friend Fern Lindzon would join me at Fluffy’s, our local Toronto Laundromat, where we spent more money on our longstanding Asteroids rivalry that we did on our laundry.


If so, what do you/did you find most appealing about video games?

I always enjoyed the social activity involved in the game. Other than the few times I played the later, modern iterations of video games with my nephews, I’ve avoided them. The games were/are too addictive and I was afraid if I bought a gaming system I’d never stop! Later on I got addicted to online Scrabble so I had to give that up eventually, too.


What video game do you wish existed?

I wish there was a game that made it fun to meditate so that by the time the game is over; you’re more blissed out than when you began.


What's better: Original 80s or Retro 80s?

The 80s were my favourite decade. I was young, had fabulous big hair, and worked as an actress. Paradoxically, in retrospect, everything about the 80s was ludicrous, from the neon spandex I wore to aerobics classes, to the music, to the auditions I was subjected to for vapid commercial roles.


What about Noir as a genre appeals to you?

I love the dark path of hedonism (whether for love, sex, money, murder, or all of the above) and the wilfully self-destructive nature of Noir’s infamous antagonists.


What's your favourite work of Noir? (Book, Comic, Movie...)

I’ve loved dozens of noir films so I’ll limit it to my favourites: Don’t Bother to Knock (1952), starring Richard Widmark and Marilyn Monroe, was Monroe’s attempt at “serious” acting, where she played a mentally unbalanced woman. The poster proclaimed she was “A wicked sensation as the lonely girl in Room 809!” Mildred Pierce (1945), based on James M. Cain’s novel of the same name, starring Joan Crawford, was another favourite. During my acting days I was in an experimental play, where I played Joan, so I watched that particular film over and over. The remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) is technically neo-noir but it’s one of my favourite pairings ever: Jack Nicholson and a young, bewitching Kathleen Turner. I also loved Double Indemnity (1944) starring Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck. Then along came confounding Mulholland Drive in 2001, that I was determined to make some sense out of.


What are you reading these days?

I’m finishing up Diane Bracuk’s excellent short fiction debut, Middle-Aged Boys & Girls, and looking forward to Lisa De Nikolits’ The Nearly Girl. Also in the queue on my nightstand is Patton Oswalt’s Silver Screen Fiend.


What else are you working on now?

My poetry book, Anatomy of an Injury, is coming out with Inanna Books in 2018. In the meantime, I’m writing more poems and am working on some short fiction.

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