Larry Scanlan is in a giving mood, thanks to his latest book, tentatively titled My Year of Living Generously, due out in 2010. He has travelled across Canada and the world in a quest to find out what one person can do to help stop human suffering. His journeys have taken him to Toronto to work in homeless shelters, to Costa Rica, where he volunteered at a shelter for former sex-trade workers with HIV-AIDS, and to New Orleans, where he helped Habitat for Humanity build houses for post-Hurricane Katrina victims. Scanlan also used his reporting background from his days working at the CBC and Kingston’s Whig-Standard to teach journalism to a small group of women at a radio station in Senegal. “When I tell people what I’m doing, they think I’m Mother Teresa. But I’m not. I’m more like the George Plimpton of the do-gooder set,” he says.

Scanlan has written more than a dozen books, among them Big Ben, Wild About Horses, Little Horse of Iron and the YA novel, The Horse’s Shadow. He also ghost-wrote The Man Who Listens to Horses. At WritersFest, he’ll be discussing more than just horses with Erika Ritter author of The Dog by the Cradle, the Serpent Beneath: Some Paradoxes of Human-Animal Relationships.

Photo credit: Bernard Clark