A recent graduate of the University of King's College in English Lit, Lye spent part of her studies in English studying in Paris at the American University. While in Paris she worked for the bookstore Shakespeare and Company, and worked on a cahier series, published through The Centre for Writers and Translators. "Having the experience of working in a literary artistic community that facilitates and exhibits work is something that I really enjoyed," says Lye. "I've always enjoyed putting things together. I saw the role of the editor as a kind of curator." Hence, the free bi-monthly magazine Her Royal Majesty, an outlet for artistic endeavour in Halifax, including fiction, prose, poetry, drawings, comics, recipes, photographs, essays and much more. Lye has independently raised the funds for the first four issues and the fifth issue is an online only, up now at heroyalmajesty.ca. The theme of the issue is "home."
The Coast: Tell us a little bit about coming here from Toronto to be a student. Have you stayed here in the summertime between school years?
Harriet Lye: I've been here for a few weeks each summer and I'm staying here this year for a few months this summer. I'm really looking forward to that. I think there's a peacefulness and an openness that comes from it being a small city, everything seems a lot more accessible than it does in the wintertime. And not being student anymore makes me feel like I have an awful lot more liberty to create my own days, to create my own structure.
TC: Is there anything about being here at this time of the year that sticks in your memory?
HL: I was spending two weeks here in the summer and I was spending time with friends from the prairies. We wanted to go to Crystal Crescent Beach to have a bonfire, but it had been raining for weeks before, so it was still foggy and gray that day. We went for a walk in the forest to try to find dry wood but there was none. So, we just enjoyed our wet forest walk. It was beautiful and mystical-looking. Realizing we couldn't have a bonfire, we sat on the beach for awhile and then went home and made s'mores in the oven.
TC: Do you expect to make Halifax your home in the foreseeable future?
HL: I'm moving to Paris again this fall, actually. I will miss Halifax, though. And I will continue Her Royal Majesty from abroad. One of my copy editors is going to assume a more co-editorship role and we'll publish it together.
TC: With your time you do have, is there anything specific you're looking forward to doing while you're here?
HL: I am looking forward to the Fête de la Musique at the Alliance Française. I'm looking forward to just being here. I've been playing tennis in the Commons...riding my bike across the bridge to Dartmouth. For some reason I really like doing that. I'm also planning on organizing an outdoor theatre show with friends from university for the end of June.