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Creative Edge – Interview – Chloey Rose

November 24, 2022
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No matter the creative process or medium, we all write. A musician writes lyrics, sings songs and creates musical accompaniments. Welcome Chloey Rose, who delves into many creative forms.

1.  When did you start writing song lyrics?

 I started writing songs in my early teenage years and found music enabled me to express myself in a way I couldn’t without it.  I feel as humans we are all unique and we should embrace that! I enjoy watching how a song transforms from basic chords on the piano or guitar to something magical. When songwriting, I always maintain mystery behind the lyrics too, their deeper meaning remaining secret within my heart.

2. Where does your inspiration come from for your songs?

With every song I always find myself intending to share a message with the world, my songs attempt to work through significant moments in my life and those of others I have met, they are often reflective learning from experience and reiterate the power in self-belief. I am mainly inspired by the stories I hear, things I’ve experienced and collaborating with other artists/producers. I also draw inspiration from artists such as the very talented Kate Bush, Billie Eilish and Taylor Swift. I was introduced to Kate Bush’s music by my Dad from a young age and when I first heard her I knew she had this magical voice which was unusual and captivating. It’s amazing to see how much recognition she is currently receiving and how her music has been highlighted through the TV Strangers Things Series. And Yes, I’m obsessed with the show too HA!  Kate inspires me to strive to create my own sound and style without trying to be like anyone else.

3.  Do you start with a melody or the words?

When writing, I usually experiment with certain chords on the piano and what feels right. Then I start humming the melody and the lyrics develop. The beginnings of writing a song are always the most exciting for me because it’s the unknown and I usually just flow with the process and see where it takes me. I try to write songs naturally rather than mechanically, without forcing the structure of a song. Sometimes I choose lyrics that best express what I am feeling or experiencing at that time or words that will best deliver the story and imagery that I am portraying through song. Personally, I feel writing can show vulnerability in the writer as feelings and emotions are shared and depending on whether the content is biographical or fictional. In Hopes and Dreams I was able to reveal my passion for music and personal determination to strive to achieve my ambitions through song. I always maintain a little mystery around each song’s true meaning, which I believe enables people to create their own understandings and interpretations to the songs and what it means to them.

4.  Does your English heritage influence what you write?

It has definitely influenced my music, I feel a lot of my songs are inspired from the experiences I had in my hometown and the people I had met along the way. I am a Lincolnshire girl and I live on the outskirts of a historic fishing town Grimsby surrounded by the Lincolnshire Wolds and farmland. My songs such as Butterfly and Sky is Falling have a nature theme within them and many of my photographs include the background of fields and nature. Golden Sun my latest song release, supports a music video set in the beautiful English countryside. 

5. Which singers/bands did you listen to as a child?

One of the main artists I’ve been influenced by since growing up is the very quirky Kate Bush, her lyrics and music always tell a theatrical story filled with emotion. I feel her performances are always captivating which always makes her stand out against others, her talent and stage presence gave me inspiration to shape my own style and sound without trying to be like anyone else. I liked and still hold in high esteem many artists, but for me it is ‘great songs’ that show great passion and emotion that I connect with even as a young girl. For instance, the outstanding film Titanic influenced my passion for music and I have funny video footage on my sixth birthday belting out Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On. Other early footage of young Chloey Rose includes renditions of Sting’s Fields of Gold and Elton John’s Can You Feel the Love Tonight. 

6. How would you describe your musical style? 

I would describe my music as pop, adult contemporary with a theatrical twist and music that you could hear on the soundtrack of a film or television series. Several of my songs have a folk and country feel to them. 

7. What message do you want to convey with your music? 

I really hope to share messages which help others relate to whether happy or sad and music that is inspirational such as Butterfly. I would like people to feel the emotion within my songs and uplifted by my music. As a performing arts and drama teacher I understand the importance of supporting young people in reaching their full potential and setting and re-setting personal goals and striving to achieve them and I feel my music is reflective of these intentions and holds truth and honesty within. Most importantly I want my songs to be relatable and people to be able to feel the emotions within my song, such as the theme of love and relationships in Hearts on the Line. I consider different themes when songwriting but intend to reflect ‘life’ and its rewards, struggles, fears, hopes and dreams in my music. 

9. Will you continue exploring acting and modeling opportunities?

 Absolutely! I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to do acting and modelling as well as my music. I was fortunate to be Miss Lincolnshire 2018-19 and my modelling has provided great opportunities to perform charity work. I thoroughly enjoyed attending the House of Ikon at London Fashion Week in September and am grateful for all those who support me. Acting has also been a huge part of my life and I love to perform with theatre and film experience and always feel at home on the stage. I love the excitement and challenge of working on different projects and always try to be as open-minded as possible to whichever opportunity comes along as you never know who you may meet, and these experiences continue to inspire new creative ideas. 

10.   Do you have a message for your fans?

I  just wanted to say how grateful I am for their continued support over the years and how much it means the world to me to hear their feedback on all my songs. Thank you for appreciating my Music and I love you all! x

11. Where can people find you and your music?

The best places to fine me are on:

Facebook @ChloeyOfficial

Instagram @chloeyrose

Twitter @ChloeyOfficial

YouTube @Chloey Rose

Instagram @chloeyrose

TikTok @chloeyrosemusic

Bio:

CHLOEY ROSE is a stunning, talented, and unique Musical Artist, Actress and Model. CHLOEY ROSE’s new single “Golden Sun” is out NOW on Spotify, Sound Cloud and all streaming networks. Her music video for “Golden Sun” was released September 16 on YouTube and all music video platforms.

As an actor CHLOEY played the lead role in the BBC First World War Musical production of GREENFIELDS and BEYOND. CHLOEY ROSE also was Awarded “Best Supporting Actress” in Action Film Challenge for her performance in the film GRIMSBY RV, directed by Rob Smith. As a model CHLOEY ROSE was crowned “Miss Lincolnshire” and in addition was a Finalist in “Miss Great Britain”. She placed 4th in the “50 Sexiest Men & Women in Lincolnshire”. ROSE also placed third in “Miss Northern U.K.” and was a finalist in the “Miss British Isles” beauty pageants

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – In-Person Author Events September

September 8, 2022
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September is a busy month for book events and I am looking forward to them after such a long a break. The first is Words on the Street in Lethbridge on 17th September.

It will be great to see the local authors I know there and meet new ones. There is always so much to do and enjoy centered around literature and writing.

The second event is more local, Words in the Park, in Sherwood Park. The event will be celebrating 15 years, which is a fantastic milestone! With local authors, artisans and musicians showcasing their creativity, the event is part of Alberta Culture Days and there is something for all the family.

If you are a writer, author, or reader this is the event you must attend. The pdf form to apply for a table is on this page – just scroll down. Link:

Invite your friends, family and colleagues and discover local talent.

Creative Edge Author Interview – Katherine Lawrence

July 21, 2022
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  1. When did you start writing poetry? What was, and is your inspiration?
    I began in high school, not long after my parents’ divorce. Looking back, I see that I turned to writing to sort out my confusion at the time. My world was upended when my parents sold the family house in 1968. I was 13 years old. My parents moved into separate apartments in different cities. My younger sister and I moved out with our mother, about 20 km away from our father. The change felt like we had moved
    to a foreign country. In many ways, that was true. My inspiration was initially the lyrics of Joni Mitchell. Her music continues to resonate for me, and millions of other fans. I lean on good literature and music to
    take me into poetry.
  2. How did writing Stay and Never Mind differ from your usual writing method?
    I started “Stay” before I began writing “Never Mind” but I got bogged down. I needed more time to study other verse novels. I also needed to collect feedback on an early draft. I turned to middle-grade students at a local school for their opinions and then I set the manuscript aside.
    It was during this period that my mother died. I felt numb for a long time and was unable to write. One day, I recalled a letter from the Canadian settler Susanna Moodie (1803-1885). She wrote that once she touched the shores of the New World, she never saw, touched, or heard her mother back home in England ever again. It seemed to be something that she had not anticipated when she and her husband set sail for Canada. Or perhaps she hadn’t let herself dwell on the reality of
    separation from her mother and sisters. She was describing her grief and I understood what Moodie was saying. I also heard the voice that led me to invent the character I named Wife. I placed her in a setting similar to Moodie’s. I funnelled all my private grief and longing into Wife and built a story that was far removed from my mother’s life yet was emotionally similar. My mother was lonely in her marriage and eventually left my father for her own “new world.” I wrote into the emotional truth of loss. “Never Mind” taught me how to write in the tradition of the long poem. The book also showed me that I could hold a story in my head while developing poems in keeping with a narrative arc. I spoke to my mother by phone the night before she died. I didn’t know it would be our final conversation. Her last question was about “Stay”. She wanted to know how the book was going. I had put the manuscript away. About three years later, our final conversation returned to me as I was sitting in my office one day. I opened the
    file and finished writing “Stay” in about one month.

3. Can you tell us a little about the character Millie in Stay? Is she real, imagined or both?
Millie is smart, observant, and passionate about two things: her family and dogs. She wants her family to stay together AND she wants to adopt a puppy. But Millie’s parents have decided to split-up. Her world has turned upside down but since she’s 11 years old, she’s also selfish in the way that every adolescent is self-focused. Millie wants what she wants: Mom and Dad to stay together in the same house so that she can bring home a puppy and not have to live between two homes. But Dad moves into an apartment where a sign on the front door reads NO DOGS ALLOWED. Millie is an imagined character who is informed by my knowledge and experience of family breakdown.

  1. What message do you want to convey with the story?
    Nothing stays the same, not even our family— our foundational structure. We all must learn to adapt.
  2. What did you learn when you were writer in residence?
    I loved my residency at the library. I learned that hundreds of people have stories and poems inside them. I learned that most people are looking for a little guidance and a lot of encouragement because writing is a solitary and somewhat mysterious activity. I have always turned to other writers for support and was happy to do the same for others.
  3. When compiling a poetry collection, what is your main objective?
    I’m driven by narrative. I like my work to tell a story. I’ve just published my fifth book, a poetic memoir titled “Black Umbrella”. Again, it’s about family dysfunction and again it tells a story. I assembled the book by looking for the narrative arc once I’d written about 70 percent of the poems. I later went back and filled in any gaps in the story. I strive to write poetry that is inventive, accessible, and alive.
  4. Which poet(s) inspire you?
    I read a lot of poetry. I’m currently reading the work of Calgary poet Micheline Maylor, but I often return to Emily Dickinson. I see something new in Dickinson every time I turn to her work.
  1. What are you currently working on?
    I’m in research mode. I’m curious about the concept of ambivalent motherhood.
  2. How can readers find you?
    Go to my website and contact me. I promise to respond and I love hearing from readers. Link:
  3. Where and how often do you write?
    I have a small office on the second floor of my home in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I live with my husband. I disappear into my office for several hours most days.

Bio:

Saskatoon writer Katherine Lawrence has published four poetry collections and the award-winning novel-in-verse, Stay. Her work has been published across the country and has been long listed twice for the CBC Literary Awards. Originally from Hamilton, Katherine has lived on the prairies for over 35 years. She is a former writer-in-residence for the Saskatoon Public Library and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Saskatchewan. You can find her online at
http://www.katherinelawrence.net

Creative Edge Author Interview: Paul Bahou

March 24, 2022
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1.     Where did the idea for this novel come from?

The novel originated as a short story that I wrote in a creative writing class my senior year of college. The character of Lazer was loosely based on a friend of mine who played in a heavy metal band in the 80’s and never quite moved beyond his rock n roll heydey. Lazer isn’t just a carbon copy of him though, but rather an amalgamation of several people, a list that seemed to grow the more I worked on the book. But ultimately, at the start of the book he represents the downside of staying too firmly in your dream for rock stardom. When we meet Lazer he has hit rock bottom and is stuck in a loop of meaningless flings and surface level friendships, all while playing the same songs over and over and over again. He’s something of a prisoner of his own failed ambitions. I would meet a lot of people who suffered from this sort of stunted personal growth when I played in bands and was heavy into gigging. The folks who never said die even though they should have moved on decades ago. I’m all about living the life you want and staying true to your passions, but its always good to make sure you don’t lose yourself in the process.

2.     Did you have fun creating Lazer and Streek?

Giving dimension to Lazer and Streek was a lot of fun, because you’re not just -, but building the relationship between them. A lot of times when they are bantering back and forth it’s almost like different aspects of my personality are having a conversation with each other. Lazer, as he developed really kind of took on parts of my own history of being in a band and how I approached that lifestyle. Streek meanwhile has more in common with my wife; this sort of introverted, second-guessing nature that acts as a counter balance to Lazer’s shoot from the hip and hope for the best ethos. Having them play off each other is one of my favorite parts of writing these stories. I really want the growth of their friendship to feel organic as the story unfolds, not in just this novel, but in the rest of the books in the series to follow. Friendship dynamics shape-shift over time and it’s a really interesting topic to explore. Even though its a story set in space with all sorts of fantastical elements, at the end of the day its a story of finding out who you really are once the comfort of routine is stripped away from you, and how your friends can help you get there.

3.     Have you always had an interest in sci-fi stories?

I absolutely love science fiction. I feel like you can go anywhere or do anything with it. As long as you stay consistent within the rules you set up, its an excellent vehicle to give commentary on everything from politics to personal relationships. I grew up with things like the twilight zone, outer limits, tales from the crypt and the x files. I’ve always loved stories about aliens and monsters and the unknown. My wife is wonderful, she’ll watch the most ridiculous B movie nonsense with me just because she loves me. Though lately its mostly been kids programming. I’ve got a one year old and a four year old. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen Encanto.

4.     What or who influenced your writing?

Kurt Vonnegut is my favorite writer of all time and really kind of opened me up to new concepts of narrative, like how slaughter house 5 is both fiction and memoir, or Galapagos is told out of order from the perspective of a ghost. Absolutely brilliant. 

5.     Do you see a sequel to the novel or are you happy for it to stay a standalone?

The Sunset Distortion series will be 5 parts. Part one is “The Pyramid at the End of the World.” Part two will be titled “Live! From Valhalla” and is maybe 3/4’s finished. Though that being said, I put that one on pause while I work on a collection of short stories. I sort of follow where my creativity takes me, and right now, its horror and sci fi short stories with a few novellas thrown in the mix. I’m currently finishing up a 10k word story about a piece of recycling equipment that becomes self-aware and decides that the best way to sort non-compliant materials from recycled bottles is to murder the entirety of the human race. Fun stuff!

6.     What is your writing process? Plotter or panster?

Both. It depends on what I’m writing. I like to plot out the sandbox first if you will. The world, the characters, and the broad strokes of the plot. From there I’ll sort of freewheel it from point A to point B and see what comes out. 

7.     Are you part of a writing group? If so, how has this helped your writing?

I’m a part of several writing groups online but I don’t check in nearly as often as I should. I do have a half dozen friends who are writers themselves and we’ll share works in progress with each other and give feedback. It’s absolutely vital to have other eyes browse through what you’re doing. We all have blind spots and our work only gets better from sharing with others. You need to have people willing to tell you that your ideas are garbage.

8.     Do you have a favorite place to write?

I write short stories on my phone, usually while putting my daughter to bed. She’s doing this thing right now where she will only fall asleep if I’m in the room with her, longer form stuff is on my laptop. I will honestly write whenever I get the chance. Between running my business and having two small children, personal time is at a premium. I used to have a specific chair I would sit in, but it was so old and natty that I threw it away after book 1 was finished. Now I’m something of a nomad, moving from couch to bed to rocking chair of office desk when time permits.

9.     Are you working on another manuscript? Can you tell us a little about it?

I currently have maybe 4 short stories in the can and 10 more in development. My goal is to have at least 60k words worth of short stories assembled before I release them as an anthology. Book 2 in the Sunset Distortion series will probably follow within a year after that. The second book in the series will see Lazer and Streek get drafted by a private security company to stop a terrorist plot onboard a space station that hosts the Galaxy’s collective entertainment complex apparatus, all while helping their new friend escape the clutches of her jerk of an ex-boyfriend who also happens to be the galaxy’s biggest rock star. Like the first book, expect lots of jokes, weird aliens and music references. 

10.  Where can readers find you?

My website is paulbahouwrites.com. its currently under construction, but will be up sooner rather than later. I’ll have all sorts of good stuff up there. In the meantime you can follow me on facebook at facebook.com/paulbahouwrites 

Bio:

PAUL BAHOU is the author of Sunset Distortion: The Pyramid at the End of the World. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Cal State University Long Beach with a minor in music. He began his career writing grants while playing in his rock band, eventually moving out of music and into the sustainability sector. He lives in Southern California with his wife Melissa, daughter Sophie and son, Harrison. He writes fiction, music and the occasional dad joke in his spare time.

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – Podcast Interviews Galore (a little over exaggeration possibly) and Book & Movie Reviews

September 14, 2021
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Last week, I was rather popular with two podcast interviews. The first with A Hot Take on Thursday with Jenna Greene and Miranda Oh and then another with Alive After Reading with Tim Niederriter You can find the links here:

A Hot Take

Talking story locations and travel, current and past projects and everything in-between with lots of laughs thrown in.

Alive After Reading

Apologies for the barking dogs halfway through! An interesting chat covering writing inspirations, genre writing, incorporating personal interests into your writing and more.

I just finished My Ghosts by Mary Swan and loved the adeptly written internal dialogue of the characters.

Review: I enjoyed the inner character perspective of this narrative, it was written well with an excellent sense of place and time.

What are you reading? Can you share your last book review?

Movies I have recently watched include:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8079248/ Yesterday – not only is the music superb obviously, it’s The Beatles after all, but the fact it was a new idea/plot.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1661275/ Because it’s another British movie, there are scenes of England and you don’t expect the twists!

Can you recommend a movie? Why did you like it?

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