Monday, November 24, 2014
Rachel Lee Walsh, is one of those all inspiring women that has covered and conquered various obstacles and still stands tall in sharing and inspiring life for others. As M.A is a reflection of so many artists’ journeys, it is once again a huge honour to be able to share details on Rachel’s latest release – The Last Scribe.
Thanks for sharing your story.
As a start, can you tell our readers a bit more about yourself?
I would be delighted, Nadine. Thank you so much for asking.
I guess I would say that I'm first and foremost a mother and second of all an artist, poet and storyteller. I live in a small town in North Idaho and have two beautiful and talented daughters who are also artists in their own right. I also have two adorable but lazy dogs, a kamikaze cat and a reclusive hamster named Wink. For the last several years I've also been the caretaker for my grandfather who suffers from advanced Alzheimers.
Any, weird and wacky author habits?
When I edit my manuscripts I have to go into my bedroom closet. It's the only place in my house where there's no distractions or interruptions. Some of my best ideas have come to me while sitting in a pile of shoes with a rack of clothes touching my head.
What inspired the Last Scribe?
A great deal of what I've written in the past is stories from my own life, but I had this fiction story always in the back of my mind. I envisioned a heroine who questioned everything yet stood strong in what she truly believed in. One day I was in a second hand book store and saw the Apocrypha. As someone raised in a very religious environment, of course I'd never been allowed to read it. I took it home and read through the whole thing in a few days and when I was done, I knew I had my story. It took three years of development and another four years to actually write it but as of now, The Last Scribe Series includes three full length novels and seven novellas and I've loved every minute of it.
Your novel includes history on the Book of Enoch, a book we all know was banned from the bible, how has readers reacted towards your story?
So far I've had two different reactions. Most people have no idea what the Apocrypha is, let alone the Book of Enoch. Those who do are either fascinated by what I've done or scared to even read it. I've had a few people accuse me of treading on dangerous ground by using this as a story basis. However, I've yet to have anyone complain or question my motives after they actually read it.
Your main character – Hope Matthews - takes a strong female lead, can you tell our readers a bit more about her.
Hope is the last surviving descendant of Enoch and the epitome of an imaginative, passionate girl who struggles with feelings of inferiority and personal rejection. Being left by her father at a young age and forced to conform and compete in another family, she has identity crises that cause her to act irrationally. She is tremendously strong willed, but also fearless which gets her into trouble on a regular basis. By her very nature she is the perfect example of the fight between good and evil in all of us.
The last Scribe is not your first novel, can you tell our readers a bit more about your other published books and where they can find them.
Currently, I have three prequel novellas available on Amazon. You can find them here: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00L31D45I
Will you ever allow your novels to branch over to film?
Absolutely! The Last Scribe is currently represented by Ken Atchity of Atchity Entertainment and he has high hopes of seeing this series developed into a feature film.
Will there be more of Hope Matthews?
I like to say there will always be Hope. Before she fades into memory I like to think her adventures will be exciting and entertaining readers for many, many years to come.
What does the future hold for Rachel lee Walsh?
Stories and more stories, I hope. I truly love what I do and can't imagine doing anything else with the rest of my life. Right now I have at least ten other story ideas waiting for me to sit down and bring them to life.
Where can readers connect with your work?
You can find me at www.thelastscribe.com or www.rachel-walsh.net or on Facebook at or on Twitter @4wings4u and on Pinterest. Also, don't forget you can always find me on Amazon!
Are there any tips and tricks you’d like to relay to other aspiring authors?
Don't give up! I can't tell you how many writers I know who have given up on their stories without ever finishing them. Join a writing group with people you don’t know (objectivity) and really invest yourself in it. Listen to advice and critiques with an eye for improving your writing, not just arguing your point. If you want to be good at any craft, connections, and commitment and ongoing education is paramount.
Friday, November 21, 2014
Jerry, your novel the Last Witness was launched on Amazon in October this year. We are very excited to share your journey as well as your story. Thanks for taking to do so.
As a start can you tell our readers a bit more about yourself?
I live in Toronto and over the years have been a newspaper columnist and correspondent, as well as a feature writer for many magazines. I’ve written several books, both fiction and non-fiction, but fiction is my passion.
Your Story, The Last Witness, is based on a last living survivor of the holocaust. Can you tell our readers a bit more about the journey you took in order to put pen to paper?
Sure. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. Ask many novelists and they’ll tell you that an idea may germinate over years before they actually get down to writing. That’s what happened here. I figured that one day there will be one last living survivor of the Holocaust. But what will the world be like then? That’s the question.
You combined past events with a plot you set in the future, how much work and thought did it take?
It required a great deal of research, but as a former newspaper reporter, I can really get into this sort of thing. I did a lot of reading, and got involved with a group of former child Holocaust survivors who had incredible stories to tell. I researched the Jewish ghetto I wanted to write about and the death camp at Auschwitz. It was important to me that while I mixed fact with fiction, I wanted the flashbacks in my novel to be accurate.
Can you tell us a bit more about your main character – Jack Fisher?
Jack is 100 years old, but still in possession of his faculties. His worst memories took place before he was 5. He was born as a hidden child in the Jewish ghetto of Lodz, Poland in 1939, and when he was four he and his family were sent to Auschwitz. He was the only one who survived. Being born in 1939, it would be the year 2039 when he is 100 years old, and that is when my story is set. The near future. Jack himself is a very likeable, charming man, but tenacious.
Your character is a 100, that’s a fairly bold age for a character, considering that one’s body might only be able to bear knowledge at that time, what made you decide to go for that?
It was straight math. He’s the last living survivor born in 1939, so a century later it’s the year 2039 and this guy is 100 years old. But people are painfully ignorant of events from the last century – and they are today as well – and poor Jack is having a tough time convincing people that what he says is true.
What is your actual perception on the end of days and the last survivors?
I don’t know exactly what you mean by ‘the end of days’, but Auschwitz and the Nazis’ treatment of Jews, as well as other groups during World War II, is about as close to hell as humankind can get. It’s still astonishing to me that a country like Germany, which is no backwoods in the international scheme of things, could have perpetrated the Holocaust. But it shows you what mankind is capable of when the Big Lie takes over.
Is it close to home?
Not for me personally, but on the other hand it is close to home for me as a human being.
Who did you interview and what research did you undertake to refine your story? I interviewed lots of former child survivors, and the social workers who work with them, and I also had two memorable meetings with Sir Martin Gilbert, the eminent British historian who is best known as Winston Churchill’s official biographer. He also wrote a historical masterpiece called The Holocaust. After reading that, I knew it was time for me to start writing this novel.
What made you decided to create such a scenario in the future? As I say, it was simple math. The last survivor is 100 years old and to be a child survivor, I wanted him to be born in 1939. A hundred years later it’s 2039. So we’re in the near future.
How have readers received your story to date? So far, I’m getting a lot of heartfelt emotional response, which is good. The Last Witness is a thriller, but I think it’s a sophisticated thriller with a major historical bent to it.
What are your aspirations for this novel? That it becomes a bestseller. What other aspiration can a novelist want? But I also think The Last Witness has a purpose to it in that it serves up a warning about the dangers of ignoring, and not being aware, of history. We produced a short video asking university students in Toronto what they know of the Holocaust, as well as very basic questions of World War II, and the level of ignorance out there is profound. And shocking. I point my finger squarely at the educational system which has abrogated its responsibility to an entire generation by not teaching them history. This is the case in my own country of Canada, but also in the USA and many other countries around the world.
Any up and coming events that fans and readers can look forward to? I intend to take part in some writers’ conferences in the New Year. So far I have committed to Thrillerfest in New York City and to the Cape Cod Writers conference in Massachusetts, and I’ll be leading some seminars and workshops. We have also entered The Last Witness in a few literary competitions so we’ll have to see what happens.
Previously you wrote an article in The National Post about the sagging knowledge of the Holocaust. What were your findings? You should read the article. It quotes Gallup surveys and other surveys taken in various countries around the world, asking people what they know about the Holocaust. For example, knowledge in the United States is pretty poor, but it’s nothing to scream about in my own country either. And that’s the fundamental message of The Last Witness. When we don’t know history, we are prone to repeating it.
Why would you say that the knowledge based on the impact of the Holocaust was so much broader in Sweden against the rest of the world? That was according to one study that compared knowledge of the Holocaust among six European countries and the USA. The USA came out rock bottom. Sweden was highest. Why exactly I don’t know, but maybe the Swedish school system hasn’t shortchanged its students the way educational systems have in other Western countries. Mine included.
Friday, October 24, 2014
In the cold of winter, my footsteps in the snow disappear by the covering of the lessons I’ve learned. It’s a journey I had to undertake in search of myself. My soul administered itself, like the pointer of a compass into the directionless unknown where scenery compacts with the growth of green trees and old man’s beard moss covers branches. At times, one gets lost in the journey and one has to find a way back to ones calling.
It takes over the senses, like a lust driven beast searching for knowledge in an effort to understand where one belongs. It brings heartache, as there are those one needs to discard along the path. They will serve no other notion but distraction from the true goal that lies in the horizon like night joins day -- invisible to the sight of man. The silence within, screams aloud, herding the pieces required to make one absolute. As the will of nature, continues while daily activities commence.
Darkness falls upon the soul by means of testing the will power of its beholder. In times like those one should remain determined, like a river carving its set way even though the pessimist would doubt its reaching.
The wind drives our motivation towards the edge of a mountain peak. Human nature contributes towards the lack of success and yet one ponders how it differs from nature itself. Nature controls the beings that are dependent on it for survival, as humans kill each other, similar to how the lion kills a deer. However, as humans, we are also dependent on nature for survival, as well as the universe for guidance, whilst she weeps through branches of trees to those who are sensitive enough to listen yet bears the weight of its secrets.
Souls have to be as pure as diamond, original and uncut as emotion and knowledge is what brings humans down.
If there is ever a lesson learned - one, which will never fade from memory towards the abyss of darkness -, it will be that; as time goes by one perfects the mastery of creation like the universe creates the flow of energy. It yet has to advance around someone, something. We, ourselves, are that one thing everything develops around, with the rite of passage to go where we want to go. We have the ability to create whatever we want with the lives we live. We hold the capability, within our grasp every day, to create everything we want to experience.
Our will is like the ocean, unparalleled with force, aided by nature to give life to our expectations.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Friday, September 26, 2014
Being an artist is about being true to your self. Whether you write, paint, sing, play an instrument or build something, one has to put your soul into that which you want to show the world. Any true artist knows that it' is a hard market but if one does not show the world what or who you actually are. How can one desire fame?
The product you create should be self reflecting, an image that represents a product of self advertising. Any good artist can create a good product but a great artist reflects through his work.
I've recently listened to an online debate where a few artists covered the discussion around how to get to the greater circle of fame. The topic, exhausting as it is concluded that there' is no shortcut, the harder you work on a creation the better it becomes. For a new artist to find a spot within the ranks of already invested artists the standards have been set, but does one pay attention towards the self reflecting art? Or does the artist write for the want of another?
I found myself agreeing to disagree. Some artists will choose which ever option got them to start but does the inspiration to research your own product not seem of a better motivation than to create like a ghost writer.
I myself believe that once we reached a stage of growth every one of us allows the mind to create to our own will. As invested artists who become such out of their own, can vouch that they didn’t know that their first creations was going to be a success or failure, yet they still created their product towards their souls, personalities and emotions.
I do not think that one can be successful to create towards the want of another as you would be jumping from creation to creation and find no satisfaction in that which you produced. The best I think for any aspiring artist would be to find themselves through the foundation they produced and share that with the world and make a stand within the ranks where you know what you bear knowledge of.
Yes, the market fluctuates from time to time but it does not necessarily indicate that our work is declining; instead it could designate competition toward the product we created and should inspire us to produce a greater piece.
I found creating something from nothing takes the most of our soul as it gets influenced by all decision making which contributes towards the end product.As the lingering about the creation gets less attractive and moves away from that which represents you.
One should always keep in mind that the research, combined with knowledge reflects that which we wish to craft and that will be the image one wears when in public. Never state that your product is incomplete but rather state that growth is certain to happen.
With that approach, one could let anyone believe that a piece of glass can turn into a diamond.