Interview with Poet Lauren White (First Contact)

Matthew Toffolo: What is the theme of your poem?

Lauren White: The theme was initially love, loss, and heartbreak. Towards the end, it turned into hope.

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

I wrote this about the last man that I dated. He had a huge impact on me in a short amount of time. Most of the lines in the poem have some ring of truth, including the nicknames and the Star Trek First Contact Day reference, which is the day we started talking to each other. It was a whirlwind that ended abruptly. I had a lot of thoughts and emotions afterwards that I have been processing through poetry. This was the second of several poems about him.

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

I’m actually not sure how long I have been writing. I believe that i’ve probably always written on scraps of paper here and there. The earliest poems that I can remember are those from high school. I was in high school the first time I won a poetry contest. I also participated in a literary magazine. I had been writing off and on since then, but am currently trying to write each day, as I find the process therapeutic.

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

My maternal grandmother. She died when I was about two months old, so I never got the chance to know her. I hear a lot about her big heart and kind personality from my family. I like to believe she would motivate me in my writing and be very proud of me.

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

In part, the discount to be honest, lol. But, I did also want to see what it would be like to have someone else put feeling to my words. It was even better than I expected. Esther captured the emotions perfectly.

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

Nope, just poetry and occasional prose in the form of rants.

7) What is your passion in life?

I’m still trying to figure that out, but I believe this – writing poetry – is it. I’m enjoying exploring new forms and styles of writing and finding inspiration in places that I’ve never looked. I’m interacting, making friends, and writing with fellow bloggers. The process is relaxing and calming and helps me keep my depression and anxiety issues at bay. I’m also very into music and have been doing a “From My Playlist” series on my blog to introduce others to new genres and songs.

Go to the poet’s website: https://hellolaurentms.com.

Performed by Esther Thibault

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Interview with Poet Susan L. Brown (Response To 8 Philosophers)

Matthew Toffolo: What is the theme of your poem?

Susan L. Brown: Looking at the idea of Philosophy through the lives of ordinary people.

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

This poem was a response to an amazing documentary film about contemporary international Philosophers.

Examined Life is a 2008 Canadian documentary film about philosophers directed by Astra Taylor. The film features eight influential modern philosophers …

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

I have been writing poetry since I was in public school. I was extremely lucky to have several excellent English teachers during my school career who encouraged and inspired me to write.

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

I believe I’d like to have a conversation over dinner with a good story-teller, like ” Mark Twain”.

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

I like to support all the arts and having an actor participate in my poetry was allowing an opportunity to enjoy another artist’s interpretation of my words and voice.

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

I have curated art exhibitions and have written exhibition catalogues. When CBC Radio produced an independent contributors’ program named, “OUT FRONT”, I scripted, performed and edited a short production that was aired.

7) What is your passion in life?

My passion in life is creating and sharing my experiences across and through global cultures in my art.

Interview with Poet Sam Allen (Viola’s Rebellion)

Matthew Toffolo: What is the theme of your poem?

Sam Allen: The poem is about female emancipation and emancipation in general. It is about breaking free from roles that confine you and allowing your soul to play out fully and abundantly.

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

Four of my top five values in life are freedom, expression, passion and creativity. The poem came from connecting to these values and expressing what came from this connection intuitively through words.

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

I have always loved to write and remember writing songs and poems as a child. However it was after losing my amazing Dad to pancreatic cancer in December 2015 that writing poetry became a cathartic kind of self-therapy process. Since that very day I have written poetry every day and don’t intend to stop!

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

I would love to have dinner with Paulo Coelho as I find him inspiring, emotionally articulately and at the same time very human and relatable. The Alchemist is one of my all time favourite books.

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

I was curious to hear how the words I had written sounded when somebody I didn’t know read them aloud.

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

I mainly write and blog poetry, prose and inspirational quotes. I would also like to try my hand at writing raps and songs!

7) What is your passion in life?

I have many passions and my greatest passion is my work as a Creative Life Coach. This work involves helping clients to solve their current life challenges using their own intuition, creativity and resourcefulness. I can be contacted via email on samallencoachingcreatively@gmail.com should you wish to book a free no-obligations demo session and more details can be found on my website http://www.samallencoachingcreatively.com

Performed by Esther Thibault

Interview with Writer Pat Jourdan (DECEMBER)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your story about?

Pat Jourdan : The story is about the secret lives of holiday towns once summer visitors have left.

What genre?

It is in a plain literary genre.

Describe it in two words

Season’s end.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

Great Expectations (David Lean version)

What is your favorite song?

A Whiter Shade of Pale (Procol Harum)

Do you have an all-time favourite novel?

Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathaniel West

What motivated you to write this story?

Noticing the changes in the last weeks of Sepember.

If you could have dinner with one person,( dead or alive), who would that be?

Emily Bronte

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am an artist, usually painting in oils

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

Testing if it worked in another medium, and through the voice of someone else.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Get a big (real book, with pages) dictionary and read it, discover more words. Read as many books as possible. Books you don’t like are just as valuable, as they are teaching you what works and what does not. Always have biro & paper or other means to jot something down as it occurs to you -writing is not some ‘grand’ occupation at a desk!

 

Synopsis: A café closes for the winter and the waitress re-invents herself.

Performed by Esther Thibault

Interview with Writer Peter Inson (HATS OFF TO THE TEACHERS, SMASHED)

Matthew Toffolo: What are my short stories about?

Peter Inson: A practical joke

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

Humour/psychological realism

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Teachers tricked

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

The Magnificent Seven.

5. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

The House of the Rising Sun by the Animals.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Brighton Rock by Graham Greene.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

To amuse reluctant readers.

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

My paternal grandfather, William Henry, killed in WW2, six years before I was born.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Beekeeping, good homes for children, choral singing.

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

To see reactions to it. To publicize my work more generally.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Persist. Think hard about the commitment required. Find enjoyment in it.

Watch Short Story Readings: 

Interview with Writer Diane Elliott (Remembering Momma)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your short story about?

Diane Elliott: A failed mother/daughter relationship

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

General fiction

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Hauntingly powerful

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

I’ve never seem any movie more than once

5. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Classical Music—never interested in pop

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Anna Karenina

7. What motivated you to write this story?

The need for resolution with my relationship with my mother.

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

President Lincoln.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Gardening

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

My theater background

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Write about the subjects that build on your inner passion

 

Performed by Esther Thibault

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Interview with Nia Markos (ELEMENTS: BOOK ONE)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your novel about?

Nia Markos: My novel is about a young woman whose life gets thrown into turmoil by events out of her control. It involves a prophesy, a quest and finding her inner strength.

Along the way, she also has to deal with matters of the heart. Throw in mythology, magic, faeries, demons and shadows, and danger from all sides stand in the way of her accomplishing her task.

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

This novel is a young adult urban fantasy, paranormal quest story.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Magical awakening.

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Independence Day. I still stop to watch it whenever I catch it on television.

5. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

It’s so hard to pick just one song. If I had to pick one on the spot, I would say Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

The Witching Hour by Anne Rice.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

I’ve always wanted to write, but I never found the time. This story, though, wanted to be written. When I sat down this time, the words just seemed to flow.
I found my motivation in my main character. Alexa sparked something in me. I never looked back once I started telling her story.

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Ernest Hemingway. What a fun night that would be.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Music, science fiction movies. I’m learning the guitar. Most of all my family, living life to its fullest.

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

The thrill of seeing my words come to life.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

I’ll pass on what other authors have told me. Read. Read a lot. Not just a genre you like, but vary it to see the nuances of other ones. Each genre has its own way of storytelling.

Take what you read and build your own voice.

BUY on Amazon

 

Performed by Esther Thibault

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