Are you a feminist? Take the quiz and read our answers.

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Are you a feminist? Take the quiz and read our answers.

As members of Rosie & the Riveters, we’ve been asked a lot recently if we are “feminists”.

Before I reveal our answer I thought I’d start us off with a quiz.  Once you know whether you’re a feminist, we’ll be able to share our answer with you.

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Take the “Are you a feminist?” quiz:

Question #1 Do you believe in the political, economic and social equality of all people?

 

Yes or No?

 

If you answered yes, congratulations you are a feminist!

 

Question #2….ooop nope, there isn’t another question.

That’s the only question.

This might come as a surprise. Perhaps you’ve always disliked the word feminist or have been told feminism is  a "women vs men" viewpoint. 

Don’t worry, you’re now a member of a VERY large group because feminists come in all shapes, sizes, and from all backgrounds - they're everywhere! 

Yes. That gun-toting-deer-hunting-beer-guzzling guy named Darryl from your local bar; he’s a feminist!

Yep, Rebekkah, the Mormon mother of 4 who has never cut her hair and doesn’t work outside the home – she's a feminist, too!

Feminism is NOT the belief that women are better than men. 

Feminism is about inclusivity and intersectionality - it's not just for white, able-bodied, heterosexual, cis-gender women either. Feminism involves and affects everyone - it's important to seek out, pay attention, and LISTEN to people who have historically been marginalized and excluded from the conversation: people of colour, people with disabilities and transgender people to name just a few. 

Feminism is about choice. You can shave you legs, or not; wear makeup, or not; work at home, or not; have children, or not; march or not; there are no rules.

Feminism is the belief in the political, economic, and social equality of all people. That's it. Pssst. that doesn’t mean we think we’re the same as men, or that all women have the same life experiences - understanding the complexities within the feminist movement is important (and we’re still learning, too). 

So yes, we here at Rosie & the Riveters are feminists. What about you? Are you a feminist? If so, I’ve created a playlist for your eardrums to take in the sounds of feminist folk of today. Follow us on Spotify and listen.

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5 THINGS WE’RE REALLY EXCITED FOR THIS FALL

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Creamy soups, spicy pumpkin lattes, cozy sweaters and warm blankets are just a few of the wonderful things we get to enjoy every fall. Yes, winter is coming! In just a few months, we'll be singing holiday carols and drinking eggnog but before we get there, we want to share just a few special things we are looking forward to this fall... 

1. WE'RE GOING ON TOUR!

We have been on the road a lot this summer and it was nice to come home and finally kick our feet up but honestly, we can't wait to get back on the road - headed to the United States! There's nothing like performing in new places, meeting new people and just exploring different restaurants. We're all especially excited for New York City. The Big Apple is just a mecca of arts and music and there is no better time than autumn in NYC.

2. FRESHLY DRESSED AND READY TO IMPRESS

Farideh can't wait to strut her stuff in the gorgeous Cherry Velvet dress she won on Canada Day. This was part of a competition to take the most Canadian selfie... and our girl WON! Take a look at the beautiful dress she be wearing out on the town when we go on tour.

3. SWEET SWEET DREAMS #pillowtalk 

Allyson is really looking forward to getting some good rest on her fluffy new pillow. Being on the road means sleeping in many different places, so investing is a great supportive and therapeutic piece of bedding is essential. Did you know we spend about one third of our lives asleep? That's about 25 years of sleep in the average lifetime!

4. GETTING INTO A NEW GROOVE

2018 is going to be a very big year for the band. As most of you know, we'll be dropping a new album and with that comes a brand new show. We are so excited to work on new choreography and new elements to electrify our stage presence. We really want to cater this new show to showcase the emotions and effort we've put into this new album. 

5. JUST DOING IT!

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Alexis has rediscovered her love for running and will be training for a half-marathon this fall. It's not easy maintaining a consistent running routine on the road but somehow everything just aligned this summer now she's ready to "just do it" and take on her first half-marathon. Every runner knows just how life changing that steady good run can be when it comes to stress relief and just overall self-esteem. If you want get fit without breaking the bank? Just put your running shoes on and hit the asphalt!   

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Diversity, Art & Activism

As a band, our goal as always been to promote positivity and to bring joy to our audiences through our music. We believe in the beauty and strength of diversity and we welcome EVERYONE to our concerts. All of us move through this world differently, and the only thing that really matters is what’s inside your heart. We choose love, peace, acceptance, and inclusion, always.

Music and activism have a long, intertwined history and art has always played an important part in social movements and change. Here are 3 powerful songs written by women (with the exception of Strange Fruit) whose messages are still, unfortunately, as relevant today as they were years ago. 

O Siem (written by Susan Aglukark & Chad Irschick) - Susan Aglukark

Strange Fruit (written by Abel Meeropol) - Billie Holiday

Mississippi Goddamn (written by Nina Simone) - Nina Simone 

Allyson xo

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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PACKING FOR TOUR

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A few years ago, my friend Susan and I traveled to Costa Rica. She was impressed that I brought everything I needed for a 2-week trip into a carry-on suitcase, while still having enough variety to accommodate beach and day-trip attire, a few nice outfits for dinners/evenings out as well as work-out clothing. She suggested I write a blog post about packing efficiently…and so, here is my ultimate (and oh-so complete) guide to packing for tour!

 

First off, a few rules of thumb:

1) If I can’t carry all my luggage from the house to the car in one trip, I’m bringing too much. Portability is key: I need to be able to take public transportation from the airport to my AirBnB in Montreal, for example. This approach is also a much-needed when traveling in the van with 3 other adults and a toddler. My total bag count is the following:

  • One carry-on sized suitcase:
    • This is usually my checked bag (since I usually have too many liquids/gels to bring it on the plane
  • My guitar (with a super-duper hard-shell case):
    • I usually carry this with me through airport security and gate check it.
  • A small backpack:
    • This is my day pack - I usually take it to gigs, on touristy excursions on days off, etc. 
  • A  purse
    • Recently, I've opted not to bring a purse. Instead, I'll pack a clutch into my suitcase and use it when I'm going somewhere and don't need my day pack (meeting up with friends for supper, for example). 

2) I only pack things I am 100% certain I will use. To me, “just in case” items are luxury ones and if I don’t have space for them, they don’t make the cut. The only other luxury items I make room for are:

  • Underwear: one pair per day (+ one extra) up to a max of 14 pairs (It's the number of pairs that I consider "luxury"... not the underwear part ;-).
  • A re-fillable water bottle, travel mug and a couple Tupperware containers
  • Flip flops: they are handy to have, but ONLY if there is room. I wear them around the hotel (to the pool if there is one, etc.).

3) If I know I’ll be attending one or two formal or dressy events, I won’t pack options for me to decide what to wear when I get there; I make that decision when I pack my suitcase.

4) I don’t bring an item of clothing unless it can be integrated into at least 2 outfit combinations. This rule also applies to shoes – I won’t bring a pair of shoes that will only be worn once.

5) Many people think rolling clothing takes up less room…I’m not convinced. I usually just fold my clothing neatly.

6) My carry-on suitcase expands – but I NEVER expand it before I leave for tour. I reserve that extra space in case I buy something while on the road (you never know what treasures you’ll find a thrift stores!)

Getting through security with a guitar in a hard-shell case: tips

Since I travel with a guitar in a large hard-shell case, a lot of musicians ask if I get a hard time from airline staff when I tell them I’m bringing the guitar through security and to the aircraft. The short answer is: sometimes.

First off, the important thing to clarify with airline staff is that I’m not bringing the guitar on the plane. If I did, my guitar would in fact be way too big.

Instead, I carry my guitar with me through airport security. I leave it at the bottom of the gate before I board the aircraft so that it is stored under the airplane during the flight along with all the strollers. I retrieve it at the foot of the gate once arrived at my next destination. Some airlines call this “sky check”, others call it “gate check”.

I need a special baggage tag to do this and can get one from the airline employee when I check my other bag upon arrival and check in at the airport.

If I’m met with a bit of resistance from airline employees, I mention that my guitar isn’t bigger than many strollers some parents bring through security. That usually seals the deal! However, I had a couple airline employees who were more insistent that my guitar wasn’t allowed. They decided to verify the rules, just in case. We learnt that gate checking my guitar is not against any transport rules (in North America, at least!).

Packing tips:

  • I wear the clothing that takes the most space on travel days (especially days I fly). This would be the day I’d wear my jeans, sweater, warmest/bulkiest jacket and biggest pair of shoes. Need to bring a good pair of winter boots, but they are too bulky to fit into your suitcase? Wear them, and pack your smaller day shoes in the suitcase instead. Sure, it makes for really toasty feet in the airplane, but its’ worth it to me.
  • Riveter outfits: we usually cut the number of shows we have in half. If we perform 6 shows, for example, we’ll bring 3 outfits
  • I calculate the number of non-riveter outfits as follows:
    •  If I’m gone for 1 week, I’ll rotate 3-4 outfits.
    • If I’m gone for 2 weeks, I’ll rotate 5-6 outfits. I’ll usually also try to do laundry half way through the trip.
  • If I make space for my running shoes, I’ll pack socks or small tank tops inside them.
  • Wherever possible, I use small re-fillable containers/bottles for toiletries
  • I store all my liquid and gels in giant Ziploc bag to contain spills that may happen while in transit.

 

Here is look inside my suitcase for a 1-week tour: 

Toiletries/first aid/pharmacy/beauty products:

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss
  • Deodorant
  • Razor and blades
  • Complex 15 (face moisturizer) and a small re-fillable container of body lotion
  • Makeup removing cloths (I buy them in bulk and transport 7 of them in a Ziploc bag)
  • Mini container of ibuprofen (I also buy larger bottles and refill my smaller container before I hit the road), decongestant nasal spray (I can’t sleep with a plugged nasal passage!), vitamin C, tea tree essential oil, peppermint essential oil, oregano oil, a pack of oscillococcinum (homeopathic remedy for cold/fever), a couple band aids (smaller ones and two larger ones for blisters on feet), Polysporin (or a small container of salve), cough drops (without menthol), diva cup, lip balm, hair elastics and bobby pins
  • Makeup (for both every day and on stage)
  • Comb (curly-haired people don't use brushes!)
  • Nail clipper and file
  • Mini re-fillable bottles of shampoo, conditioner, face cleanser, exfoliating cleanser and hair products (curl defining cream, moose and hairspray)
  • Travel blow-dryer that folds in half + diffuser
  • Ear plugs
  • Jewelry: 2-4 pairs of earrings and 2-3 necklaces.
  • Hand-held dual sided mirror (sometimes there just aren’t enough mirrors in the hotel or green room pre-show!)

Clothing:

  • 3 Riveter dresses, two boleros, three belts, one fascinator, one other hair accessory
  • One pair of jeans (or a pair of shorts/skirt)
  • One pair of leggings or pair of shorts
  • 2 tank tops
  • 1 sweater
  • Two long-sleeve shirts that can be layered and or/worn alone  
  • One other top I can wear with both my jeans and leggings
  • Space permitting, I’ll bring something a bit dressier – such as a sundress (or sweater-dress in cooler climates) …even though this breaks my “it must be used in two outfits” rule. If I have space, I’ll pack this luxury item!
  • Underwear (one pair per day)
  • Bras (2-3)
  • Spanx
  • Bathing suit (in case the hotel has a hot tub!)
  • 2-3 pairs of socks
  • Pijamas
  • Footwear:
    • 1pair of heels for performance (that matches ALL my dress options)
    • 1 pair of sandals (in summer) - or flip flops in winter if space allows
    • 1 pair of running shoes and one outfit for exercise (I pack shorts, a t-shirt and sports bra inside my running shoes to save space). 
    • Close-toed shoes depending on the season:
      • Spring/Summer/Fall: 1 pair of Keds or other closed-toe shoe that is weather appropriate and works with all of my outfits
      • Winter boots (I have a pair of winter boots that are insulated, waterproof AND fashionable (who knew this was a thing!?). ... yes, they were worth the $280 I paid for them!). 

Seasonal items that may find their way into my suitcase:

  • Scarf, tuque, mitts and wool socks (+ winter jacket)
  • Water-proof rain jacket + scarf
  •  Sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray

A look inside my small backpack for a 1-week tour:

  • Laptop and charger
  • A book
  • Aluminum water bottle, travel mug 
  • Pens, sharpie and a mini stapler (I organize my receipts on the go)
  • Tea bags
  • Phone and charger/cable
  • Food: I usually pack a lunch for my first day on the road (the Tupperware is then super helpful later in the week to pack leftovers from our green room hospitality, for example)
  • If space allows, I’ll bring pencil crayons and my coloring book 

 

Et voilà!

Best tip of all: keep it simple! 

 

Bisoux, 

 

 

Alexis :-) 

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50 songs, 3 Muses and 6 co-writing sessions

We’ve written our next record! 

When R&R sat down to start ruminating on the next record one thing became very clear:

We needed GREAT SONGS.

Songs that would make you wanna pull over in your car and take a deep breath; Songs that would make you feel like we took the words straight from your heart; Songs that named feelings you didn’t even know you have had!

I recently heard there are 3 Muses of Creativity:

  1. The Muse of Consistency
  2. The Muse of Inspiration
  3. The Muse of Talent

When I reflect on our songwriting process for our next album, it’s clear we called upon all three of these deities in order to find “GREAT SONGS”.

The Muse of Consistency

We made a goal to write 50 songs for the next record after we heard this story:

There was a pottery teacher who wanted to try something new to get the best works from his students.

He split his class in half.  For the first half of the class he told them he would grade them on their best work.

For the 2nd half of the class he told them he would grade them on how many pieces they made.

During the year, stepping into their studios the atmosphere was completely different. The first half of the students, were serious and silent; painstakingly focused on one piece – trying to perfect it and make it the best possible.

Meanwhile, the 2nd group of students were laughing, flinging the wildest and weirdest creations possible.

At the end of the year, the best pieces were those made by the 2nd group of students. Their ideas were better and their craft had improved.

With our limited schedule, the Muse of Consistency guided us and when we did the work we found:

The Muse of Inspiration

Inspiration comes in many forms. For us, those forms were writing exercises that had us writing out lists of sensory words, or vintage words. Making lists of cool song titles or concepts.  We racked our brains and hearts thinking about what our audience needed to hear.

We wrote these on giant sheets of paper and brought them with us on each writing retreat or session we went to.

Of course there were some more interesting moments the Muse of Inspiration descended upon us.

Like in a dream, where I called Allyson from prison and  inspired the song,  “Call Me”.

Or, a comment about “being ladylike” fired us up to write “Ms. Behave”.

When the Muse of Inspiration was exhausted, her pen dry, it  was time to call in:

The Muse of Talent

Each of us has years of songwriting experience, awards and accolades hiding under our fabulous fascinators.

However, in the search of GREAT SONGS we were willing to look under every rock.

This included approaching publishers for song pitches from those Nashville and LA.

Many of the hit songs you’re listening to on the radio are written by the hand of an artist you’ve never heard of.

We listened with open minds; however, our sound and the distinct voice of our lyrics were nowhere to be found. The songs from these publishers lacked sass, character and empowerment. The songs were okay but they weren’t “Riveter songs”

It became VERY clear – only the Riveters could write a Rosie & the Riveter song.

This realization didn’t preclude us from collaboration!

Collaboration is a driving force behind Rosie & the Riveters and so to build on that power we spent two weeks in Toronto co-writing with some of our favourite songwriters: Royal Wood, Matt Barber,  Caroline Brooks (from The Good Lovelies), Tim Abraham, Peter Katz, and Robyn Dell’Unto.

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Many of these songs made it only the record….you’ll have to wait til March to hear it. Sign up to our newsletter and follow us on your favorite social media platform to be the 1st to hear!

xoxox
Farideh

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A GUIDE TO FITNESS ON THE ROAD

Just like fitness at home, I need to make exercise a priority in my day if I’m going to make it happen. Furthermore, it takes planning!

Before I leave on tour, I have a look at my schedule to identify the days we spend fewer than 4 hours in the car (Thereby creating time for a workout!).

I also locate the hotels that are equipped with a work-out room and the town/cities that would have groomed running trails or other fun activities like hiking, kayaking or swing dancing!

  • Most hotels have mini-fridges these days, so I am able to keep my food cold and re-freeze my ice packs. Those that don’t will often agree to store my food in the staff fridge behind the check-in desk.
  • Breakfast food ideas: hard boiled eggs (made before I leave home), fruit, cottage cheese (sometimes I’ll also pack a bit of cinnamon to give it some pizzazz),
  • Snacks: cheese slices, apples, unsalted nuts, rice crackers and humus, turkey bites, carrot sticks,
  • Meals: Buddha or glory bowls, sushi, chili, salads, etc.

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11 Little-Known Facts about Rosie & the Riveters

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11 Little-Known Facts about Rosie & the Riveters

I've spent A LOT of time with these Riveters. I know ALL of their secrets. 

Remember when you were 12 and you had all the time in the world to hang out with your friends? You sat in parks, you walked to the store for slurpees and then you just "hung out" doing nothing til 10 and went home?

Good times.

As an adult, friendships happen over coffee, lunch or dinners (or in my case, playdates)

When you're in a band, you spent a LOT of time hanging out. Waiting for soundcheck; waiting to board a plane; sitting in a van for 10 hours - it's a lot like being 12.

Here's a few juicy secrets few people know about us:

1.     Who sings alto? All of us. Each of us tries our hand at different parts in different songs.

2.     We dance 4kms (in heels) every night. The gals allowed me to wear my fitbit one night so I could count our steps.

3.     Collectively we are the proud recipients of 3 degrees and a goat milking trophy. (Alexis & Allyson have the degrees)

4.     Allyson is afraid of snakes. Alexis is afraid of heights. Farideh is afraid of nothing.

5.     Farideh’s burps are so loud, they will blow your hair back.

6.     Alexis likes to read allowed random signs she sees while touring.

7.     Collectively we have 34 years of performance experience and 10 albums.

8.     We are all first borns in our families.

9.     Allyson’s grandmother was a “Riveter” in Shellbrook, SK, during war-time.

10.  In 2016 Rosie & the Riveters traveled on over 85 flights.

11.  We’ve micro-financed women's projects around the world. Currently we’ve invested over $5000 in over 126 projects.

 

xoxo
Farideh

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Free Parenting Tips

We've been bringing Farideh's daughter on the road with us for over a year and a half already and it's hard to believe so much time has gone by! In honour of Mother's Day, here are some of the best/most hilarious parenting tips we've picked up from Farideh along the way: 

o   bibs are totally overrated

o   coffee-filters make really bad snack bowls

o   pink and red do match but clothing is always optional

o   a squidgee pack of baby food adds a nice splash of colour to any outfit

o   we all love Peppa Pig

o   noisy toys somehow “lose their batteries” after about an 30 min

o   nap time can happen anywhere/anytime

o   play time means work out time for the aunties

o   anything is a game, including picking up raisins from the floor

o   anything can be a telephone and you'd better answer when that banana phone is ringing for you

o   so. much. snot.

o   when airport security asks if you're family, just say yes

o   the only thing that stinks more than “next day donair” in a car is baby puke

o   you can absolutely wash your clothes and a carseat in a gas station bathroom

o   most food will be covered in baby spit and sticky hands, germs are good for you

o   any time is a good time for a story

o   always make time for play

 

Allyson xoxo

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3 GOLDEN RULES TO EATING HEALTHY ON THE ROAD  

When I decided to make music my full-time gig, I quickly realized that “The Touring 20” is a thing. Unlike “The Freshman 15”, it isn’t as easy to work off. So, I decided to take action.  

Before I leave for tour, I do two things: 

1) I prepare two extra portions of a yummy meal that travels well, such as Buddha or glory bowls. I really appreciate these super tasty home-made treats loaded with fresh veggies – they are a lean source of energy that get me through the first days of tour. Once I’ve eaten them, I use the containers to store left-overs from lunch or supper (usually restaurant food portions are big enough for two meals!). They are also useful to pack up some snacks that a venue may have provided in our greenroom.  

2) I will also make extra portions of food I can store in the freezer so I have something homemade and healthy when I get home from tour. I’m usually pretty exhausted when I get home and, instead of ordering take out, I just pull out a container of soup, chili or chicken dinner!   

While on tour, I abide by these 3 golden rules:  

  • NEVER eat fast food. Opt for a grocery store instead (it’s fast too!)  

  • Eat as many veggies as possible (they aren’t always easy to come by on the road) 

  • Try to eat in a restaurant only once a day 

  • If I am not traveling by plane, I bring a small cooler equipped with healthy food for the road and ice packs to keep it chilled. I keep it full of fresh veggies, hard boiled eggs, fruit, cottage cheese, salads, or anything that make great breakfast and/or lunch items and help reduce the number of times I eat in a restaurant.  

Last fall, I added a fourth golden rule:  

  • No alcohol! Yes, I recently gave up alcohol… and I don’t miss it at all!  

 

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Guest Blogger: Novelist, Alice Kuipers

We’d like you to meet Alice Kuipers! She is a best-selling author based in Saskatoon and has recently released a new novel called Me (and) Me. Check out the trailer: 

We’re so inspired by her work and are thrilled to have her as a guest blogger!

As women in the music industry, it sometimes feels like we need to decide between pursuing our careers VS raising a family. Thankfully, Farideh, our fellow Riveter, has shown us that both are possible. We're curious about your story: did you ever feel like you had to choose between pursuing your career as a writer and raising a family? How did you navigate that decision (if at all)? 

Farideh is a great inspiration—I read her newsletter to give me ideas to help me cope with all the juggling that having a family and a career requires. I have four children and they are all under the age of eight. It’s bonkers at my house. But, years ago, when I was pregnant with my first child, I spoke to the novelist Lisa Moore about how to manage writing novels and being a mother. She told that to keep writing while my children were young, I needed to take it seriously and not try to do it all—she said she needed three hours a day with fixed childcare to keep her writing life going. Basically, I followed her advice, although now we have four children, we have more than three hours a day of childcare. For me, it was the notion of taking my writing seriously that stuck—seriously enough that I knew I needed to keep making time for it.

My children are my top priority. But if I don’t spend any time writing, I turn into a far grumpier and more unpleasant parent. I don’t know why that is, but knowing this about myself helps me balance my work needs and my family needs.

What are your tricks, tips and routines that help you balance your creative practice with family life? 

When I’m not working, at the back of my mind, I try to have the next scene playing. So, if I’m changing a diaper or playing with the kids or making supper, there’s a tiny part of my brain that has an image of a scene in it. When I sit down to work, I know what I’m going to write next. I also have a lot of lists—a weekly to-do list, a monthly one, a daily one. I’m pretty easy going on the day-to-day list. I understand I have to be flexible with four kids. But I’m quite good at getting everything done by giving myself a whole week to do it. Although I don’t have a full work week—until my children are older, I only have childcare on Mondays-Thursdays.

One piece of advice I followed was to set up an automatic email responder for Fridays-Sundays. People seem to need replies to emails more quickly than I can handle. The responder says: I’m not at my desk until Monday. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. It gives me a little breathing room when I’m with my children.

Another tip? I regularly give myself thirty minutes to recharge. Sometimes I just can’t do it all. Sometimes I need to not be working or with my darling-yet-exhausting kids. Sometimes I need to read a book or walk the dog or exercise. This has been something I’ve had to learn more this year. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a bit older or if it’s because I was just working too hard, but my body is making me take a bit more time to chill.

And finally, I try not to give myself a hard time. I don’t get it right all the time. But I try not to be eaten up by mommy guilt when I drop the ball. I try my best—I think most of us parents do.

Lark is the lead character of your latest novel Me (and) Me. We noticed she is the sixth of young girls/teenagers around which the plots of your novels are built: from Callie (The Death of Us), to Amy (40 Things I Wanted to Tell You) to Sophie (The Worst Thing She Ever Did) and finally to Claire and Elizabeth (Life on the Refrigerator Door). What draws you to making teenage/young girls your central characters? What goes into building their personalities, inventing their backstories and what informs their strength? 

Characters appear in my head needing my attention. It’s a weird thing. Often, I have a storyline playing around in my mind—so in Life on the Refrigerator Door, I was thinking about writing a story in notes for a long time. Then Claire’s voice spoke in my head and everything came together. I began the first draft. Right now. I have an idea that dances in my head for a new book and I know what I want the book to be about. Recently, a girl’s voice has started up and I hear the words: “My name’s Poppy. Not my choice. Obviously.”

The ideas for Me (and) Me started a long time ago—nearly twenty years ago. But the character I tried to write that book about was too much like me. The book didn’t work. Then Lark came into my head and she was writing a song and I knew she was the right person for this story. I use a character interview to start to get to know my characters (the interview I use is here on my website—for any of you who are writers, I have tons of other writing workshops on the site, and a free course for anyone who signs up to my newsletter).

After I’ve interviewed my character, I have to do research—with Lark I spoke to singer-songwriters, read books about songwriting, listened to bands, watched bands live and on YouTube, read memoirs of songwriters. That’s how I ended up signing up to Farideh’s newsletter—when I was reading about you all! I also did a lot of research into Parkour. Which was a lot of fun.

I’m drawn to teen characters because I think that age in life is when we make the choices that turn us into the adults we’re going to become—those years are so crucial and so interesting and so hard to live through. I’m not sure why all my main characters are girls. I suspect it’s because I’m always writing for my fourteen-year-old self—the confused teenager that I was, the one who loved to read. My love of reading has fueled all of my writing—when I write a book, I’m the first reader of it and that’s a thrill.

We've often been told to write about what we know - this informs our songwriting process. We love how you reference local restaurants in Saskatoon, prairie scenery and landmarks (like Pike Lake) in your novel Me (and) Me. How much local inspiration do you draw upon when writing? Is this important to you? In contrast, are there elements in your writing that are inspired by your hometown in London, England? 

The last two books I’ve published are set in Edenville, which I base heavily on Saskatoon. Our beautiful river seems to make it into all my writing at the moment. My second novel was set in London, and my first was set on a fridge door. In my head, Life on the Refrigerator Door was set in London, but the fridge could be anywhere. When that book came out, I had a long talk with local author David Carpenter about how I didn’t use setting and how important it was to his writing—he was very interested and interesting about how to write strong settings.

I think that the magic realism in the last two books needed to be rooted in setting to give them that realistic feeling—so I took Dave Carpenter’s thoughts to heart. I wanted to set the book somewhere vivid and real to me--I reference D’Lish all the time in this book because I wrote a lot of the book sitting there, drinking coffee. I did mean to change the name of the café in a final draft, but I never did and I like that the café where I spend so much time now exists in the heads of readers who have never visited Saskatoon.

Thanks so much for these great questions! And for hosting me on my blog tour—I really appreciate it. I’m a big fan and so it’s a real honour.

Alice is on a Blog Tour! Catch her other guest blog posts here:

April 10: Girl Plus Book - http://girlplusbook.com
April 11: CanLit for Little Canadians - https://canlitforlittlecanadians.blogspot.ca/
April 12: Library of Pacific Tranquility - http://pacifictranquility.wordpress.com/
April 13: A Cupcake and a Latte - http://acupcakeandalatte.com/
April 14: Stuck in YA Books - http://lovesbooksreview.blogspot.com/
April 17: Jaime D's World - http://www.jaimedsworld.tumblr.com/
April 19: Our Collective Muse - http://www.ourcollectivemuse.com/
April 20: Book Store Finds - https://www.instagram.com/bookstorefinds/
April 21: Mostly YA Lit - https://www.mostlyyalit.com/
April 25: Rosie & the Riveters - http://www.rosieandtheriveters.com/blog/
April 28: BookCatPin - http://bookcatpin.blogspot.ca/

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