In this episode I interview Robert Rayner
We talk about performing and teaching music, school presentations, being a journalist, and his many books, among which as stories written in a publisher's imprint, Lorimer Sports, Lorimer Side Streets, and Lorimer Street Lights.
And his newest release through the publisher Speaking Volumnes, Colorland.
The intro and outro music for this episode was written and performed by Robert and is the theme for his book, Colorland. The entire piece is available on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJuLBRX8rxw
I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.
In addition to a few go-nowhere jobs, I've been a journalist (in Cambridge, England), a teacher (in Colchester, England; Glovertown, Newfoundland; and Charlotte County, New Brunswick), and an elementary school principal (in St. George, New Brunswick).
I've been writing for as long as I can remember - news and feature articles as a journalist, tracts and diatribes on education as a teacher, stories to read in assembly as a principal, and, all the time, stories for their own sake. I now have nine young adult novels, two teen novels, and three adult novels in print. My stories have been shortlisted for the Ann Connor Brimer Children's Literature Prize and (three times) for the Hackmatack Children's Choice Award, and five of them have been included in the Canadian Children's Book Centre annual 'Best Books' list.
Although I forsook being a school principal in order to teach music at home, and to have more time for writing, I still love the world of school, and often talk to students about writing, and read to them from my books, and present writing workshops. Many of my books have grown out of, and continue to grow out of, my experiences working with children of all ages.
Usually I write in the morning, starting early, and save afternoons for playing and teaching music. If I'm under pressure to finish something, or I'm obsessed with a story (which I regard as a good sign), I resume writing in the evening, or go over what I wrote earlier.
When I'm not writing, or playing and teaching music, I'm usually walking, reading, skiing, feeding and watching the birds, taking photographs, or listening to music. I play keyboard, saxophone and clarinet with Stepping Out, a band that performs standards, blues, and old rock and roll for dances and other social events, and use the guitar to accompany songs I've written to introduce some of the characters in the stories.
I live in St. George, New Brunswick, on the Magaguadavic River (the one that flooded so disastrously just before Christmas 2011), where I like to drive Nancy, my wife, to distraction by watching soccer on TV and playing loud music.
And while I write, and teach, and play music, I'm still wondering what I want to be when I grow up.
He said slowly, “You know how sometimes something happens, and afterwards you think what you could have – should have – done, if only you had the nerve and the confidence to do it, but of course by the time you think that, it’s too late.”
Wenden mumbled, “Only, like, all the time.”
“Well – it’s like having the nerve and the confidence to do it straight off, at the moment you need to do it,” said Ridge.
Life changes quickly from carefree, innocent fun to desperate survival when teen friends Ridge, Isolde and Wenden inadvertently transgress their city state’s strict rules of conduct and morality. They are sent to a remote institution for ‘retraining’, from which they escape, only to find themselves wandering an empty wilderness as they are hunted by the ruthless guards of the state. In order to survive, they draw on abilities they didn’t know they possessed. They call it Going to Colorland. They’re happy to go there. But afraid of not coming back.