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All you need is a Life coach mentor in the life to succeed

The universal truth that everyone need a life coach mentor. In this interview with Andrew, he talked about his source of inspiration, books, hobbies and sung his favourite poem for us. About author Andrew Lafleche is the award-winning poet and author of No Diplomacy, A Pardonable Offence, and Ride—among other titles. His work uses a spoken style of language to ...
Lokeish Umak
Lokeish Umak

The universal truth that everyone need a life coach mentor. In this interview with Andrew, he talked about his source of inspiration, books, hobbies and sung his favourite poem for us.

About author

Andrew Lafleche is the award-winning poet and author of No Diplomacy, A Pardonable Offence, and Ride—among other titles. His work uses a spoken style of language to blend social criticism, philosophical reflection, explicit prose, and black comedy. Following his service to Canada as an infantry soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces, Lafleche received an M.A. in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Gloucestershire. He lives on a farmstead in the Bonnechere Valley with his two cats, Hemingway and Bukowski, and his Gerberian Shepsky, Raymond Carver.

Please tell us about your native favourite place, the most lovable person in your family and your hobbies apart from writing

The east coast of Canada, hands down, is my favourite place. Signal Hill in Newfoundland, the red sands of Cavendish Beach in Prince Edward Island, the Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick, the Cabot Trail of Cape Breton. It’s the way the ocean meets the land and the fog rolls in and the tide chases the moon that creates this tragic romance of existing, that ever since I first seen the Atlantic as a child I’ve been drawn to her.

The most lovable person in my family? My younger brother, Kenny. He’s a real stand-up guy. Kenny owns his own landscaping company, coaches little league, teaches young people to ice skate, and always has time for the people of his inner-circle. He’s full of life and I’m proud to know him.

Apart from writing, there are a variety of activities I participate in. It’s the spice of life, right? In the spring and fall I’m out hunting bear with my bow. I also do a little trapping over the winter months. My grandfather was a carpenter and some of that must have rubbed off on me—though I am nowhere near as talented—but I like building tables and other small pieces of furniture. My current project is using 3-inch thick slabs of ash wood from out back to build a 7-foot live-edge farm table. Other days if I’m feeling inspired I pull out a clean canvas and work on an oil painting. I love playing darts, going to the firing range for target practice, hiking the woods; very rarely do I get bored.

How many books you have written yet, please enlist them, and what is your favourite one from them?

It feels outrageous to admit, but I’ve written 14 books so far, which includes eight collections of poetry and two novels. Asking me to pick a favourite is like asking a parent to pick their favourite child—and we all know they have a favourite—so, if I had to choose one, it would be my novel Ride. It’s terse, punch-rough, and trade-sex-ready; it’s about a young man trying to find his place in the modern world while reeling from teenage id, peer-pressure, and drug addiction.

POETRY

  • Shameless (CreateSpace, 2016).
  • Ashes (Bywords.ca, 2017).
  • On Writing (Pub House Books, 2018).
  • Merica, Merica, on the Wall (Pub House Books, 2019).
  • After I Turn into Alcohol (Cyberwit.net, 2019).
  • Eyes Wide (Cyberwit.net, 2020).
  • Moon Poems and Other Deathless Songs (Cyberwit.net, 2021).
  • Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall (Pub House Books, 2021).

FICTION

  • A Pardonable Offence (Pub House Books, 2017).
  • Ride (Pub House Books, 2020).
  • The Morning Edition (Cyberwit.net, 2021).
  • Trident Legion (Cyberwit.net, 2022).

NON-FICTION

  • No Diplomacy (CreateSpace, 2015).
  • One Hundred Little Victories (Pub House Books, 2018).

When did you think that writing is the most interesting and easiest thing for you? Furthermore, when did you write your first story, which was appreciated the most by your friends and family?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a creator of some sort. All through childhood I wrote poems and stories and radio plays. Actually, my mother saved one of my first books I wrote, complete with illustrations, titled “The Magic Bird.” My mom even wrote an author bio and glued my Grade 3 school photograph to the back cover of the staple bound pages. In high school, I was fortunate to have an English teacher, Ms. Sheila Mayberry. Who was passionate about the freedom writing permitted and spent quite a bit of time mentoring me, developing the craft of writing, and encouraging me against self-censorship, to write unfiltered. If not for her, I might never have pursued writing as I have.

Tell us more about your experience writing the memoir, “No Diplomacy” and what inspired you the most?

It took some time to clear my head after returning from combat in Afghanistan. No Diplomacy became the result of working through those thoughts on paper. At the time, a lot of the material being written about the war by soldiers who were there had the Hollywood glamour to them, everybody was a superhero, and well, that wasn’t my experience. I wanted to let the reader feel what it was like to be in the middle of it. The anger, frustration, disgust, excitement, joy, fear, love, hatred, unease, trust, and peace. All those emotions, collectively, simultaneously because that is the soldier experience. I wanted to give a voice to the people who were struggling at home, let them know that it was okay to be feeling the way they did.

One Remembrance Day, here in Canada, I was at an event when a soldier approached me, pulled out a knife and just let it rest there in his hand, blade pointed in my direction. He said, “You’re that author, aren’t you? The one who wrote No Diplomacy.” (Believe it or not, some people did not appreciate the book!) He reached into his pocket with his free hand and pulled out a clear plastic sheath encasing his challenge coin. He said, “I read your book, then my wife read your book, and then we read it together.” He said, “You saved my marriage. You wrote what I couldn’t say.” He cut a slit in the sheath and dropped the coin into his hand and gave it to me. That was the most inspiring thing to come out of writing this particular book.

How did ideas of writing the book, “Shameless” (poetry) comes from? Do you have any other poetry in progress?

Most of the poems in Shameless are true (except for the lies, of course!) and are about people I knew. One of the first modern poetry books I ever read was Charles Bukowski’s The Pleasure of the Damned. And I remember putting it down after I turned the last page and thought, I didn’t know you could write like that. A lot of Shameless was experimenting with finding the proverbial line and flirting with it, stepping over it at times, shying away from it. I wanted to write something to serve as a reminder for the rest of my career that it’s okay to have fun while writing. I wanted a book to give myself permission to step off the edge now and again.

Last year, Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall (Pub House Books, 2021) was released and serves as a collection of my poems from 2015-2020. It’s my favourite volume to date and captures the journey through a variety of poem styles. Much of the poetry I’m writing today is similar to what was included in this last book.

Andrew Lafleche Reading his favourite poem

What do you do apart from writing books, do you hold any IT or other professional degree?

Before I focused on writing, I served as an infantry soldier in the Canadian Armed Force, 3rd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment. Following my time in the military, I returned to school and completed a Master of Arts in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Gloucestershire, England. Currently, I’m enrolled in the Master of Divinity program at ACTS Seminary, Trinity Western University. Aside from writing and education, I have a small farmstead where I raise chickens and pigs and tend a few crops. It’s very satisfying to work with my hands and care for these young animals.

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Lokeish Umak

Lokeish Umak

Lokeish Umak writes about his favorite topics, such as essay, poems, health, fitness, nutrition, etc. He also invites guests on his podcast show, "Chronicle Conversations."
View all posts by Lokeish Umak

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