Meet Andrea Torrey Balsara, who is an award-winning children’s and young adult author/illustrator and motivational speaker. Her passion is to empower children to think for themselves, to learn about the power and beauty of our diverse human family, and to walk the “Hero’s Journey” in real life. Having struggled with mental wellness as a youth, she seeks to empower young people of all life experiences and diverse backgrounds through her writing, art, and presentations. She lives in an old Victorian manor house with her husband and fur-family, where she can often be found in her cold attic of a work room, pretending to be the heroine from Jane Eyre as she writes and draws with frozen fingers.
This week we talk with Liesje Wagner. Liesje is the oldest daughter of Corrie Gelauf – the Corrie featured in Leisje’s latest book, Corrie and the Rose Accordion: Dutch Girl, Hitler’s War, Symbol of Hope. Liesje was born in The Hague, Holland, in 1954 when Holland was still struggling to provide food, shelter and work for its citizens. Her young parents were sponsored by the Dutch Government to immigrate to a new and grand country called Canada from where their liberators, Canadian soldiers, had come. In 1957, they arrived in Toronto, Canada after crossing the ocean to New York where the Statue of Liberty lit up in the night as if to welcome them to the new continent. Liesje is an actor, certified speaker, and author of two other books, but Corrie and the Rose Accordion is the first to be written under her real name. She lives in Brighton specifically to be close to her parents, Corrie and Rudy, who are 86 and 89 respectively.
Happy New Year to all our listeners! We begin 2021 by visiting with Daryl Sneath. Daryl was born in a small town by a lake. His poetry and fiction have been published in journals such as The Antigonish Review, Prism international, FreeFall, Filling Station, The Dalhousie Review, The Literary Review of Canada and many others. One of his short stories was recently long-listed for the CBC Short Story Prize. He is the author of two previous novels, All My Sins (2014) and As the Current Pulls the Fallen Under (2017), both with BC publisher N/O/N, and holds an MA in Literature & Creative Writing from The University of Windsor. Daryl currently lives in another small town by a river with his wife, Tara, and their three children, Ethan, Penelope, and Abigael.
Welcome to our third and final holiday special for 2020. This week, you can hear seasonal stories from Felicity Sidnell Reid and Tom Pickering. Gwynn Scheltema and Christopher Black have poems for you and Diane Taylor reads a piece of memoir. Chris Cameron wraps up the programme with a short excerpt from Dickens’ Christmas Carol. All of us at Word on the Hills wish you a very Happy and Peaceful New Year.
Join our second holiday celebration and enjoy poetry from Katie Hoogendam, Kim Aubrey and Felicity Sidnell Reid, a story by Donna Wootton and music from Jessica Outram and Marie-Lynn Hammond, who both wrote songs specially for this programme. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Gwynn, Chris and Felicity
This week we bring you the first of our holiday programmes to celebrate the festivals of the winter season. We listen to Cynthia Reyes reading her story, The Perfect Christmas Tree and Chris Cameron reading his, Snow Angel. Poets Antony Di Nardo, Kate Macdonald and Anne-Marie Burrus share their poems about this special time, as the whole episode is wrapped up in a little Christmas music.
Word on the Hills talks to Christopher Black. Chris says that he’s continuing the journey that began in the UK as a working class lad brought to Canada by his parents for better opportunities and continued in steel town Hamilton as a high school and university student where he studied psychology, led student strikes, then ended up in lawschool. But all through those years he wanted to write and act. He tried to drop out of law to do that, going to acting school for 3 years and forming an acting company in Toronto that lasted 5 years but then he was forced by economics back into law. He became a trial lawyer, which was the next best thing to acting. Then spent 15 years in Europe at the international court in the Hague defending presidents and generals accused of war crimes, all the while trying to write. In the past few years, having the time to actually do it, he has produced a novel, a collection of poetry, some short stories and many political-legal essays, and when he gets frustrated trying to write even a line, he picks up his guitar to find a way through.
Meet Kris Rennie, a local author, volunteer, grandma, mom and wife. Born in Montreal, she relocated to Northumberland in 1985, she has served the community as a counsellor, teacher’s aide, scouting and soccer volunteer. She loves a road trip and has toured coast to coast. Always the creative writer, she joined several writers’ groups. When asked where she was from, her reply might have been either, “From the lost and found” or “From the wind and the trees”. That changed in 2019 with a single ping from her computer…join us for the big reveal!
Janet Stobie is a writer, storyteller and ordained minister, who lives in Peterborough, Ontario. During Covid 19 Janet has been busy completing two writing projects. Rajah Becomes a True King and Breakthrough Moments, two very different books. Including these two new ones, Janet has written and published four children’s picture books, three short story collections, two novels and one worship resource. In addition Janet writes a column for the Millbrook Times, writes a blog that is part of her website, enjoys filling in for colleagues on Sunday mornings at church, and would normally be doing guest speaking at fundraisers and group meetings. Janet likes variety.
Conrad Beaubien’s love of storytelling has engaged him in a life of the arts. A creator, writer and director of films, his expression includes music, painting and sculpture. Currently writing for the stage, Conrad has garnered audiences for recent theatre works: Stringman’, ‘Back of Hoards Station’, ‘Bridge Street’ and ‘The Undoing of Billy Slim’. Living in Prince Edward County, he shares a two centuries old worker’s cottage with the squirrels in the attic. Conrad is a columnist for the Wellington Times and a regular contributor to Watershed Magazine.