The Scribbler is running a series of creative people that happen to be partners with other creative people. The second part of this series includes two former guests to the Scribbler, visual artist Nicole Tremblay and author Zev Bagel. They are back as a team for a 4Q Interview.
**Of special note, Moncton's famous Frye festival begins this week and as a kickoff, Zev will be reading from his work, along with other authors at the Shediac Frye Fringe Fest.
4Q: First question is for you Nicole. Since your previous visit to the Scribbler, you have completed many beautiful paintings. Which one is your favorite and why? Please share what inspired the painting.
NT: Well…..isn’t this a bit like asking one…and which one is your favourite child? HAHAHA! I would say that there is always a certain part of a painting that brings it together and gives me the big YES! Some paintings are much quicker than others giving that ‘yes feeling’. I do not really plan a painting… I might have a colour in mind and I start building up the background – I love colour and texture. I cover the surface with paint, collage, stencils until it takes a form/shape I can feel and then go on…it can sometimes be a rather long process….and then it happens. I listen to music while I paint. Chris Rea is probably my favourite singer/musician and will often inspire the title of the piece I’m working on.
4Q: I’ve recently completed your latest novel Zev, Secrets, and I enjoyed it very much. Please tell our readers about the story.
ZB: Most of my books are based on real events or personal experiences. Secrets is pure fiction. Well, almost. I was a life-coach for thirty years, and would never divulge the secrets people told me. The idea for this book came when I thought “What if a psychopath became a life-coach?” Imagine what such a person could do with the secrets he heard. So here’s a man who arrives in New Brunswick, decides to become a life-coach and takes on clients, opening the way to fraud, blackmail and murder. Getting into the mind of such a character was frighteningly easy! It must have helped that an undercurrent of humour pervades the mayhem.
4Q: You have an exposition at present Nicole at Café C’est La Vie in Moncton, NB in which many of your paintings are on display until mid April. Where else can your paintings be viewed and/or purchased?
NT: The exhibit at Café C’est la vie will come down on Monday April 30th. Zev and I will be at the Shediac Market in the Park every Sunday from June 3 to September 30 (9am-2pm) rain or shine. Friday evenings (6-10pm) July and August (check newspapers for dates) you can find us at the Allée des Artistes off Main Street in Shediac. We will have books, paintings, poems and cards. Viewings can also be arranged by appointments (506) 351-0645.
4Q: Your latest novel which you discussed above was published by Museitup Publishers and in the last section of the book, it tells us that there are 5 more novels waiting for publication. Care to tell us about any of them, or perhaps all of them.
ZB: The titles awaiting publication by MuseItUp are: The Last Jew in Hania, Bender’s Box, State of Flux and Lost. I have just completed my latest, which is called Solitary. This last one is about a Canadian who is in solitary confinement in Iran’s notorious Evin prison. He befriends an Iranian prisoner by communicating through a hole in the wall. Some of the story is based on the family history told to me by an Iranian-Canadian friend. This was the hardest book for me to write, since I had to get into the head of someone enduring forced confinement willing himself to survive. The relationship between the two prisoners is what lifts the story.
4Q: We are going to cheat this week and slip in a fifth question. What’s in the immediate future for both of you?
NT: Having fun, working on my next art projects, going to workshops, travelling.
ZB: The immediate future is now, which is where I like to be. Now is good. I’m between novels right now, and enjoy writing poems to Nicole’s paintings. We have some travel plans, and will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary while we’re away. As for the next book – inspiration awaits.
Thank you both for sharing your thoughts. I'm very happy to say that I own two of Nicole's paintings and enjoy them daily. It is my hope to add more to my collection. I have also collected Zev's novels and am looking forward to the coming stories.