Saturday 30 September 2023

The Story Behind the Story with Sean Paul Bedell of Dartmouth, NS, Canada.




Sean is another author I met while attending the GMRD Book Fair in April.

It was a pleasure to make his acquaintance and it’s a treat to have him as our guest this week.

Read on, my friends.


Sean Paul Bedell has been writing and publishing for more than 30 years. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in numerous journals and magazines throughout Canada and the United States. Somewhere There’s Music is his first novel. Sean lives in Dartmouth with his wife, Lisa.



Working Title: Somewhere There’s Music 


Synopsis: Somewhere There’s Music is a coming-of-age story where the shy and intelligent Joel watches helplessly as his alcoholic and abusive paramedic father spirals ever downward and out of control. Joel's life crumbles further when his older brother, disturbed by the drunken violence inflicted on their mother, flees their home. Convinced he must track down his brother and bring him back home if he is to survive in this lonely and frightening new reality, Joel's awareness of his father's workplace experiences expands as he starts to appreciate the issues faced by first responders, even as he begins to doubt that he will escape the chaos of his shattered world. Somewhere There's Music depicts a young man's struggle and the desperate search to find what's left of his family.



The Story Behind the Story: When I worked as a paramedic, a co-worker and friend of mine died by suicide. It’s impossible to know all the reasons for that, but surely the cumulative trauma of emergency calls he responded to over the years, must have been a factor.

When I attended his funeral, I noticed his teenage son was wearing one father’s suits, hemmed to fit him. This young man was sad and grieving but exuded a deep pride for his father.

In part, I wrote Somewhere There’s Music to honour my co-worker and his son.  A novel was a good vehicle to do this. I have been honoured to work and serve as both a paramedic and firefighter. Writing this book helped me exercise my own demons while pulling back the curtain on the world of first responders that is rarely shared without a mask of bravado and heroics. My book tells the brutal truth.

Overall, the book is about a suffering young man who has suffered a tragedy and must find his brother and bring him home. Life is a balance of joy and sadness, so the story also includes fun scenes for a young man facing the world alone – music, wild parties, questionable but cool friends, a spark of romance and road trips. All of which help him define himself.   The book is full of music references, sprinkled in to set the mood, reinforce some of the action taking place and to give the book an overall rhythm. The story also mentions other favourite and interesting things. It’s set in Amherst, Nova Scotia with a few scenes in Boston. The book has lots of references to books, birds, and trees. Other characters have complex relationships with their own sons, and the use of names adds an interesting layer.

I wrote Somewhere There’s Music to encourage a young man who has suffered huge losses to carry on. I pointed to the future to assure all of us that somewhere there’s hope.



Website: Go HERE


A couple questions before you go, Sean:


Scribbler: Can you tell us about the perfect setting you have, or desire, for your writing? Music or quiet? Coffee or tequila?  Neat or notes everywhere?

Sean: I’ve written for a long time; I think I can now write anywhere. I need coffee, the stronger the better. I’m a nerd who uses a fountain pen and a notebook for ideas and sketching out scenes and the overall structure of a story first. I use the notebook to keep everything together, otherwise I’ll be afraid that the best idea I had still lives, unused, on a scrap of paper in an abandoned pocket. When I write I use my laptop and a great writing program that keeps everything together. To write I like to listen to soft jazz or classical music in the background, music only no lyrics or vocals. I also need a place to walk around – outside is best – when I’m stuck on what comes next or working out a plot point that doesn’t make sense yet.


Scribbler: What’s next for Sean Paul Bedell, the Author?

Sean: I’m currently working on a novel where the main character, a paramedic with numerous personal tragedies, does his best to work in the world of trauma and emergency response. As his life falls apart, he struggles to carry on even though he feels he’s not making a positive difference. It has a lot of snippets of emergency calls – good, bad and funny.

Once this book is done, I have another draft on the go. It’s a family drama, where a man looks back on childhood events and now pieces together secrets and troubles to understand what he has become.



Thanks for the opportunity to chat South Branch Scribbler! It’s been fun and great to be a part of the blog.



You’re most welcome, Paul. Thanks to you for being our guest. Wishing you continued success with your writing.


And a special thank you to our visitors and readers.

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