Today I would like to welcome to Shelf Full of Books Canadian Author, Joseph Forte. Joseph’s book for middle-grade students Always There is a short story, but don’t be deceived, it is a book that requires ruminating on in order to fully understand it. Always There is thought provoking for parents as well and would be an excellent book to stimulate discussion between parents and children. But, enough from me. Let’s get to our interview. Welcome Joseph!
Where did your idea for Always There come from?
Always There is a spinoff of a poem that I had written a while back. It was written through the eyes of a homeless man I had walked past in Toronto, Ontario. One day, I was reading some of my old work and I thought of linking a story line to it and before I knew it, Always There was being created.
How did you come up with the title for this book? Is there a special meaning behind it?
This was actually the first and only title given to this short story. I felt it was fitting as there is a constant connection between the two characters. As clues are left behind and Thomas finds the answers to his questions, Edmund and his presence are forever embedded in his mind. Essentially, Edmund always was and always will be a part of Thomas’ life.
In the first poem it’s evident that Edmund is saying that he’s been alone and unnoticed, but what do the last two lines refer to “Before all of this Eden nailed me to a cross”.
The last two lines of this stanza of the poem refer to the reasons why Edmund is alone, unnoticed, and homeless. It really opens up the concept of interpretation for the reader. I want children to explore, think, and imagine the possibilities of why he is there.
Does this mean that the interpretation of the last two lines is really up to the reader? (Do you have your own personal interpretation of those two lines?)
Yes, that means it is up for interpretation and this is one of the cases where I don't really have an answer to the thought. I wrote it in a way that it would make people think and I think and hope I have accomplished this.
Why did you choose to put the notes in poetry form?
As a writer and keeper of stories, we try to be different and unique, developing a style of writing that people will remember. I thought it would be different to create story lines around poems I have written, intertwining them throughout. My first story, At the Window did not follow this concept, but I have since followed this style for The Joker’s Daughter (editing stages) as well as Once Brothers (very early drafts).
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The one main message that I want children to take from Always There is to not judge people by the way they appear. I know it’s cliché so I tried to explain this concept with a distinctive short story. We never, truly know who we encounter in our lives yet we are all quick to dismiss people. I am not saying that we need to be directly involved with them but at the very least, we need to have an open mind when we encounter them.
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?Thank you for this opportunity. It is very difficult, as an indie writer, to garnish some attention so interviews, like this, put us out there to the public, and I am forever grateful for this. I would also like to invite any readers to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments about the stories. I love hearing what people from around world have to say about my work.
Joseph Forte is a writer and elementary school teacher who believes the power of the written word is priceless. He was born and raised in Welland, Ontario, Canada and grew up playing competitive hockey. He is an avid fan of Canadian music and enjoys writing articles, poetry, and children's stories. When he sits down with a pen and paper in hand, his sole mission is to create a piece of work, "Where Words Come Alive."
By Joseph Forte
Publisher: Joseph Forte
Published: Apr. 16, 2015
Always There is an intriguing, empathetic story that captures the reader’s attention from the initial turn of the page. Thomas Mays is a young local from Eden. His usual Saturday morning bike ride adventures reveal the truth about the Parkside Bridge homeless man who became the town’s unfathomable hero. As his journey continues, clues are left behind and Thomas’ life is changed forever.