Tag Archives: #StrongerWithin

Living In A World Of Books….

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Books have always been omnipresent in my life. For as long as I can remember books have played their part in the highs and lows and rhythm of my everyday life.

Probably my earliest book related memories are of my mum patiently reading and re-reading and re-reading Henny Penny, Bunny Blue and The Animals’ Train Ride (the latter two I still have and read and re-read and re-read to my own children). My first memories of the local library, apart from the rubbery smell of the stairwell that led up to the children’s section, are of borrowing Joan Drake’s Mr Grimpwinkle books and of my mum reading them to me at bedtime.

Bedtime story time was the highlight of many a night, long after I was old enough to read the books to myself. It was mother/daughter time. Even if I was reading a book of my own, we always had a book set aside for bedtime story….sigh…we never did finish Anne of Green Gables circa October 1979. (We moved house and bedtime story time fizzled out)

Reading and writing began to co-exist in my world as soon as I was old enough to construct a sentence. Countless notebooks pens and pencils were purchased for me to scribble in.

I was always keen to read books aimed at the age group just above my own.  I’m probably showing my age here but I remember a colour coding on I believe it was Armada published books, where you graduated from a red to a green boat on the corner of the cover to indicate the intended age range. I was desperate to read the green ones! Countless times my mum would say “That’s a bit too old for you” as we stood either in Rae’s, the local bookshop or John Menzies debating which book I would be allowed to buy. Not to be thwarted by this age discrimination, I bought myself my first proper pocket  dictionary when I was eight years old. It had a red tartan cover and I bought it in the village shop in Tarbert, Harris when we went to visit family.

If there were “big” words in the book, I would look them up and learn to read them, understand them and spell them!

Books have also been my friends during the lows in life. When bullying in primary school was at its worst, I would read alone in a quiet corner at intervals and lunchtimes. Occasionally this triggered further bullying as my peers made smart remarks about my choice of reading material. One particular incident has lived with me down the years. It was sparked by me standing reading My Friend Flicka (yes, I went through the obligatory pony phase too). Crude remarks were made about an “alternative” version of the title. The spacing of the lettering on the front cover was a bit tight and said eleven year old obviously thought it was cool to twist it into a “sweary” word and taunt me incessantly. I took it on the chin during the morning interval but when it continued later the same day (I seem to recall it was during the short afternoon interval. I remember it was raining.) I snapped. One of the few occasions in my life when I have resorted to physical violence. As the girl continued to get in my face, I slapped hers. My Friend Flicka has been a tainted tale ever since.

my friend flicka

In high school, as the bullying continued, I lost myself in stories and worlds I wrote about. Curled up in a quiet corner, I filled reporter notebook after reported notebook for over three years. I still have them all. There’s a lot of them! Arguably they amount to the first “book” I ever wrote  – a family saga following three generations of women. Bittersweet memories of my teenage years.

Book buying has changed dramatically over the years. Rae’s bookshop is long gone. It’s successor, Book Point, is also long gone. The second-hand bookshop, Westwords, a real Aladdin’s cave, is also a fading memory. John Menzies, my other local source of literature and writing supplies evolved and shrank into WH Smith before finally disappearing from the local town centre a couple of years ago.  Amazon became my primary source for book shopping.

Then The Big Green Gummi Bear bought me my first Kindle and the world changed again.

There was a new choice in front of me – e-book or paperback book- EEK!!! To be honest, its swayed me towards e-books but I always have a “real” book on the go too (usually a biography or autobiography type thing.) You can’t beat turning pages over – sorry!

Choosing a book to read has become a nightmare – so many to choose from! My previous book selection method has been destroyed! I always chose books by their front cover first and then read the back cover to find out what the book was about. Amazon shopping makes this more of a challenge. Do I go for the photo of the cover?  Do I go for synopsis? Do I go for reviews? Do I go for the number of twinkly stars? Decisions…decisions…decisions….

Then I wrote and published my book babies and the world of books took a whole new turn!

From being the tiny little girl begging for her mum to read Henny Penny, Bunny Blue and The Animals Train Ride, I’ve become the girl with her name on the cover. EEKKKK!!!!

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Today, I received Amazon reviews of my first two book babies that really made me feel quite emotional. Both of them are five stars (thank you!) and both are quite lengthy and straight from the heart (thank you!).

Seeing my three book babies twinkling away on Amazon’s website and seeing the three “real” copies of them on my bookshelf is a million miles from the moment I sat down on my doorstep with my new notepad and pen from WH Smith and began to write a story. It’s taken a long while but I think it’s finally sunk in that I am an author.

Books are and always have been and always will be at the heart of my world.

dream come true

 

photos of the Silver Lake series  and the messy bookshelf are the author’s own

(other images sourced via Google – credits to the owners)

Book Baby Motherhood – the toddler phase

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Facebook very kindly shares past memories with us on an almost daily basis. Some days I scoot past these posts, choosing to not to glance backwards over my shoulder but instead to focus my energies on moving forwards. Onwards and upwards…or, in my case, a lot of the time it feels like onwards and sideways!

As I browsed my newsfeed this morning, over coffee and a bagel, one post from two years ago caught my eye. It was a link to a blog post from 20 April 2015 talking about the first few days of Book Baby motherhood. Reading through it, I felt again the rush of emotion and excitement and anxiety that I’d experienced. (here, have a read for yourselves https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/the-first-few-days-of-book-baby-motherhood/ )

At the end of the blog post I had drawn up a list of things to work on.

1-      Stop feeling so self-conscious and allow myself to feel proud of my achievement

2-      Relax and let things take their course with Stronger Within

3-      Re-connect with my characters and storylines. The rest of the tale isn’t going to write itself.

4-      Learn how to stop blushing.

So, in the past two years have I managed to meet these four objectives?

Well, I’ve tried. Honestly, I’ve tried.

Do I feel less self-conscious? In all honesty, no.  Do I feel proud of my achievement? Yes, but in my own quiet way.

 Writing for me has always been a means of escape. A recent conversation made me think of it in a slightly different light. It’s a coping mechanism. As a child and a teenager, I wrote to escape into a world away from the school bullies. Lost in my own fantasy world, their cruel words didn’t reach quite so far into my psyche, didn’t leave quite so many scars. 

Years later, I picked up my pen again to re-connect with “me”. I needed something that identified me with me and not as someone’s wife or mother (both roles I am proud of). There came a moment in time when I felt the need to reach deep inside and retrieve the person who was “me”. After a lengthy soul search, I found her.

Now, writing is a means of escape from a tough day in the salt mine, the dramas associated with hormonal teenagers and a general escape route from the pressures of day to day life.

So, do I feel less self-conscious about what I write? No. I still get overcome with nerves when I let people read what I’ve written. Over the past couple of years though, I’ve got better at keeping those fears under control. Although the nerves are fluttering as I prepare to post this blog.

Am I proud of my achievements? In my own way, of course, I am. Never in my wildest dreams, did I ever think I would see my name on the spine of a book. Now, it sits proudly on the spine of three. Do I think these are great works of fiction? Of course not! They’re my book babies and it’s my story told my way. I’d never force it upon anyone but the books are out there in this big bad world to be enjoyed by whoever feels the urge to pick one or all three up.

Have I learned to relax? No! It’s not in my nature to be chilled about things. I’ve failed this objective miserably.

Did I re-connect with my characters after Book Baby 1 aka Stronger Within?  Yes, I did. They grew in strength in Impossible Depths and more recently in Bonded Souls. New characters wove their wave into the story while others drifted off. Can I re-connect with them again further down the line? I hope so. For now, they’ve been placed carefully back into their box but I’ve a feeling they won’t rest there for long.

Have I learned how to stop blushing? NO! If anything, I’ve got worse over the past two years! I’ve turned 50 Shades of Red many, many times. I’m a totally lost cause on the blushing front. Give whole new meaning to the phrase “scarlet woman!”  ha ha

The past two years of Book Baby motherhood have flown by and have been extremely kind to me. I don’t mean financially kind. Any writer who has travelled this road understands that the pennies are hard won and you need to be exceptionally lucky to make a living from selling novels. The past two years have been emotionally kind to me. No one, at least not to my face, has said a bad word about my babies. I’ve received such heartfelt reviews of all three books. Even at only five days old, Bonded Souls has earned five 5* reviews on Amazon.co.uk.  Each of these kind words and twinkling stars makes all the hours of work worthwhile. If I’ve entertained someone and provided them with an escape from their real world then I’ve succeeded. If I’ve initiated an emotional response with my words then I’ve more than succeeded. (Apologies though to anyone I’ve made cry…. )

This journey isn’t one that I’ve made alone. Without the love and encouragement of a few very special people (you know who you are) I’d never have made it this far along the literary trail. Writing can be a very lonely experience but I’m very fortunate in that that these guys are right beside me every word of the way.

OK, before I get too mushy here, what’s next?

I set myself a new goal at the start of 2017 and that was to write the first draft of a new book baby by the end of the year.

Well, to continue the baby/pregnancy analogy that I’ve used all along, there’s another baby on the way. It’s very early days. (I’m about ten thousand words in) Being the superstitious soul that I am, I don’t want to say much more and jinx my progress.

Now, I’m looking forward to a summer of long, warm, sunny evenings where I can escape from the pressures of the day into my creative world for an hour or two and get to know my new imaginary friends. I think you’re going to like them.

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Just in case you’ve missed any of the links to my book babies –

UK link

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Coral-McCallum/e/B00VYU1SZ6/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1492694242&sr=8-1

 

rest of the world link

https://www.amazon.com/Coral-McCallum/e/B00VYU1SZ6/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Support an Indie Author….oh wait…that’s me!

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Last weekend I signed up for an event then had a huge “EEK! What Have I done?” moment. (Well, words to that effect.)

So, what have I signed up for?…….

Takes a deep breath…drum roll please….

I’ve signed up to host an hour long slot in a Facebook event titled “Indie Author Meet & Greet”. This is a three day online event hosted by The Best Books, a small PR company based in the USA.

Having done the maths to work out the time difference, I’ve put my name down for the Sunday slot between 11am-12pm EST otherwise known as 4-5pm UK time.

Cue panic!

What to prepare? How do these things work? How many posts will I need to last the whole hour? What do I wear? (kidding!)

Before I knew it, my heart was pounding and the “inner voice of reason”, which sounds a bit like my mother, was saying, “Get a grip, girl!”

Over a cup of coffee, I plotted out the hour in ten minute time slots – six sections plus a final thank you bit just before the time is up.

Trying to remain positive and calm, I told myself, “You can do this.”

Now, we’re at Tuesday evening, less than three days later, and I’ve changed my mind at least a dozen times about how to schedule this!

I’ve attended a few promotional events online, commenting and entering “giveaways” in the past. Now, I’m wishing I’d paid more attention to how these events were structured.

The “inner voice of reason” is practically screaming at me to, “Chill. It’ll all work out fine.”

The “voice of self-doubt and paranoia” is whispering, “What if no one takes part? What if no one is interested?” GULP!

For now, the “inner voice of reason” is winning this battle of wills but that could change in the next hour….

I’ve written out a schedule I’m comfortable with….but that too could change in the next hour!

It’s going to be a LONG week!

For those of you out there who are familiar with my book babies, there will be big news on the Book Baby 3 front revealed during the meet and greet.

If you’ve time to spare on Sunday, please drop the event and check out my slot. Moral support most definitely required!

If you’ve time to spare over the course of the whole weekend, please dip in and out of the event and lend your support to my fellow Indie Authors.

Me? An Indie Author?….three years ago who would have thought it….

Wish me luck, folks!

 i-love-indie-authors

  

 

The link to the event is below –

https://www.facebook.com/events/360696460969063/

A little pre-Christmas Silver Lake treat from me to you

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As regular followers of my ramblings will know, I’m knee deep in Book Baby 3. The first draft is almost typed up (technically it’s the second as the first is the handwritten one) The proof reading and editing and revising are underway once more (huge thanks to my Infamous Five- couldn’t do it without you guys.)

All going according to plan, Book Baby 3 aka Bonded Souls will be launched in Spring 2017.

As a little pre-Christmas treat, I thought I’d share a short excerpt with you.

Sorry, no spoilers. No plot give away. No hints of things to come other than the obvious one (well, its obvious if you’ve read the first two books in the Silver Lake series.)

I’d also like to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for your support and kind words this year. It really makes all the hard work worthwhile.

Have a wonderful Christmas when it comes and may all your dreams come true in 2017.

Coral x

A little snatch of Bonded Souls, book 3 in the Silver Lake Series

Despite all the touring and travelling, Jake lay wide awake in the strange bed in his sister’s guest room. A glance at his phone informed him it was after midnight; his internal body clock has long since surrendered and given up trying to determine the time of day. He could hear one of his nephew’s snoring in the room next door. Reaching for his phone, Jake re-read his last message from Lori. “Sweet dreams, rock star. Love you L x”

With a smile, he laid the phone back down on the night stand. Only a few short hours until he would be reunited with her. After having Lori with him for two full weeks on tour, the last couple of days had felt empty without her presence. The final two shows of the tour had been incredible. In Zurich, the Swiss fans had filled the concert hall, but seemed more reserved than the other European fans had been. When they had reached Rome the following day for the final show, the Italian fans’ passion had blown the band away. All of them agreed that they had never heard such a loud crowd. The atmosphere in the venue had been amazing and Jake was genuinely sorry that Lori had missed it and the end of tour party that had followed.

His mind wandered to thoughts of the wedding and he ran through the music he had in mind plus his plans for a romantic dinner on Saturday evening. He had already booked a table at Lori’s favourite Italian restaurant and requested that her favourite champagne be waiting on them.

“The ring!” he suddenly thought. Where had he put it? Just as panic was about to sweep in, he remembered that Lori had both their rings.

Earlier in the day he had received messages from both his brothers and his dad promising to be in New York on Saturday. Knowing that his family were going to be there made him feel more than a little anxious. Although he had gone a long way to restoring relations with them, Jake still felt stressed at the thought of them all being together. He also felt guilty, knowing that Lori had no immediate family to invite.

With his mind still racing and no sign of sleep in sight, Jake slipped out of bed and crept quietly down to the kitchen to fetch himself a warm drink. His mother had always sworn that warm milk helped you to sleep. Trying not to make too much noise, Jake filled a mug with milk and popped it into the microwave to heat through. As the timer “pinged” a few seconds later, he heard the kitchen door open behind him and turned around to see Lucy standing there in her fleecy Pooh Bear pyjamas.

“Oh, it’s you,” she mumbled sleepily. “I thought it was one of the boys prowling.”

“Sorry,” apologised Jake, taking the mug from the microwave. “I didn’t mean to wake you.”

“Warm milk?”

He nodded as he took a seat at the table. “Can’t sleep and Mom always swore by it.”

“Yeah, she did,” sighed Lucy, fetching herself a clean mug from the dishwasher. “Mind if I join you?”

“Not at all,” replied Jake, sipping his milk. “Feels kind of weird being here. It’s like I’ve stepped into another life.”

“Not enough partying?” teased Lucy as she sat down opposite him. “I would’ve thought after the last month that you’d be glad to be able to relax for a while.”

“I am,” began Jake. “But it takes a few days to adjust after a tour. Plus, I’ve a wedding on my mind.”

“Nervous, big brother?”

“A bit,” he confessed, sounding almost shy. “I was lying in bed thinking about everything. Thinking about family. Stressing a bit.”

“And wishing mom was here to keep those guys under control,” finished Lucy quietly.

Silently, Jake nodded.

They sat drinking their milk for a few minutes, both of them lost in their own memories.

“I wish she’d met Lori,” said Jake, staring down into his empty mug. “Wish she’d seen the band come together. Wish she’d seen us play a show. Seen me get my act together.”

Reaching out to touch his hand, Lucy said, “I like to think she’s keeping an eye on us all. Sometimes I can hear her in my head. Hear her approval or disapproval. I know in my heart that she would be proud of you. Mom would’ve adored Lori. In a lot of ways, they are very alike.”

With a wistful smile, Jake nodded, “I still hear her too. Usually it’s when I’m writing late at night. I can almost smell her Chanel perfume as I hear her say to keep working on it. Hear her tell me when it’s time to call it a day and get to bed.”

“Speaking of bed,” yawned Lucy, getting to her feet. “I’m going back to mine. We need to be up early to get everything packed in the car. I’ve no idea where we are putting all your gear!”

“Sweet dreams,” said Jake with a yawn as he watched her head out the door and down the hall.

 

If you’ve missed the first two books in the Silver Lake Series, you’ve still. time to catch up before Bonded Souls is launched. The Amazon links to the books one and two are below:

Stronger Within https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

image sourced via Google

 

 

Another Day, Another Season, Another Web Cam…

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It’s been a busy couple of weeks in the “real” world so apologies for the lack of a proper blog post here last week.

There just aren’t enough hours in the day just now!

Now that the household has resumed “normal” chaos levels, a sense of routine is returning to the world. (Although it has been disrupted once more over the past few days by the arrival of a small feline ball of fluff – more about him another day)

In the creative grand scheme of things, Book Baby 3 has been my primary focus. Since I started typing up my handwritten manuscript (makes it sound very proper ..tee hee… pile of tatty scrawled notebooks is closer to the truth!), time and seasons have been getting confused!

In the “real” world I’ve been enjoying early evening sunshine and warmth. In the Book Baby 3 world., I’m in the depths of an icy winter. While in my “real” world my brain has been thinking all things “back to school” (for the final time) for Girl Child, my creative brain has been thinking Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties. (Ironic as I really don’t like New Year’s Eve)

Is it any wonder that I sometimes feel as though I’m losing the plot entirely here!

Adjusting to the different times and seasons of writing is something I struggle with to an extent. I can’t think Christmas in July and I can’t think hot summer beach days in January.

That’s where the internet comes into its own. Google is a Godsend!

Need to picture the beach in January when in reality it’s the height of summer? As Google and voila-  a host of grey stormy beach scenes, flooded boardwalk and dark clouds.

Need to visualise Rockefeller Plaza on Christmas Eve? Google is only too happy to oblige.

I’ve said before, Street View has been a life save on many occasions.

The internet also keeps the “real” memories of the places I write about in the Silver Lake series very much alive thanks to some live time views. I love web cams!

Over time I’ve found several web cams that keep it all alive for me. I have a good memory and a mind full of precious memories but it’s been over four years since I’ve been to some of my key locations.

Yes, I can close my eyes and daydream myself there in a split second but some of the sharpness is starting to go on these daydreams. A few have become tarnished over the years.

There’s one web cam, well two really, that keep my beach memories fresh.

It also keeps me sane.

If I’ve had a tough day or am feeling a little low, then a real time virtual view of my favourite beach is only a mouse click away. (I’ll confess, the tab is always open on my laptop)

Anyone that follows my Twitter/Facebook will be familiar with the views I’m talking about. I may have screenshotted one or two of them!

I can watch the sun rise; I can watch the sun bake down on the powdery sand; I can watch the waves pound in on the shore; I can watch the sun set (if I stay up late enough!)

If it’s a miserable dreich day in Scotland, I can click and, as if by magic, I can enjoy a few minutes of virtual beach sunshine.

Sometimes its also nice to be reminded it can rain there as well. In fact, in real life, when I first returned to visit Rehoboth, after a gap of twenty four years, it was pouring with rain! We were all soaked to the skin within minutes. The five of us trooped into Hooters for lunch, dripping all over the floor! Happy, if soggy, memories.

Want to see this view for yourself? Just a glimpse? Here – take a look

http://www.rehobothbeachfever.com/rehoboth-beach-webcam.html#.V73tIY-cHuj

 

http://www.atlanticsandshotel.com/default.aspx?pg=webcam

 

While you enjoy a few blissful moments at my favourite beach, I’d better get back to my typing marathon. Book Baby 3 ain’t gonna type itself!

 

 

Post Staycation 2016 Book Baby blues…sorry, news

Staycation 2016 is already a fading memory (After ten minutes back in the salt mine on Monday morning, before I’d even got half way down my first coffee of the day, it had faded.)

My primary goal for my Staycation was to finish the first draft of Book Baby 3. To return to my previous pregnancy analogy, I feel like I’ve been expecting this one forever. When I went back and checked, I started to write it just over two years ago, 22 June 2014 to be exact (although one scene was written in December 2013) If this had been a pregnancy I think I’m just about to deliver an elephant! It may well prove to be a tome of a book!

However, after my labour of love, by the end of week one, my mission had been accomplished and I finally had a completed first draft in my hands. Hallelujah!!

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It’s a surreal feeling this time around as I’ve already taken the decision to “park” the Silver Lake series after this one.

Don’t panic Jake fans – he’ll be back! There’s a plan in my mind – well two actually- but I’m not giving anything away just yet. It’s very early days but the notebooks have been bought.

Now I’m facing a marathon labour with Book Baby 3 as I type up my handwritten scrawls and edit and proofread and spellcheck and grammar check……I wonder how much caffeine and Pinot Grigio this is going to take?

Watch this space!

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So what about my first two Book Babies? Are they behaving themselves?

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Well both of them are quietly ticking over – too quietly for my liking (quiet children always arouse my suspicions)- but they’re out there making their way in this big bad world. Both of them are 5* students on Amazon.co.uk. Both have earned great reviews on Amazon.com. I really can’t complain.

No one’s told me my babies are ugly so there’s a blessing.

Self-promotion is not something that comes naturally to me but I’ve been doing my best.

Last weekend I bit the bullet and recorded a short video clip for You Tube to help promote Book Baby 1- Stronger Within. Lord that was nerve wracking!

Trust me, I am not a natural narrator!

It took several takes to get an acceptable version recorded for posterity.

I hate listening to myself. Cringing, I played it back. Oh Lord, I sound SO Scottish! Guess that is only natural as I am Scottish.

Hey ho, its another way to get some free promotion so feel free to go in, listen (laugh if you feel the urge) but please share the video with the world.

Once I regroup my nerves and manage to get the house to myself for an hour so that it’s all quiet, I’ll maybe try a second video to promote Book Baby 2 – Impossible Depths …..or then again…..

Well, I’ve thousands of words needing my undivided attention so I guess I’d better get typing!

#BondedSouls #amwriting #amtyping

Just Imagine…the opportunity to interview Jake Power

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Just imagine if……..

 

Sitting at a corner table on the balcony of The Greene Turtle in Rehoboth, De recently, I gazed across the crowded beach, wondering what to expect from the interview that lay ahead. I’ve interviewed my fair share of rock gods over the years but I was just a little bit excited to be given the opportunity to shoot the breeze with Silver Lake front man, Jake Power.

Arriving a few minutes late for our scheduled appointment, rock’s latest heart throb sits down opposite me, apologising profusely for keeping me waiting.

“Time keeping isn’t one of my attributes,” he jokes somewhat sheepishly. “My girlfriend even bought me my dream watch for my birthday last year in an attempt to keep me on time. She’s failed there I’m embarrassed to admit but I love that watch!”

Life for the Silver Lake singer/guitarist is busy right now. Following a successful European tour late last year and an Antipodean adventure with Aussie rock giants, Bodimead, earlier this year, Silver Lake are currently in the studio recording their second album, under the watchful eye of Grammy award winning producer, Dr Marrs.

When I ask Jake how recording is going, he flashes me one of his famous “Power” smiles. This guy is hot!

“We’re getting there. It’s only week one so it’s been mainly Paul and Grey who’ve been in. Rich and I have been working at the house tweaking the guitar parts. There’s still some lyrics to be finished off too.”

I ask how it feels to be the first act to record in the newly completed JJL Studios in Delaware.

“It’s pretty neat. The first day we were all like big kids in a new classroom. Wanting to touch this. Play with that,” confesses Jake. “I think Jim was getting pretty mad at us, to be honest. He had that withering look in his eye.” (Jim being producer Dr Marrs)

Up until late last year, our rock god was a schoolteacher, teaching music at a local high school along with fellow Silver Lake sensation, Rich Santiago. I ask him if he misses the classroom.

“I do,” he answers with little hesitation. “But this crazy life is the one I’ve been chasing down for twenty years. It’s great to go back and visit the school now and then as time allows. We’ve done a few workshops. Keeps my hand in.”

“And what kind of a student were you?” I ask, hoping for an insight into a teenage Jake Power.

“I was actually a good student. B+ average. I got an A in English Lit and Music. My mum was pretty strict about school and studying. She made sure study came first before music. She made sure I put in the work. Even through college, I worked my ass off but there was always a band or two on the go. My heart’s always been in my music.”

So after spending years in several small local rock bands and then forming Silver Lake some five years ago, with Rich Santiago, Grey Cooper and Paul Edwards, I was keen to hear how Jake felt about being catapulted into his dream world. Was it living up to expectations?

“It’s all been a bit of a whirlwind experience,” he begins. At this point we’re interrupted by the waitress arriving with the drinks order. She treats Jake like an old friend, prompting me to ask if the bar is a regular Silver Lake haunt.

“It is,” replies Jake with a laugh. “Many a Silver Lake night out has started or ended here. Lori and I held our engagement party here too.”

After a mouthful of beer, Jakes returns to my original question about his new found rock star lifestyle.

“We’ve been incredibly lucky. I totally appreciate that. Molton gave us our first big break when we played a few arena shows with them last summer. The UK tour with Weigh Station was an incredible opportunity. I’ve loved those guys since I was a kid. We learned so much from them on that tour then being out with Bodimead gave us another view of how things are done. It’s been a steep learning curve but we’re a tight unit. A family. Maddison and Gary keep us all on a tight rein. Maddison is a scary lady when she’s mad so we all tend to toe the line.”

I ask if there are any more live shows on the horizon.

“Actually, we’re playing a birthday party next,” Jake reveals. “It’s the record company’s 21st birthday in a couple of weeks so we’ve been invited to play a few numbers. Then, as far as I remember, we’ve a few festival appearances lined up through August. I get a hard time for never knowing our schedule. Drives Maddison insane.”

It’s easy to fall under the spell of this unassuming rock star. He’s easy to talk to. No ego. No entourage with him. He says that he walked along the beach to the interview, explaining that he lives not far from the centre of the small Delaware Riviera resort. Eventually I ask what keeps him so grounded.

“This place. Lori. The other guys,” he explains. (I should perhaps explain that Jake’s girlfriend, Lori, is none other than album artist to the stars, Mz Hyde)

“Off the road, our lives haven’t really changed,” continues Jake. “At least not yet. We all still live in the same houses or apartments. Rich treated himself to a new car but that’s been the only big splurge spend by any of us so far. We can all still come in here, enjoy a few beers and no one bothers us. I hope to keep it that way.”

“Do you ever get stopped around town for autographs?”

“Sometimes. It’s a tourist town so there’s a lot of traffic through here, especially in summer. It goes with the job though. If Silver Lake didn’t have fans out there buying our record, buying tickets to the shows and shit then I’d still be teaching class and playing at weddings on the weekend. Signing a few autographs is a small price to pay.”

Trust me, Jake Power can play at my wedding any day!

So what can Silver Lake fans expect from the new record?

“I don’t know,” laughs Jake, his hazel eyes twinkling with mischief. “Ask me that in another few weeks when it’s finished. Seriously though, it’s a progression of Dragon Song, our first album. Some of the new stuff’s a bit heavier. We’re trying to develop that Silver Lake sound. I don’t want to give too much away just yet.”

“Any ballads planned for it?”

“One so far,” Jake reveals quietly before adding, “The fans seem to love the ballads in the middle of the harder stuff. I guess we’d be in trouble with them if we didn’t sneak one onto the new record.”

Spotting Jake’s tattoo of the music to Silver Lake’s Stronger Within on his forearm, I ask him about that song and the tattoo. For the first time in the interview, he hesitates and, for a moment, I thought he wasn’t going to answer.

“That song’s pretty precious to me,” he confesses. “I wrote it not long after I met Lori and, as I’ve said before, it’s really about her. She’s one of the strongest women I’ve ever met. At that point, she was really proving to herself, as well as to me, just how mentally strong and determined she can be. The tattoo followed on from the song. I’ve gathered a few over the years. Each one has a personal meaning to me. They represent important events in my life. The music represents my relationship with Mz Hyde.”

From the way he speaks of her, Jake Power is a rock star madly in love with his partner(Sorry, girls)

He finishes his beer and apologises that he needs to get going. My allotted hour is long since up. Deciding to push my luck a little further, I ask what the pressing engagement is. Jake laughs, runs his hand through his long sun bleached hair and explains that Grey’s car has broken down again and that he’s arranged to help him tow it to the shop.

And with that, he shakes my hand, thanks me for the beer and heads off along the crowded balcony.

I sat on, finishing my own beer, watching the flow of people on the boardwalk below. I spot Jake in the crowd, walking briskly, just another anonymous face among them.

I get the feeling that that anonymity won’t last much longer. Jake Power is destined for rock god stardom…. I think I’ve fallen just a little bit in love with him.

 

credits to the owner of the photo sourced via Facebook.