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Eda Lee interviews Lori Hahnel

Lori Hahnel is the author behind three fictional novels that brings readers into a world of  romance, music, and relationships. Her dream to be a writer started very young and she dedicated many hours of her life into pursuing this goal. She did her Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of Calgary while initially wanting to take creative writing.  As she grew older, she learned that with doing what you love, comes hardships such as rejection, long hours in the writing chair, and the overall uncertainty of whether your work will be accepted. However even through all these obstacles, she continues to push through with the support of her family and has now become a successful writer and also serves on the board of directors at the Writers Guild of Alberta.

After having the honour to interview Lori, I have learned that her literary works embodies the essence of music coming from a family of musicians and also being a member of the pop punk group The Virgins who made a mark in the Calgary music scene. Her family and her relationship with them serves as a muse in her ideas that inspire her work and while her publications have all been moulded around the idea of music, she hopes to expand her writing into different topics. 

  1. Where do you draw your inspiration and ideas from when it comes to your writing?
    – Ideas and inspiration are around you all the time. I think when you’ve been writing for a while you get in the habit of jotting things down. Not everything you write down will necessarily make its way into your writing, but a lot of it will. Character is the thing that usually sparks a story for me — watching people, imagining their lives.  
  2. I noticed upon research that you have a love for music, how has your cultural background along with your interests and personality influenced your writing?
    – I write a lot about music, and about old movies and the people who watch them, and these are both things that interest me. I almost always write about Canadians, although my current project is a historical novel set in 19th century Germany. It’s about Clara Schumann, the composer and pianist who was the wife of Robert Schumann and muse and lover of Johannes Brahms. My love of Schumann and Brahms’ music led me to this story, but I’m also interested in Clara’s life as a woman artist in the 19th century. As well as the love triangle aspect!
  3.  What are some of the hardships that comes with being a writer and how do you overcome them?
    – One hardship is that writers,  like most other people engaged in the arts, don’t make a lot of money. So like the vast majority of writers I have a day job — I teach and also have a supportive spouse. Another is that it can be an isolating activity, so it’s important to have regular outings.
  4. If you could tell your younger writer self anything what would you say?

–  I would say get started sooner! This all takes a long time. And don’t be afraid to tell the stories you have in you.

After interviewing Lori I came to see how important it is to express yourself through your interests and what you love. Your family, your background, and your history serves as a building block when it comes to shaping your creativity and with Lori, she chooses to express it with ink and paper. 


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