Monthly Archives: October 2012

Know Your History: Episode 34 Halloween Hip-Hop

Welcome to Know Your History, your monthly dose of hip-hop knowledge. I’m your host Chase March and today we are celebrating Halloween, hip-hop style. You can download this episode for free or stream it with the player below.

We need to start the Halloween edition of the show with this song. There’s no question about it.

It’s called “The Haunted House of Rock” and it came out in 1983. It was the first track on Whodini’s self-titled debut album. They even released the song as a single and went all out with it as well. I have this record on coloured vinyl. It’s gorgeous. It’s a 12 inch and it’s a bright fluorescent green. Another unusual thing about it is that it’s a 45 rpm. Seven inch singles were common for running at this speed but most 12 inch singles ran at 33 1/3 revolutions per minute.

I want to play that song for you right now. If only you could see it spinning around on the turntable. Absolutely gorgeous. I’m so proud to own, what I think it probably the first Halloween-themed rap song ever. This is “The Haunted House of Rock” by Whodini.

Welcome back to Know Your History: Episode 34 “Halloween Hip-Hop.” We started off the show with “The Haunted House of Rock” by Whodini. The artwork on this record is something else. It’s done in black and white and has the two emcees of the group drawn as skeletons and holding microphones. They stand in front of heir tombstones with a haunted house in the back ground. It’s quite the cover.

On the back, we see the front iron gates of the creepy estate. A group of bats fly towards the centre of the record and a white line draws your eye to the bottom where it states that this song is “For those who are not scared to party.” What a cool release.

Hip-hop doesn’t have a lot of novelty songs that can actually stand the test of time. When they are done, they are usually quite disposable and easily forgotten. In fact, when you think of Halloween songs in particular only a few probably come to mind. Obviously, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is at the top of the list. That came out in 1982, one year before the record we just heard. And twenty years before that, we had the “Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett. Of course, those two songs are probably the most famous Halloween novelty songs of all time. Those in the know, will most certainly add the Whodini song I just played and probably this one as well.

This is DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince’s take on a familiar character in horror cinema. This is “A Nightmare on My Street.” Stay tuned because we have a lot more to explore in this Halloween edition of Know Your History.

That was “A Nightmare on My Street” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince. It was the third single from their album “He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper” which was released in 1988. Of course, the rapper in question here went on to become a huge television star and movie actor. Will Smith definitely has talent and he can write a novelty song with the best of them.

Sometimes novelty can spark an entirely new genre of music. For in the same year as that light and comical record I just played came out, we had a much darker and violent song released by a group called the Geto Boys. The song was called “Assassins” and it was from their debut album “Making Trouble”

I don’t want to play that song for you right now. I want to play one of their more well-known songs that still has a Halloween theme to it. We’ll come back at look at the genre known as horrorcore and what exactly it entails right after this song. We’ll also explore how the Geto Boys, while not exactly a horrorcore group, helped to kickstart this subgenre of hip-hop with some of their dark imagery and horrific storytelling.

This is “My Mind’s Playing Tricks on Me” by the Geto Boys. This is Chase March, your host. And this is Know Your History on DOPEfm and The Word is Bond. Stay tuned!

Welcome back to Know Your History, your monthly dose of hip-hop knowledge. We’re currently in Season 3 of the show. This is episode 34 and today we are looking at Halloween themes and imagery in rap music. So far, we’ve looked at light-hearted or comical songs. That last one was a little darker but fair warning, we are about to get even darker than that.

Some people credit the Geto Boys with starting the whole genre of horrorcore. We just heard “My Mind’s Playing Tricks on Me” and while the backdrop of the story took place at Halloween, the song was about much more than that. It dealt with the paranoia of drug use and abuse. It did it in a way to hopefully scare a few people straight or deter them from even going down that path to begin with.

Some rappers just naturally lean toward darker content. Themes of murder, suicide, self-harm. and even Satanism come in to play in their songs. The beats or musical backdrops are equally as dark. They often sample dialogue from horror movies, complete with blood curdling screams and harsh sound effects.

One of the first rap groups to come out in this new sub-genre and achieve some commercial and crossover success was Gravediggaz. They were a supergroup that featured RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan and Prince Paul, originally of Stetsasonic and legendary producer with such groups as 3rd Bass and De La Soul. The other two members in the crew were Frukwan and Too Poetic. This song was the lead single from their 1994 album “6 Feet Deep.” It’s called “Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide.”

That song is actually kind of tame. I’ve heard some pretty disturbing songs over the years that fit in the genre of horrorcore. Truth be known, I’m not really a fan of horror, either in music or movies. I appreciate a good Halloween song and the occasional fright but for the most part, I leave horror alone.

If you are just joining us, we are celebrating Halloween in this episode of Know Your History. You can find each and every episode at This is a special presentation of DOPEfm and we’re in our third season of this segment. You can also hear it on The Word is Bond podcast. So if you missed it, or you just want to hear it again, visit us online at, The Word is, and

What you just heard was “Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide” by Gravediggaz. I want to play another song right now. This “Halloween” by The Arsonists.

Halloween is one of those famous movie franchises that just doesn’t die. See what I did there? Michael Myers is the character in those films but there is a rapper who decided to take on that name. I’d like to close out the show with this track by Mykill Miers. It’s called “Straight Dirt” and it features AG. Thanks for listening. Happy Halloween!

Download this episode for free or stream it with the player below!

Music Playlist at

Teaching Tips – Visual Art

Welcome to Teaching Tip Tuesday!

Every week I share with you a tip that I hope you will find useful in your teaching.

You can visit the Teaching Tips Archive to see all of the tips in the order I have posted them over the years. Please check that page as I will continue to update it every week with the latest Teaching Tip.

This page is all about the Visual Arts. If you are an art teacher, feel free to bookmark this page and come back often. I will update it with any new tip I publish that has to do with art.

You might also want to check my Pinterest page and, specifically, my Visual Arts Board for more great art ideas.

I hope you enjoy these Teaching Tips.

5 Shading Techniques
Art Attack
Colour Families
Colour Wheel
Define Yourself: Word Collage
Don’t Throw That Out
First Day Craft
Elementary Oragami (guest post)
Super Buck
Super Doors
OK Go Primary Colours
Pinterest – Art Tips
Unscramble, Write, and Draw
Visual (Drawing) Telephone

Merritt Trail (Mountain Locks Park)

It’s time for another photgraphic tour. This time we are going to the Merritt Trail located at Mountain Locks Park in St. Catherines, Ontario.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started off on my trail run this weekend. It looked like the trail ran alongside a road, but I was hoping it would make its way through the woods as well.

When I saw this sign, I knew it would. There is a small trail marker that shows this trail connects to the much larger Bruce Trail that runs along the Niagara Escarpment.

This plaque shows some of the history of the park. This used to be the site of the Second Welland Canal.

As I started putting this blog post together, I did some research and found this detailed trail map.

You can find out about all of the historical highlights by visit The Old Welland Canal’s Field Guide.

But I didn’t know all of that as I was running. All I knew is that there was a new trail for me to explore and that I was going to have fun.

Yes, a nature trail. That’s so much better than running alongside a road or through a open park.

The white trail markers were really easy to follow.

The trail followed beside the old canal with lots of fast moving water. 

The trail came to an end at a road but since there was a trail marking on the lamp post, I decided to run down the street as well.

I’m glad I did. I had to cross a street but I ended up on the Bruce Trail. I love when trails are this well-marked and easy to follow.

The Bruce Trail runs along the Niagara Escarpment for 800 kilometers and has over 200 kilometers of side trails. Needless to say, I only ran two kilometers down the trail before turning around and finishing back off at Mountain Locks Park.

That was a great run. Hopefully, I will go back and run it again one day.

More Running Tours

Tall Black Guy Interview Part 2

Let’s continue the interview I did with music producer, Tall Black Guy. If you missed Part 1 of the transcript, you can go back and read it, you can stream the interview with the player below, or download the MP3 of it to listen to whenever you like. You could also keep reading. Whatever method you choose, thanks for joining us.

Chase: “We are lucky enough to have Tall Black Guy on our phone lines right now. Thanks for spinning some nice tunes for us for the past hour!”

Tall Black Guy: “Thank you for reaching out to me to do the mix for your podcast. I really appreciate it.”

Chase: “The Word is Bond is like a hip-hop magazine online and they’ve been doing their thing for a while. They actually reached out to me a couple years ago and I just started doing some guest posts and doing some writing for them. I had been doing the radio for a while on DOPEfm. So we launched The Word is Bond podcast and we are a dozen or so shows in now.

We’d originally planned to have you on the first episode after we redesigned the site, had a few scheduling difficulties, but we finally got you on the show. The cool thing about The Word is Bond is that we keep a partnership with DOPEfm so I get to do things for both platforms. I’m on the Internet and I’m on the radio for both of those different things.”

Tall Black Guy: “That’s cool”

Chase: “You have quite an extensive body of work. People can go to your bandcamp page and see a lot of the things that you are able to do. One of those things is, I think the best way to describe it is, a sample flip. That’s where you take a song that it pretty well known and use the same sample and flip it so that it is different, but it still sounds familiar. How do you go about doing that?”

Tall Black Guy: “I used to do a lot of beat battles. I can’t even remember the last time I did one, maybe 2008. I did beat battles for a little bit of time. I won a few of them, and I got a sense of what the crowd actually liked. If you use a familiar sample and flip it differently, that would really get the reaction of the crowd.

Even before beat battles, I was taking different samples that I liked, and I never wanted to loop anything. I always wanted to chop it. As a child, I would chop up something that was very, very popular and just try to put my own little twist on it. That’s basically where it came from, me doing beat battles and kind of gauging what the crowd wants. Using something familiar to try and persuade them to like my beats.”

Chase: “That’s cool. You have vinyl releases now, don’t you?”

Tall Black Guy: “Yeah. I have a few of them. I’d say over the last year or so, just like little small 7-inch, Dance Forever that’s off of First World Records. That’s the A-side, and the B-side is Return of the Here and Now, Water No Enemy, that’s on the Bastard Jazz label. There was another tune called Lost and Gone.

There is so much music getting released at one time, a lot of times people will miss everything if you put a whole project out there. So, I try to keep it kind of limited. I think 7-inches are the way to go. As far as releasing those smaller things, and then maybe drop something big and then go back to those smaller releases.”

Chase: “The way we consume music has changed these days. With the Internet, some times you just need one song and people will gravitate towards it and grab onto it instead of having a whole album. You can do a lot with a short EP or a single. It’s real nice to see, the real hip-hop purists are still putting out some vinyl and it’s not just all digital.”

Tall Black Guy: “Yeah, definitely. I like both. I like vinyl and I like digital too. When I sample, I sample from CDs some times, some times I sample from vinyl. It all depends on how I want the particular track to sound. But I haven’t sampled from vinyl in a while ‘cause I actually don’t have a vinyl collection. It’s been about three years since I sampled from vinyl, but I used to.”

Chase: “Do you ever have a song in your head? Like an idea for a horn, or a bassline, or something like that, and you can kind of hear it before you sit down and start to work?”

Tall Black Guy: “Some times I can hear something in my head. A lot of times when I try to come up with a track, I’ll start off with some kind of sample just to give me an idea or push the idea forward. From there, I can start hearing different things.

I might find a sample and chop the sample, but then I might replay the chop on the piano. I know a lot of my music, and I know what different things sound in key, so a lot of times I can go to a different sample source and grab a guitar sample from Kenny Garret or something like that and then put it in key with this James Brown sample, and then go grab something from Bob James and so on and so forth. That’s how I hear things. Once I start the track, I can hear different samples that might be in key with that, and then I play over it.”

Chase: “That’s awesome. It’s like a building process. You start with one thing and then you know you want to add this. It’s like playing with Lego some times. You’re playing with sounds and putting it together, and one thing leads to another.”

Tall Black Guy: “Yeah, exactly.”

Chase: “I think a lot of times, we get stuck on the emcees and we don’t really talk enough to the producers and what they actually do and how important they are.

You have quite the body of work and you’ve worked with quite a lot of artists, but if there was someone out there who liked Tall Black Guy beats and wondered, ‘Can he produce for me?’ Do you sell your stuff if anyone wanted to reach out?”

Tall Black Guy: “All the time. Selling my music is my income. I’m not strictly living off it per se, but I do sell my music. I have criteria though. You gotta have a positive message, you can’t curse, no profanity, you can’t say God’s name in vein, you gotta be real straight edge, if my mother can’t listen to it, we might have to do something different, just because music is a very,. very powerful thing. I don’t want to be one of those guys where I contributed to somebody doing something bad to themselves when they’ve listened to my music.

I try to keep it straightforward, not to say that I didn’t do that before, but as of the last few years, I’ve tried to keep it straight edge. And what’s crazy is that artist actually want to do that.”

Chase: “That’s amazing. I’m an elementary school teacher and I can play rap songs that are totally clean to students and they’ll go, ‘Oh, it just swore!’ and I’ll say, ‘No, it didn’t.’ I think part of the reason they think that is that there is this assumption from the general population that rap just has to swear. And then there are artists, such as yourself, that say you don’t have to.

You can actually have a good song without any swear words. It’s not a prerequisite to hip that you have to swear. I wish more people knew that.”

Tall Black Guy: “They probably do, but I guess, it’s whatever sells. I know, for me personally, I really see it as distasteful. I chose for myself not to do that.”

Chase: “Do you listen to rap that swears though?”

Tall Black Guy: “I really don’t even listen to hip-hop anymore. I listen to more R&B, jazz, and other people’s beats. That’s what I do now. I’ve listening to R&B pretty much my whole life, but my collection now is almost all R&B and jazz and world music. I don’t even like hip-hop anymore, personally, because nobody is really saying anything intelligent. I don’t enjoy hip-hop like that anymore.”

Chase: “That’s a shame. These days you have to go deeper and deeper to find the good stuff and it’s totally in the underground. But even being a music producer, you don’t want to be pigeon-holed into one genre anyway. You want to listen to different types of music, like that’s actually part of doing your homework, I’d assume.”

Tall Black Guy: “Yep. For me personally, I never wanted to be in a box. I want to be able to make all different kinds of music because, that’s music. If I gotta study to do my interpretation of a Brazilian track, or world music, or my interpretation of a jazz track, I gotta study that.”

Chase: “We covered a lot of topics today and got a great music mix from you. So, if people wanted to get in touch with you or find out more about your music, how can they go about doing that?”

Tall Black Guy: “You can visit Tall Black Guy I’m on Soundcloud, Reverbnation, pretty much if you just Google ‘Tall Black Guy’ or Tall Black Guy Productions, it will basically redirect you to any of those online outlets. I also have things on iTunes, and Rhapsody. As far as physical products, you can grab those from Crosstalk International or something like Juno or Turntablelab. The easiest way would be just to Google ‘Tall Black Guy’ and go grab some music.”

Chase: “Just an interesting story, I was telling my students I was interviewing Tall Black Guy and they said, ‘That’s racist!’ They didn’t realize that was your name, they thought I was just calling you a tall black guy. So are you exceptionally tall?”

Tall Black Guy: “I’m 6’5” and like 270.”

Chase: “The name definitely fits then. Well, it has been a pleasure having you on the program, on the radio show, and in the podcast. So, thanks for blessing us with some music and finding the time to sit down and talk with us. It was really cool to hear how you do your beats and how you started.”

Tall Black Guy: “Thank you for having me on your show. I really appreciate it.”

That concludes the interview. Please download the podcast for free or stream it with the player below. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any of the weekly episodes focusing on the best in hip-hop.

Thanks for tuning in. I’ll see you here on the blog again tomorrow, on your radio Saturday night, and on the podcast again on Monday.

Download Tall Black Guy Interview and Podcast

Music Playlist at

Tall Black Guy Interview and Mixset

A few months back I had the chance to interview music producer, Tall Black Guy. We talked about music production, sampling, swearing in hip-hop, and much, much more.

You can read the transcript of the interview, listen to it with the player at the bottom of the post, or you can download the show for free to listen to whenever you like.

We talk for about fifteen minutes, then Tall Black Guy spins some great tracks for an hour, and we finish off the show with another fifteen-minute interview.

So without further ado, here is the transcript of the radio show / podcast.

Chase: “All right everybody, this is Chase March and we have a special guest on our phone lines. We have Tall Black Guy. There’s a website I frequent called Bama Love Soul. They call you ‘Everyone’s Favourite Producer.’”

Tall Black Guy: “I guess. I don’t really see it like that. I just try to make music that I believe in, which is, always trying to be positive with the message.”

Chase: “That’s cool. They put out a mixtape of some of your earlier work and they called it Tall Black Guy – The Lost Tapes and it was actually mixed by DJ Radhu. It’s a nice project. There’s a track of their from the 80s Babies ‘Technology.’ I really like that track.

There is a hilarious line in there, ‘the sun rises in the east and it sets in the west. That ‘s useless information ‘cause I got a GPS.’ That’s hilarious!

Tall Black Guy: “Dee Jackson, he’s like my best friend. I’ve known him for like 15 or 16 years. He’s the one that writes the lyrics. I was the one, that more or less, came up with the beat. But how we came about it was, he had this crazy idea about technology and he gave me the idea for the beat.

Basically, he told me what the idea was and I built the beat around that. I didn’t know he was gonna come with that effect as far as having the song just describing all different types of technology. That’s one of my favourite songs.”

Chase: “There’s another lyric in there I like. He says, ‘When I take a walk, man, I don’t need a walkman.’ I think the same thing. I am a trail runner and I love going for runs but I never put headphones on. And it always amazes me why people need that. When you are out and about, I don’t think you always need to have music with you. That might sound weird being that I’m a DJ, but I don’t bring music with me everywhere anymore.”

Tall Black Guy: “I don’t really either. More or less, if I am at work and I think about it, I might bring an iPod or something.”

Chase: “Yeah, I think there is something to be said about being disconnected. Even when I go out, I don’t always want to have my cell phone or be connected all the time.”

Tall Black Guy: “Understandable. Sometimes you need a break from it.”

Chase: “I think so, but technology is a great thing. There you are, across the pond, and we’re able to still do an interview. It’s pretty amazing.”

Tall Black Guy: “That’s the great thing about Skype. Skype invented something that is really cool because you can talk to your friends and see their face at the same time, and it’s free.”

Chase: “Yeah, ya gotta like that. I’m using a really old, out-dated computer. I don’t have a webcam, so we aren’t seeing each other, but this is radio so we don’t need it.”

Tall Black Guy: “Exactly.”

Chase: “We are big fans of your work over at The Word is Bond and at DOPEfm, playing your stuff all the time. You are actually going to be throwing down a mixset for us in a few minutes.”

Tall Black Guy: “Yeah, just trying to throw some more good music out there, ya know? That’s the main thing. My goal is to always try to be consistent.”

Chase: “Can you tell us how you got started in hip-hop and music production?”

Tall Black Guy: “Basically, I grew up around music because of my parents. I guess that is every producer or every musician’s story. I didn’t even start making music till I was like 20. I used to beatbox when I was a kid and then one day, when I was like 20, I was like, ‘I just want to make music.’

At the time, this was around 2000, 2001, somewhere around there. I didn’t have enough money to buy an MPC or anything like that, so I invested in, at the time, it used to be called Sonic Foundry: Acid 2.0. I spent like $60 on that program. I tried it out for a little bit and then kind of gave up after a month. I could never figure out how to sequence the drums. That was always my problem, so I quit for like a month.

I went back into it, and from there, it was just a lot of practise. When I first started, I was putting in anywhere from like 14 to 18 hours in a day. I just kept practising, practising, ya know? Trying to figure out different samples and studying some of my favourite hip-hop producers.

I just kept practising, practising, practising. Staying up, basically 24 hours, a couple times a week. All on top of going to work. That’s pretty much what it is, just practice.

I was sampling for a long time, up until about three years ago. I sampled up until about 2009 and then I wanted to start playing. So, I taught myself how to play keyboard. Sampling is cool but I think sampling can only take you so far if you are actually trying to make some big moves, as far as like, getting into music licensing, movies, and things like that.

I always wanted to have that kind of balance where if I wanted to sample, I could sample, if I wanted to play, I could play. And from there, same thing, it’s just practice.”

Chase: “That’s a good message. In this day and age, just because it is so easy to release things, a lot of people think, ‘Hey, look, I just made a beat. Let throw it up for the whole world to see.’ But there is something to be said about paying your dues and actually working to perfect your craft.

It’s also cool to see that you also started on technology too because there are a lot of purists that say, ‘You should only be using gear. You should only be using MPCs. Forget everything else.” But there’s a lot more ways and avenues to the music, like you said.”

Tall Black Guy: “I could never afford an MPC, so that was my only other option at the time, to invest in something to make my music. I tried all the other different software at the time and I really could understand any of them. Acid seemed to be the best one I could gravitate towards to. I pretty much mastered that program. That’s all I use now. Sony Acid: Pro Effects, along with a MIDI controller. That’s basically it.”

Chase: “I got into production in the late 1990s and I got some really old gear. I had an Akai Sampling Keyboard and I had an Atari computer running Cubase. That’s what I was using. I mean, you could use anything as long as you can figure out how to make it work and get it singing, you know what I mean?”

Tall Black Guy: “I never knock anybody. If they know how to make a beat on the table, as long as it sounds good, that’s all that really matters.”

Chase: “For sure. Well, I think we should stop talking and get some music going, right about now. You are going to lay down some tunes for us for about an hour, and then we’ll come back and talk to you some more. I’m looking forward to what you are spinning”

Tall Black Guy: “Thank you.”

You can download the entire podcast or stream it with the player below. Don’t forget to subscribe to The Word is Bond Podcast as we deliver you the best in hip-hop, artist interviews, guest DJ mixsets, hip-hop history spotlights, and much, much more.

Come back tomorrow to read the conclusion of this transcript.

Download Tall Black Guy Interview and Podcast

Read Part 2

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There Are No Grades in First Grade

English: PEARL HARBOR (March 3, 2009) Boatswai...
Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Rasheema Newsome reads Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat to students (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Elementary education is going through a lot of changes right now. Parents want to control every facet of their child’s education. Administrators are concerned primarily with safety and quotas. Where do the teachers come in?

It used to be that the teacher was the focal point of the child’s day-to-day. Now, we are pushing independent learning and centres, where the teacher is simply observing and recording. Our job is to challenge and push our young students into becoming the best adults that they can be.

What do we need to teach to foster a life-long love of learning?

Confidence – One of our greatest responsibilities as Elementary Educators is fostering a love of learning. Our students need us there to encourage their successes, and walk them through their failures.

Competence – Young educators grew up in the self titled “Self-esteem generation”. We were told that we could never be wrong, and that we were all special and unique. Now we are seeing collapses in global economies, and it’s the responsibility of educators to produce competent adults for our new generation of students. We need to show them that failure is okay, and can be recognized. We don’t learn from our successes like we do from our failures.

Independence – Parents are concerned about safety, and we should be to. However, despite our concerns, we cannot allow ourselves to overprotect our students. We need to give them projects over which they have control, and encourage them to explore independently. Standing away from a child at work and watching the moments of discovery is one of the most rewarding parts of being a teacher.

Trust – Our students will grow up. They will enter the wide economic world. If we have done our jobs, they will not be surprised and hurt when they find out what it’s really like out there. Our students need the truth from us. They need us to tell them when they need to work on a skill. They need to be able to trust that we really are acting in their best interests, even when it hurts them.

Set the tone!

It’s very easy to lose sight of our goals as educators once we step into our first classrooms. Behaviour issues, parental concerns, administrative demands, and our own syllabic pressure can cloud our primary goals. We set the tone for education for the rest of their lives. Whether they love or hate learning, it is because of the experiences they had in the elementary classroom.

About the Author:

This guest post is contributed by Debra Johnson, blogger and editor of She welcomes your comments below or via email – jdebra84 @

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Twilight (Interview and Book Give-Away)

Chase: “All right everybody, this is Chase March and I have Talia Soghomonian on the line right now. She’s the author of Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart & Taylor Lautner – In their own words.

Download the podcast of this interview, stream it with the player below, or keep reading. You’ll definitely want to stay tuned because you can win one of three free copies of this ebook.

This book is coming out just prior to the release of the final installment of the Twilight movie franchise. How did you go about compiling it?

Talia: “I’d already met the actors a bunch of times. I’d been on the set, I’d reviewed the films, and I’d interviewed them during junkets. So I was pretty familiar with the material. I used some of my old material and did further research in case I’d missed something. I did a lot of fact-checking, of course. It was actually pretty east to do. If you’re familiar with the subject, then it’s not that hard. There is so much about Twilight, that you could literally write volumes and volumes about it.”

Chase: “Were you a fan of the books before the movies?”

Talia: “I didn’t know of the books before the movies. The first time I’d heard of Twilight was the screening of the first Twilight movie. I didn’t know what to expect. I thought it kind of looked like an art-house movie and then there was this vampire story. I thought it was cool and pretty well made. That got me into the whole series. When I interviewed the actors a few weeks later, I was surprised to see so many fans who knew about the books and the series. I was kind of in the dark,”

Chase: “Yeah, it’s really captured the attention of millions and millions, which is crazy when you think about it. When I was a kid, I don’t remember a book ever having this much of an impact.”

Talia: “I don’t either. When I was like ten-years-old, I think The Outsiders was really popular.”

Chase: “You get forced to read that in school now.”

Talia; “Forced?”

Chase: “A lot of teachers are still using that book in novel studies. I find that it’s not as accessible for kids these days. I think there is a lot of great young adult literature coming out.”

Talia: “Absolutely. JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer have really encouraged that. I think the young adults use much more imagination and they go into fantasy and there is a real story behind it. I think kids want imagination, escapism, and something they don’t have in everyday life or in any other book.”

Chase: “I’m a teacher so I really like to see that kids are reading. The interesting thing is that many of them only discovered the books after the movies. They like to read them after watching the films because they can picture their favourite actors in their head while they’re reading.”

Talia: “Absolutely, and often books are different so they can be pleasantly surprised. They get the best of both worlds. They get two different interpretations of the same story. In my book I mention that Stephenie Meyer and JK Rowling and all these authors have encouraged kids to read 500 + page books. 12 year olds are reading books like this. That’s a feat in itself. It gets them to use their imagination and maybe it will inspire them to become writers.”

Chase: “That would be amazing. It’s something to see all of the cultural book phenomenons that keep coming out. We had Harry Potter and then we had Twilight and now we have The Hunger Games. I wonder if this trend is going to continue. Are we going to see a new superstar title every few years?”

Talia: “I hope so. I hope that people are steering away from vampires though because Stephenie Meyer did that so well. Everybody wants to be the next Stephenie Meyer but the people who succeed will have original ideas. I hope that this trend does continue.”

Chase: “We’re talking with the author of Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart & Taylor Lautner – In their own words. This book is interesting because you’ve compiled over 30 different cast interviews from the very start of the first movie coming out to the present. There are five years of interviews in this book with pictures and you can also get an enhanced version of the book complete with audio clips.”

Talia: “That’s pretty awesome because you can actually hear them talking. It’s one of the great things about ebooks. It allows you so much more.”

Chase: “I’m a big fan of audio books, I don’t have an ebook reader, but it’s interesting to see how they can cross different platforms and be multi-media works.”

Talia: “I think kids are much more technologically advanced than we were as kids. They kind of expect things to be multi-media. I hope that, with the advent of ebooks, that audio will also encourage them to want to read the book more, any book. I find it amusing that you can listen to the book as you are reading it.”

Chase: “How much of the book is available in audio? Is it the entire thing or just portions of it?”

Talia: “Just portions of interviews.”

Chase: “You have quite the history of writing credits, specifically with magazines such as In Style, Elle Girl, Rolling Stone, Marie Claire, and NME. Can you tell us about your background as a writer?”

Talia: “I started out in the late 90s as a rock journalist. I interviewed just about every rock star except Mick Jaggar, Bruce Springstine, and David Bowie, which is a bummer. I did a lot of rock journalism.

I worked for a time at The New York Times; Paris Bureau, but I didn’t do entertainment stuff, it was much more serious. This story really changed my life. I was hired on September 11th and it was exciting to work in the foreign offices. It was a great opportunity too.

After that, I worked for nine years at a French newspaper, which exists in many countries, including Canada. I wrote about music and film there.”

Chase: “Where are you based out of now?”

Talia: “Right now I’m in Paris and I fly back and forth between Paris and L.A. I was recently in Atlanta doing a set visit at The Walking Dead. That was fun.”

Chase: “Oh wow, You are getting quite into film and television. Are you writing about The Walking Dead series as well?”

Talia: “No. They are very secretive about it, so not yet.”

Chase: “The interesting thing about that phenomenon too, is that is also started as a book, more specifically a comic book.”

Talia: “I think they’ve changed a little bit and they’ve added characters that don’t exist in the book. A lot of the actors were telling me that they bought the entire series of the comic book and it’s still continuing. They are finding it interesting how the writers are interpreting the story for the television series.”

Chase: “I think it is amazing how books are becoming so huge culturally. They are becoming films and television series. When I was a kid, it seemed the classic stories were the only ones that became movies and I didn’t find them all that exciting or engaging. Now, you don’t have to force kids to watch any of this stuff. They’re seeking it out and reading it themselves.”

Talia: “I think they are making better choices now as to what stories to adapt on film. They are much more marketing savy today. They know which books are better left as books. They know what kids like. A lot of the writers are young and they have more street cred.”

Chase: “That’s a good point. Some books are fine just being books. Orson Scott Card is one of my favourite writers. He writes science fiction for the most part, but he is absolutely brilliant. He has a lot of great audio books and at the end of the story, he does a little talk about the book. There’s one moment I really remember in those. He is talking about everyone asking him when the Ender’s Game movie is going to get made and they are pressuring him about it. His answer was, ‘It’s already a book.’ Why does it need to be a movie? It’s already a book. I love that answer.”

Talia: “I read The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury and I could never imagine how they could adapt that as a movie. I’m sure they’ve tried but it’s so complex and so much better to read it. I read it when I was ten years old.”

Chase: “So, what’s your favourite book? If you had to choose, I know I have a favourite book of all time, do you have one?”

Talia: “What’s your favourite?”

Chase: “My favourite book is Heartbeat by Sharon Creech. It’s probably not that well-known. It’s a verse novel so when you flip through the pages, you’d think it was a collection of poems, but it actually tells a cohesive story of this twelve year old girl who loves to run just for running sake. Everyone is pressuring her to join the team at school. It’s a really nice book. It’s beautiful, poetic, and sounds amazing.”

Talia: “Okay, I’ll have to get that. My favourite book isn’t a novel. It’s a non-fiction book called On Writing by Stephen King.”

Chase: “I love that book.”

Talia: “It’s the best book on writing. I think when you read too many of writing advice books, you just become crazy and you don’t want to be a writer anymore. His advice is so simple, and yet, so efficient. I also love that he listens to Iron Maiden when he’s writing.”

Chase: “Yeah, I really like that book but I’ve been torn a little bit lately. I’ve been reading writing advice blogs like The Story Fix blog by Larry Brooks. And I read his book Story Engineering. He is really an advocate for planning everything out before writing. Whereas, Stephen King just writes and lets the story steer itself, and that’s the way I write as well. I think Stephen King has something there about story being a found object and he’s uncovering it as he’s going.”

Talia: “Absolutely. I think it should flow like a fountain. You can always go back and rewrite but I think the first draft should just be whatever goes through your head. Stream of consciousness.”

Chase: “I even try to do that with my interviews. I’ve seen so many interviews where it’s basically ten questions and those same questions get asked over and over again to new person interviewed. It’s boring. With my interviews, I try to make it more of a conversation. It’s more exciting for the audience as well.”

Talia: “I think the audience wants to hear a conversation or read one if it’s in print. They don’t want to read or hear something that they’ve read or heard in fifty other places.”

Chase: “Your new book, has a lot of different interviews in it, are they conversational as well?”

Talia: “Some of them are. I didn’t do all of them. The publisher compiled some interviews from their sources. The interesting thing about the interviews is you see how the actors have grown. You see a progression from the first film when they were quite young, and see how they’ve grown and matured since then. It’s quite interesting.”

Chase: “Especially since some of them were relatively unknown and have now become huge superstars. It’s the end of an era though because the last Twilight movie is coming out really soon. A lot of people are going to be excited, but also mournful of the end of the movie franchise. But it’s something they will always have with the books and the DVDs, and your book to see some of the behind-the-scenes stuff with the three main actors in the film.”

Talia: “Fans shouldn’t be sad. They can always go back and watch the movies.”

Chase: “So your book, the interview compilation is 300 pages long, has over 100 photos, and more than 30 cast interviews is available right now. How can people go about purchasing that?”

Talia: “They can get it from Amazon.”

Chase: “We have free copies of the ebook to give away right here now. How should we go about doing that?”

Talia: “We should ask a good question that only die-hard fans will know.”

Chase: “Thanks Talia. I hope people will enjoy the book.”

Talia: “Thanks for having me”

People who can answer this question are asked to contact me with the answer. You will have to Saturday at 10:00 p.m. EST to do so.

Enter the ebook giveaway contest

What is the name of Bella and Edward’s child and where is it derived from?

Send the answer of this trivia question to me by

  1. email – chasemarch (at) gmail (dot) com – replaces the “at” with “@” and “dot” with “.” and leave no spaces
  2. send me a message on Facebook
  3. send me a direct message on Twitter
We have three copies to give away.

I will take every correct answer and randomly choose three people. If you are a winner, I will email you a download link so you can get the book on Sunday or anytime after that.

Good luck!

Music Playlist at

DOPEfm’s 400th Show

Tonight, DOPEfm is celebrating its 400th episode.

We are marking eight years of excellent hip-hop radio.

Our goal: to educate and entertain through a wide selection of beats and interviews.

Daddy J has been holding down community radio for twenty years and he will be mixing live on the air tonight to celebrate this monumental achievement.

Listen Live Tonight

Starting at 12:00 Midnight EST

Thanks for listening to us these past eight years!

I’ve been happy to be part of the program for the last four. Since then, I have interviewed some of my favourite rappers including; Kadyelle, Eternia, D-sisive, Brother Ali, Classified, Shad, and many more.

Help us celebrate our 400th show TONIGHT!


I Love Comics! (Latest Batch of Reads for 2012)

I’m enjoying building this little digital bookcase, of sorts. I’ve never really kept a reading log. I read for the sheer enjoyment of it, but this year, I am keeping track of every single title. Here are my latest graphic novel reads.

Kill Shakespeare: Volume 2: The Blast of War by Conor McCreery, Anthony Del Col and Andy Belanger. 

All of the heroes and villains we know and love from the plays of William Shakespeare exist in one time and place. Shakespeare himself even exists in this universe. People believe him to be a magical being or perhaps just a myth. But there is a prophecy that only the Shadow King can find him. Of course some people want him dead, others just want his magical quill for the power it can wield.

This book features homegrown talent as all of the creators hail from southern Ontario Canada. It’s an interesting story that you can follow along with even if you aren’t a student of the Bard.

Midnight Nation by J. Michael Straczynski, Gary Frank, Johnathan Sibal, and Jason Gorder.

This was a great read. I didn’t want to put it down. It’s about people who have been forgotten or cast aside. After a while, they slip through the cracks and while they continue to exist in this world, they cannot see or be seen by regular people.

David Grey is a police office and when his soul is stolen, he slips into the shadow world. He begins the long journey to New York  to reclaim his soul but there is much more going on in this netherworld between the one he knows and can still see and this new land of forgotten and down-tread people.

This story basically brings a metaphor to life. And I love metaphor. I also love almost everything Straczynski has written. He is a brilliant writer and well worth checking out.

Check out the complete list of My 2012 Reads.

Swayze Falls Trail – Short Hills Provincial Park

I ran a trail at Short Hills Conservation area in St. Catherines Ontario a few weeks back and really enjoyed myself. Today, I was looking forward to exploring a brand new trail there.

I had heard that there was a waterfalls in this park so when I saw this sign, I knew it was the trail for me.

There were quite a few hills along this route.

It was a nice trail but after running it for twenty-five minutes, I really started to wonder when I was going to see the waterfall.

I didn’t want to turn around but I wasn’t sure that this trail formed a loop. I knew that parts of the trail system here linked up to the Bruce Trail, which runs along the entire Niagara Escarpment. There was no way I was running that whole thing.

I really like how easy it is to follow the trails at Short Hills Provincial Park. Each one is numbered and has these yellow arrows to keep you on the trail and heading in the right direction.

Of course, I still didn’t know how far away the falls were. By this point, I had been running for just over half an hour. I was almost ready to turn around and head back since I didn’t know if this trail formed a complete loop.

We’ve had quite a dry summer, which certainly shows in the above picture. It looks like this bridge serves no purpose. I’m sure that’s not always the case.

Yes, I finally made it to the viewing platform for Swayze Falls.

Here’s some information about the falls.

Too bad they weren’t really flowing today.

This is what I was expecting to see. It was a little disappointing to have run so far, thinking that the waterfall would be my reward for putting in ten kilometers today, and all I found was a dried up pool. Oh well, at least I have the Internet and I found this photo of what I wished it had looked like today.

The trail did loop around and bring me right back to the start. I had stopped to take photos along the way and there were quite a few hills to slow me down, but I kept a good pace and figure that I ran about ten kilometers in all.

I hope you enjoyed this photographic tour.

Want to see more?