Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Guest Post by C.K. Kelly Martin, the author of Yesterday

Today I have the pleasure of sharing with you a wonderful guest post by the talented Canadian author, C.K. Kelly Marin, the author of YA time travel adventure, Yesterday. I have reviewed Yesterday on the blog today, for my review click here .  I really loved this book, it was thrilling, but also thought provoking and moving! Fact-paced and full of unexpected plot twists, it's a book that everyone should read!

I especially loved the fact that it was set in a city that I'm very familiar with - Toronto! C.K. Kelly Martin did such a marvellous job describing all the settings, I was blown-away! And so I asked her to talk about the setting a little bit. Why she chose Toronto for the setting of her book? What are her favourite places there?

Here's a fantastic guest post that explains it all! :) Enjoy and be sure to leave us a comment - it's always MUCH APPRECIATED!! :) 

...In Which C.K. Kelly Martin talks about the setting of Yesterday!

a guest post by C.K. Kelly Martin

     When I was sixteen, back in 1985, I used to feel my excitement level spike every time I approached Toronto’s skyline, leaving behind the suburb where I lived full-time. That same year Glenn Frey had a hit with You Belong to the City and I definitely felt the sentiment, that where I was really alive was the city. It had things that didn’t exist in the burbs – skyscrapers, subways, life that never really stopped. It was the place my favourite bands played when they toured and the spot where I bought music when I couldn’t find the imports and rarer stuff I wanted at the local mall’s record shop.

    The New Year’s Eve after I’d turned seventeen my best friend and I went downtown to hang out with a group of girls we’d befriended while sleeping outside a Ticketmaster box office for Paul Young concert tickets. Someone these girls knew had rented a hotel room and was having a party but my friend and I discovered a better party just down the hall – one a group of actors in their twenties were holding but didn’t seem to mind us crashing. I can’t remember how much time we spent mingling with the actors that night or what the hell we talked about but at the time the very existence of that party seemed to prove Toronto’s superiority. We would never have run into an actors’ party in the burbs!

     Toronto Rocks. Incidentally, Toronto Rocks was also the name of an 80s music video show that used to air on City TV at 4 PM. I used to watch it all the time! One of the terrific things about writing Yesterday was being able to journey back to that point in history in my head while also showcasing a Toronto that was familiar to me then and now.

     Twenty-seven years later I still feel drawn to the city and usually find myself in Toronto every couple of weeks. At the moment I’m looking forward to scoring TIFF tickets and spending hours in movie lines, waiting to watch films I wouldn’t be able to see anywhere else.

     Sadly one of my all-time favourite Toronto places has disappeared – the spot Barenaked Ladies sang about in Brian Wilson: “Drove downtown in the rain Nine thirty on a Tuesday night Just to check out the late night Record shop.” Sam the Record Man was my go-to place for music for so many years – at first for tapes, 45” singles, and later, when they opened their extensive VHS section upstairs I haunted that too. Sam’s staff was so knowledgeable and the music-loving environment such a cool one that I often spent hours there. I still miss it and feel the hole it left every time I walk up and down Yonge Street.

     World’s Biggest Bookstore, another one of my old-time haunts is also slated to close in 2013. In its heyday – pre current warehouse-sized Canadian book chain Indigo/Chapters – it truly was the biggest bookstore you’d find around these parts. There, I stocked up on books that weren’t available in the small, shopping mall bookstores of the 80s.

     However, as some of my favourite places have disappeared, fantastic new ones like the Bell Lightbox and Distillery District have emerged. The Lightbox has been the centre of the Toronto International Film Festival since 09 but shows art-house movies and film-based exhibitions year round. The Distillery District is one of Toronto’s most unusual, picturesquely urban pedestrian areas to visit, full of cafés, art studio spaces and the outstanding Soulpepper Theatre Company (whose plays have pulled me towards the Distillery District even in wintery weather that makes the open area less than hospitable).

     Being right on Lake Ontario is a major advantage for the city and I’m also a big fan of the Harbourfront area, where you can shop, stroll, eat and/or cruise, and Centre Island (click to look at some of my pictures from the island) which offers a great getaway from the city cement and bustle while remaining within its borders. I couldn’t possibly write about Toronto without mentioning my eternal fondness for Massey Hall (first finished in 1894 but since renovated) – in my opinion the city’s very best venue. If I had my way every concert I attend would be held here and every movie I’d see would be at the majestic Elgin Theatre (currently films are only screened there during the TIFF).

     Other Toronto spots I love include Queen Street (for strolling, people watching and Doc Marten buying), the ROM (the museum Freya visits before she first spots Garren in Yesterday), the Royal York Hotel and its cozy Library Bar (scrumptious food there too) andBrookfield Place whose architecture always takes my breath away.

    All of these places I adore and what the city has meant to me over the years is what made me set Yesterday in Toronto- that little fluttery feeling I still get when I hear The Tragically Hip sing, “that night in Toronto with its checkerboard floors…” or the Barenaked Ladies croon about the TO record store I will never stop missing.!


About the author:

Most of my time spent at York University in Toronto was as an English major, not the traditional way to graduate with a B.A. in Film Studies but a fine way to getC.K. June 09 a general arts education. After graduation I headed for Dublin, Ireland and spent the majority of the nineties there in forgettable jobs meeting unforgettable people and enjoying the buzz.

I always thoughts I'd get around to writing in earnest eventually and I began writing my first novel in a flat in Dublin and finished it in a Toronto suburb. By then I'd discovered that young adult fiction felt the freshest and most exciting to me. You have most of your life to be an adult but you only grow up once!

As a writer, I'm naturally crazy about good books – but also good movies and good music. My recommended reading list is available on this site, along with a collection of literary and general interest links and other assorted favourites. An avid interest in web site design prompted me to design my first writer's site, The Start of, which was named one of the top ten in Writer's Digest 2001 Best Web Site Competition. The C.K. Kelly Martin web site is now my main site – every inch designed and maintained by me.

Currently residing near Toronto with my Dub husband, I became an Irish citizen in 2001 and continue to visit Dublin often (although not as often as I'd like!) while working on teen novels..

Connect with C.K. Kelly Martin!
Twitter | Facebook | Website

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About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing

1 comment:

Amy said...

What a great post!! It really makes me want to visit Toronto.

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