KG: What or who inspired you to be a writer?
C. Bulewski: Finding the manuscript of a fairy tale my dad had started writing as a child but had left unfinished – I was about seven years old at the time. I reworked what he had originally written and completed the story, with my older brother as my editor. I never stopped writing after that.
KG: What gave you the idea of your latest book?
C. Bulewski: It was a combination of seemingly unrelated events. I was reading an interview by French director Claude Lelouch, who was recounting driving from Paris to the Cannes Film Festival in a rented car at the time of the events of May 1968, when the entire country was paralysed by a general strike. I had this first idea of a group of friends going through something similar. In my mind, something was always going to go wrong at some point during the journey, preferably in a remote part of the country, and there would obviously be a supernatural element to it. The group of friends rapidly transformed into a group of musicians, and I made the connection with the music of those times, which happens to be my music of choice: Soft Machine and the Canterbury Music. Or, as the friends who first introduced me to it call it: the Music of the Cosmos.
KG: Who is your favourite writer and why?
C. Bulewski: It’s difficult to choose, but I would say Hermann Hesse, for the mystical element and the beauty of the language. Steppenwolf is one of these books you have to read time and again, and each time you find something new in it. I absolutely adore The Journey to the East: weird, highly mystical, with some elements of the supernatural too, funnily enough (at least this is my interpretation of it).
KG: What's your favourite book?
C. Bulewski: Again, a difficult one because there are several books I regularly come back to, such as Steppenwolf. But I would have to say Lolita. It’s incredibly well written, it’s unbelievably funny at times, and it’s also moving on occasion. I know entire passages by heart. There’s also a little-known French book called L’Ile aux Trente Cercueils (The Island of the Thirty Coffins), by Maurice Leblanc. It’s a gothic novel involving druids and magic, set on a remote island off the coast of Brittany. It’s got a true horror element, as well as a comic one, which in my view is the best possible combination.
KG: Do you read a lot? If so what are you reading right now?
C. Bulewski: I go through phases. I generally read a lot in-between writing novels, and go off it during creative periods. At the moment I’m reading Ritual, by David Pinner, the book that inspired the film The Wicker Man, and Loners, a collection of short stories by Mark SaFranko.
KG: What writing projects are you working on?
C. Bulewski: I am currently working on several projects. First and foremost a dystopian future novel entitled The House of A Thousand Dreams, which will involve angry spirits, reincarnation and prophetic visions. I am also working on a play with an actress friend of mine, and this is likely to involve composing a score at some point, when the project is more advanced. And finally I am collaborating with an artist I worked with before on an illustrated chapbook – a short story he is putting into visual format.
KG: What do you like most about writing?
C. Bulewski: Creating characters and seeing them evolve as if by themselves. My characters often possess some of the characteristics of the people in my life, but this is just the basis, somewhere to start, because rapidly, they evolve into something entirely different from the original. If I enjoy their company, then I know I’m creating interesting characters.
KG: Where do you see yourself and your writing in five years’ time?
C. Bulewski: I want to continue exploring the supernatural and horror elements in everyday life, at least for a while longer. I like mixing artistic media too, so this is something I will want to investigate further at some point, that much is certain.
KG: What one writing tip would you share?
C. Bulewski: That everything can become a source of inspiration if you open your mind. Writing things down helps too, even things that may seem mundane at the time. At some point, you might be able to connect some dots you would have never thought of connecting otherwise, and god knows what will come out of it.
KG: What would you say to educate and inspire young writers?
C. Bulewski: Write, all the time, and don’t wait for the inspiration to come to you, because it won’t. Or if it does, it will be very sporadically. The only way is to sit down at that desk and soldier on until something of value comes out.
© KGHH Publishing 2017
1. I am a chemist by training – granted, not what you would necessarily think of as ‘fun!’
2. I play drums and piano – the former I learned on the job in an anti-folk band, whereas I am classically trained on the latter
3. I have a deep, slightly masculine singing voice that contrasts with my fragile, girly appearance.
4. I cannot recall how many times I have been asked whether I took the name ‘Carole Bulewski’ in homage to Charles Bukowski – I didn’t.
5. Being multilingual, I have been known to use three to four different languages in the same sentence when particularly tired.
6. have a profound dislike of bright rooms but love the sun when outdoors.
7. A couple of years ago, I made a decision to write exclusively in the first person, whether the narrator is male or female.
Born and raised in the south of France, Carole Bulewski moved to the UK at the end of the second Millennium, eventually settling down in London after a few years in the South West of England, a place that has inspired her many a supernatural story since – writing first in her native French, but now almost exclusively in the English language.
Although writing has always been Carole’s preferred means of expressing herself, having written her first fairy tale at the tender age of seven, music in one form or another plays an important part in her life, and consequently in her writing. For not only do musicians make great characters in supernatural and horror stories, but they also have the ability to conjure up a parallel universe where different rules apply.
In her writing, Carole explores how the supernatural can creep into the most mundane of situations. The Music of the Cosmos, her first novel in the English language, takes the reader on a journey through the extraordinary era that were the late Sixties, from Kent to Swinging London, the Paris of May 1968 and southern France, from the perspective of a musician whose use of chemical substances might have altered his perception of reality. The Music of the Cosmos, is due to be published 2018.
Other projects in the pipeline will also involve music and altered perception of reality, whether set in the present time or in a dystopian future.
Although novels are her preferred format, Carole has previously published a children’s book she also illustrated, as well as an illustrated short story in chapbook form and several short stories in different publications.
Carole is also a member of urban baroque group Firefay, who have so far released two albums, and are currently recording their next album.
In September of 2017 Carole signed with us at KGHH Publishing with a three-book deal as we see great potential in her beautifully artistic supernatural story telling style.
The Music of the Cosmos by Carole Bulewski - Is a beautiful, elegant scary book and we at KGHH Publishing will be publishing it in 2018.
Here is a draft front cover by Graeme Parker at KGHH Design.