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Carly Brown: Spreading a Strong Message Under the Guise of Fiction

Christine Whelan FEO, August 18, 2022, VOL. 3 ISSUE 26 

The Celine Bower story continues! Chronicle Two by Carly Brown is now out. Chronicle One, published by Mosiac Press in 2020 established Brown as an original voice in the genre. She was awarded the Winner Readers’ Choice Niagara Falls Review, 2020.

The Celine Bower Story, Chronicle One, is one woman’s epic journey from a kind and loving veterinarian and assault survivor, to a cunning and dangerous vigilante who will not be satisfied with just taking back the night, she’s taking it all back.

And now, Chronicle Two. News broke of Celine Bower’s latest victim just as her plane touched down in Southeast Asia. She was looking to hide, looking for a new start. But could Celine really run from who she was becoming? The jungle is darker than Celine thought and far more sinister. Will she continue to hide, or does Celine fulfill her destiny and hunt down a serial killer?

Meet Celine’s Creator, Carly Brown

Originally from Niagara Falls, Carly currently lives in Fort Erie with her husband. According to the author’s website, she “hopped on a plane after university and spent ten years teaching English as a Second Language and travelling the world between such places as Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Europe. She wrote a children’s play that won eight awards at the Hong Kong Dramatic Arts Festival in 2008, including ‘Best Script’ and ‘Best Director’.

The Celine Bower Story, Chronicle One’, is her first novel.

Sexual Assault

“It’s a topic that is swept under the carpet. My first book wouldn’t have even had a platform if it wasn’t for the Me2 movement. Nobody would touch it. Nobody wants to talk about rape and sexual violence.” Carly shared some of her experiences where the topic was not only swept under the carpet with some but stirred anger in others.

“I had a brilliant editor who took my story. It was the last fiction novel that she would edit before she went to work for a private company doing non-fiction. She told me that if I changed the story from chronological order, which was the way I had written it, into a thriller, it would work.”

Celine’s story is a story of a sexual assault survivor. Brown’s insights and understanding don’t come from experience but from research. Although she has felt a strong draw to learn and write about the topic, the author stated, that she herself is not a survivor. “It’s probably the only reason I could ever write this story.”

Carly has put a lot of research into her books. This research has not involved actual survivors. “I’ve never spoken to a victim. I know people to who it’s happened. I know things that have happened to people. But I wouldn’t pry. I didn’t want anybody to re-live anything. Nothing that I write is personal. It took me about two years to research rape, sexual assault, and rape trauma syndrome. I also studied sociology papers.”

She was surprised at hard difficult it was to find what she was looking for. “There’s not a lot of information out there on attackers. You have to dig deep.”

Carly’s Inspiration: The Birth of Celine

The author shared the back story. “I travelled and worked overseas for a decade. I had been in four countries. I always had friends, but I travelled around as a single female. I was always alert, watched where I was going, kept my bag close to my side, and had cab money always.”

It was 2007, “I was working and living in Blackpool, England.” She described it as a touristy area. “One morning, I slept in and was late for work. As I was running to work, I realized that no one would find me if I died because I’m in this dark street and I’m running. I get to this crosswalk.” She explained how she had to make a quick decision between a long, more public route or a quicker route requiring her to run down a dark alley.

“I thought, I hate being late. So, I started running down this dark alley as fast as I could. Nobody knew where I was. All I had was my phone and my house keys. There were dumpsters and doors slamming. I was terrified.”

And then, in her mind’s eye, Carly spotted her. “At one point I looked up and I saw a vision of a woman coming out of one of the buildings and walking down the fire escape. So, I stopped to watch her for a second. Then I thought, what the heck am I doing? I blinked, and she was gone.

“I started running to work and by the time I got there, I had her life story. I was writing it on napkins. I was writing it in coffee shops. And it never ended. I came home and started to do the research. I researched it for years.” It then took her six months to write Chronicle One.”

The author described the setting. “The whole story takes place in a makeshift city based on Niagara Falls because it’s what I really know. I grew up there until I went away to university. So, I know the back alleys and the fields, Chippawa Creek. So, if you read Chronicle One, you can match the setting.” You will notice a road described as if it’s Lundy’s Lane, she added, for example.

“I’ve always been writing. I’ve written my whole life. I’ve never written a novel before. Celine came out as a superhero.”

Carly compares Celine to Batman, “Also a fictional character but a superhero, who, as a ten-year-old boy, watched his parents get murdered in front of him. And that became a catalyst for his life. Thus the sexual assault became the catalyst for my character’s life. She was a veterinarian, worked at a shelter, and was a nice person. They victimized her so they got it back.”

New Release: Chronicle Two

The author shared, “The second book is really exciting. I went myself to Borneo in Southeast Asia, where they have Orangutan sanctuaries for the lead story of the second book.

“It came to me like a blink. That was years ago and it’s just coming out this year.” She explained the publication was delayed due to the pandemic.

“I realized recently, wow, I’ve come this far after standing in that alley, envisioning this woman.”

Brown admitted she is spreading a strong message out there under the guise of fiction.

To The Community

“It’s been an excellent journey. It takes a lot of grit to stick to it. It’s worth it though. You have to work hard at it and sometimes you’re the only one who cares.”

She says it’s not what you see on social media. “Opportunity is not handed to you at the end of the video. It’s hard work. I wanted to quit so many times. I wanted to go back to the cushy life and travel, not worry about it anymore. But now look, my second book is coming out. And people are excited about it. It’s so amazing. That’s the reward in and of itself. I did it.”

“I would also ask people to be kind. I write about a really tough topic and my character is tough, tough, tough. But before she had her life-changing events happen to her, she was very kind. And I think that the kind got diminished because something terrible happened to her. It’s a character trait that we have to add more value to. It doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t cost to give a smile and say something kind.

“I dedicate both of my books to the people — so many to mention — who, if they hadn’t been able to give me that little bit of their time, I wouldn’t have been able to write this really great story. Because they gave me those minutes and were kind to me, I wouldn’t have gotten this far. So, I give it back and I’m the same.”

Book Signing – August 18th

Brown will be at Lakeside Books and Art at 341 Ridge Road North, downtown Ridgeway, on August 18th from 7:00 to 8:30 pm for a book signing. “There will be copies of both books available.”

Chronicles One and Two can also be ordered online.

To learn more about The Celine Bower Story from a list of people who have read Chronicle One, and to order your own copies, check out the series’ website.  thecelinebowerstory.com

Photo provided by Carly Brown

There are no upcoming events at this time.