WATCH: An interview with Chelsea Rooney

Posted by on May 12, 2016 in featured alumni, Interviews, Video interviews


Chelsea Rooney

Chelsea_garage_smallChelsea Rooney is an author and teacher living in Vancouver. Her debut novel Pedal was published in 2014 by Caitlin Press and was nominated for the 2015 Amazon First Novel Award and the 2015 ReLit Novel Award. She hosts a monthly episode of The Storytelling Show on Vancouver Co-op Radio.

(See more of this interview below and another video at the bottom of the page)

What kind of stories do you tend to be drawn to?

I am drawn to stories wherein characters are trying and failing and trying again to become better people. By better I mean that they want to hurt people less and give compassion more.

What did you think the function of storytelling is in our world?

We live in a chaotic world. For better or worse, storytelling imposes structure on the chaos. For better or worse, we use stories like tools to carve out and refine our values, over and over. For better or worse, the values we’ve chosen based on the stories we tell then guide us through the chaos.

How did the program help you write your novel?

My thesis advisor Keith Maillard gave selfless and generous feedback over a long period of time. He was truly invested in my novel’s success. And by success, I don’t mean publication or accolades. I mean he was invested in my telling the story as best as I could at the time, in my writing in a way that felt fruitful to me, and in doing it until the book was complete.

Francine Cunningham is the social media executive for the UBC Creative Writing Alumni Association. What does that mean exactly? She is on the Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads accounts and our blog, posting information about our alumni, events and news. She also runs this interview series Alumni Interviews and loves being able to get to know the people who make this association what it is. For more information about Francine and her writing find her at


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