Hamish Downie’s Five Questions With Keith Levesque

Editor Note: Hamish has another in his series of Five Questions With…

Hamish came up with this idea because he was accumulating too much material for his Famous News Sushi column and asked if he could do these mini-interviews. Why would we say no?

Thank you Hamish for being such a trooper for us. We really appreciate all for your hard work.

Let us know what you think of these interviews in the comments below.

TGG: There are so many talented people in Japan. And today, I got to interview my former neighbour, Keith Levesque, who has his debut book out April 2. So, could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

KL: Greetings everyone! My name is Keith Levesque. I was born in Massachusetts USA on March 22nd, 1983. I would say that I am a creative writer, musician, cook, and teacher. Even at a young age I would write or obsess over history and culture, especially Asian history and culture. After acquiring a bachelor’s in English: creative writing, communication, and rhetoric at UMASS Dartmouth I began my teaching career in Jeonju, South Korea in October of 2008. There I met like-minded individuals who helped me break out of my shell and share my creative insights, eventually forming the band, Asleep Without Dreaming (AWD), as the bass player and fellow lyricist. Our collaboration pushed us forward into the South Korean indie rock scene where we experienced some recognition as a talented and upcoming indie band. We released a full-length original album called Forever Endeavor and also appeared on NHK TV, Busan City radio, and Groove Korea magazine. I moved to Osaka, Japan in February of 2014, as an English teacher, where I currently reside. In the year 2017 I met fellow musician Makoto Takasu and we formed the band Adamtree in late 2018. We continue to play and have since released an original song Two Ships on YouTube and most music streaming sites.

TGG: I love that song! I had no idea that you were in a band. And now you’ve written a book. Could you tell us about your debut book and what inspired you?

KL: Society’s (Little) Television is a collection of poetry that I wrote ranging from high school to present. It features a wide variety of topics with recurring themes. For example, I touch upon war, religion, discrimination, and capitalism. I see what people do to the planet and each other and I don’t think it bodes well for society. As a teenager I was very pessimistic and some of that remains, however, as I get older, I have met many different people from various walks of life which have inspired me to be more positive. Some of the poems that I have written reflect that love and hope that will save humanity.

TGG: Sounds like a very timely collection. What did you learn while making the book?

KL: First off, I had no idea what an ISBN was or how much it would cost for each version of the book, ebook, paperback, and hardcover if you wanted to know. That was but one process or element I needed for making a book. I wanted the release date of 3/22 which happens to be my birthday, so I found myself rushing trying to sort out the book cover or formatting for ebook and print. I learned I need to let things be as they are and that nothing will ever be 100% perfect. For me, quality comes first but sometimes I find myself just rushing through to get it done. Balance is key and that is probably the most important thing I learned while making this book.

TGG: A little bird tells me that you’re an amazing cook. What are your best tips for becoming better at cooking?

KL: I was honestly not expecting this question and I’m curious who told you, lol. For me the process of cooking is creative and therapeutic. My main tip is to be creative and cook for yourself first, it’ll be authentic and genuine. Of course, practice makes perfect so don’t worry if you don’t make a fantastic meal from the start. Following recipes definitely helps. I used to work at a Greek restaurant in high school where I was allowed to experiment while cooking my own meals during breaks at no cost. This helped me, through trial and error, to come up with flavor and texture combinations that I enjoy. I cook for myself first and hope others like it after. I have never taken lessons or had any professional training and I rarely follow a recipe. For the past 15 years I have yet to have any complaints except for maybe the occasional “it’s too spicy” comments. I used to teach cooking in Japan before COVID, but once it settles a bit, I’d be happy to show you some basics around the kitchen.

TGG: You might have to start a cooking youtube channel. I’d watch! So, finally, how can we best support you? (Where can we follow you on social media? Where can we buy your book?)

KL: To be honest the best way to support me is to just have everyone be nice to each other, accept each other’s differences and appreciate what we have as well as the planet we live on. With that said I wouldn’t be opposed to everyone buying my new book off Amazon (digital ebook or paperback) or Inspark (hardcover) to be released on March 22nd, 2022. You can also follow me on Facebook or Instagram. You can find me through the following IDs and/or links below.

Keith Levesque on Instagram and Facebook

Thank you very much for this opportunity and I also thank everyone who supports TGGeeks. I wish all of you the best in all your endeavors. I hope we can all continue to support each other for many more years to come. Cheers!

TGG: Thank you Keith Levesque for the great interview! All the best for the release of the book!

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