Episode 313

Angie Newell, author "All I See is Violence"

Published on: 22nd April, 2024

Welcome back to "Your World of Creativity," where we explore inspiration, idea organization, and launching creative work into the world. Today, we're thrilled to speak with Angie Elita Newell, author of the captivating new book, "All I See is Violence," recently released by Greenleaf Book Group.

Angie's Website



1. Angie's book weaves together the stories of a woman warrior, a ruthless general, and a single mother, offering a unique perspective on the legacy of a stolen nation.

2. Drawing from her background in history and literature, Angie discusses her journey of blending academic research with creative writing and her First Nations heritage.

3. Angie shares insights into her creative process, highlighting the importance of vulnerability and expressing truth in storytelling.

4. Through her novel, Angie explores deep historical and cultural insights, challenging romanticized versions of history and emphasizing the need for critical thinking.

5. Looking ahead, Angie provides a glimpse into her next project, a story about Geronimo and the Apache community, promising another fascinating exploration of history and wisdom.

Key Quote from Angie:

"I think you get to these points when you're writing and you're working as an artist where you have a small moment where you're like, I wonder if I should not write that. I want to write that, but I wonder if other people read this, should I not write that? Should I not share that, be, like, that vulnerable? And you said that in your beginning, so you have to and in choosing vulnerability, which I did, you learn a deeper version of yourself. Yeah. You end up, you're expressing truth now. You're not expressing an illusion."

Don't miss this insightful conversation with Angie Elita Newell, available on all major podcast platforms. Remember, embracing diverse perspectives and telling untold stories can pave the way for a more enlightened world.



Tune in next time as we continue our creative journey around the globe. Until then, keep unlocking your world of creativity.


Welcome back friends to our podcast, your world of creativity. And we do travel the world talking to creative practitioners about their inspiration and where they get their ideas, but also how they gain the confidence and connections to launch the work out into the world. And I'm so happy today to be talking with Angie Alita Newell.

Angie, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for having me. Angie is the author of a great new book called All I See is Violence, and it's been described as a woman warrior, a ruthless general, and a single mother, with those three stories braided together in the legacy of a stolen nation. It's just out from, Greenleaf Book Group.

Angie, what an exciting time to actually have the book launched, after I know the creative journey that you must have gone through to write it and get it published. .

I'm sure that's every writer's journey, right? You think Oh, okay, I got this book done. Now. Now I can just put it out there.

But it's almost like producing like a music album. There's things you don't even think about, like typesetting, you're like,

Wow never thought of this. Exactly.

It's on pages, so it's good, right?

That's right. And what a creative journey even to get to the book. You're a historian by background.

You're blending this whole idea of academic history and university degrees and literature and creative writing, but also with your First Nations background yourself. Where did you decide that you wanted to write this historical fiction kind of genre? I've

been in love with historical fiction since I can remember.

k with me. And I remember the:

had it was through like this:

And it just came back to my ancestral lineage, but I I got really into the code talkers and my my mother was an air force pilot. So we have a story. I have a very strong military connection in my family. So just looking at, indigenous participation in that and like the duality to that is that we're really oppressed by these governments, but we've had a lot of honor to represent them.

Yes. Interesting overlap.

Definitely. And so that led to like spirituality. I was

going to say, was that, there was this, you say spiritual, I can see that, this historical connection then to your own family, your own roots, your own heritage.

Oh, definitely. And then you start like Looking in like the spiritual teachings of our ancestors that sort of, in, it's almost mind blowing that it manages to make it through that level of oppression and indoctrination.

Because we're coming out of indigenous people in North America, we're coming out of the residential and boarding school era. So what they did is that they took all the indigenous children and they placed them in these centers, these education facilities that were run by government appointed educators and different factions of Christian churches, predominantly, Roman Catholic, and they abused these kids to forget who and what they were to implement, their version of truth.

So somehow, our, our spiritual worldview makes it out of there, and we still want to participate in the army.

Yes, but I still want to represent that country.

For sure. So that really, because I grew up in that, that really intrigued me. And, it's coming to this understanding there's not this disassociation between all these beings that, facilitates hate, there's this universal love despite all these things that have happened there's still this grounded knowing that this oneness, it doesn't that transcends, gender, ethnicity, All these different constructs have been implemented upon our perspective.

So how do I put that all into one novel?

And these diverse characters, all the way from the Cheyenne warrior, Little Wolf to General Custer and your character, Nancy Swift Fox. How did you think about Telling the three stories, but weaving them together.

I started with General Custer. So I'm Canadian and I was raised, I was born to the Northwest Territories and ended up being raised in like a shitty suburb of Vancouver.

And so like that, that Custer that like American history, like we're not taught that. I didn't come across that till university. And it what preceded that was a conversation with an elder and we were sitting at this Musqueam feast and he just turned to me. He's did you know that they were female warriors?

And that was just that one sentence. And here I was trained as a historian and I was like, no. So I started archival research and, dimes to donuts. There it was, almost 50 percent of the warriors that the U. S. military met in the field were female. So I started, and that, in that research, I was led to general Custer, he wrote all these memoirs.

And, he's a very flamboyant character. You couldn't help but love this person even though there's so many narcissistic tendencies. And he was a valiant fighter when you start going through the American Civil War and the different battles that he participated in. He was very intelligent.

He was well versed. He made smart decisions. To have this person Have what went down, big one was shocking. And so someone that came into that story with no background like it was like a Shakespearean tragedy. Like I couldn't believe it. I was like, fam unbelievable. And for someone that, was so confident and had one of these like big, decisive battles against like really strong opponents to go up, against, a handful of at this point, they're calling them, they're calling them bands or tribes, because, the there, we have this like westward expansion.

Mansion and these indigenous groups are being broken up, right? So they're, essentially it's a genocide. So you have these like little kind of like ragtag groups of people. So they're not even at their full strength that they would have been, a hundred years preceding that. So to have Custer go up against them and lose, it was like, what the heck just happened?

So it really interested me.

Yeah this is where yes, it's fiction, so you could say the creative process of writing a novel, but you also have to take this research and, sort of legitimacy approach to telling the story, right?

Oh, 100%. So I'm trained as a historian. So I based it in archival research and all my information in there I, it was essentially like I was writing like a PhD dissertation, like everything I could like annotate and I had like massive amount of, documents and books that I went through to get and then I combine that just with like little snippets or melders.

So we had a convergence of information and the more information I saw, like it was like synchronicity, like information was just dropped on my lap or I would just meet somebody and it just built from there. And so it ended up taking a little bit longer than it should have because I had to like really, think oh, how do I tie this all in?

And so where we get the:

He escapes Canada, he comes back and he starts like facilitating like a new spirituality. And so what happened is that the U S government sees this and this renewal of faith and they go in and they start this. So I didn't include that in there, but that also happened between those two events, but all on the same spot.

So that, that interested me as well.

Yeah. I couldn't help but wonder as you were writing this, your own revelations and what came to you, as an indigenous person yourself and as this indigenous writer, did you feel that you were trying to. Unseal, uncover, reveal new facts because oftentimes we think, oh, we know all about that, the army and little bighorn.

Yeah. But you're taking a different angle at revealing some of these new insights.

Oh, definitely. Like it's, even looking at the concept of race. So that doesn't come up like the idea of that doesn't even emerge in our worldview and Western society to the late 19th century.

These people, they wouldn't have had any, Oh, the white people are bad, like that the indigenous people wouldn't have thought like that. And you can actually see there's a heavy prevalence of mixed race going on. And I've, I've spoken about this as a few other people. Yeah.

General Custer, when they're negotiating the treaty, the Fort Laramie Treaty, he's specifically saying you've got to keep those squaw men out. So the squaw men were the white, Americans that married Indigenous women, so it's a matriarchal society. So if I were to get married, then my husband would take my name and he would be expected to come into my community.

And so these men left, whatever American. Existence colonial existence they had and went essentially Indian. And so they, the government targeted them and called them the US government targeted them and called them squad men because when they started negotiating the treaties because they had a, a broader worldview of how that system work.

They could negotiate a better deal. So they were like, no, these people got to go. And of course, the, they had children and those children's rank, they rose up through the ranks as well. And you have, chiefs like Quanah, who is half white that, became very respected, chiefs and guiding members.

So we have this like mismatch, like we don't just have this, linear. And then there's also I didn't get into it in this book, cause I didn't really find it in those tribes that I was studying. But We have like African American slaves and they went on to form like whole like half like, indigenous like black Indians, essentially, and then the flip side of that I couldn't include in this book either you have freed African American slaves that go on to, fight in the military and they form whole, infantry groups and they're also fighting the Indians.

So you have all these like dualistic sort of things going on. And it's all none of it's like black and white. It's all gray. Like it depends on the individual. So you see like right now when things are being taught Oh no, those people are bad. It's like that's a pretty someone who's like doing something unethical is Super individualistic and irregardless of ethnicity.

Yes. And I wondered what you thought of that idea. And it's so controversial in schools now. And that, we're calling it critical race theory. Like somehow we're criticizing the I guess actions of our past and we're supposed to feel bad about that. But where does the reconciliation, where does the sort of, apologetic or reparation kind of movement start coming into these thoughts?

Yeah. That's a big question. Yeah. That's a huge question. It's all on your shoulders, Angie. We're

looking for the answer. There is there, there's something I got into this book as well. There's another dualistic nature in that the indigenous people weren't necessarily fighting for indigenous rights, right?

We have the indigenous people who, signed deals with the U S government and became scouts and hunted the under in the other Indians to get them in line. So I think I don't agree with that at all. Like we can't criticize. We need to look as like observers from like a nonjudgmental point of view.

Cause as soon as you start casting judgment, you have that duality and that goes against indigenous spirituality that goes against our worldview. And that's what our ancestors fought for. So we need to remember these things so we don't repeat them. But you have to look at it from a non judgmental point of view.

And like what the school systems appear to be doing is reinforcing judgments. And that's like the worst thing we can do for our children. We should be as, we're the adults and we need to, not act like children.

Very strong. And just thinking about the stories, not only in your novel, but in others, but the idea that hearing each other, and knowing your stories can help bridge those gaps.

Do you think?

Oh, definitely. So like I as I mentioned, I grew up on, 19th century English fiction, like English literature, like out of England. Like I had a very turbulent Childhood and I've really connected with Oliver Twist like that was a book like I would go back to again and again.

And here I am, I'm not male, I'm a female, I'm not white, I'm indigenous. But having that sort of empathy, and that connection to the human, experience, I think opens up those boundaries. Great.

What other messages or takeaways do you think readers might take away from the book?

It's a very provocative title to begin with. All I see is violence.

Yeah, that ended up being like one of the Okay, I don't think this is a spoiler, but it ends up being like one of the sentences towards the end of the novel, but like my working title was Custer's Last Stand. So it's funny how I was happy with that title.

But like, when you're in the creative process, you're like, Oh, that's good enough for now. That's just yeah that's why I know okay, that's like Custer notebook I'm looking for. So I pick up my Custer last stand. That was a very violent point in history, not just an American issue, like you see we're actually witnessing that now, like we're watching these sort of, historical patterns play out on a global stage.

And so there's lots of wars in Europe at this point in time, like the US is in chaos. Canada has got its own, like little chaotic thing going on. So it's like the world's in like upheaval.

And where can we take that? In other words can't we say that we know more than we did then? And like you said earlier, that we learn in order to not repeat these things.

Oh, definitely. Definitely. You have to you have to not acquiesce into that paradigm of hate. You have to stand firm and no we're not going to cast judgment. We're just going to observe and we're going to figure out, a compromise. Like I, I'm a mother to children and, when they're toddlers, it's you're like a UFC referee as they grow and develop.

And you have these like good talks and they're getting older. Like my kids no longer physically fight. Like now, once in a while there's some like harsh, like tones, but even there, like the language is pretty neutral, they express like emotional frustration, but that's what you hope to ground in your children, right?

Like you get out of two, three and it's no, you don't need to punch someone in the face to get your point across. So like if. If I think that can apply to the world. Very good. I

do too.

Well, we're talking with Angie Alita Newell about her new book, All I See is Violence. Angie, I wondered if you could read a little excerpt and so we can get a feel for the tone. I find myself weaving through the frozen trees. There is a river nearby. A deep part I'd seen in the daylight had thin ice.

They had been ice fishing on it earlier in the week. I see it where I had left it. A rock the size of my head at the base of a spruce that reminded me of my brother and the games we used to play. I think of my mother sitting in the tall grass weaving baskets. Her fingers so slender, deft, and quick, and my father smiling and sharpening his axe.

I walk towards the rock and find myself singing a song the women who had been there, who had seen what I had seen, brought back to the agency with them. Long hair, long hair, I was short of grunts, and you brought me many. Long hair, long hair, I was short of horses, and you brought me many.

I stop singing and feel someone looking at me.

I look behind me, under the first glow of the rising sun. I see Shaw some distance from me. I pause, waiting for her to come to me, to tell me I'm foolish. I feel the words come from my mouth in a scream. Today is a good day to die, I call to her, the words I carry to her on the wind. So good. Thanks for sharing that.

That's Angie Alita Newell, reading from her new book, All I See is Violence, just out now from Greenleaf Book Group.

  We've been talking about some of these deep historical and cultural insights.

But what about your own creative process? What did you learn about yourself in the creative development process?

I think you get to these points when you're writing and you're working as an artist where you have a small moment where you're like, I wonder if I should not write that. I want to write that, but I wonder if other people read this, should I not write that?

Should I not share that, be, like, that vulnerable? And you you said that in your beginning, so you have to and in choosing vulnerability, which I did, you learn a deeper version of yourself. Yeah. You end up, you're expressing truth now. You're not expressing an illusion.

So I think people can connect with that. And I think if you're not in that vulnerable, truthful state, I think that truth rubs you the wrong way.

And what is it about, boy, that, that word vulnerability, it comes up a lot, that we need to be our real selves and, show more of ourselves than maybe would feel comfortable with.

So that really struck with you. As you were developing this book, huh, that there were parts that you said, I'm not sure I should be showing that side of myself or my thoughts or what have you. Or

like my perspective on what's going on with the Indigenous communities because They're, they need healing.

I come out of that, like I see what's going on and it's like you get to a point in your growth and development where I was reaching when I was developing this novel where you're like observing and you're like, Whoa. Whoa, like, why are so many people in prison? Why is there so much domestic violence?

Why is there so much sexual violence? What is going on here? Like, why are reservations like prison camps? And so as I'm an inquisitive mind. I just always ask like, why instead of, I, a younger version of me would have gotten upset and I no longer get angry because you're observing because you're coming from that vulnerability where you're okay.

To explore these two. So it's one thing doing that on a personal level. It's another doing it on a public level. So you get to that point as an artist, you're like, okay like I like accepted, I'm exploring these truths, but should I share these truths? And even like the different indigenous, knowledge shared from you from the elders we get into like ceremonies and the sun dance, like those are based off of true stories and that like connection to the divine and how they would like summon that sort of connection and that sort of, they didn't have one day where they went to worship, like they worshiped like every minute of every day, like everything was, essentially like a religious ceremony, whether it was, Gathering your food, like sitting to eat, like celebrating a marriage, celebrating a birth, like honoring a death.

There's all these different, like pretty stringent protocols. And there's no jails because if you didn't conform, they just asked you to leave and chances are like you wouldn't survive. So you're like I don't want to do these things. I want to do bad things, but I'm not going to survive on my own.

So like they didn't take any prisoners, like you either reform the killed you or you're just exiled.

Huh? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. You talk about maybe reactions and you mentioned judgment before, but what have been some of the reactions? It's great to read the reviews. In other words, Hey, it's a work of art.

It's a great book, which it is. But what about in your community? Have you received?

They're actually really excited. They're like, Whoa, somebody finally said the quiet part,

what I was thinking too. Yes. Yeah.

They're like, yes, finally someone saying it. I don't want to write it if I'm like, like you see these sort of like romanticized versions of what's going on.

Like I, I wanted, like when you read like Ernest Hemingway, there's a harshness to his prose. Like I wanted to have like that, that, like that fiction that guided me as, a small human kind of anchor in that, like those people weren't scared to tell the truth, whether you were, looking at Shakespeare, you're looking at Hemingway or looking at Virginia Woolf, like you're looking at T.

S. Eliot, like they, they were like, They weren't afraid to be like, yeah, this is this is how I see it. Channeling that confidence. And I think and a lot of ways right now talking about like critical race theory, like people are starting to operate and like group think it's no like those writers at that point in time, and, Western culture, they really celebrated critical thinking and individuality.

And so I. I ended up doing my undergraduate degree in England, and there they were like, No, don't tell me what you like what you read tell me what you think. And having that sort of anchor my education, like, gave me the courage to to step forward with that. But when I came back to Canada, I went to the university of British Columbia and that was inverted.

It was like, Oh don't really tell me what you think. Tell me reiterate, like paraphrase another historian. I could see like the duality in the education there. And that was a long time ago. Now, that was like 20 years ago. So I don't know what it's like now.

That's ancient history.



We talk about learning how to think, and this goes to the heart of this creativity podcast event. It's we're trying to think. creatively. And sometimes many people have said, the schools beat it out of us and conforming and just echoing what other people have said.

But you're really underscoring this idea that we need to be critical, not meaning judgmental necessarily or criticism, but we need to be critical in our thinking. That's true.

So I went to public school in Canada, and I've always been a critical thinker, and in elementary school and high school, I got in a lot of trouble.

Yeah, we're not always big fans of critical thinking in

elementary school. It I got an email through my website as someone I went to high school with, who I haven't spoken to, in 20 or some odd years, And I actually had forgotten that and they brought it up in the email because they wanted a signed copy of my book because they were like, you were never afraid to tell the teachers the truth.

I think it's, it's, deciding that you can live in your truth, but from a loving way, like it doesn't have to be this combative sort of like me against them. It's just Oh no, I'm just like, I'm just a human expressing my perspective. And, I'll literally read like anything.

Like I'm super open minded when it comes to other people's art as well. So if you're going to, teach that medicine, you have to be able to take that medicine.

And I know you're relishing in the book just being released. So I'm not going to say, so what's that everybody?

What's next? I want to enjoy what I got.

It's like a child that's grown up and gone out of the house. Now all I see is violence is like, Oh you're on your own. Now I'm moving on to, my next egg and I'm working, I'm currently working on a story about Geronimo. And we like general crook. He makes it through the battle of little bighorn.

And he gets assigned to Geronimo and Geronimo is a. fascinating figure because they weren't able to capture him. They kept on trying to imprison him and he kept on getting away. So he ends up fighting the U. S. military for close to three decades. And so he fought alongside, the warrior chief, Magnus Colorado, Cochise, we have Victorio.

And Victorio had a sister, Those in who was a medicine woman and fought alongside them. And there's a whole, team here. We go again indigenous female warriors in this Apache community. So I'm just finishing out my archival research with that. I'm just starting to craft the story and there's like a tremendous amount of like wisdom in there.

That kind of, is similar to this book, but then totally different on its own.

It's exciting. It's really exciting. Yeah, that's good. You already have that percolating. That's good. Love that. Very good. Angie, I can't thank you enough for the wonderful conversation and telling us kind of the insights and the backstories of the book.

Thanks for being on the show. Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. And where can we go to find more about you and your work?

I have a website, Angie Alita, Newell com, and then there's an Instagram link there. And then you can find me on, all the major book places, .

We'll definitely be checking those out and listeners this idea that we can take history and look at it from different views, different angles.

Just the three characters in Angie's book, but look at how many ways we've explored today, how we need to appreciate the stories that other people bring. And maybe that'll help the world be a better place. I think it definitely will. Very good. Listeners come back again. Next time we've stamped our creative passport in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada today, but we're going to continue around the world journeys.

And we'll be talking to creative practitioners everywhere about how they get inspired and organize their ideas, but most of all, how they make the connections and gain the confidence to launch their work out into the world. So until next time I'm Mark Stinson, and we'll keep on locking. Your world of creativity.

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About the Podcast

Your World of Creativity
Catalyst of Inspiration, Stories, and Tools to Get Your Work Out Into the World
On YOUR WORLD OF CREATIVITY, best-selling author and global brand innovator, Mark Stinson introduces you to some of the world’s leading creative talent from publishing, film, animation, music, restaurants, medical research, and more.

In every episode, you'll discover:
- How to tap into your most original thinking.
- Inspiration from the experts’ own experience.
- Specific tools, exercises, and formulas to organize your ideas.
- And most of all, you’ll learn how to make connections

 and create opportunities to publish, post, record, display, sell, market, and promote
 your creative work.

Listen for the latest insights for creative people who want to stop questioning themselves and overcome obstacles to launch their creative endeavors out into the world.

Connect with Mark at www.Mark-Stinson.com

About your host

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Mark Stinson

Mark Stinson has earned the reputation as a “brand innovator” -- an experienced marketer, persuasive writer, dynamic presenter, and skilled facilitator. His work includes brand strategy and creative workshops. He has contributed to the launches of more than 150 brands, with a focus on health, science, and technology companies. Mark has worked with clients ranging from global corporations to entrepreneurial start-ups. He is a recipient of the Brand Leadership Award from the Asia Brand Congress and was included in the PharmaVoice 100 Most Inspiring People in the Life-Sciences Industry.