Tell us about you, your writing (themes, influences, etc.)
I am the oldest of two children. I was born in Pittsburgh, PA USA but I grew up in a rural town called Conneautville. I graduated from Linesville High School in 2005. I went on to college, and graduated in December 2009 from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a degree in English-Literature.
Thematically, I write about a bunch of topics: how I was bullied as a girl, about how I have been used and abused by so called friend or people who were supposed to care, sexual assault, about finding my voice and how I refuse to surrender it, self-love, politics, feminism, nature, and even the things that haunt and scare me among other things. I write fantasy, I write horror, and I write the weird. Almost everything I write fiction wise has a genre.
As far as my influences go everyone and everything I have ever read can inspire poems. The biggest players in the writing field that have done this are: Edgar Allan Poe, e.e. cummings, T.S. Eliot, Adrienne Rich, J.K. Rowling, Emily Dickinson, Anne Rice, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien. I am one of those writers that is inspired by mostly anything: nature, music, other books, other writers, etc. I think I am lucky in that way that inspiration can strike me anywhere and at any time.
2. What are some of the ways you promote your work, and do you find these add, or eat into, your time writing?
Promoting is always the hardest part for me. I don’t want to be overly zealous and promote too much because there are some writers that irritate me with how much they are constantly promoting, and I automatically tune them out. I don’t want people to do that to me.
So I post when the work comes out, obviously, and I periodically post to remind people that the book is still available or if there are any sales going on.
I find that these posts tend to eat into my writing time as I work a 40 hr job, as well, but I understand the necessity and need for it. If no one knows about your work, how will you be found? I just find it frustrating, that’s all. Especially when people refuse to help you promote and share.
3. What projects are you working on at present?
I’m currently working on a fantasy novel centering around a black female protagonist who happens to be an elf and a chapbook that I was going to call Reviled or Entitled, but I think will instead call by one of the names of another poems in the book: “even ugly girls are pretty”. Even Ugly Girls Are Pretty is a chapbook centered around the concept of body image, owning one’s body, and how frustrating it is that sometimes people feel “entitled” to one’s body when it is not their own. I’m also going to be submitting to presses where I could be published both online and in print for my poetry, short stories, essays, etc.
4. What does poetry mean to you?
Poetry has always been very meaningful to me. It is a way of making a statement without being interrupted. It is a way to find out about one’s self in relationship to the world. It is a way of telling someone something without being too in their face, just giving them another perspective or point of view they may not have otherwise considered. It is also a way to call attention to matters that are important that people don’t always like to talk about.
I like poetry because to me it is like music lyrics. It can be deep and meaningful or playful and immature, but there is always a statement to be made regardless of the format. The most important thing is being heard in a world that is sometimes too full of noise for my liking.
The chapbook My Wing Were Made to Fly is about the difficulties that sometimes arise in loving one’s self, pressing through fears and doubts to accomplish dreams, the importance of loving one’s self, of how one can only be themselves and to be anyone else would be a waste of who they are, the power and importance of dreams, how one must prove themselves to be of worth to themselves before they can convince anyone else they are worth it, of how sensitivity and kindness aren’t weaknesses but rather strengths, and how one cannot be caught up in comparisons or the negativity opinions of others if they wish to press on with their dreams.