Saturday, August 1, 2009

Interview w/ Poet luminoUS

What was the first poem that inspired you?

I was first inspired by my classmates who often wrote poetry. Reading and reviewing their pieces inspired my creativity.

Who is your favorite poet/s? Why?

Nikki Giovanni- her first poem to capture my attention was 'Ego Tripping'. Kim (on the show A Different World) read it on an episode and it really caught my attention. I've had the pleasure of meeting her and I truly enjoy her imagery.

Maya Angelou- her wisdom and definitive voice. People really feel her presence no matter what format she is in i.e. movies, interviews, speeches, etc. 

Rebecca Dupas- she ministers through her writing and we have similar writing style.

On a typical day, how do you record your thoughts?

I use status updates on twitter that sometimes turn into a poem. I also use my blackberry notes application to jot down thoughts. My thoughts often come through like a screen play in the sound of a voice over character- they form like a story book.

If you could have a conversation with a poet, who would it be? What 2 questions would you like to ask them?

These ladies are noted as songstress not poets but there is a lot of poetry in their music: 
Erykah Badu and Jill Scott

Questions that I would ask both of them:

How do you paint the picture that you paint with your words?
Where does your inspiration come from.

What words of wisdom would you give to an aspiring poet?

Whatever your thoughts are, write them down. Everything is a draft, you can always go back and add color to it...

What value to you feel poetry add to the world?

Compassion. It expresses sentiments that people don't pay attention to. Poetry helps you visualize.

What is your definition of creative?

Creativity is life! Creativity and life are synonymous. Life allows creativity to give birth to an idea.

Read more about luminoUS

Interview w/ Author Saundra E. Harris

1. How long have you been writing? When and why did it all begin?

I’ve been writing all of my life, however, professionally I started on a dare from my cousin. She stated that I had such colorful stories and that I should put them down on paper. I did that and banged out 7 chapters, gave them to her to read and she photocopied them and gave them to her coworkers. The response was positive so my first novel THE PARTY grew from that

2. What inspired your first project?

Two things…First, I love to party…hence the title of the first and second novels. Second I am motivated by men and sex and the inner workings of relationships. I had recently gotten out of a 15 yr relationship, immediately jumped into another one and had no clue about myself and what it was I wanted. I also looked around at women and saw how they turned a blind eye to any/all indescritions and/or habit forming vices and I realized that I was just like them. I didn’t like that, so I started writing about it.

3. What genre of books do you write? Are there any other genre’s you may consider?

Currently I write women’s fiction, multicultural romance, and books on relationships. I am considering writing a historical account of my family on my father’s side…we have a huge and accomplished history and the family historian is aging…so I might venture into that. I would want to do it justice, so I have to see.

4. Do you have a particular writing style? 

I write the way in which I talk and the way in which I read. I am a reader of dialogue, I do not need a lot of background to set a scene, I just want the meat of the story. I understand that some people need the scene set, so I do what I must when writing, but when I read, authors would be upset, because I would not be able to tell them much of the details i.e. weather, seasons, time, etc. I don’t identify myself as a traditional writer that walks around with a journal or a DVR. If an idea comes to me, I see it and just sit at the PC and start typing.

5. Who or what has influenced your writing?

I’m influenced by relationships and for my love of the written word. 

6. What has been the most rewarding part of being an author?

Having people enjoy what I write in my novels and my op-ed pieces that I post on my blog. Additionally, winning an award from Romantic Times Magazine for THE PARTY in 2005 was a huge honor as well. I won the 2005 Reviewers choice award for Best African American Romance by a first time novelist. Huge honor!

7. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your writing career?

Never underestimate the power of a good editor and that authors do not make good editors. With my first book THE PARTY, I have had the book edited 3 times and have paid over $2800 and the book is still not edited as tight as I like it…but I am not editing it anymore. That is what I stress to new author’s the most…

8. If you weren’t a writer what other career would you chose?

Teaching of some sort…I like to inspire people to reach their full potential.

9. If you could have one author as a mentor, who would it be? Why?

Brenda Jackson because of the way in which she writes about love and family. I am an incurable romantic and she has created sagas of prominent and loving African American families which reminds me of my family and its good to see that and read that. 

10. What book is currently on your night stand?

First Family and The Whole Truth by David Baldacci

11. What authors would we find most on your bookshelf?

Well of course you would find my books, but you’d definitely find Brenda Jackson, Diana Palmer, Rochele Alers, and E. Lynn Harris in book form and in CD form I have James Patterson and David Baldacci…

12. What words of wisdom would you give to an aspiring author?

The best thing an aspiring author can do is research the industry. All of the information is out there, however, if they wish to read more about publishing I suggest two books…Dan Poynter’s Self Publishing Manual and The Complete Guide to Self Publishing by Tom and Marilyn Ross.