Author Interview with Shelby Leigh. Talking about her new poetry collection changing with the tides.

 

 

 

1, Tell us a little about your new book changing with the tides, and the inspiration behind it?

changing with the tides is my newest poetry book, inspired by my own journey and experience with anxiety and insecurity. It’s broken into two parts, the anchor and the sail, to depict the things that have held me down in the past and how I’ve overcome them.

2, changing with the tides is your second book, it starts like this was your debut. You chose to self-publish both books. What were the reasons behind this decision?

I put together my first book after I wrote a poem a day for a year on my blog, and readers encouraged me to self-publish. It wasn’t something I had ever considered, but once I researched it, I decided it was a good fit for me. I think self-publishing is an amazing path for writers to consider. While I would love to go the traditional publishing route one day, self-publishing has allowed me to be in control of the process and learn a lot about writing books along the way.

3, What have been some of the positives, and some of the negatives, you have experienced with self-publishing?

There are definitely both pros and cons to self-publishing! I like that I am in control of how my book turns out. I can follow my own timeline and work with an artist to create the cover I have in my mind. At the same time, when you self-publish, you do it all on your own. Of course you can hire outside editors and designers to help, but you have to pay out of pocket for those services. Additionally, you have to do the marketing on your own, and you won’t have as wide of distribution when you self-publish.

4, How do you feel that your writing has developed, and changed, between the writing of it starts like this and changing with the tides?

I’d like to think there’s a big difference between my first and second book, in terms of both my writing and my personal growth. This new book is a lot more honest and vulnerable, so even if there isn’t a big difference in my writing style, I think I’ve grown a lot in my ability to share more personal details. In terms of publishing itself, I’ve also learned a lot. My first book is a collection of favorite poems from my year-long writing challenge, whereas the poems in my second collection were written specifically to tell a story.

5, Which period of your life do you find you write about most often? (child, teenager, young adult)

My first book is about my teenage years because I was 19 when I published it. Now, I write mostly about my young adult life so far, with the occasional childhood/teenage poem thrown in there too!

6, What did you edit out of changing with the tides?

There were about 20 poems eliminated from the collection in total. These were either poems that I felt weren’t strong enough, didn’t fit well into the narrative, or poems I wasn’t yet ready to share. I also had 4 beta-readers who gave me feedback and helped me decide which poems I needed to keep and remove.

7, How many hours a day do you write?

Sometimes zero, sometimes a few! I can go weeks without writing, or I can write every day for months. Even if I’m not feeling particularly motivated, I try to write at least a little each day, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen (and that’s okay!)

8, Which other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you, in terms of feedback and marketing?

I am so fortunate to have many friends in the writing community who inspire me and help me. My beta readers included Amanda Linsmeier, Marya Layth, Adelle Woods, and Sasha Temerte– all wonderful poets themselves! Cheyenne Raine was a huge help with my website. So grateful for these poets and many, many others!

9, What is your writing Kryptonite?

Experimenting with new styles and formats can be hard because I’ve gotten comfortable with the same writing style for a while now. I definitely challenged myself in my new book to experiment and get out of my comfort zone, which I’m proud of.

10, Who designed the covers of your books, and how much input did you have with their design?

Islam Farid designed the cover for changing with the tides and is a very talented artist. He came up with the initial idea and I provided feedback so we could create something we both loved.



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Four Questions with Dane Cobain ( @danecobain )

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Dane Cobain

1, Tell us about you, and your writing (themes, influences etc.)

Sure! So my name is Dane Cobain and I write in a range of different genres and formats encompassing fiction, non-fiction and poetry. My books are quirky and a little bit weird, and I like to write things that reflect both my own life and the society in which I live. For example, my first fiction book, a supernatural thriller novella called No Rest for the Wicked, takes a look at the war between science and religion and how we’re all guilty of “sin” to a certain extent. My first full length novel, Former.ly: The Rise and Fall of a Social Network, is about a social networking site for the dead. You sign up, post updates that are visible only to yourself until you die, when your profile goes public.
For my poetry, I memorise and perform it and so it’s generally best read aloud. It uses a lot of stream-of-consciousness and wordplay as well as the sound of language itself to paint pictures. My poetry is arguably the most autobiographical of all of my work, and I’ve written about everything from anxiety disorder to binge drinking and getting freaked out by police dogs at an airport.

2, What are some of the ways in which you promote your work, and do you find these add, or eat into, your time writing?

I use a specific productivity routine that allows me to focus on different areas, so the marketing stuff rarely cuts into the writing time. Funnily enough, interviews like these come under my writing time because it involves me writing a bunch of answers, but it doesn’t cut into my time too much.
I’m pretty active on social networking sites and also have a mailing list, but I actually find that the main avenues for me to promote my work are my book blog (www.SocialBookshelves.com) and my BookTube channel (www.youtube.com/danecobain). I use both of them to talk about the books that I read, but it also increases exposure for my own books and helps me to get the word out there.
It’s a balancing act though, and I’d love to be rich enough and famous enough to be able to hire PR and marketing agencies and to only spend my time talking to national TV and radio hosts. At the moment, I’m not. So working on marketing and stuff myself is the only real option.

3, What projects are you working on at present?

As always, I have a bunch of projects on the go. The second book in my series of detective novels is edited and ready to go, but the first one has recently been picked up by a small publisher and so the rest of those are on hold until I figure out the lay of the land. The third one is already written and is currently going through its second of three rounds of edits, so I’m ahead of the game a little bit there.
As for poetry, I’m about 60-70% complete on my second collection, Kiss Kiss Death Death. That should be out within the next year or so, but we’ll see.
Finally, I’m working on a bunch of first drafts and plans for other stuff. My main writing project at the moment is my memoirs, which I’m tentatively calling “My Life in Books”, and after that I’m going to start working on a novel called Real Monsters, which I’ve been describing as Lord of the Rings meets Spinal Tap.

4, What does poetry mean to you?

I think Leonard Cohen put it best when he said, “Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.”


eyeslikecobain


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Four Questions with Deryn Pittar ( @derynpittar )

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Deryn Pittar

1, Tell us about you, and your writing (themes, influences etc.)

Hi, so great to be here and to talk to you Kate. I live in New Zealand, which with the internet and social media is only a click away from the rest of the world. I write mostly stories with a sci.fi./paranormal/fantasy theme, although I have several contemporary romance novellas in anthologies. I’ve written Y.A. and even a cozy mystery. I like to challenge myself with a different genre occasionally. In between all this I write poetry. Again I like the challenge of different forms and have tried a lot of them. I’m a sucker for haiku. It’s trying to write in the ‘now’ moment and to say as much as possible in as few words as possible. It’s not just a simple 5-7-5 syllable thing. Sometimes the syllable count doesn’t matter that much. It’s deeper than that when you get into it, and a good haiku is a thing of beauty with the image it creates for the reader.

2, What are some of the ways in which you promote your work, and do you find these add, or eat into, your time writing?

I’ve tried blogs and a website and given up on them. I now stick to twitter and Face book and yes, both eat into my time and I sometimes wonder why I bother. It’s really hard work promoting your work for little feedback and reward. However, the writing bug continues to niggle, so I never really stop creating worlds and characters.

3, What projects are you working on at present?

I’m currently writing a romance which involves a wager taken by two guardian angels about their respective charges. It’s a challenge to include the various points of view, plus I’m trying to make this one into a full length novel. I’m a tiger to write novellas, which causes some complaints among my reviewers – who want MORE and get cross when the story finishes.

4, What does poetry mean to you?

Poetry makes me happy. It’s the joy of playing with words so that they flow in a beat, although not necessarily in rhyme at the end of each line; perhaps a rhyme midline at times.
Again it’s the challenge of removing every unnecessary word (like editing fiction) yet painting a picture or story with the words you have left. Like fiction poetry can be realistic or fanciful, sad or joyful.


Here are two haiku examples: both have been published.


forget-me-nots
on an old cracked jug –
my mother’s smile


standing by the water
discussing tides and traffic
a gossip of dinghies


Amazon Author page // Goodreads

Facebook // Twitter // Tumblr


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Four Questions with Patricia M. Osborne ( @PMOsborneWriter )

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Patricia M. Osborne

 

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1, Tell us about you, and your writing (themes, influences etc.)

I’m a writer in my early 60s, married, a mother to three, and grandmother to five and although I was born in Liverpool I live in West Sussex. I have just finished the end of a four-year study for an MA in Creative Writing with the University of Brighton. As a writer, I am a novelist and poet which work perfectly as a combination for me because I don’t always have time to get into novel mode but can always start a new poem. I love nature, myth and folklore, and all these influence my poetry.

2, What are some of the ways in which you promote your work, and do you find these add, or eat into, your time writing?

I use Facebook, Twitter, and have a blog which I intend to be more active on now the MA has finished. I’ve dabbled in Instagram but need to understand this better and I’ve yet to tackle Pinterest. Does it eat into writing time? Yes it does and sometimes Twitter can be tedious. I have a routine: marketing in the morning, along with critique and editing, which leaves the afternoon/evening free for my writing time. Of course life gets in the way too, but I do my best to keep to the structure. My muse works better later in the day so in a way it’s a perfect plan as I can be thinking about what I want to write while marketing.
I haven’t published a collection of poetry yet but I am working on it. However, I’ve had many individual poems published in anthologies and magazines and even had a first prize win for my poem Grandad’s Garden. I was inspired to write this poem following a poetry workshop run by Alison Chisholm at Swanwick Writers’ Summer School in 2017 when she handed us all a pinecone.


Grandad’s Garden

I turn the cone upside down,
it changes to a flower,
like the dahlias
in Grandad’s garden
where creepy earwigs
hide inside.

I paint my pinecone fiery orange,
use a green-striped straw for the stem,

wrap it in mistletoe paper,
place it under the tree
as a special present
for Mummy
on Christmas Day,

to make her smile,
cos she cries in bed, every night,
since Grandad died.

More of my published poems may be found on my website.


3, What projects are you working on at present?

I’ve just finished a collection of poetry for my MA dissertation titled ‘Spirit Mother’ based on myth, folklore and legend around trees. This has been an interesting and exciting project. I’m hoping to get this published later this year or early next year. I am also working on my second novel, ‘The Coal Miner’s Son,’ and a cover reveal along with releasing the first four chapters is imminent. This works as a sequel to my debut novel, House of Grace, A Family Saga, or may be read as a standalone.

4, What does poetry mean to you?

Poetry for me is story telling in a few words and I love story telling which is why most of my poetry is written in narrative form. I love the way my subjects spring to life through layering and editing. Poetry, along with all writing, gives me the opportunity to escape to any place or any time of my choosing and I can be anyone or anything I want to be.


Where can you find me?
Facebook: Patricia M Osborne, Writer
Twitter: PMOsborneWriter
Website: http://patriciamosbornewriter.wordpress.com
Email: patricia.m.osbornewriter@gmail.com

Link to debut novel House of Grace, A Family Saga
http://mybook.to/HouseofGrace
Watch this space for upcoming poetry collections.


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Four Questions with Chloe Gilholy ( @ChloboShoka )

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Chloe Gilholy 

 

 

1. Tell us about you, and your writing (themes, influences etc.)

I was born in Staffordshire and was raised in Oxfordshire where I currently live. I work as a carer and have diplomas in Health & Social care and Art & Design. I love books – reading them, collecting them, and also writing them. I had my first poem published in an anthology when I was eight and kept going ever since.

2. What are some of the ways in which you promote your work, and do you find these add, or eat into, your time writing?

I promote my work through social media and also by attending writing meetups and sharing works with other writing groups. I don’t think it takes up too much time at all at the moment because it’s multitasking and I’m still writing as I go along.

3. What projects are you working on at present?

I am currently working on my second novel, a thriller called Fishman. Along the side I am also trying to complete 12 unfinished fan fics and a poetry book about gaming. I still write some poetry on a whim if I am inspired.

4. What does poetry mean to you?

Poetry is one of the best tools I can use to describe myself. It is liberating and culturally enriching.


drinkingpoetrychloe


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