One of the best aspects of being a book blogger is getting to "meet" authors you admire and whose books speak to you, which is what I got to do on this segment of the Poetic Book Tours tour. Diamante Lavendar is an award-winning author whose novels have won countless prizes, however the book I received and read prior to this interview is in fact a poetry book, Poetry and Ponderings, a "raw collection of religious poetry and prose based on one Christian woman’s experiences of being abused, and how she healed herself with God’s love in order to move past the assaults".
Read what the author had to say below!
1. The best poems and stories come from real life experiences: how hard was it for you to talk about your past in poems you would share with the world?
I have always had an energy inside of me that wanted to be expressed. This energy comes out in the form of writing. So, while it is difficult at times to write about the past, it is also easy because the words flow from my soul like a flood if I'm in the right mood.
2. Do you let anyone proofread your work before you publish it, or do you keep it a surprise, even for your close relatives and friends?
The only proofreader I use is my editor. Nobody else reads my work until it's published. I find that it's better for me to keep to a professional viewpoint as far as proofreading goes because my work is so personal.
3. Do you have a writing schedule, or do you prefer to “go with the flow”?
I definitely go with the flow. If I'm not in a mood to write, it can become tedious and grueling. So I wait for the times when my heart energy is flowing freely.
4. Why choose to write poems instead of a fictional narrative? How does poetry differentiate itself from narratives?
I've written both. My book entitled Breaking The Silence is a fictional narrative based on my life. I won 5 awards for that book in the category of Inspirational Fiction. So I enjoy both narrative material as well as poetry. Poetry is different, though, because it captures a moment in time that is critical and it elaborates in a flowing way about that moment. Narrative material is more of a timeline type of thing that flows in a linear time frame. Poetry examines a moment or a thought and stays with that moment or thought throughout the poem. It also explains why that moment or thought is important.
5. What was the hardest part of writing this book? The easiest?
The hardest part was the emotion behind each poem or observation. While writing a poem and staying in the emotive aspect of it, you relive things that you may not want to. However, I feel that it is precisely that aspect about poetry that gives the reader insight into what the author was experiencing at that moment in time. The easiest thing about writing Poetry and Ponderings was the energy flow coming from my heart with each poem that I wrote. That energy gives the words life and meaning with a minimum of effort.
6. How often do you read? Do you think it makes writing harder, or easier?
There are times when I read a lot and other times when I don't read for months on end. It depends on how my day job is going and what is happening in my life moment by moment. I tend to read inspirational things and scientific things that support what I believe and do. So in that respect reading makes my writing easier. Any type of reading lends itself to creativity and that's always a plus. I'm picky about what I read and engage in because I believe it all makes an impact one way or another.
7. What do you love the most about being an author? The least?
I love the fact that I can write whenever I feel like it. It's not a structured thing with me. It's more a creative process. Writing is my outlet and my expression. What I like least about it is the difficulty of rising above the masses to make your voice heard. I don't view writing as a competition because it's so intensely personal for me. But it is difficult at times to be noticed in the sea of authors and material available worldwide. To reach your ideal audience can be tricky. That is why I recently created a group for writers, artists, photographers and other self employed creative individuals. Instead of competition, I believe cooperation to be key in finding your audience or niche. In this group, members promote each other's work on their social media sites. What a great way to introduce new talent to like minded individuals who may appreciate your material!
8. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
When I hear, "Thank you!" or "Your book changed my life." I write to make a difference in the world. To be of value to another person is amazing. It is my hope to change the world one heart at a time with my books and to give hope to those who have been afflicted with trauma and hardship. A hand up is always more valuable than a hand out in my opinion.
9. A book’s cover says a lot about the book. Did you choose yours? How?
Yes, I told my publisher that I wanted the cover to look like leather. She and her designer took it a step farther to make the leather pink. Then, in an interesting turn of events, she added the cherry blossoms to the book. (There is a story behind that development. To make it short, my daughter, about a month before she died, said she had a vision of herself taking pictures of cherry blossoms. She was a budding photographer. My publisher had no idea of this. After my daughter passed away, my publisher decided-on a whim-to add cherry blossoms to the cover. I don't believe in whims. I believe in fate. I know that my daughter was speaking from heaven, whispering in my publisher's ear, to add those cherry blossoms to the cover and the body of the work itself so I'd know she's still watching over me.)
10. Finally, what would you like to say to my readers, most of which are aspiring writers? Never quit. Never become discouraged. If you view writing as a competition you will feel dejected much of the time. Look at it as a mission, as something important you need to share with the world. Avoid competition. Adopt cooperation. Rub elbows with others who enjoy cooperating. It is a win-win situation for all and it makes the writing experience so much more rewarding!
Read previous PoeticBookTours reviews here.