Posted in Promoting Books, Promoting Poets & Artists

INTERVIEW: “Dark Thoughts and Happy Endings” by Alice Di Trolio

Dark Thoughts and Happy Endings is a poetry collection about heartbreak, mental health and open thoughts. Dealing with depression and anxiety, Alice channels her thoughts and feeling into this, her first poetry anthology. With compelling imagery and a unique style, it aspires to strike a chord with anyone facing these issues.


Hello, Alice! What inspired you to create your debut book?

I have been writing poetry for a long time now and am quite proud of my work. It has always been my ambition to share my work with others, but I never had the confidence to until now. I am at a point in my life where I really wanted to nail down what direction I am taking my life in. I have always been passionate about writing, I felt it was time to get my work out there and see where it takes me.

That’s absolutely wonderful. Now I’d love to hear about your writing  journey.

I started writing when I was a little girl. My Grandma and I used to send poems back and forth to each other and she helped me get a poem published in the Beano. As I got older and particularly during puberty, it became a way that I could channel my thoughts, fears and anxieties.

I find it heartwarming that you and your grandmother did that. What a unique way to communicate. What themes do you focus on in this book?

Heartbreak, anxiety, depression, but also hope and love. Most of these poems were written when I was 16/17, so really all the crazy emotions you go through at that time. It’s about reflection mostly, reflecting on my own situations as well as the situations and people around me. I hope that it is work that many people can relate to.

I know that MANY people will connect with such themes. Who are your personal muses?

My biggest inspiration is Sylvia Plath. It was learning about her and studying her work at A Level that really began my journey into using poetry as more of an outlet and really inspired my style. Her imagery is so vivid, intense and she’s so real with her experiences. I found it so inspiring. There’s even a poem I wrote about her in the book. Amanda Palmer the musical artist is also a huge inspiration to me. I call her the Sylvia Plath of our time, again her imagery is so vivid, she’s so real with her art. I am very inspired by people who are passionate and unafraid to show it. I hope that comes across in my works.

As am I! What’s your writing process like?

Usually I am struck with the inspiration to write because I am in a certain mindset or thinking about a theme and will first get my stream of thoughts and feelings down onto a note on my phone. I’ll then decide how many lines I want per stanza, whether I want it to rhyme, on which lines and start to break the ideas down until they fit that structure. I’ll look at different ways of explaining what I’m trying to say, and really try to hone in on that imagery. Sometimes I’ll take a while editing and writing until it feels right. Other times it will fall out of my fingers like my laptop keyboard is a piano and I’m just playing away.

I am very inspired by people who are passionate and unafraid to show it.

Awesome. So, what’s next for you?

With this being my first book, I am looking mostly at publicising it and starting to build an audience; however, I have also started putting my next anthology together and am looking into writing some different stuff based more on history and religion.

More writing! That’s what I like to hear. Any concluding thoughts?

I am excited to finally be able to share my work with the world, and the support I have received so far has been really heartening to see. I only hope that I can continue to build on what I have so far, and I’m excited to see where this journey takes me!

Best of luck, my friend, and thank you kindly for taking some time out of your day to speak with me.


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Alice Di Trolio started writing poetry at a young age. Her passion for writing manifests itself in other forms of creative and academic works. Her love of poetry and creative writing began thanks to her Grandma; with whom she would swap poems over e-mail and helped get her first poem – a limerick – published in the Beano.

As a teenager, she was inspired by writers such as Sylvia Plath, Lewis Carrol and Shakespeare. Struggling with anxiety and depression, she learnt to channel her thoughts, feelings and emotions into poetry.

Now, almost 10 years after she started writing, she has begun to publish and share her works.

Alice is a geek, with a passion for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Star Wars, video games and board games. She also loves a beer festival and is known for raising money for charity through her cosplay work as Madgirllolly.


📖Alice’s Official Website

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📖Now available on Amazon!

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Posted in Promoting Books, Promoting Poets & Artists

📘INTERVIEW: Voix de ma Coeur, Songs of my Soul by Victoria A. Wilder📘

Take a journey into a heart on display with this stellar collection of poems that span a short, but emotionally driven lifetime. Follow the author Victoria Wilder as she shares with you her most vulnerable thoughts.

This collection includes poems previously published, as well as never-before-seen works from the author.

In her own words, “each [poem is] a snapshot of my heart through various times. I ask that you are kind, for you’ll see that my heart is more fragile than she seems.”

Victoria’s words are often empowering, sometimes funny, and always powerful. She speaks with an awareness of her own flaws, but seeks to embrace the greatness she believes all people possess. If you’re looking to be touched and inspired, this book is for you!


Good evening, Victoria! From the description and title alone, I’m eager to hear more about your book! What inspired it into existence?

VdmC is a collection of works from my youth to now. The poems inside were inspired by love, heartbreak, healing, loss, and spiritual growth.

As a mystic poet, I particulately resonte with the latter; however, all of these things serve as a powerhouse of inspiration. How did your passion for poetry come about?

I’ve been writing poetry for as long as I can remember. As a child, I played around with Seussian pieces, then I fell in love with EB Browning and a few others. Poetry’s always been a method of expression for me.

So, it’s been a lifelong love of yours. I’m happy to hear that! I’m sure there are plenty of central messages in your book, but can you name some of them anyway?

I suppose I want the reader to feel connected to someone. Technically, that someone would be me, but I mean on a deeper level. I want the reader to know that life, with all its ups and downs, can be a beautiful and richly felt experience–that it can be joyous. Healing can happen any time, and no one truly suffers alone. You just have to reach out and connect to others. I guess the overall message is that love and truth are stronger than any darkness we might come across.

That certainly is an impactful message. What an inspiration you are! Who are your main creative influences?

As a kid, I adored Elizabeth Barrett Browning and carried around a huge collection of her works. I was also into Poe, Shel Silverstein, and Oscar Wilde. I found poetry in old classic stories all the time and enjoyed British Lit a lot more than other kids my age. I’m sure that had a big influence on some of my work.

[L]ife, with all its ups and downs, can be a beautiful and richly felt experience.

What wonderful influences! So, do you have much of a writing process or does it vary?

Most of my poetry is spur-of-the-moment. A word, a sound, a phrase–something will come to my mind and from that I’ll lead to a new image. Sometimes a story is told. At other times, it can be more abstract. Often, I’ll have an emotional experience and the only way for me to understand it is to write it out. That can take the form of a poem or short piece or song lyrics. My process changes with my mindset.

That makes perfect sense! I think I may already know the answer to this one, but if you could meet any poet from the past, who would it be and why?

That would, of course, be EB Browning. She was bedridden most of her life due to illness, but managed to live a full life. The emotion in her poetry is so powerful. I’d love to hear about her life and see the strength I always imagined she had in person.

Great choice! It takes some amazing perserverance to live life to the fullest even when bedridden. Is there anything else you like to mention about your book and any upcoming ones?

Voix de ma Coeur is a collection of poems spanning nearly two decades, and I’m rather proud to finally have it out in the world. I hope to also have my debut novel, Lullaby of the Lilitu, available in 2019. Visit my website to learn more about that and read more of my work. The links are included below.

My hope is to not only live a joyful and fulfilled life, but to somehow inspire others to do the same. Thank you so much for this delightful interview. I send out love to all your readers!

You are so sweet! Thank you. What an inspirational interview this has been. Best of luck with all of your endeavors, fellow poet.


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Now available on Amazon!

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Victoria Wilder is a New York-based author currently revising her debut novel, Lullaby of the Lilitu, first in her series, The Acheron Journals.

She wrote her first “book” in the fourth grade for a writing competition featuring a haunting at a sleepover. From that, she won her first ever prize, sparking a passion for writing that has followed her into adulthood.

Victoria has been an avid reader for longer than she could talk. She has always loved dark, romantic tales and classic horror. Her favorite books as a child were Romance novels, R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series, and Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.

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Posted in Promoting Books, Promoting Poets & Artists

📖INTERVIEW: “Inspire Me: Raw” by Sonia Iris Lozada🖤

Inspire Me: Raw is a collection of spirited poems from actor, writer and poet Sonia Iris Lozada that is beautiful and inspiring. Using her knowledge of events that shaped her life she shows others how having courage and faith can motivate them to move on with their lives, avoiding the negativity that often keeps us bound to the same place.

Good afternoon, Sonia! Will you tell me a bit about Inspire Me: Raw and what inspired you to write it?

In INSPIRE ME: RAW, I write about change and how it affects life and yet it allows for new opportunities to arise. I enjoy minor changes but being thrust into the unexplored psyche after surgery; the history I knew of myself—dissipated. Losing my autonomy for two months is challenging but the spiritual awakening ensuing it, altered those perceptions. The benefit from this event? I once again encountered my passion for poetry which I’ve written since childhood.

Wow. That’s powerful. When did writing first become your passion?

Since I was a child, I wrote poetry and would just put it away for no one else to read. I felt it was too personal, and it was intimidating to feel so vulnerable. Feeling shame by some experiences and even contemplated using a pen name but decided to be out there RAW for others to see and maybe help them not feel alone.

I can definitely understand that. I’m glad you’re sharing your work now, though. In your book, what would you say is your central message?

The message of this collection and my soon-to-be-released collection INSPIRE ME: RAW 2 is about change and acceptance, its setbacks and humor. The experiences that cause one to surrender to the past and move on with our lives.

Sounds empowering to me! As a poetess, what influences you the most creatively?

My influences are:
1. Nature, I just love nature because of its calmness and presence.
2. People. I’m fascinated by the world, beliefs, culture and human behavior.
3. Children & Animals. Their innocence and how they should always be protected.

[T]his collection […] is about change and acceptance, its setbacks and humor. The experiences that cause one to surrender to the past and move on with our lives.

That’s wonderful! Now I’m interested to know about your writing process.

I usually get inspired by dreams, science, and events I read about. I see the entire story of the poem. I write without editing, just getting the emotion on paper then I put it away for a couple of days. When I return to the poem, I’ll do any research and editing. I re-edit several times. For instance, I had a dream about a journey through different lives and I had to research one stanza of the poem “I Follow” (a long poem to be released as its own book) which showed a life in 300 BC. The first stanza showed the continent and the clothing of the period. I had to research when it occurred in history.

That sounds very thorough. So, I’m curious… I noticed you’ve resided in both Chicago and Los Angeles. How did living in Chicago and The City of Angels influence you?

As a Puerto Rican actor, writer and poet living a bicultural life in an urban city like Chicago then Los Angeles I’ve learned and experienced the richness and multicultural influences of these cities. It fascinates me to see people from all over the world and experience their food, dance, beliefs, and customs.

Diversity really is beautiful. I’m glad those areas enriched you as both a person and creative mind. Do you have any final thoughts?

I love hearing from readers and respond when I’m reached on my Facebook page  and YouTube channel (Subscribe and comment!).


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 📖Now available on Amazon!

Rated 5 Stars!

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SL_167Gimp_TU_web_Konerko.jpgFrom alternative punk recording to mainstream television and movies, Sonia Lozada has always been at the heart of contemporary creative work. The founder and publisher of LOZT Magazine in the 80’s, and a performer in bands, she became an actor on both stage and film. Her other passions include design, decoration, and spiritual development. She’s been writing poetry since she learned how to write, and INSPIRE ME: RAW is her first published collection; she hopes these poems can help others experience that they are not alone.

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Posted in Promoting Books, Promoting Poets & Artists

📖INTERVIEW: “The Long Body That Connects Us All” by Rich Marcello

Provocative and profound, Rich Marcello’s poems are compact but expansive, filled with music as seductive as their ideas, and focused mostly on how to be a good man. This is a collection of deep passion and wisdom for fathers, husbands, and sons, but also for mothers, wives, and daughters, many who began with a longing for the things they were taught to desire by their forefathers, only to later discover a different path, one lit by loss and welcoming of the vulnerable, one made of the long body that connects us all. Click here to purchase on Amazon.


Hello there, Rich! I’m happy to be kicking off spring equinox with another wonderful interview. Needless to say, this book sounds like an inspiring collection of poetry, but what exactly inspired it?

I wanted to publish a collection about what it means to be a good man in the modern world. There are many great poets out there, but few these days are writing on this topic. With all the divisiveness in the world these days, much propagated by violent men, I wanted to show some of my own experiences about being open and vulnerable with the hope that some of my specific experiences would generalize.

That is so beautiful. I absolutely love your vision. Speaking of which, what are some central messages you strive to instill into your readers?

Thematically, the collection is about what it means to be a good man in the modern world––a timely topic given all that’s going on these days.

With all the divisiveness in the world these days, much propagated by violent men, I wanted to show some of my own experiences about being open and vulnerable…

Wonderful. So more on you as a poet… What sparked your interest in the written word?

I’ve been writing poetry all my life. I also have written over sixty songs and my publisher, Langdon Street Press, has published three of my novels: The Color of Home, The Big Wide Calm, and The Beauty of the Fall. I am currently working on my fourth novel, The Latecomers.

How exciting is that? I’m really happy for you. And a little bit more about you as a writer if you don’t mind… Who are some of your poetic influences?

I love Merwin, Audre Lorde, Mary Oliver, and Kay Ryan, to name a few, but really, I love just about any poet who writes from a deeply emotional place.

Absolutely. It’s those courageous writers who unapologetically write from the depths of their own psyche that really impact other writers and readers alike. So, I musk ask: What does a day in the life of Rich look like (writing-wise)?

I write every day for four or five hours in the morning. I’m a big believer in going from one kind of dream time (sleeping) to another (writing) right away, so I find working in the mornings is best for me. The rest of the day I focus on family, friends, and the causes I believe in, like climate change.

That takes quite of bit of discipline. I applaud you for dedicating so much of your time to your creative side, all while maintaining that “writing/life” balance. That doesn’t come easy. Before we wrap things up here, are there any concluding words that you’d like to share with everyone?

Thanks for taking the time to check out my work. If you are so inclined, feel free to drop me a line about any of my work, or about anything you feel like discussing.

My pleasure, and thank YOU! It was such a joy speaking with you. May boundless creativity continue to flow your way 🌞


Commercial PhotographyRich Marcello is a poet, a songwriter and musician, a creative writing teacher at Seven Bridges’ Writer Collaborative, and the author of three novels, The Color of Home, The Big Wide Calm, and The Beauty of the Fall. Previously, he enjoyed a successful career as a technology executive, managing several multi-billion dollar businesses for Fortune 500 companies.

The Color of Home was published in 2013 by Langdon Street Press, and melds together honest generative dialogue, poetic sensory detail, and “unforgettable characters who seem to know the complete song catalog of Lennon or Cohen.” The Big Wide Calm was published in 2014, also by Langdon Street Press. The US Review of Books stated, “Marcello’s novel has a lot going for it. Well-written, thought-provoking, and filled with flawed characters, it meets all of the basic requirements of best-of-show in the literary fiction category.” The Beauty of the Fall was published in 2016. Faulkner Award Winner Mark Spencer commented, “Few novels are as intelligent and relevant as The Beauty of the Fall. Almost none is as eloquent, compelling, heartbreaking, and ultimately, uplifting.”

As anyone who has read Rich’s work can tell you, his books deal with life’s big questions: love, loss, creativity, community, aging, self-discovery. His novels are rich with characters and ideas, crafted by a natural storyteller, with the eye and the ear of a poet.

For Rich, writing and art making is about connection, or as he says, about making a difference to a least one other person in the world, something he has clearly achieved many times over, both as an artist, a mentor, and a teacher.

Rich lives in Massachusetts on a lake with his family and two Newfoundlands, Ani and Shaman. He is currently working on his fourth novel, The Latecomers.

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📖The Long Body That Connects Us All
is now available on Amazon!

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📖INTERVIEW with Breanna Brown about her new book, “Amnesia.” 💜

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^Click to purchase.

Poetess Breanna Brown takes you on a journey through life’s countless trials and triumphs. Through untold suffering and unbearable loss, the road to enlightenment and greater faith is paved. From the darkness, we awaken stronger than we ever could have imagined.

Amnesia belongs in your poetry book collection if you’ve ever been through a difficult time and are looking for a some hope. Or perhaps you’ve lost someone close to you like the author has. Either way, this book is a must-read!

 


Hi Breanna! I must say, the cover of Amnesia is very striking. But we can’t judge a book entirely by its cover alone, so I’m sure glad we’re having this interview. First thing’s first: Inspiration. What was your main source of inspiration when putting together this poetry book?

I had to watch my mother suffer from lung cancer. Until then, I always thought of her as this unmovable mountain that would always be present when I looked out into the distance. I had to watch her get chiseled away and I didn’t know how to survive once she had passed. I started to write to cope and it turned into a healing process. Before I knew it, I had a mess load of pieces of me on paper. And I thought that maybe my experiences could help someone…

In our darkest hour, it seems like creativity makes her way into our lives. It’s in those moments when poetry becomes more than mere writing on a page, it becomes a healer. I’m glad poetry found you. When it comes to your journey as a writer, how did it all begin and what’s your creative journey looking like now?

My mother taught me to write before I even entered preschool. Ever since then, it’s been a way of life for me. I write to exercise my observations, take inventory on my emotions and translate our human heritage of awareness into worlds that can be explored over and over again.

That’s so beautiful, Breanna! It’s amazing that your mother taught you how to write at such a young age as well. How inspiring is that? Also, I love what you said about translating our human heritage of awareness. That’s a poem in and of itself! So, theme-wise, what are we looking at?

My book follows a cognizance theme. In the dawn of my struggle, I felt like I’d dozed off into a very dark nightmare, as if I were sleepwalking through my days. Then, I started to wake up. I saw the true natures of love and life in what felt like a moment of deja vu. I began to heal and the more I did, the more lucid I became.

Once again… how beautiful! It’s safe to say that while this book covers some dark themes, it grants an unshakable sense of hope within the reader. So, it’s easy to tell that your mother is your biggest inspiration and influence, but who/what are some of your other muses?

Muses? Ah, there are dozens. Lauryn Hill, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Prince, Rihanna, Beyonce, Missy Elliot… There are so many whom I admire. That list would probably span over four, five blog posts, lol.

I bet :D. I’m the same way, honestly. So, when you sit down to write, how do you normally go about it… or does it vary?

My writing process is a flighty one. Sometimes I have to sit with nothing but a notebook and pen, pray and open myself up for His inspiration. Other times, I reflect and revisit my most intense experiences. Then there are times where I’m driving to the grocery store and I have to pull over because an idea decided to hit my windshield at that very moment. I don’t have a distinct process because I need multiple ways to stay open and flexible.

That makes perfect sense. Inspiration can hit us at the most random of times. Luckily, you pull over if the poetry bug bites you while driving. Speech to Text typically doesn’t do the best job (I would know :D). Anyway, I’m really grateful you took the time to chat with me about your amazing book. I’m sure anyone who’s reading this interview is feeling particularly inspired.


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Breanna Brown’s Official Website
www.thebuddingken.com

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Available on Amazon in…
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