Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Upstate New York, just outside Albany. I was surrounded by both crumbling office buildings and Brand new houses. The reverse is true depending on the area. It's one of those places that just a few generations ago, was a hub for the wealthy. You can still see that influence if you take a walk down any side street. So, visually my writing is very tied to the dual nature of maintained hundred year old houses and cracking concrete. I tend to like to infuse some element of this into my writing.
When did you first start writing?
I've been writing since seven or eight years old. A teacher about that time was using music to make reading a more positive experience. Through some combination of these singalongs and my already present love for singing, I started to fall in love with poetry. Being able to echo the ideas of music with just the presence of words was something I'd never even thought about. I immediately started to write, and have been writing since.
What's the story behind your latest book?
"Tethers," is my first book. I'm currently twenty four years old. Eight year old me would be furious that it took me this long to get here. But, there's a timing to everything. The overarching "story" of this book is looking back on parts of my and my family's life. It's an attempt to reflect on the history and choices made, and somehow reconcile or understand them. Still, there's comes a point where you realize that your life is better spent living.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
For me, I love seeing a poem through the to the end. Running through all the possibilities for word order, line break and voice...etc. When I can read through a completed poem and actually feel a complete rhythm running through it, there's this sense of excited calm that overcomes me. I'm not sure how else to describe it.
Who are your favorite authors?
Growing up, it was J.K. Rowling (who needs no introduction), Mary Pope Osbourne with her magic tree house series, and Alice Hoffman. She wrote a book called "water tales," that i dragged to everywhere for years. It was the Magic Tree House series that actually made me want to write a book, though. I also had a "Collection of poems," which introduced me to Wilfred Alfred Owen, A World War One Poet. His poem "Dulce et decorum est," was included--a very visual, heavy poem. One of my go-to's to date.
Langston Hughes and Slyvia Plath were and are both big inspirations to me as well.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing; I'm probably working or sleeping. I also have a few instruments, including a guitar and ukelele. I've been teaching myself to play since 2017 (and i'm pretty okay at both!). I'm a fan of audiobooks and podcasts, and sneak the odd gaming day into my week.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've always pictured myself writing a book. Unfortunately, getting one published is a more complicated matter. That is if you're going the traditional route. Not to mention the financial expense that comes with it. Think agent, editing and book submission fees. More than anything, I just want my book out in the world. I want people to read it, and take something from it into their own lives. I don't need a major publishing house for that.
What are you working on next?
I Have several fiction books on the brain I've been developing. Now that I have some kind of platform they have the chance to see the light of day. I also have so much poetry I didn't include in Tethers as they didn't quite fit In with the overall "story," I was trying to tell. I'm excited to move in either direction next.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love history books, and recently I've developed a love for fictional stories from the 20th century. Things like The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,Tarzan of the Apes and its' sequels. They are junk food for my bookish soul.
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