How would you introduce yourself to a crowded room eager to hang on your every word?
I’m boring! My mind doesn’t come out my mouth. I could come up with something witty to say, but not until the next day. My name is Halli – it is a form of Hallelujah which in Hebrew means praise to Jehova. My middle name is Dee, which is Hebrew for delicate, weak, languishing and is a form of Delilah who was a false and treacherous woman. So I love God, it’s true, but I’m not very good at it.
When writing do you listen to music, do you have a particular playlist? What are the top 5 songs on that playlist?
Music and I have a complicated relationship. I definitely have a soundtrack in mind when I replay scenes in my mind. I’ll list the music in the back of my books as a suggestion to my readers. But when I’m struggling to put the long form down on paper I have to have quiet so I can get inside the mind of my characters. Luckily for me all my kids are in public school this year. Here are five songs that keeping coming back to me: So Heavy by Florence and the Machine Kingdom Come by Cold Play Hallelujah done by Jeff Buckley Anything by Heidi Happy Reasons Why by Nickle Creek Blue Lips by Regina Spektor Oops that’s six.
As a poet, do you find it is often considered elitist or inaccessible by mainstream readers. Do poets have an obligation to dispel that myth and how do you think it could be accomplished?
Art is made of two motivating components; reflection and impact. There are hard times in my life when I used art for the sole purpose of therapy, but I don’t show it to anybody. It will only make sense to me. Readers think you’re an art snob, if your work is too cryptic. If you create art solely for impact, then it ends up too extreme, fluffy or entertaining. We see too much of this I think, like when singers dress up like Barbie dolls, but their lyrics or message has no substance. That’s not the type of audience I want to gather. There has to be a balance of both reflection and impact to entice the eye or mind, but also make you ponder its meaning. My poetry is the same way. In fact, every public art form should convey these two principles. My novel SHIFTERS may be fast paced and entertaining on the surface, but there are deeper issues underneath that make readers question the norm. Among the high tension chase scenes are some harder issues: rationalized genocide, revamping the educational system and many other debatable topics.
Do you have any obsessions that you would like to share?
I can’t stand open drawers and doors. It’s super anal I know, but if there is a cupboard or drawer left open it drives me crazy. Even metaphoric ones. I can’t keep secrets. It eats me up inside. If there is an unresolved issue I have to “close it” right away. I don’t want to see the clutter inside.
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