I was
thrilled to have the talented E. Kaiser Writes illustrate my book The
Road to Bremen
. As I was writing
this story and beginning to imagine it illustrated, I could think of
only one artist to ask because of her illustrating experience and her
special expertise in depicting animals. I was so glad that she agreed
to work with me, and I couldn’t be happier with her contribution to
my book. It wouldn’t be the same without her!




Check out her website!



Welcome, Elizabeth! Let’s begin at
the beginning. When did you start drawing, and who was the first
illustrator to capture your attention and imagination?
 

Being homeschooled, I learned how to
draw by first learning how to doodle, and I learned that at about
four years old, sitting around the kitchen table with my older
siblings when we were supposed to be doing our schoolwork. I got
myself into it: I begged Mom to give me schoolwork so I could join
the “big kids”…but soon was as bored as they, and discovered
they held doodling competitions when Mom was out of the room. I
joined in, and it just went from there!

As kids, Mom and Dad used to read aloud
to us in the evenings, and one winter they read the Little House
books. I remember marveling at the illustrations by Garth Williams,
and that’s definitely one of my early “boy, I could never be as
good as that!” moments!
 

My family was
largely artistic, and encouraged that all the time, so growing up I
always had an eye toward refining what skills I possessed. But I
really didn’t “get serious” about my art until I was in my
twenties, and I never anticipated ending up as an actual illustrator.
That was an unexpected twist in my story, and one that I really do
love! 

That’s so neat! I know at least
one person who has seen your illustrations for my book compared you
to Garth Williams. What are a few other books you have illustrated?
 


I’ve been blessed to work with quite
a few wonderful folks who really have supplied great fodder for my
artistic imagination…especially fantasy/fairytale type tales. Love
the opportunity those give to meld actual historic details into art
that is unrestrained by any limitation, so that’s a wonderful
playground to explore. I like to make my illustrations as chock-full
of meaningful details as possible, and borrowing from history is such
a fun way to do that. 

Another
fun project I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of is illustrating
for Bible stories, and those are particularly up my alley because
there is such a wealth of actual data that can be accessed, from
which to draw on any point in Biblical times…and yet there’s a
great lack of really nailed-down details, so there’s really a wide
array of possible angles to take any of the elements, so it’s fun
to do the research and then interpret all of that as artistically as
possible. And hopefully hit upon an apt representation of the rich
flavor of ancient life.
 

I love that you put so
much enthusiastic research into each project. Can you tell us a few
of the details that you dug up while researching the German animals,
flowers, and landscapes and used in The Road to Bremen?
 

Yes! That is the fun part! I believe
illustrations can add so much to the reader’s experience of the
story, and it’s a place where so much can be learned. So my goal is
to put as much authentic detail in as possible.
 

So Kelsey and I talked about the
location (which is a real place in Germany!) and the era for the
clothes and buildings the story takes place amongst. Having a real
location with pictorial access was a big help; we found local breeds
of farm animals, and were able to feature area-accurate flowers in
nearly all of the pieces. 

The
kind of donkeys Germany seems to have were just the usual ones, but
they were still easy to make adorably quirky. We got really lucky
with the dog, because there’s an old fashioned breed called the
Deutsche Bracke, so I was able to model directly off of that! Then
for R
üdiger
the rooster, we used a Bergische Kr
äher…which
translated means “Farm Crower,” noted for its lengthy crowing
ability!
Which was perfect for Rüdiger,
since he prides himself on his voice.
 

So it was a lot of fun to delve into
details like that…we incorporated a famous statue in the town of
Bremen, and used real German landscapes whenever possible. I always
like to learn something from any illustration project, and I hope
that viewers will also pick up new things from them, too! 

In
all, it’s usually great fun to work with an author on their vision
for the story, and you were so prepared, Kelsey, with lots of
inspiration already pinned, that it was a delightful process!!




Aw, I’m glad to hear
that! It was a delightful process for me, too, and you were so easy
to work with. I love your work. What is your favorite type of thing
to draw?
 

I love animals because they’re so
expressive and so often they get neglected by other artists, so it
makes me happy to contribute to the “gap” that surrounds them in
art. And there are a wealth of
expressions that can be brought across with them, so they’re always
fun.

The
other thing I get excited about is architecture, and trying to
estimate accurately for whatever sort of period the setting is. I’m
more fluid and free-flowing in my art than strictly structured, so
architecture is a challenge for me, but it’s a fun challenge that I
love to research out and then compose building details for
illustrations, which I think can add so much to the feel of a piece. 

That’s really cool! And
what media do you work in?
 

I do a lot of pencil: black and white
and shading…that’s mostly interior art, and so that makes up the
bulk of any project, for the most part. I’ve done line art, with
pen, for coloring books, etc. and that is also fun and brings its own
challenges.

For
color, I’m a real mixed-media fan, and may start with watercolor
style washes and then move on to acrylics for some intense pops of
color, and then add the precision of colored pencil into the
smorgasbord… I really just feel my way forward and try to “herd
the process in the right direction.” I’m very unscientific,
during the actual art stages… I get very detailed and demanding of
my research, and become frustrated if I can’t find the exact thing
I’m looking for, but once we leave the planning stage and move to
the creative ones, I’m completely nonlinear. 

You’ve illustrated your own books
as well. Which is harder, doing it for yourself or for others?
 

Oh, for myself, by far!!! I’m my own
worst critic and am constantly belittling my work, so it’s quite a
struggle to know when to listen to the “inner editor,” so to
speak, and when to toss it outside, shut the door and lock it fast!  

I’ve been tremendously blessed to
work with folks who are vastly more encouraging about my results than
I myself am: so that’s a huge, huge gift that I’m always very
grateful to receive. And in trade I’m able to give shape to their
dreams, which they aren’t capable of at this stage, and that’s a
wonderful synergy there!

And the completed projects are
always so fun to see…  

Yes, indeed! Tell us about the
coloring book you recently released. I’m really excited to get my
hands on a copy of it.



Amazon.com
Folks had been telling me for years
that I should make my art into a coloring book, so I started with a
horse-based theme that got interrupted by a real-life move of the
ranch operation from one state to another. That swallowed about two
years, during which I could only peck at various creative projects,
but late 2018 felt like there was a little bit of release of pressure
from the aftermath of that upheaval, and we buckled down in earnest
to pushing that past the tipping point and into reality.

So “Horses of the Elements” Adult
(or Advanced, as I like to frame it) Coloring Book was finally born,
and we’re hoping to bring out a few more in not too long. Hopefully
much less time between start to finish on upcoming ones!

But horses are really such “darlings
of the art world”; when you think about it, they’ve been
portrayed in nearly every culture whose art has impacted our current
impression of art history…back to the caves at Lascaux, there are
horses on the walls. They embody so many aspects of our emotion, so I
wanted to take that train of thought and really give it wings, so to
speak, and allow them to sort of translate the feeling of various
elements that aren’t simple to sum up, but complex and vivid
entities in our awareness.

So like Thunder and Lightning, Forest
Fire, Sea, Volcano… We made winged horses for Air, and Typhoon, and
Snow; we did unicorns for each season, just really setting the stage
for colorists to let their imaginations take flight, and it’s all
based on the universally appealing, and endlessly
changeable
facets of horsedom in all its forms. From foals to drafts, ponies to
hotbloods, we explored the spectrum of equines and their dynamic
temperaments!
 

Our images run from wildly dynamic
forces of nature to the placid, calm side; from showcasing the
variety of equine breed types to quiet moments of peaceful
friendship.

The one
constant is they are all beautiful, and should be fun for anyone to
bring to life with color. 

I had a sneak peek at
most of the pictures for this coloring book, and I got to color one
with watercolor pencils and coaching from a horse expert. Here’s a
photo:

Most of you probably know about the Vintage Jane Austen project that I was able to be a part of. My contribution, Suit and Suitability, was published as an eBook back in May, and since then two more novels have come out! Paperbacks are planned in the near future.


One of the authors, Emily Ann Benedict, is interviewing each of the other authors on her blog. Since behind-the-scenes is always an interesting topic, I thought I’d share the links to each interview here. You can also find out more about each book through links on her blog.

Emmeline by Sarah Holman

(Emma)

 

Suit and Suitability by Kelsey Bryant
(Sense and Sensibility)


Perception by Emily Ann Benedict 
(Persuasion) (This interview is on Sarah Scheele’s blog, another of the VJA authors.)

Bellevere House by Sarah Scheele
(Mansfield Park)

Presumption and Partiality by Rebekah Jones
(Pride and Prejudice)

Today I am pleased to be participating in the blog tour for author Sarah Holman’s latest release, Brothers and Betrayal, book 2 of the Tales of Taelis series. It’s coming out March 28! I interviewed Sarah, and at the end of this post, you’ll see a giveaway for an e-book copy of Brothers and Betrayal. I’ve had the privilege of meeting Sarah Holman in person, and she is a wonderful person as well as a talented writer!






Sarah Holman is a not so typical mid-twenties girl: A homeschool
graduate, sister to six awesome siblings, and author of three published
books and counting. If there is anything adventuresome about her life,
it is because she serves a God with a destiny bigger than anything she
could have imagined.





Sarah Holman





1) When did you first start writing, and what were your favorite things to write about?
I first started writing because I couldn’t find stories that I wanted to read. I wanted adventure stories with strong, yet feminine characters. Adventure and strong, yet feminine characters are still what I love to write about.


2) Who are your favorite authors and how do they inspire both your life and your writing? 
Grace Livingston Hill was my first inspiration as a writer. She was a strong Christian who wrote over one-hundred sweet stories of adversity and romance. Her books were contemporary for their time and they inspired me to start writing. I have also been inspired by the diversity and historical detail of Linda Lee Chaikin and Siri Mitchell, the style and overall perfectness of  Elizabeth Camden, and the timeless wit of Jane Austen. All of these women inspiring my writing and my life.


3) How did you learn about self-publishing, and what were your first books about?
I was praying a lot about direction for my book. My dad suggested I look into self-publishing and so I did. The moment I did, I felt it was what I was supposed to do. I published my first book The Destiny of One, a science-fiction story of a nineteen year old who gets caught up in a grand adventure while she tries to discover what God wants her to do with her life. I loved being able to control my story from start to finish.


4) Is there a similar theme or message in all your books, or do they each say something very different? Or both?
Each of them has a different message, though I am sure you could come up with some similar themes. The Destiny Series is about finding your purpose and following it, no matter the cost. A Different Kind of Courage was about standing up for what is right. Adventure and Adversities is about finding God in the midst of our pain. Brothers and Betrayal is about the forgiveness. 






5) Brothers and Betrayal is a sequel to Adventures and Adversities. What led you to write a medieval series, and what can we learn from this time period?
When I was eleven I became fascinated by Robin Hood and the whole time in which he lived. I think what really drew me into the time is because it was a darker time in history. When things are at their darkest, the light shines the brightest. Good and bad, black and white are easier to see in a dark world. 


6) Tales of Taelis is set in a fictional land, but you’ve had to research the Middle Ages to create a convincing world. You’ve also written a novel about the American Revolution. So obviously you enjoy history! But what makes you want to do the hard (and rewarding!) work of writing historical fiction?
History is a passion of mine, but so many make history boring and lifeless. I wanted to spark an interest in history for others by showing that it isn’t boring, it is exciting. So many of the issues we struggle with today have been struggled with throughout time. Many answers lie in the past as well as many lessons.


7) Now for a fun question about your personality: What is your favorite color, and how does it tie in with your personality?
My favorite color is sky blue. I think it reflects my love for the great outdoors and the Texas sky. I am also a very old-fashioned girl and soft colors reflect that.


8) Is there anything more you’d like to tell us, person to person or writer to writer?
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the LORD not for men.


Thank you for joining us, Sarah! I really enjoyed the interview!



Check out the other stops on Sarah’s blog tour:


March 19~ Wildflower Acres
March 23~ In The Bookcase
March 25~ Wildflower Acres
March 27 ~ Author Jaye L. Knight 
March 28 ~ The Destiny of One
And … here is the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m very excited to be interviewing a new author who has just published BOY, a book of poems. Please welcome the lovely Sarah Watson!  


K: Sarah, I think
the best place to start is with you as a person. Please tell us about
yourself! What do you want us to know about you besides your writing?


S: I was born in
1993, I live on the coast of Maine and I’m in my final semester of
university.
I am a firm
believer in the impossible. I believe everyone is capable of doing
exactly what they want and we should aim for what makes us feel
alive.
I enjoy so many
things and I constantly find myself jumping from one big idea to
another. I have a hard time deciding on one idea and sticking with
it, whether in career or hobby, which sometimes worries me, but
ultimately I’ve learned that it’s just how I’ve been designed
and there’s purpose in that.
I want to live in
a camper and travel the country.
I want to adopt
children someday.
I want to drink
coffee in the morning on a balcony in Paris.
I love cotton
candy ice cream.
I have such high
expectations and hopes for love and who I’ll allow into my heart.
Summer time is my
favorite and makes me feel so happy and alive.
I love people, so
much. I could spend hours watching people, reading interviews. I love
knowing what makes people love and hate and hope.
I love bright
lipstick, but rarely wear it.
Ultimately the
most important aspect of who I am, and the reason I am anything at
all, the reason I have not given up on myself, life, or other people,
is because I am set free, by the most beautiful King and He fills me
with peace and joy. (When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me
renewed hope and cheer. Psalm 94:19)

K: I love how you explain yourself!
It’s almost like poetry itself. 🙂 The title of your poetry
collection,
BOY, hints at the unifying theme.
What was your inspiration for these works?

S: I’ve known so many incredible people
and been affected by a myriad of experiences; but BOY came from a
place of the most personal experiences that I have collected over the
past few years. This collection is designed around the feelings I
had/have regarding a few very specific people who have been in my
life. Both positive and negative. I’m so thankful for these boys
and the way they played a part in my short life. They have shaped me
and challenged me and taught me so many things, about loving myself,
loving other people, and ultimately loving God. And I think that’s
the best gift any relationship can give you.

K: Can you pick one poem and tell us
your thoughts behind it?

S: This was one of those pieces that came
really quickly and felt very authentic and natural; that’s one of
the reasons I like it. I feel like this is pretty self-explanatory,
but it was a piece I wrote after the harrowing task of leaving
someone behind. (and how that sucks so much.)

the first mile was suffocating –
as i left the parking lot,
and pulled away from the place,
i knew you were to stay.
driving by cars, skyscrapers and
endless crowds of people,
i only thought of you.
every turn of my car took me,
further –
and
further –
away from your light.
and i hated that.
i replayed every moment of leaving.
every small,
torturous task.
key in ignition.
reverse.
right blinker,
tick,
tick,
tick.
look back.
no sign of you.
drive on.
the feeling,
the sickening,
literal heart ache.
i felt as though i would explode in the
worst way.
my heart growing inside of my chest,
swelling and attacking –
but i couldn’t let it out,
because the whole world was watching.
i couldn’t say a word.
so i just drove.
mile
after
mile
away
from
everything
i
loved.

K: Lovely, Sarah. It’s beautiful and
heartbreaking and thoroughly relatable. Do you write other things
besides poetry? Are they influenced by your poetic self, or are they
quite different?

S: Yeah, I do.
I have a series called Dear You,
where I write letters to unnamed people in my life and I think that
is very much influenced by the same style as my poetry. I enjoy
writing fiction as well, which I think has reflections of my poetic
voice as much as it can, being prose. I think, stylistically, the
voice of my writing is pretty consistent.

K: How long have you been writing, and
what made you begin?

S: Pretty routinely since my early teenage
years. I don’t think there was one thing in particular that made me
start writing, it just kind of happened. It became a way to get out
what was happening in my head, in a way that felt really fluid and
familiar, and that was comforting. Still is, obviously.

K: What are some of your favorite
books, and how have their authors inspired both your life and your
writing?

S: Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
has been such an influential book in my spiritual and everyday
decisions. I think it helped me define exactly who I want to be and
how I want to apply my faith to my life. The way Don writes is
just really great, because it’s so personal and yet so casual. I
enjoy writers who aren’t looking to be perfectly well spoken but
simply authentic, and I feel like he does that brilliantly.

Rilla of Ingleside has been my
favorite novel since I was fifteen. I’m not really sure why I love
it so much. I think it’s just the characters, they’re so special,
and I grew up reading their stories so it’s just always stuck with
me. L.M. Montgomery is the author that really defined my adolescence,
and I guess I started writing when I started reading her work, so her
voice in literature probably helped shape mine in ways I don’t even
know.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper
Lee is another novel I’ll never stop reading or loving. Atticus is
my hero, and I just really want to be Scout Finch.

Also Franny and Zooey by JD
Salinger. That book really hit me, cause it was so full of anxiety
and confusion but cleared itself up on the last few pages with such
simplicity and depth. Also, I love the way Salinger writes. It’s so
odd and disfigured but astonishingly sharp.

K: Well thought-out choices! I can
really see why and how you’ve connected with them. Please tell us
about your fascinating college experience! What have you gotten out
of it so far?

S: Oxford has been really fun. I’ve
definitely had to push myself, which has been good. I’m incredibly
thankful for the opportunity to experience higher education,
especially through Oxford, because it was always a school I dreamed
of going to. I’m going over in July to study one final course on
campus, finish a few assignments after that and then I’ll be done.
I think the two most important things
I’ve learned (academics aside) are: 1) Learning is a lifelong
experience and the most important thing to do while in University is
simply try your absolute best and let the rest be. My mom told me
this the other day when I was getting bogged down with assignments
and it really helped refresh my perspective. 2) That it’s an
incredibly huge blessing to be able to learn via an institution.
There’s a ton of kids in the world who would love to go to school,
but they can’t, because of social economic reasons (etc). I think
this realization has pushed me to really give it more and take
advantage of the blessing that it is.

K: That’s great! I hope your time at
Oxford and England is all you dream it to be. Now for an off-beat
question …
what
is your favorite color and do you see any connection between that and
your personality?

S: First off, I have such a hard time
picking one color (maybe that says something in itself, haha), but
I’ll narrow it down to two. I love blue because it’s so
refreshing and gold because it’s straight up rad and fantastic. I’m
not sure what that says about me though. I’ll let others interpret.

K: Those are a good mix! What projects
do you have in the works right now?

S: I don’t want to say too much, but I’m
working on a collection of essays/poems specifically aimed towards
girls, and the experiences of growing up/deciding who you want to
be/etc. I’m pretty excited about it, because it means a lot to me
personally.

K: Sounds wonderful! Before we close,
is there anything more you’d like to tell us, person to person, or
writer to writer?

S: Person to person: You are more than
enough.
Writer to writer: Keep speaking your
own authentic truth. The world is listening.

Also just a giant thank you to Kelsey
and everyone else who has supported my book and all my writing
endeavors. The encouragement means a great deal to me and I can never
say thank you enough.

K: You’re welcome, Sarah! We’re
excited about your book, because your voice and message is lovely and
lucid. Where can readers buy your book and connect with you?

S: You can buy the Kindle edition of my
book on Amazon.com, (link:
http://www.amazon.com/BOY-poems-Sarah-Watson-ebook/dp/B00SIH523M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424117637&sr=8-1&keywords=boy+poems)
(Print edition coming soon!)

BOY: poems
I’m also on practically every form of
social media, which is ridiculous but loads of fun, haha.

Instagram & Twitter: wincingdeer
Email: wincingdeer@yahoo.com

K: Thank you so much for allowing me
interview you, Sarah! You have such great things to say and it’s been wonderful getting to know you!

S: THANK YOU, Kelsey! xx
Today
I am very pleased to be interviewing a new author who has already
published a book of poems and a book of short stories in the past two
months! Please welcome Cheyanne Marie.
Cheyanne Marie

K: Cheyanne,
I think the best place to start is with you as a person. What should
we know about you, beyond what you write?

C: First
of all, I can elaborate on nothing at all like no tomorrow, so I
apologize in advance for my super long answers. I’m a 20 credit
hour college student with three different jobs (Librarian, Teacher’s
Aid at an elementary school, and I clean an office every other
week…Does that count as a job?). I’ll graduate this semester
with my first AA, transfer- get another AA, then a BA…the ultimate
goal is a JD for Environmental Law…but we’ll see how far I make
it. lol






I
tend to be a spaz, a socialite, and highly dramatic. It’s actually
really funny that I’m an author, because my personality is far from
that. I love pageants, high heels, movies, acting, singing,
cosmetology, cold coffee, the time periods of the 1940s, 50s, and
90s; sparkles, loom knitting, jewelry…basically anything loud. Oh,
and I love Marvel. Specifically Captain America, cause he’s just
fabulous.






I
think the hardest thing for me to explain about myself is simply the
fact that I am a deeply
religious person, and have very high moral standards; but, funny
thing being, I don’t write “religious” or even “Christian”
fiction. Truth be told, I don’t feel called to write that. As a
former homeschooler, I’ve read only, you know, PG kind of things,
and for me, I think that’s really narrow. I feel like fiction
shouldn’t be a reflection of the author, or the author’s beliefs
necessarily (even though I do weave in morals of right and wrong
through one or two of the observations of my characters), but rather
a reflection of the world at large. I write what I see in the world,
both good and bad, in the hopes that observing the truth of reality
will encourage some to change it. But with that said, I’m
definitely not writing R type things…there’s a point and a line
that I won’t cross. 🙂

K: Thank
you for sharing all of that! Tell us about the books you just
published—and don’t forget the anthology you were published in.
🙂

C: It’s
seriously been such a wild ride from when it all started, but I’ll
save some of that for the next question. 😉 My first book was a
book of poems that I released back in December (“a book of rather
uninteresting poems”), which is so weird because I’d never
written poetry until a couple of months ago. In fact, I hated it, so
it’s more than amusing that my debut release was poems and poetry.
I guess you just never know what you’re going to end up doing.






My
second release (which I’m pretty stoked about) “I Married a Movie
Star and other writings,” is a collection of differing short
stories. My favorite, is the “I Married a Movie Star”
itself…and I feel like the name is pretty explanatory. I think
it’s just a funny story, combined with what would actually happen
if a “nobody” married a celebrity, along with the challenges
life, marriage, and child raising would add to that.






The
Anthology, “Space Kitties,” was a total blast to be a part of.
The name threw me for a wild loop at first. “Cats in space? How
is that going to work?” was my initial thought, but after
beginning, I found it was perfectly logical as logical could be. “21
Cats in the Hatch” is my story that is included (it will also
appear in “I Married A Movie Star”), and I think it’s one of
the best things I’ve written. Without giving too much away, I
really just wanted to focus on the faults humans have, and the way
that cats, for example, could look into our “race” and see the
faults that we so easily tend to ignore.

a book of rather uninteresting poems                                                                           

K: You’re
a well-rounded writer! When did you start writing, and how and when
did you know you wanted to be published?

C: Four.
I wrote “The Snake Desert,” followed four years later by my hit
novel, “The Ice Cream Thief.”






It
actually took me a long time to seriously write. I started out of
boredom at eight, stopping and starting again until age fourteen or
so when I had an idea for a novel. Even then, I didn’t begin
writing as a “career”
until last year, my freshman year of college when it began to take on
a form of self- help/therapy for me.






I’ve
always had fantasies of publishing (who hasn’t?), and then it just
sort of happened one day. I had to write an article for class, a
response to a letter written about soldiers overseas. Anyhow, my
essay was one of the national winners in a competition that my
teacher entered her students in, and before I knew it, I was
published. It was kind of like something just clicked in me, like
“Oh, hey. I could do this. This is something I could actually
do.” That was followed by publication in the Saltfork
Review with another of my short stories (“See Where Life
Takes Us,” also included in my new book), right before the
anthology, and then my own self-published titles. Without that kind
of reassurance, I don’t know if I would have had the push to
continue on my own.

K: That’s cool you write nonfiction, too! What
are some of your favorite books, and how have their authors inspired
your life and your writing?

C: There’s
a lot of authors that have really shaped me in both life and writing
craft, and none of them are modern authors. C. S. Lewis is probably
my all-time favorite. I also really like Lewis Carroll, Horatio
Alger, Jr., and Jane Austen (Favorite books: Narnia, Mere
Christianity; Alice in Wonderland; On His Own; and Pride and
Prejudice…more or less in that order.).






There’s
this sense of weirdness that I just love from works like Carroll’s.
I like weird things. Things that make you think, “What would I do
in that situation?” I think weirdness just keeps it interesting.
I also adore satire and political quips in writing, and both Alger
and Austen are good examples of that.






I
respect Lewis for the points he makes in his theology books, the
arguments he brings to your attention that you just can’t argue
with, because he states the truth plain as day, and that’s
something I hope to accomplish in my writings; restating what we all
already truly know, but are too afraid to say, you know, give people
a bit of a wake-up call. Literature is a powerful tool that should
be used for more than entertainment or even encouragement, and I hope
to nudge people not only to change themselves, but also the world
around them by reading my works.

K: Good
choice on authors, and what inspiring thoughts about literature! Can
you pick one of the poems in
A
Book of Rather Uninteresting Poems

and
tell us the inspiration behind it?

C: This
poem doesn’t actually have a name, I couldn’t think of a name
that would fit.






I
remember she was young



I
remember the age was twelve.



She
hated life, and was depressed.



With
no way out, and no one to help



To
end it all seemed the only answer.






But
still she couldn’t manage to go through-



Pull
the trigger, use the knife



The
idea never lasted long-



She
dared to hope, and hope kept her strong.






I
remember those times,



I
think back and catch a breath-



How
foolishly it could have ended;



Ended
there in death.






I
remember the girl,



I
heave a sigh.



I
was the girl-



The
one who contemplated suicide.






I
realize this is a very dark poem, very gruesome, but I think there’s
also hope in that. While I haven’t been “suicidal,” per se, I
was often tempted to take my life when I was younger, and that’s so
stupid, but that’s how I felt. What most people don’t know about
me, is that I’m unhappy roughly 90% of the time, and I’m working
through that. I become depressed very easily. I never used to talk
about it, but my stance has changed on that, and I’ve become more
open about the things I struggle with for the following reason.
Since “growing up” and meeting lots of other people, I realize
I’m not the only one who’s unhappy, dissatisfied, depressed, or
angry with their life. I’m not the only one who struggles.
Honestly, all I’m trying to do for other people is encourage them.
I just want people to know they’re not alone, we’re all going
through stuff, we all feel the same way, and yes, it’s going to get
better.








K: Wow,
Cheyanne. Thank you for sharing that. It can be uncomfortable to talk
about these things, but they are what people deal with and therefore
it’s important to address them and offer God’s hope. Now for an
off-beat question … what is your favorite color and do you see any
connection between that and your personality?

C: Oh,
that’s an easy one! My favorite color has been purple since I was
little. I think it’s because I was really meant to be a princess.
😛 In all seriousness, I tend to enjoy “dressing up” and that
sort of thing. I know purple used to be the color of royalty, and I
think that fits the color itself because it’s really elegant, and I
strive to be elegant, but I’m pretty sure I fail the moment I put
sneakers and leggings on, but they’re just so comfortable.

K: Clever!
Purple suits you. What projects do you have in the works right now?

C: I
have about four more projects at the moment; from conception to
almost completion. In about two weeks, I hope to release my first
novel in a series, China Doll. This is actually the first
time I’ve made that public, so I’m very excited. I also have
plans for a second book of poems that will be collaborated with a new
poet, this being her first release, but I’ll keep things quiet
until we arrive closer to the release date. Other than that, I have
a sequel manuscript to China Doll that will come out in the
summer; another collection of shorts in the works; and I’ve been
toying with the idea of writing a comparison between the public
school system and homeschooling. That’s always just something
that’s interested me, the difference physiologically, emotionally,
physically, and scholastically between the two. Now that I’m both
working and attending a public institution, I’ve been able to see
the good and bad from both sides, and I’d like to share what I’ve
observed with others curious about it as well.




K: All
of your projects sound fascinating! Is there anything you’d like to
tell us, writer to writer, or maybe simply person to person?

C: I
know this is really cliche, but most often the cliche things are the
most true, there’s a reason they came to be cliche in the first
place. Be nice to everyone. Smile. Ask them how their day was.
How hard is it to take two minutes of your day to talk to someone?
Or just wave? I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to being
considerate of another person, especially when I’m tired. But you
literally never know where someone is in life, or what they’re
dealing with, and a kind word or two from your could alter their life
dramatically.

K: Wise
words and a great reminder! Where can readers buy your books and
connect with you?

C: Right
now, my books are just on amazon.com, although I’d love to get them
into Barnes and Noble
in the near future. As for connecting, I’m on just about
everything, with the exception of tumblr.
Facebook, Twitter,
Google+, Pinterest, Instagram…Look me up! And there’s
also my blog, which I post on religiously, much to the annoyance of
my followers, I am sure.


K: Thank
you, Cheyanne, for this fresh and fascinating interview! It was
wonderful to get to know you better and I look forward to reading all
your works! I’ve already started
A
Book of Rather Uninteresting Poems” (and they are interesting! 🙂 )