1. Were you always interested in poetry growing up, and when did you start dedicating yourself to writing as an adult?
Yes, I have always been interested in poetry. As a small child, I can remember composing "rhymes" and songs. I loved words. I loved performing for family and friends. So, once I realized I could play with words and create my "masterpieces" when the ending of words sounded alike, I was ecstatic! I enjoyed being creative and loved what I was doing.
As an adult, my dedication evolved through my personal experiences and the experiences of others. I began writing for meaning and poignancy. I wanted to write what I "feel" from the depth of my soul.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to verbalize our thoughts. But I believe my gift is to articulate feelings into words. I want to bridge a connection. My dream is to powerfully arrange my words and writings so that the pages connect with the soul of another's feelings. And when one reads my work, they will say, "That's exactly how I feel!" or "How did she know that?" or "I experienced the same thing!"
2. How would you describe the relationship between your spirituality and your writing?
My writing and my spirituality go hand in hand. I write what I feel. I write what I want others to know and I write to share words of encouragement. I love to help others and let others know that they are not alone. We all experience hurt. We all experience pain. My pain may not be the same or as severe as yours, but it is still pain. The joy lies in knowing that we are in this together. And together we can strengthen each other.
3. What inspired you to release your work in audio format, and what was the process like in creating your debut CD?
I truly believe that God places people in our lives to make things happen or help steer us in the right direction. I was inspired by an author/publisher, Fay Alice Walker, to release my work in audio format.
I was attending a Georgia Peach Writer's book club meeting one Saturday. Each author was discussing their book and sharing excerpts. At the time, I didn't want to share information regarding my upcoming novel because I needed to tweak it a bit more. But, I always memorized my poetry and I loved to share. I recited a poem with the other writers and Fay immediately told me how much she enjoyed it. I was pleasantly surprised because I had no idea I would get the reaction she gave. She told me she could hear my poetry with music. She asked, "Do you know how many people would love to listen to smooth sounds and poetry as they travel, dine, walk in the park, or just want to relax?" I thought about it and immediately contacted a producer. My CD project started from there, and I thank God for sending Fay to help me to realize the possibilities!
4. Could you give us sort of a snapshot of the ideas, topics, and themes that readers will find in your book, From Pain to Praise?
First of all, let me define "snapshot." For me, a snapshot can tell an entire story or only part of a whole. One of my favorite snapshots is, "Everyone possesses a license for healing, harvesting, and redemption. That license never expires." The meaning behind that snapshot is that it is never too late to overcome, start a new or escape the things which held you bound.
From Pain to Praise is a collection of poetry, words of inspiration, and short stories. It is truly an inspiration. It's cathartic. It's real.
Have you ever felt like throwing in the towel? Has it ever seemed that past hurt has moved in, packed your bags, and is forcing you out of your own home? Where do you go and what do you do when you feel all hope is gone?
As Christians, we are faced with numerous circumstances, causing "internal injuries," leading to a life of pain and resulting in permanent scars. We live in a world that no longer seems to care. As soon as you've endured one storm, another tumultuous cloud is in the making. But we serve an awesome God, don't we? He has pills for your pain, promise for your prayers, and power for your praise!
From Pain to Praise is about life, love, and everything in between. It will make you smile. It will soothe your soul. And then... you will be filled with praise!
5. Do you find that your career in HR is completely separate from your writing, or do ideas for poems sometimes come to you during your workday?
While one may think my career in HR and my writing are separate, I must say they are intrinsically intertwined. No matter what I do in my career as a HR professional, I often receive ideas for my writing. People, places, things and situations inspire me. And I can't imagine how the two (career and writing) can be independent of one another. Many thoughts and ideas come to me during the workday, sometimes taking my mind off of work! And that can be a positive and productive distraction. LOL (But don't tell my boss!) :)
There is a lot more in store for my career as an author. The bigger picture is for me to enjoy life, learn, support other authors, grow, give back, share, and be the best individual that I can be!