Hello, everyone. I hope you've all had a pleasant weekend. Let's celebrate this lovely Monday morning by chatting with another great aspiring writer.
Welcome, Heather! Tell us, how long have you been writing poetry and how did you get into it?
I’ve been writing poetry since my first assignment in second grade, at about age 8. The poem was titled 8 balloons and was a creative writing assignment from the teacher. It was considered to be very good and was submitted by the teacher to local press, the school paper as well as a contest. I won the contest and so figured I must be good at this writing thing!
My mother was a huge encouragement growing up. She has the same skills and wasn’t encouraged during her childhood and so she was more than happy to live vicariously through my writing endeavors.
What are your inspirations for your poems?
Oh, that’s a good question. Some come from my own mental health issues stemming from having social anxiety disorder, OCD and PTSD… some comes from my relationships… some come from observations of others… just life in general. Life happens every moment and each moment provides an inspiration for a poem.
Do you read poetry yourself, and if so, who are your favorite poets?
Yes, I do. Favorites? You know, it’s strange; I do not have any particular favorites. I like the classics as well as modern poets. I can find something to appreciate in almost any poem of any kid. Even Dr. Seuss ;)
Besides featuring poetry on your blog, do you share your poetry with friends or family?
Yes, yes I do! One poem I had written was published in an anthology, called “Colors of Life,” with other authors. It was about family relationships. I signed a copy and gave it to my father who I had dedicated the poem to for a Christmas gift.
I often write poems for others, print them out on pretty paper and then frame them as gifts. It’s a talent I have and I use it to share with those I care about. I want to let them know today how much they mean to me now while I still can. There are no guaranteed tomorrows.
Do you have plans to put together a book of poetry for publication?
Other than the “Colors of Life,” I have not considered publishing my poetry. I consider it a bit personal actually. More like a journal than something for public consumption although I do share it on my blog for just that purpose. It’s difficult to describe. I’d feel guilty selling my poems through a book to others. I think they should be freely given.
Which of your poems are you most proud of?
For some reason I can’t explain, the poem “Fear” is my favorite of my own. I don’t know why I’m so proud of it other than it was really a challenge for me to open up so much and left me feeling exposed and raw after I had written it.
Click here to read Fear.
I understand you're also writing a novel. Can you tell us the title and genre?
Yes, it’s untitled but it’s a romance book with a fantasy flair. A woman named Jess is hired to look after an old woman who is receiving hospice care services. The woman one day disappears and there is a young woman now living in her home claiming to be the old lady, renewed. The young woman is refusing to leave until her love returns for her. How she comes to be young again and who this lover really is, is what Jess is left to find out.
Sounds interesting. How did the idea of the book come to you?
*grins* I wrote a poem. The poem became a short story. And then now the short story is becoming a novel. How it came into my head to begin with? I don’t know. When I write, it’s like a movie happening for me and all I’m doing is transcribing what I see on my mind’s screen. I don’t use an outline. I don’t do character maps or plot lines or any of that.
How far along are you now and what is your word-count goal?
How devastating, but glad it's all coming back to you. What's your next step?
My next step is to finish the rewriting. I take things one step at a time and don’t do much future planning either. I’m kinna quirky that way ;)
Do you have a beta reader or critique partner?
I do. My primary beta reader is my husband. He’s not afraid to hurt my feelings if something isn’t quite right. He’s also great at spotting typographical errors! He was a systems data analyst for years, so his eyes are trained for noticing inconsistencies.
Otherwise, I keep it to myself until it’s done. When a project is done, I’ll let then ship it around to some writer friends of mine. Once those critiques come back, I junk them or incorporate them, based on what I think is best for the story. Then I send to some friends of mine who are editors by trade if they have “extra” time. And I usually accept their suggestions.
And finally, where can people find you online?
I am a contributing writer at Special Mom Talk, an online news source for parents of special needs kids, www.specialmomtalk.com
I have my personal blog at http://heathr.wordpress.com
I have a blog about all things related to Autism at http://heatherbabes.autisable.com
I’m a parent blogger for the ezine, Empowering Parents, at http://www.empoweringparents.com/blog/author/heather-e-sedlock/
I’ve had my articles published on numerous other websites but those are the ones I have an on-going relationship with.
I’m also on Twitter as @heathrbabes and facebook.
Heather, thank you so much for chatting with us. I wish you much success with your rewrites. Please let us know when you've reached the next step in your publishing journey.