I am delighted to be able to unveil today’s interview with Kellie Elmore, American poet and author of Magic in the Backyard. If you haven’t discovered it yet, this wonderful collection of prose and poetry is based on Kellie’s experiences growing up in East Tennessee. Here’s what Kellie had to say when she recently stopped by as part of her current promotional blog tour…
Q. A publisher in the UK recently told me that he thought that poetry was tough to market, is poetry a hard sell in the USA?
A. Poetry in general is a hard sell and I think that is attributed to the fact that when people hear the word “poetry”, they assume it is something that they just wont “get” but, poetry has evolved so much and has a variety of voices that anyone today can find a poet to love and relate to.
Q. Having read your book, I was delighted to find that your style of poetry feels much more accessible than others I have come across, but no less affecting. Is that your writing style generally or did you develop the collection in that way specifically for Magic in the Backyard?
A. Thank you, although I have never thought of how I write as a “style”, I just write. I write what I’m feeling, what I remember, what I see, what I hear and I try to get down to the simplest aspects so that it will reach my readers and stay personal to me at the same time. My writing changes as I change, if you read my earlier poems you would probably not even recognize them as being from my pen. The more I read, the more I live, the more I write, my way of telling things changes. Magic in the Backyard just happens to be a collection of poetry from a certain time in my writing life and I am very happy to know that you enjoy it.
Q. Creative writing is just one way of expressing who you are and how you feel. Do you indulge in any other forms of self expression ie, painting, singing, dancing perhaps?!
A. Haha, yes, I sing. I sing in the car like I’m auditioning for American Idol or something! Music is soul food for me and has inspired my pen many times. I also love photography. I am an amateur by all means but, I live in one of the most beautiful places in America and I can’t help but want to capture little pieces of it on film.
Q. From one mother to another, how do you find combining family life with your creative/work life?
A. I must say that I applaud mothers who are writers and who have young children. The time you must devote to writing, the time writing demands from us, makes balancing it with daily life a huge task. Luckily, my son is addicted to Xbox Live (lol) and is involved in an awesome organization called Young Life (younglife.org) so, he has little time to hang out with mom. After I post Free Write Friday, I peel myself away from writing and the internet for the weekend so that is when we take time to make memories. (and we do a lot of fishing)
Q. How did you feel when you finally handed over your finished collection to the publishers?
A. So nervous! I was a hot mess! Worrying and checking my email 500 times a day until I finally heard back from them.
Q. Is your book available in the UK?
A. It is available on eBook on Amazon UK here Magic in the Backyard. Paperback coming soon!
Q. Your readers will no doubt derive their own meanings from your poetry, taking your story and recreating it as their own. However, what one message or idea would you want people to take away from your book when they’ve finished it?
A. Well, once they have turned the last page, I hope they are anxious to read it all over again. That’s a great book! =) Mostly, I just want people to feel good while reading and if they are able to relate or find something that speaks to them personally, reminds them of some one or some place in time then, I have done what I set out to do…made magic.
Q. So now the book is out, you’ve surely realised a long held dream. What next?
A. This is definitely a dream come true and it has made me realize that writing has always been my passion. I have been doing it since I was young and always loved it but I never imagined it taking me anywhere. Now, I intend on writing as often as possible and if Magic in the Backyard is the only thing I ever see in print, I can be happy with knowing I left something behind. My future in writing is unknown as far as publishing but it will remain a part of me and I plan to pursue it wholeheartedly.
Thanks Kellie, and thank you for being one of my earliest supporters of this blog and encouraging me to develop my own passion for poetry! Kellie is a keen blogger and creative entrepreneur and offers all sorts of inspiration for writers over at kellieelmore.com