They call me Alaurilee

My photo
I've been writing poetry from the age of 12. It has, and always will be my outlet, my voice. Join me on my journey . . . I can write about almost anything. :) ~ Life doesn't come with a shiny new book; no users manual of answers to find with one look. Life comes with doors that open and shut; and paths laid before us to be followed or passed up. There's things we can learn and things we may teach; hearts that may find us and souls we may reach. Guaranteed on this journey are teacups of tears; and pains that might hurt us may age us by years. But the beauty of life, love, laughter and giving; come from serving hugs on a platter each and every day we're living. ~

Monday, August 16, 2010

Interview with Me!! Alaurilee: Rhymes of a Random Soul - Alaurilee: ROARS !! :)

This is a long post but hope you will enjoy it . . . :)

So I thought since I am a brand new author and a brand new poetry blogger I would share some info with you all regarding my book. In this post I will include pics of the front and the back covers as well as a Press Release Questionnaire I answered for marketing. It will answer some questions you might have about my book. Hope you enjoy!

AH yes, and on a special note, just recently I realized the acronym for Rhymes of a Random Soul is ROARS. And Alaurilee is my alias . . . so . . . Alaurilee: ROARS !!! I kind of like that.... 

I don't roar often . . . normally I'm about hugs . . .but sometimes . . . you just have to ROAR!! :)

Press Release Questionnaire and Information

Provide a short, but complete synopsis:

As a poetry book this is different in several ways. Not only does it chronicle the history of my growth as a poet; from age 12 to 39; but it also tells stories along the way. Not only my stories, but the stories of many people in my life as well.

The book is divided in 3 sections to account for the 3 names I’ve carried and the growth through each of those stages in my life. The poems are very conversational and tell stories that share and trigger feelings and emotions. My poems are my voice, yet the voice of others as well, in that many times I find my poetry jumps right out and grabs even the somewhat hardened souls, right by the heartstrings.

The first section begins at youth and travels to early adulthood. It shows the mindset of a teen and the dreamy, yet tortured, youth mentality and everything in between; falling in and out of, not only love, but dreams of love as well. You will find random poems of nature, little boys, and survival, even ones about cancer, loss and hope.

The second section starts after a 10 year hiatus from writing and chronicles the end of a 12+ year marriage. There is a bit more emotional pain in this section as I fought to find myself and writing was my key. Even so, hope always seemed to sneak into my words every chance it could. I fought for hope through my writing.

The final section chronicles a new beginning and all the ups and downs of being alone, looking for peace, and looking for love. Also touches on raising a teen. I also started writing from prompts, and some truly beautiful words emerged from that process. This section shows sadness, longing, hope, survival, letting go of baggage, falling in love again and beautiful random poems as well.

All in all, this book is the completion of one dream and the start of the next. The book is in memory of my father, who passed on July, 27, 2009. In some of his last moments he had a flash forward memory, where he saw my, yet unfinished book, in a book store in California. He only saw it in his mind as it wasn’t reality yet. But more importantly he saw it in his heart, and so did I. I saw it in my heart and I saw it in his, and that in part gave me the courage and determination to make it so.

I did this to touch my dad (even if in Heaven) and to honor his memory; and also, to touch people’s hearts and souls—if I may.

Describe your main characters:

The main characters are my family, my friends and I; I as the Alaurilee that lives and breathes inside me; my inner Muse. My characters are also loved ones who’ve touched me; and thoughts and ideas that may have spoken to me and demanded to be heard, and then written.

Characters include fictional ones that tell a story. Sometimes my characters are found in nature, sometimes laughter, sometimes rain and sometimes the sun. And many of them mirror stories in my reader’s lives as well.

In a way, even random thoughts and ideas are characters. A flipping coin is a character, as is a lonely old man. Anything can speak, if we listen.

My characters are brilliant, yet troubled; weak, yet strong; timid, yet bold; scared, yet happy. My characters are all of this and more.

Provide setting - time period and locations:

These poems were written from 1983 through 2010. Even so there is no real set time period. Some are set in the time they were written while others tell stories from other time periods. In general, most of my poetry is timeless and simply written. I designed this book and it’s content to reach the many, young and old.

How long have you been writing?
Off and on for almost 25 years, the most active writing taking place in the last 10 years.

Would you like to share your age with readers?
(Is your age in any way pertinent to your book subject)
I am on the threshold of 40, 39 and aging daily! Or shall I say, growing and gaining wisdom daily.  My age is really no relevance to the book. I think my book is timeless, inspiring and has the ability to reach people for years.

What motivated you to write this book?
I have fancied writing a poetry book for at least 10 years. I started gathering my poetry in hopes of writing a book eventually. My father passed last year and during a less than lucid moment he had a flash forward memory where he said he saw my book in a store in California. He knew it was my dream.

I did this for him, for me, and for all of us who have a voice they hope to share with the world. I did it to pay honor to my past and my growth.

The project came full circle one year almost to the day, of when he passed. I’m truly blessed I got this chance to pursue and accomplish a dream, with the help of my dad’s heavenly faith in me. The only sadness is that I cannot share it with him, so I shall find a special way to give him his own book, even if it’s in a framed shadowbox on my mantle.

Who and/or what inspire you most?
My husband, who helped heal my heart with his love, as he struggles with a Chronic Disease yet fights and works every day, and even more so, lives life as full as he can.

And my son inspires me as well, as he has grown so much—through hardship, pain, divorce, healing and life. And in the end emerging a beautiful, thoughtful, caring soul.

My inspiration is people. People I’ve loved, even people who have troubled me have inspired me. People I’ve known for just moments or for forever.

On a huge universal level my goal is touching hearts and souls; sharing people’s hopes and fears; speaking words straight to their hearts. I love using everything around me to inspire and prompt my creativity. I love being able to work magic with these thoughts and feelings, with my words.

What are your future plans?
 First things first, I will heavily market this first book in the hopes it reaches many. I even hope to find a way to have English teachers share it to their students. I would love to travel and promote it with book signings as well.

I am also working on spreading my brand, “Serving Hugs on a Platter and Tears in a Teacup”. I plan to write until my last breath, if I am able. And publish and create as well. It’s what I love.

I also write customized poetry for special gifts for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations and memorials. I hope to continue that as well. It is truly a priceless gift.

Have you started on your next book?
I actually have started 5 more books.

1) A children’s book about a little green ladybug named Lola. All that is left is the illustrations. This will most likely be my next publishing project.

2) A children’s book for little ones who have lost a grandparent at a very young age.

3) A children’s book where the lead character is a girl inspired by the healthy benefits of water. She becomes an advocate to help people learn to drink more.

4) Book one of a poetry book series, which I have already written approximately 50 new poems for, just this year. These poems are for the most part, prompted by others. They give me a word, phrase, story, thought or a picture and it inspires my storytelling ability as the words just start to flow. I hope to create a series of books based on this book, much like ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ but a poetry version. It will be d├ębuting my brand, ‘Serving Hugs on a Platter and Tears in a Teacup’.

5) A fictionalized tale of the character ‘Alaurilee’, whom I am establishing as my alter ego. This book will tell more of my actual life stories in chapters and prose. It will still feature poetry as well to highlight the stories.

Where did you grow up?
I was born in Santa Rosa, California and lived a short while there. Then I lived a few short years near Flagstaff and Holbrook, Arizona. Eventually settled in for the remainder of my childhood in; Gallup, Continental Divide, and Thoreau New Mexico area. I also spent about 10 years in the Oklahoma City area as well.

What community/town/city do you now live in or near?
Fate and a second chance in life brought me to live near Knoxville, TN. It’s a beautiful slice of Heaven living near the gorgeous Smokey Mountains and all this beautiful greenery. The forest fairies have truly touched my soul. I hope to call this home forever. Living here has truly inspired my creativity in a whole new way.

Are there any famous authors that inspire you?
Henry David Thoreau, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Frost, and Emily Dickenson.

Why do you write?
I write to sooth the thoughts in my head, I write to express myself, I write to tell people stories and give them hope and understanding, and I write . . . to breathe.

When did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?
I didn’t really realize it until I was about 29 or 30. I had found all my earlier writing and was in a very difficult stage of my life. I truly needed a voice, and my writing became my voice. Then to my surprise it became a voice I wanted to share to as many as I could.

Do you ever have problems with writer's block? How do you deal with it?
I very rarely get writers block. I am sometimes overwhelmed with all the stuff that screams to be written. My mind is very busy with rhymes and thoughts and ideas and emotions. It sometimes becomes so much it causes insomnia. But I love it. And I feel very blessed to be surrounded with inspiration in my daily life.

What is your writing schedule?
I write all the time, but not on a specific schedule. It always comes out when it is ready. If something strikes me in the shower, I rush out to write it down. With modern technology I write a lot of my poetry on my blackberry phone. It’s very handy and I can write from anywhere.

How did you feel when you finished writing this book?
Exhilarated, numb, excited, proud, and so accomplished. They sky is the limit!

Do you hope to inspire other writers?
I truly do, and not only other writers, but readers as well. Many of my readers have their own voice; they just haven’t found it yet. I am active in online poetry groups where we truly inspire each other and encourage each other. It’s a beautiful thing.

What advice would you give for people thinking about writing a book?
Just remember to use you’re punctuation when writing even poetry. It will help you when you reach the editing process. Have faith in yourself but be open to at least review suggested changes. It is a long process with a lot of work to be done, but so gratifying as well. For at least your first book try to work with a publisher and not do just self-publishing. You will learn so much about the book industry by doing so. They even have packages where you can partially self-publish yet get marketing as well. This was the way I did it and its working rather well so far.

What do you do for a living?
What is your day job or is writing your day job? For years I did accounting duties for small businesses, car dealerships and then for GMAC (General Motors Financing) most recently. I took a leap of faith and quit full time in early 2010 to concentrate my efforts on establishing myself as a writer and creator, and to complete my first book.

What obstacles have you overcome to write this book?
My first initial obstacle was the funding. And in a weird way, my father passing and leaving me a small sum of life insurance money, became the tool I needed to not only write this book and set myself up in business doing what I love, but to also help my son go through a growth program that healed him, matured him and allowed him to have a second chance in life.

It is so true that there is life, even in death. My dad enabled my dream to write and to help my son by his passing. It’s a bittersweet feeling. I’m eternally grateful to him, which is part of why my book is presented in my dad’s memory.

How long did it take you to write this book?
I started writing the poems for it when I was 12. Stopped at about 19-20 and put it away for 10 years. I found it all and I started compiling the old poetry in Word format when I was about 29-30, then continued adding new poems along the way.

Then in January of 2010 I started the actual book plan and it took about 7 months to complete the project and get the book to print.

What research did you do for the book, if any?
The research has been very little as most of this is stuff that floats around in my head. I have a little bit of poetic freedom I like to claim. Occasionally I will use the Internet to get clarification on topics and to help me out with vocabulary and punctuation questions.

Did you draw on life experience to write this book? If so, can you share that experience in brief?
I thoroughly drew on life experience to write my book. My poetry and my book are like a road map of all I have been through and things I have seen others go through. Even more so a road map of life in general and what we should all try to draw from the life experience.

My motto is this, life hands you tears and hardship, but it also hands you hugs and love, if you are willing to embrace, pay it forward and give it out freely, you will receive it back two-fold. Basically the truth of life is that sometimes bad happens, we learn, we grow, we survive, and then we have the chance to share our experience as a testimony. And sometime good happens, and we embrace it and celebrate that too. I just chose to share all of this via poetic words that dance around people’s hearts, coaxing them to embrace their emotions, own them, and experience them to the fullest.

Do you possess a unique quality or talent that might relate to the purpose of this book?
I do actually. With just a few details, facts, stories, pictures and insights I gather from people, I am able to pull out beautiful words that relate their experience to the world. I speak for people who have no voice. Sometimes I thoroughly blow people away with what I can come up with and how quickly it flows once the writing process begins. I think my unique talent is that I can feel emotions, and feeling so deeply, not only in myself, but in others. This ability allows me to be able to touch people on a beautiful level, with my poetic, musical, words that reach straight to their hearts.

Is there anything else you'd like to tell us? (Possibly about your home, family, life purpose, your community, etc)
I live in a 2 family home. My husband is a business man who travels weekly. He also is a fighter of painful Chronic Crohn’s Disease and every day is a blessing in survival. I have a 17 year old son who is an avid skateboarder and a High School Senior this year. I am also the proud Mom of an older son who has blessed our lives with 2 grandchildren. We live in one section of our home.

The other section of the house is occupied by my husband’s parents, both in their 70’s. My Father-in-law recently fought prostate cancer, and survived while taking care of his wife. My Mother-in-law has been battling Multiple Sclerosis for almost 50 years. With all our struggles and ailments we stick together and help each other. And we freely share hugs to help us get through with smiles on our faces and love in our hearts.

I love reaching out to others and am a huge supporter of those struggling with life threatening illnesses. Having several friends and family members touched by cancer, I am inspired by those in the fight of their lives. To show my support, I have walked in the ‘Buddy’s Race for the Cure’, in Knoxville, TN, for the past 3 years and plan to continue this tradition for many years to come. I also participated in the inaugural Cards4Cancer project in April, 2010; even writing a special poem of survival for cancer fighters; and organizing and helping make 200 cards for a local Cancer Center in Knoxville.

My Mission and my life purpose are simple: To touch people lives with my words . . . and to Serve Hugs on a Platter and Tears in a Teacup. Every life I touch, in turn touches me. And I am grateful.