Her new book, Dreaming in Darkness published by Winter Goose Publishing has been receiving rave reviews online as she travels around cyberspace doing promotions via her blog tour. Dreaming in Darkness is Jessica’s first volume of poetry but has already made her debut as an author and co-creator of Inspiration Speaks, a collaboration of artists and writers. But that’s not all, Jessica’s second book, Threads of Life is set to be released in March of 2012.
Jessica began writing at an early age and her passion grew with every word she penned. Jessica states, “Poetry is my heart, anchors my soul and documents my journey.” Introducing the amazing Jessica Kristie…
Jessica, I am so excited to talk to you because, I have been keeping updated on your blog tour which has been a complete success by the way, and I wanted to try to ask you some things that you haven’t been asked thus far. I can only imagine how monotonous it can feel when being asked the same questions time and time again and trying to answer a slightly different way than the first hundred times. So, I thought I could bring you some relief today and change things up a bit. Is that ok with you?
Sounds great, thank you for having me.
Do you remember what sparked your muse and made you pick up your pen for the first time?
I was quite young, and believe it started with a school project. I discovered I had a knack for writing and especially enjoyed poetry. I discovered it was a healthy and private venue for me to release my emotions.
Do you remember the first piece of poetry/prose you ever wrote and if so, would you mind sharing it with us?
I do, actually, but they are buried away somewhere in a keepsake box. J I have an old binder of poems I wrote when I was ten. Most of them are about God. I hope to find them soon, too, as I would like to read them again. I have written poems on and off since then, with a pretty consistent run during high school. I hadn’t written much through my early adult years, but I have really found my voice over the last five years.
If someone made a movie of your life, who would play you? and what would you like for the message to be about who you are as not only an author but as a person?
I have no idea who would play me, but I hope they would discover in researching my life that I was a good mother, an awesome friend, and always tried to do the right thing. They would probably also find out that I was far from perfect, and made my share of awful mistakes. But what is a good movie without a little drama, right?
What was the first piece of poetry/literature you ever read and did it have an influence on you and your way of writing? How?
I’m not sure the first piece I ever read, but I do remember the first one that stuck with me. Nothing Gold Can Stay, by Robert Frost, was the first poem I memorized, and it really meant something to me. I think it taught me that there is so much more behind words than what you might originally read. That you can take from someone else a learning experience, an epiphany, hope, forgiveness—whatever you need to take from it. That is how I like to write. I want to leave as much as I can open for the reader to find their own connection and meaning.
Most, if not all poets can be learned about through simply reading what they have written. Of everything you have written, which piece do you think is the most personal and reveals the most about you?
Each piece is a story and holds something heavy that you can learn about me. I write from an honest and raw place that will always be revealing. There is a prose piece in Dreaming in Darkness entitled “Remembering Closure” that was a turning point for me. It was the piece that helped me find my way and my evolved voice. I walked away from that one exhausted, and knew from then on that my writing would never be the same, and it hasn’t been.
I have written many pieces that I am unwilling to share, because of the personal relationship to the subject. Have you ever not published something because it was too revealing?
Of course. But I also hide my revelations in my writing. I don’t discuss my realty, not only because it can often be painful or even inappropriate, but also because I don’t want to box a reader in. If I just flat-out state something, it might eliminate a connection the reader could have had. I don’t like my writing to be one road. I like to dust off the path but leave it to you to pave it.
There is a real story behind everything I write, even if the story is just one emotion that lasted for a day. I could sit with you and tell you what each of my poems meant; they all hold a truth for me. Maybe that will be for my autobiography one day.
Writers gain inspiration from many sources; nature, personal circumstance and I myself find that photography seems to be the match that sets my muse on fire. What would you say has been the main source for your inspiration, what is it that always brings words into your head?
Music is a huge inspiration to me, but over the last two years I have found that I can pull inspiration from everything; from watching TV to staring at the stars.
Let’s touch on your latest release, Dreaming in Darkness. Tell me, were you at all nervous sending your poetry out to the world for all to see? Did you have any reservations at any point?
Yes, I was extremely nervous. Luckily I had tested a lot of my style and work on my blog, so I was a little more at ease when it came to my audience. I was a little worried about my family reading some of my work with the higher sexual undertones, but in the end I realized that these were all things each of us experience and can relate to, whether you want to say it out loud or not. I just chose to say it out loud. I just recently found out my grandmother read my book. I felt sick for a minute but was honored that she enjoyed it. I have had an overwhelmingly good reception from all my readers, including my family.
Remorse… I know that when I write a post for my blog, it always seems to be that once I click “publish” I cringe, because nine out of ten times I will think “I wish I had left that out” or “I should have added this”. If you could go back, is there anything you would have omitted or included?
No, I have learned to let go. I do still cringe sometimes when I hit publish but that comes from bearing my soul. I try not to get too caught up in criticism, reviews, etc. There are bound to be people who don’t like your style and can’t relate. We can’t please everyone with our work but we can be happy with what we put out there, because it is honest and pulled from a deep part of us. Make it the best you can, be proud of it, and then let it go.
If you had to choose one piece in your book to make people want to read the whole thing, which would it be?
I would probably have to choose “Heavy Burden.” It is a prose-poetry piece that gives you a deep look into my vulnerability as a parent. It is more forthcoming than some of my other pieces. I also really like the accompanying poem to that prose piece, “We Walk on Water.”
O.k. let’s have some fun…
If you were a T-shirt, what would you say?
I bite, but don’t let that stop you.
What is the last thing you remember that made you literally “LOL”?
I do a funny photo on my Facebook Fanpage each week. The one I did a week or so ago made me laugh pretty good. (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=282345438471481&set=a.169329096439783.29271.168638683175491&type=1&theater)
Wishing wells, Birthday cakes, shooting stars…we all make wishes, and lots of them. What have you wished for that has come true?
I have been really blessed this last year with my book, the Inspiration Speaks project, my work with several publishing companies, and all my upcoming projects. My world has changed and I am able to focus on my writing and projects. I couldn’t ask for a better wish to come true.