1. Hi, and thank you for joining me here. Instead of me yammering about, why don’t you tell my readers who you are and what it is you write.
A: My name is Olivia K. Spektor, thank you again for featuring me. I am a writer, artist and, most importantly to me, an aspiring author. I have written a lot of poetry, mostly from my youth, detailing my own journey of self-discovery. Some of them are very much full of angst, but over the years I have come to terms with who I am and I think poetry helped me get to this point the most. I also write short stories and I am currently editing my very first Novel and hope to debut it within a year.
2. The particular thing that caught my, and many people’s notice, was a beautiful poem you posted in the Nanohana writing group. You used the titles (effortlessly and wonderfully so) of many member’s novels. Asides from it being a project, what prompted you to write that particular poem? I mean, you had a laundry list of titles you could have used, but you chose fellow members. Thank you for that.
A: My initial thought was to use the books on display, but as I skimmed through other people’s poem entries, I saw that everyone else was doing that too. I don’t like poems to be generic, so I thought “what else can I do”? It wasn’t hard to decide I wanted to use fellow Nanohana titles, because that community has become a large part of me and I like to give back to them whenever I can. Not only this, but it was self-promo Friday and I love seeing writers promote other writers and I wanted to be a part of that. So, I pulled up lists of the published titles, wrote down the titles that stuck out to me most and got to working. I noticed they all held a similar theme and my mind picks up easily on this specific topic: dreams. Most of the titles were fantasy based so it made it easy to find a subject. After that was just piecing them together like a puzzle.
3. I’ve normally interviewed novelists, so forgive me for being out of my depth and asking what might be some silly questions. But, what’s one of the challenges you face in writing poetry? I’m totally ignorant on the subject. I can read it, appreciate it, but it’s always harder writing it than enjoying it.
A: Not silly questions at all! For me poetry comes easiest when I’m feeling intense emotions. For me, this is different than being visited by a muse, because these feelings are their own entity and don’t inspire me so much as demand to be written. It is like ripping out a chunk of my heart and pasting it to paper. I have heard that many other poets have this similar problem. Also, a lot of poets can’t write unless they are in a mentally dark place, and unfortunately for me, I’m the same way most of the time. I know, that’s the most poet thing to say. I can’t help it. Anyway, my poetic prowess had hit a dry spell until my library had that challenge up for the students, then suddenly, I wrote that poem like I had been able to in the past, but without all the anguish and turmoil. This has actually inspired me to try new forms of poetry, like black out poetry and I can’t wait to see where that takes me.
4. The totally unexpected follow up. *BAM* What’s one of the joys of writing poetry? Obviously, you love it. But, is there something more? Do you love the way it all takes shape and form? Do you love the challenge of it? Maybe it’s how you make others feel. A combination of all of the above and or more?
A: Well, it took a long time before I decided to share my poetry. I decided to put them in the open because I wanted to know how many others can relate or understand. I knew I couldn’t be the only one who had these feelings. I know the best moment for me so far was a coworker of mine, who was in high school, read through my poetry on my blog and picked two poems as his favorite that he could relate to. The two he picked, and he could have chosen any of the forty-seven that were out at the time, just happened to be the two that were the hardest for me to share because of how emotionally taxing they were to write. The way that made me feel, that someone, even just one person, read my poems and could get something from it, was the best feeling in the world.
5. What are some of the things you’d like to see happen to your work, or from it as a result? Is this something you want to pursue as a career?
A: The only thing I can really hope will come from my poetry, or anything that I write, is that someone reads it and feels something. If I can do just that, I think I have succeeded as a writer, regardless of how much money it rakes in. I definitely want to pursue writing as a career, it is the one thing that brings me the most joy and relief from the hardships of the world and it’s the one thing that has always felt right in my life.
6. Who are some of the authors/poets that inspire you? Are the artists outside the literary field that you also draw inspiration from? I know that often times I’ve been inspired by digital artwork notably. In fact, the current science fiction I’m writing came about from a single still image of a sci fi scene. Tell us!
A: My number one inspiration for any and all of my writing is Emilie Autumn. She’s a musician/song writer/performer/actress/singer, really the list goes on. Her style is unique and vibrant in a way that is hard to explain. She has figured out a way to mesh Victorian, burlesque and asylum all together into her own genre of music and I can’t get enough. In fact, my current work in progress, a novel, is equal parts inspired by her song “Mad girl” and Olivia Plath’s poem “Mad Girls Love Song”. The poem also inspired the title for my novel, “A Mad Girls Lullaby”.
7. If you plan to pursue longer form writing, do you think your poetry, and the skills you’ve learned from it will show up in your novels? I’ve seen a fair hand of fiction where there’s beautiful, almost poetic prose. At times, there’s also just poems placed into those works.
A: Most definitely! I don’t know if I can say that my prose is poetic, but I do want to incorporate poetry into my future novels. The way that Tolkien did it in the Hobbit I think is what gave me the idea to incorporate poetry and prose together. I feel it adds more color and depth to the work in a way that isn’t seen often enough.
8. Thank you for doing this and for the last bit I’d love for you to share where people can find you, your work, and if there’s anything else you’d like to say, please go for it!
A: People can find me on Facebook and Instagram. I’m more active on Facebook, where I’ll post updates, and pictures that may be inspiring for some. On my website is where I put my poetry, some short stories, artwork, and more recently a blog.
Thank you, R.R. Virdi, again for this and I really admire your work so this means a lot that you would give me this opportunity.