1. Which book (or other media) would you say is your largest influence?
Contemporary poetry has been a large influence. Sylvia Plath. As well as certain television shows.
2. What part of the book was the most difficult to write?
Most of the book was both, hard and easy to write. Since it’s poetry, much of it comes from personal experiences, having to go back and edit poems and reopen wounds is a difficult thing to do. Though the initial feelings that created each poem came
3. What was the seed of the book, or the very first thing that came to you as you started the writing
The title, Oil Spill, was the first idea I had. The idea just resonated with me, this toxic, black substance being able to reflect light in a beautiful way, almost hiding its own darkness behind a mixture of colors. I can relate.
4. Did the book change a lot through different drafts? How so?
Not so much. After completing the first draft, I’d go through the entire book multiple times, making small changes or cleaning things up. But the book stayed more or less the same throughout each draft.
5. If you had to pick any aspect of the book to change, what would it be?
Sometimes when I have an idea for a poem, in my mind I can see and feel exactly what I want to express, but I can not find the
exact words to use to adequately express these ideas. And the poems, to me, seem incomplete.
6. How much of yourself do you find in the protagonist? Was any of it intentional?
Every poem in my book has some connection to my life.
7. If this is your first experience writing in this genre, what drew you to write the book specifically this
way? (If not, what makes this genre one you like to write in?)
I enjoy writing poetry because it’s a way for me to express myself in a very personal and raw way. I like the idea of being able to connect with someone through my words and feelings.
8. Did you ever find yourself burning out on the book? How did you get through that?
Definitely, writing a book is a daunting task. My book isn’t terribly long, but even a short one like mine takes a
mental toll. The only way for me to get through it is to take a break for a couple of days, let yourself relax
and the writing will come back to you.
9. What do you most hope readers will take away from this book?
I just want readers to relate to the things I express in the book. I hope they read it and realize they are not alone.
10. Was this book easier or more difficult to write than others you’ve written?
This is my first.
11. Is this a book that could be easily adapted to other media (movie, podcast, etc.)? How much do you
think an adaptation might change it?
I do not think this book could be easily adapted.
12. Has writing this book changed your worldview at all?
After having published the book, and receiving a couple reviews, I have realised that more people than I thought can relate to the ideas and feelings I express in my book.
13. How much do you think your life impacted how the book turned out?
My life impacted the entire book, as it is entirely drawn from my life and my experiences.
14. Is there a certain place/time of day that most inspires you to write?
I enjoy the late night hours. When you’re mentally tired and the hopefulness of the day has worn off. When you’re not ready to go
to sleep, but you can’t do anything else. When you’re a little sad, and thinking about things that could have been.
15. Do you have a writing routine? How well do you follow it?
My routine simply consists of just reading for a bit beforehand, to get myself in the creative mindset and become motivated.
16. Do you think any books (or other media) have been bad influences on your writing?
For me, it’s most important that I write for myself. It’s important that I write how I want to write, in my own voice.
Though sometimes if I’m reading another book, I’ll get the idea in my mind that I have to write like they do in order for my book to be successful, and I start doubting my own voice.
17. If you could pick any book to write differently (yours or another’s) which would it be?
It would probably be this one, Oil Spill. I could have kept the unpublished manuscript forever, continuously
changing and adding and editing. Because to me, it will never be perfect. The book of poems is a direct
reflection of me and my life, and since I am constantly growing and changing, the book would potentially also continue to change. I am happy with the book as it is now, though if I had the chance to rewrite it, I think I’d take that chance.
18. What writers do you look up to most, either for their writing or as human beings?
19. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Write for yourself, write what you love, and do not worry about what others will think.