Saturday, July 17, 2010
An Interview with Enigmatic Author Poppet
So, how does an individual go from writing articles of such goodness, to suspenseful and terrifying tales such as the novels DARKROOM and WOMANISED?
I wanted to know too.
Visit Poppet, her stories, articles, and recipes at http://authorpoppet.wordpress.com/category/author/
Q) What first spurred you to begin writing?
A) I wrote my first book at age twelve. It was appalling. I gave up the dream of being a writer, until I became paralyzed by the Guillain-Barre virus. I was one of the lucky two percent that only have one side of their body paralyzed; this left me with my left hand to do work. I lost my job and considered my options as a halfling. One thing I could do slowly, and in my own time, was sit as half a vegetable at my computer, and type. I am naturally right handed, so learning to write and do all the usual things was humorously challenging with my left hand.
I have always been interested in food as a key to health, and became quite passionate once my mother was cured of cancer by a homeopath after the doctors had given up on her. So I took my time and started writing for two magazines, and was surprised that they both took me on without hesitation. I research my health articles thoroughly, using only medical science as my reference. I like to provide my readers with proof, and “The Journal of Natural Medicine,” who I wrote for, lists all references, as they target people in the health industry. I'm not qualified as a health specialist; I'm just really good at research.
I've been a vegetarian from the age of twelve and did bodybuilding as a vegetarian, so my own experience and research for my own ends have come in handy as a health writer. My passion is obviously food and how food contributes to illness or good health. Ignorance is the biggest cause of disease. I've always felt that if I could save just one person from unnecessary death, the work is worthwhile.
Three years ago I turned my attention to writing fiction, returning to the dream. I wrote four books in a series and joined Authonomy. My work lacked polish and professionalism and the brutal opinions from other writers gave me quite a shock. But they were priceless in my growth as a writer. The fifth full length novel I wrote is “Womanised.” I decided to go back to one of my passions, helping humans, and “Womanised” examines how women get caught in abusive relationships when they are too young and have no reference to compare Mr. Perfect with. A young girl is a prime target to get caught up with a bad seed. “Womanised” follows a young woman's journey through what she considers love, until she discovers what love really is. It's a rite of passage story, which most women should be able to identify with, but it serves as a warning inside fiction, for a younger and older audience to recognize the signs of domination of a detrimental kind in a partner. It's told in a humorous way because the content at times is quite heavy.
This book received a gold star on Authonomy, and at the same time, I got an agent for it. Leaving it in the agent's hands, I continued writing as my health was greatly improved and the bug had once again infected me (the writing bug). “Seithe” followed, and after that “Darkroom.” I write a novel in approximately three months, so these all received peer reviews on Authonomy, and most were complimentary and favorable. And here I am, still writing, and signed with Rebelepublishers. However my agent didn't get me signed, and I continued submitting queries myself.
Q) Well, let’s get right to it. What was the impetus that drove you from writing about healthy lifestyles to the satirically romantic WOMANISED and the psychological thriller DARKROOM?
A) My muse wanted me to write fiction. So I trusted this urge and am so very happy I did.
Psychology fascinates me. My father was abusive and I've known many women in abusive relationships. I partially answer this in my previous answer. I believe fiction should mirror reality. Thus, I wrote “Womanised” as a “Bridget Jones” meets “Nine and a Half Weeks” type read, with a serious moral and message beneath it all.
”Seithe” is my step outside reality book. It's the tale of a fallen angel trying to become mortal, wrapped up in a dramatic love story.
They do say that variety is the spice of life, and I do love spice.
Q) You are a poet. And that fact shines through with a pleasant effervescence in your novels. Each sentence is carefully designed to flow… to merge with the next. It has been said; the best novelists were once poets. Would you agree? And why or why not?
A) I have to agree simply because I am a poet. For two years I had poetry published in “Mobius Poetry” magazine in NY. I ranked well in the Bookhabit international poetry competition in 2008 (run in New Zealand). I came 27th worldwide overall. And I was just approached by “SNM Horror Mag” to publish my dark poetry. August is the first month that my work will be in their zine, and they have enough material from me for a year. They are apparently publishing one of mine a month. Although I never expected to become known for my poetry because I indulge in it just for fun.
Q) You are so talented, and have such diverse interests in writing, where do you see your prose taking you in the future?
A) Honestly, I have no idea how to answer this question, and thank you so much for your kind praise. I would like to continue writing edgy romance; and separately, horrors. I like books that make the reader think and feel a part of the tale. Which is why I can't write straightforward romance. I like to address issues that matter. My book “Pieces” for example examines a cougar with a younger man who cuts himself when stressed. It addresses AIDS and how it affects a couple. Sticking to my creed that fiction should mirror reality. I hope to keep writing novels that my publisher will want to publish.
One day I also hope to write a recipe book, which includes the health information from my articles. But right now it's just one step at a time.
Q) What advice can you offer those who believe they would like to write a book?
A) Write where you feel passion. If you feel strongly about the subject, your work will connect with the reader. Never give up. Seek the reviews of your peers because their insight is invaluable. Never see rejection from an agent or a publisher as a reason to give up. Rejection should simply spur you to keep knocking on doors. The more you knock, the greater the odds of one of them finally opening. However, look for agents that specialize in the genre of your book.
It takes months, sometimes years, for someone to write a book. The fact that you did it means you have the will to succeed. Polish your work, go back to it again and again and remove excess words, make sure it's original, keep trying to outdo yourself. And in this day and age, you can publish yourself. If your work is polished, and you believe in your product, and you aren't afraid of hard work, there is no reason why you shouldn't succeed. Keep writing, and keep shooting for the stars, because you just may catch one that lights up your life.