Hi Floriana! Thanks for taking time to chat with us. How long have you been a writer? What made you put that first poem down on paper?
Q. How long have you been a writer? What made you put that first poem down on paper?
A. I have been seriously writing since I was sixty-eight years old, although I wrote short verses as a child and articles for my high school newspaper. I was inspired in church ten years ago by the priest's homily. The poem, LOVE NEVER DIES, literally 'popped' into my head. When I arrived home, I noticed a contest in the newspaper, sent my poem, and won the Editor's Choice Award.
Q. What types of poems do you write?
A. Most poems, stories, and books I write convey a positive message, a moral or inspire in some way. Everything I write is written in a Christian manner. However, people tell me that they believe I can write any type of poem about any subject.
Q. What do your family/friends think about your writing? Are they supportive? Do you share projects from the start or wait until completion?
A. Some of my family are very supportive, others do not read books or do not enjoy poetry and I respect their feelings. Most of my friends are supportive. I tend to share projects from the start with people who are interested.
Q. For you, what is most frustrating about writing? Most rewarding?
A. The most rewarding aspect of writing is when readers tell me they have learned something from my books or poetry, or that my creations have helped them. Writing keeps me alert. I would say that deadlines are the most frustrating.
Q. Do you read much? What kinds of books inspire you to write -- if any? Favorite authors?
A. I am an avid reader, and choose only wholesome books for the most part. I also read some controversial books in order to form my own opinion. My favorite authors of fiction are Lisa Wingate, Maeve Binchy and Nicholas Sparks. However, autobiographies, biographies, and nonfiction are at the top of my list.
Q. How do you handle rejection letters? Any hints?
A. With a grain of salt. My motto is "The secret of life is not to take it personally."
Q. If I were sitting down to start my very first poem, what would your advice be?
A. Buy a Dictionary, a Thesaurus, and a Rhyming Dictionary. Not everyone can write, or would want to, I have been told.
Q. Do you take most of your ideas from life? Or your imagination? A mix? (Do you hate when people ask this?)
A. When writing poems, at least two a week, most ideas zap into my brain early in the morning about five AM. Twenty minutes later, they are typed on the computer, and I go back to sleep. However, when I write poems on request, it takes a little longer. I am never irritated by any reasonable question.
Q. Do you have days when the words won't flow? What do you do?
A. Early morning ideas seem to flow freely. My husband, family, home and friends occupy the rest of the day. When writing a book, I spend approximately one hour at a time (twice a week) at the computer before making dinner. There are days when I procrastinate, just relax and enjoy the sunshine and flowers.
Q. What do you do to unwind and relax?
A. Water exercise, walking and hiking. I like wholesome movies, visiting with family and friends.
Q. Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and started writing? Do dreams inspire you?
A. I usually awaken at five AM and jot down any ideas or poems. Rarely do I remember dreams, or write about them.
Q. Do you have a 'golden rule' of writing that almost always works for you?
A. Just "go with the flow" of thoughts and come back to edit or revise, if necessary.
Q. What's your opinion on "How-to" books on writing? Helpful, a waste of money?
A. In some instances, a waste of money. Everyone has their own style and tends to follow it.
Q. What's the best piece of advice you've been given as a writer? What's the worst?
A. The best advice I ever received was to write in an easy to understand style, because half the population of readers do not read above an eighth grade level. The worst is when I have been asked to change a rhyming poem into free verse.
Q. Did we forget anything? What would you like to add? Any upcoming publications or links for our readers? Current projects we should watch for?
A. A reporter from Record Publishing will interview me tomorrow and I will have an article in their papers about how I started The Poet's Nook. They will also mention my books, SMALL CHANGE, DADDY WAS A BAD BOY, THE SANDS OF RHYME, and OUT OF THE ORDINARY Short Stories, plus the two Poet's Nook books, THROUGH OUR EYES, Poems of Beautiful Northeast Ohio, and POET'S NOOK POTPOURRI. I was Poet of the Month for July for www.LongStoryShort.us, and I have stories and poems on www.Applecartmag.com and other websites .
Currently, I am waiting for a response from a publisher for my revised version of SMALL CHANGE; title, THE ADVENTURES OF FLOSSIE, ROBBIE and JUNEY During the Great Depression. Another book is almost finished, called HEARTS ON THE MEND. Also putting together a children's poetry book, TOUCHING THE HEART OF GENERATIONS, which will include five year's of the children's winning poems of The Poet's Nook annual contest, plus poems of our members. Hope to have this book on the market by September 2005.
Book signings August 20 at Blue Heron Bookstore in Peninsula, Ohio, 1:00 PM until 2:30 PM