This will be my third author conversation that I have done. I have enjoyed getting to know some of the authors that I have been participating in promotions with, and I hope you have enjoyed reading them (because I have a few more in the works). Today I meet with poet C. Streetlights.
Today I have the pleasure of sitting down with author/poet C. Streetlights. Thanks for dropping by. Can I offer you anything? Coffee, tea, or other?
I’d love a Diet Coke, thank you!
I’m going to jump right into the most pressing question on reader’s minds: What the heck does C. stand for?
Ha! It is a mystery I will not divulge.
Fair enough, we all need an air of mystery around us, don’t we?
We do. When I first started writing, I had to stay anonymous due to some possible retaliation from the school district I once worked for. Now that that threat has all but disappeared, the mystery has stuck.
What was the first book you remember reading on your own?
I loved the Golden Books. My older brother and sister made the mistake of teaching me to read when I was quite young, I was about 3 years old. I say mistake because they thought it was great fun to teach me to read by decoding the words but not anything about comprehension. This caused me some strife in kindergarten because all I wanted to do was read but not tell what the story was about. But to your question, we had a lot of Golden Books when I was little, and I just loved those. I also loved anything by Richard Scarry. I would spend hours looking at the pictures and finding the Lowly Worm.
The idea that those little marks represent something we can say is quite fascinating for kids. But you are right; comprehension is the key. The answer to “Why am I reading this?”
Exactly, and I struggled with comprehension for a minute, but then I caught up to my classmates. My brother and sister were still pleased with themselves, though.
Do you have a favorite book?
I have always loved To Kill a Mockingbird. Taught it to ninth grade honors students for years, and it has always resonated with me. Perhaps I identify with Scout in her precociousness and desire to understand the world around her.
I’ve read that book before, quite a while back, though.
To me, it is timeless though I know that there has been some debate over it and the role white people have in combating racism.
What was the first book you published?
I first published with Tea and Madness. I was very nervous to publish because these were my private thoughts in dealing with depression, losing a baby, and being a rape survivor. I wasn’t sure how the audience would respond to that. But I went ahead and publish and held my breath. Thankfully, I found many people who were touched by the memoir, and I have received many messages and emails from readers who appreciated the work.
As writers, we are able to put into words what some others cannot, and this allows our creations to help our readers.
This is very true. I think that as writers we bridge the gap between what is intellectually known and what is emotionally known. We should be mindful of that because it is a responsibility.
Your newest book, Black Sheep Rising, is a memoir written in prose and poetry. Why did you choose that format?
I love both poetry and prose because I feel these formats are more reflective of me and how I think. I have a very free-verse, free thought, way of thinking and I make connections by drawing comparisons or examples. I have found poetry to be especially freeing when I write about hard topics because I don’t bind myself to the usual rules of writing. Poetry and prose have really been therapeutic for me in my recovery because it is very intimate in how I approach writing it. When you read my work, it really is reading what is in my heart and my experience.
I write the same way, not setting out to write any specific form, letting the words and phrases dictate the stanzas and rhymes. I also started writing poetry as a therapy. Words on the page have a way of making thoughts more tangible and then more pliable, don’t they?
I’ve always felt that the written word is so empowering. Once we set the words on paper, they come alive, and we are set free from their burden.
I read in your bio that you live in California. How has this year affected your writing?
Well, I grew up in California and lived there until I was 19 years old. I then moved to Utah for school. My memories of growing up there has definitely shaped how I write, however. I draw on my memories of being a child there and having the never-ending sunshine. I think the California lifestyle of being laid back and casual has helped form my laid back, free verse, writing style a great deal.
What’s the best thing about living in the mountains?
Oh, the mountains! The mountains have so much personality to them. One moment they are bright and green, the next they are a fire-red and orange, and then they’re covered in snow. The fall is my favorite time for the mountains as it looks like an enormous quilt has been laid on top of them. The colors are so vibrant and rich.
Mountains are stunning to see for the first time. And the second. Well, yeah, all the time.
I always have some music-related content on my blog, so let’s segue into that, shall we? Any favorite genres or bands?
I don’t have any particular favorite as far as band or singer or genre. Right now, I’m listening to the Derry Girls soundtrack—is it still called a soundtrack these days?
I think so…I don’t know a better title.
—and that music is all from the 90s. I also enjoy 21 Pilots and Lizzo. Kind of a contradiction, I know, but I’m really all over the place with music!
There’s good music in almost every genre.
Do you have a favorite meal or snack to eat that other people just think is weird?
I really enjoy rice cakes with peanut butter. People don’t get it and complain about how tasteless and dry rice cakes are, but honestly, with peanut butter it is *chef’s kiss*.
I do like peanut butter. I discovered Jiff Dark Roasted recently. Now that’s…as you put it…*chef’s kiss*.
I am putting that on my shopping list to give it a try. I’m usually a Skippy girl, but the dark roasted sounds delicious.
It is! Are you ready for the lightning round?
Oh dear, let’s have it.
Great! Here we go.
Forests or lakes?
Highways or byways?
Diners, Drive-ins, or Dives?
Without looking at a keyboard, what number has the ampersand?
I saw you peek.
Ha-ha, I did not, actually.
This has been a pleasure. Thanks for chatting. Any links you want to share?
Yes! I’d love for people to chat with me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/cstreetlights or they can find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CStreetlightsAuthor. And of course, you can find all my books here: https://www.amazon.com/C-Streetlights/e/B0109132XG.
New Promos (StoryOrigin / BookFunnel)
Featured Author: Teresa James
Teresa James is known for her poetry and art shared throughout social media as Love of a Poet. Where you can actually interact with her. She is passionate about the creativity and beauty of poetry. She mostly writes short poems about love and relationships. She is a mother of seven children, a horticulturist, and philanthropist. While going through heartbreaks, struggles, and grief throughout life. She learned to write her emotions down on paper to vent and release pain. She now bleeds ink by writing and sharing through her poetry.
Free Poetry Books
Sci-fi Available on Kindle
See all currently running promos here: Discover New Authors and Free Books
That’s it for this week!
The story behind Free Book Friday:
I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?
Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.
Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
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