We offer our first and exclusive Q&A Interview with Grace Y. Estevez, a writer whose literary works have been featured on our Spillwords pages as well as being Author of the Month of March 2022.
What does it mean to be selected as Author of The Month?
Being Author of the Month is an honor and I am extremely grateful to everyone at Spillwords as well as those in the community who have voted for me. I have always written poetry for myself because I truly enjoy it and have only recently begun sharing it with others. As such, this has been a wonderful affirmation that has added to my motivation to create new works.
How have your friends and/or family influenced your writing?
Everyone and everything has influenced my writing. Who I am today is the direct result of every interaction I have had, whether positive or negative. When I get to know any living being, I empathize with them. When it comes time to write, I free flow from the emotions that I pull from those feelings and experiences.
What inspires you to write?
My creativity comes from my True Self which is in constant communication with my character. Inspiration for that creativity comes from my interactions. Poetry runs through my head almost constantly. If I were to write it all down, I don’t think I would have time to actually live a normal life.
What was your writing catalyst?
I started writing when I was young because my perception of the world needed an outlet. Growing up, those around me would request my opinion on ways to improve their lives. Eventually, I decided to integrate that into my poetry. Seeing the effect it has on their lives keeps me motivated to keep sharing.
Tell us a little bit about your writing process?
Most of my writing is free flow. Usually, I have a poem enter my mind and then I write it down. After it’s written, I adjust it for syllables if necessary. Occasionally, I’ll plan out the structure that I would like my next poem to be before free-flowing.
What would you say is most fulfilling about writing?
Getting feedback from my readers is the most fulfilling part for me. I have often wondered if others see the world the same way that I do. When I hear from my readers, I feel connected to them and I guess it makes me feel like we are all the same. Regardless of how we look or where we come from, we all experience similar emotions from the events that occur in our lives.
Does the addition of imagery help to tell your story?
While I do not think the imagery is essential, I do think it can enhance the reader’s experience by setting the mood. In a way, it can help to align the emotional experience.
What is your favorite reading genre?
My favorite genre is a mystery. I love reading about all the circumstances around an event and trying to discover the solution. As an added bonus, I get to see what conclusions the characters jump to, based on their perception, and how they react when they discover the truth.
What human being has inspired you the most?
I would have to choose a combination of all the elders in my family. They taught me so much about the knowledge that has been lost. Ancient wisdom, while often forgotten, was gained during a time when people were less distracted and could really listen to the voice inside of them. This valuable knowledge is usually passed on word of mouth between generations. I pass this information on to my children as well as to my readers through my poetry.
What message would you have for the Spillwords Press community that voted for you?
Thank you so much for your support. All of you provide me with so much motivation and for that, I am extremely grateful. I hope my poems can inspire you to make your own lives better and I wish you all the happiness that you seek.
What would you like your legacy as a writer to be?
I would like to be thought of as a poet that people could relate. Ideally, I would like to be known as someone that provided hope at just the right time and in just the right way.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Through the different experiences I have had in my life, I have been fortunate to connect with different people from different cultures all around the world. What I have learned is that there are different forms of happiness (seven I have identified so far). When someone finds their form, they try to convince others to do the same because they mistakenly think they are helping them. My advice is to spend some time finding out what makes you happy, at your core, and then pursue it with your full focus until you achieve it.
Grace Y. Estevez-Reddy has always had a passion for poetry. While students were paying attention to their teachers, Grace was staring outside the window and writing poetry to describe her emotions. A natural empath with an appreciation for the meaning behind everything, she enjoys imagining what it would be like to walk in the shoes of others. Grace lives in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina with her husband, children, and two dogs.