We offer our first and exclusive Q&A Interview with LadyLily, a writer whose multiple literary works have been featured on our Spillwords pages as well as being Author of the Month of July 2017.
What does it mean to be selected Author of the Month for July?
I am honoured and truly humbled to have my work acknowledged as worthy by the outstanding writing community on Spillwords. I have always lacked confidence in my writing, so achieving the Author of the Month for July has certainly given me a huge boost to continue the creative process.
How have your hometown/family/friends influenced your writing?
Always felt/been the ‘odd one out’ within family and friends, having had no parents as a child and being isolated in poverty I am greatly influenced by my life’s diverse path and many traumatic events.
What inspires you to write?
My repressed child within finally being allowed to express her vivid imagination and love of the natural world. Memory banks filled with stark imagery, future creative roots gained as replacements for the playthings other children had. A pinched sixpence from my Grandma’s purse would buy a packet of seeds, I sewed them and watch them grow…aged 8.
What was your writing catalyst?
After little output for over 55 years and no academic ability a teacher friend was impressed by one of my early poems and encouraged me to write down my life experiences, maybe leading to an autobiography. She also recommended some imaginative authors I may be inspired by. Also prompted by a Psychologist I started my story, there is a long way to go as poetry has increasingly got in the way since my husband’s encouragement and postings of some of my work on a website ‘Forward Poetry’, received three ‘Poem of the Month’ selections in 6 months. This ‘new’ positivity led me to discover Spillwords and continue to write.
Tell us a little bit about your writing process?
I feel my ‘creative process’ comes from the higher self. Something will just come to my conscious mind, usually an image, e.g. a butterfly, which I then follow every delicate movement in flashes of highly detailed scenes of nature, often becoming enriched with the magical and fantasy. To enhance the words my friend the Thesaurus comes to aid. My lines can be found around the house on scraps of paper, envelopes, back of bills and cardboard before composing through the dark hours, usually until 5 am as I am a permanent Night Owl. Not easy and mentally exhausting, but this is me.
What would you say is most fulfilling about writing?
For me, having suffered with depression all my life and poor physical health for the last 17 years my writing and the positive way in which it has been received has helped to fill some of my empty voids and supported a degree of self-worth. The gift of a creative nature and the ability and opportunity to express that talent is priceless.
Does the addition of imagery help to tell your story?
Imagery is the most important tool in my work. Vivid mindscapes helped me to survive an abusive and deprived childhood, where I would pass into imaginary pictures on my wall and observe the actions played out, Victorian ladies with parasols, sunny gardens feeding ducks on the lake. To me imagery is like a sixth sense, a gift in itself.
What is your favorite reading genre?
Stories and poems of stark, beautiful imagery and spellbinding fantasy by Angela Carter, Oscar Wilde. Sarah Waters’ authentic Victorian London. Sylvia Plath’s emotional and detailed life events. Many books on Life beyond the Spiritual veil.
What human being has inspired you the most?
The honesty, enthusiasm, innocence, sense of wonder and fantasy of my grandchildren. Especially Sofia, aged 4, who never ceases to amaze.
What message would you have for the Spillwords Press community that voted for you?
Having confirmation that fellow poets and writers have noticed something in me that others have not is priceless and I love every one of them and thank you with all my heart. I will continue to support you as always. After viewing the excellent photography featured on Spillwords it has encouraged me to have a go also.
What would you like your legacy as a writer to be?
I would wish to be remembered as helping and encouraging adults and children to open their minds to their creative abilities, especially those who have their own voids to fill and physical and mental setbacks to overcome. I would like to have my own collection of poetry published and of course my autobiography.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Only been writing regularly for two and a half years, before that I could hardly put a sentence together. Whatever you’re academic or literate status if you have desire, willingness to learn and the right encouragement you can be creative in your own way.
Thank you once again to all at Spillwords for your hard work, continued support and encouragement.
Love writing poetry in all styles, stories and working on a novel. Subjects range widely... about life in this world and the next, the beauty of the natural world and the grip of human emotions. First volume of poems self-published on Amazon kindle. 'LadyLily's Poems, Book 1, Wonders of Nature, Life Slices, Life After Life & Netherworlds.