We offer our first and exclusive Q&A Interview with Natalia Aeschliman, a writer whose multiple literary works have been featured on our Spillwords pages as well as being Author of the Month of May, 2016. What can we say about Natalia? Artistic and musical, Natalia embraces writing with the same colors and sounds that surround her daily life. She is ebullient and bubbly, and her passion for writing is evidenced throughout this interview.
Please tell us a little about yourself and your background?
My name is Natalia, I grew up in Puerto Rico, by the ocean. Married my best friend, have 2 beautiful children full of energy. I come from a family that loves art, and who are very supportive. From a young age I felt I never fit in, and now, only a few days away from my 35th birthday I embrace who I am. I am painfully quiet, or talkative, it depends who you ask. I write, I paint, I play the piano and take lots of photos. Art has always been a big part of my life. It fuels my veins.
Has your Puerto Rican heritage influenced your style of writing? If yes how so?
Of course, growing up in Puerto Rico had a lot of influence on my writing. My mom, a Spanish teacher by day, a poet by night always read poetry to us. Her top choice was Julia de Burgos. There is something very nostalgic and yet so mysterious about growing up in the mountains by the ocean.
What inspires you to write?
What inspires me to write? I would say life, music, but most of all I find my muse in those quiet nights, when I can’t sleep, and the house becomes a work of art. Life itself inspires me. Listening to others people’s experiences, seeing others go about their day. I’ve never been good at expressing my feelings verbally, but in writing, I can express them fearlessly.
When did you realize you wanted to write?
At the age of 12, I started to write. Then as I got older, I started seeing it as art, but also therapy. I realized the the few people that read my poetry found themselves in it. They could connect with the poems one way or another, and that always made me smile. I started reading a lot of poetry books which seemed magical. How could someone turn words into such beautiful verse I wanted to do that. I wanted to create beauty and be magical.
Tell us a little bit about your writing process?
My writing process. It varies to be honest. Sometimes, I will play the piano and start speaking whatever comes to mind, then I write it down. Other times, I can listen to classical music, and just create poems with the feeling of the music. I can never write in the day time. Day time seems to hectic for me. I like to write and read it out loud while I’m writing, because it seems the poems create themselves. I feel the feeling like that. It’s hard to explain.
What would you say is most fulfilling about writing?
I feel mostly fulfilled as a writer when someone approaches me and tells me my poetry spoke to them. When they tell me how they connected to it. It’s very important to have a connection with the reader. To heal them, one way or another, with words.
Does the addition of imagery help to tell your story?
Yes. I can look at a photo and create poetry from it sometimes. When I write, I try to create the scenario in my mind. It’s like creating a short movie in my head.
What do you most enjoy reading?
I enjoy reading poetry from centuries ago. Dark, romantic, and nostalgic. There’s something beautiful in sadness. Those always inspire me to write more, to translate the darkness and vulnerability into poetry. I also enjoy novels, specially by Pablo Coelho. He is my all time favorite. Also, the little bits and pieces that Frida Kahlo wrote. She has always been an inspiration.
Is there a poet or a writer that has influenced you? If so, in what way?
There has been many writers that have influenced me. When I was in my teenage years I loved Shakespeare and Anne Rice. Then I discovered Pablo Coelho and Isabel Allende. Pablo Coelho wrote a book called “Veronica Decides to Die” that book spoke poetry to me. The way he writes creates such vivid images in my head. He is a genius. Also, I love Edgar Allan Poe, his sadness and sometimes anger are so dramatic. Always gives me goose bumps. Julia de Burgos, the way her poetry just “spoke” and took you to the moment. Emily Dickinson, even though sometimes it’s hard for me to read, she also has influenced me. Not to mention, Pablo Neruda. There are so many, I could go on.
What are your ambitions as a writer?
My ambitions as a writer?That’s a hard question. I just want to keep poetry alive. I believe that there are so many young writers out there, if I could inspire them to keep writing, then I would feel accomplished. We live in a world where art seems to be dying. I want to revive it. We all need poetry. We all need art.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Where do I see myself in 10 years? Wow. I hope to be writing, I hope to have published a poetry book, so my children can one day read it to their
children. I just hope to just be happy and healthy. Living a quiet simple life with the ones I love. Creating.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I am thankful to you guys. To Spillwords for giving me an opportunity and exhibit my work. I’m beyond honored. I’m thankful to the readers, for
giving my words a chance. I’m thankful for life itself and everyone who has been a part in this journey. There’s a little bit of all of you in my poems.
My name is Natalia, I was born in Puerto Rico. I live a very simple life with my husband and 2 beautiful kids. I keep my heart humble, and my words beautifully vulnerable. I write because it is in my soul. I write because I don't know how to live without it. There's something beautiful that only poetry can create in your soul.