Spotlight On Writers - Andrea Walker, interview at Spillwords.com

Spotlight On Writers – Andrea Walker

Spotlight On Writers

Andrea Walker

 

  1. Where, do you hail from?
I was born and raised in the ‘rainy city’ otherwise known as Manchester, England, I am a true Northerner I suppose, although I spent years disrespecting the fact, with an inverted snobbery of wishing I’d come from somewhere less ‘gritty.’ The older I get; I realise what a wonderful city Manchester is, there is a depth and warmth that is missing from many cities nowadays and although I moved away many years ago, when I return it feels like a homecoming each time. I am proud to be called a Mancunian and when I come back to visit family or friends, my accent definitely falls back in line with my kinfolk and I become more ‘nasally,’ which amuses my husband no end.
I lived in Buxton in the heart of the Peak District, for seventeen years, and was pregnant with my youngest son when we moved. I lost my father unexpectedly the week we moved in, and I remember feeling like I had betrayed my dad by moving away from my roots, although he was happy for me prior to his death, as it had been a lifelong dream of his to move somewhere more rural too. Although I was initially wary to move away from the city, it’s a move I never regretted. The whole pace of life in a semi-rural area is so different and the landscape is fabulous. I counted my blessings every day, being able to walk among the fields, hills, and streams that surround the town, taking the children for impromptu picnics after school to hidden waterfalls amongst the hills. Sadly, due to its microclimate of snow and severe weather most winters, we had to eventually move down into Cheshire where the climate is better for commuting, but I am only 30 minutes away and can get into my beloved hills within a ten-minute drive. I don’t think city living will ever entice me back, I love the countryside too much.
  1. What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?

Well besides being so close to the hills as I’ve previously mentioned, Cheshire has its own assets that I also appreciate. It’s much flatter for starters and the landscape is quite different, with patchwork quilt fields and leafy lanes and picturesque little villages. I love going for long drives to explore new parts of the area and will often be found writing poems on my phone as my husband drives along. He knows that when I go quiet, it usually means inspiration has struck in some way and I start tapping away on my phone till it’s to my satisfaction, as I am a firm believer in ‘seize the day!’

Our little house is a new build and we have made it our own filling it with bright colours and second-hand furniture, some of which I have up-cycled – I don’t claim to be any good but I enjoy the process of creating something unique, much like when I write, it is that very uniqueness of it all, that warms the cockles of my little heart.

  1. What turns you on creatively?

I love the process of creation, from its conception to completion. That first spark, that ruminates around your head for hours, days, weeks. The first pen to paper moment (I know it’s on keyboards for most of us these days, but you get the drift). I am a simple writer and poet; I have to have a theme to what I write, or I get lost, or it gets lost in translation. I can get writer’s block that frustrates the hell out of me, when life is particularly stressful or hectic and having recently nursed my mother till her passing, through cancer and dementia, my outlet was my writing on many occasions, at other times I was struck dumb with the enormity of what I was trying to process. Grief is a uniquely singular process, nobody deals with it in quite the same way, I have come to realise, and I am only just about ready to throw myself back into the cut and thrust of writing in a more focussed way, after many months of ‘not waving but drowning.’

Reading some of my poems, knowing what I was coping with at that time, makes me immensely proud of their creation, even if they are only mediocre, to me they are a testament to my inner strength – or does that sound arrogant? Self-doubt – another of my traits, yikes!

  1. What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?

My favourite word has to be soul. We all possess one, some of us are drawn to the music kind, it is the beating heart of life, to me.

“Reverently placing her prized Marvin Gaye record on the turntable, her soul, having escaped its bodily confines held her close, as they swayed in unison, the notes filling the spaces vacated by her loneliness.”

  1. What is your pet peeve?

Hindsight! The fact that we don’t gain knowledge until we have travelled through the years of our life and only at its conclusion do we have our particular jigsaw pieces to put it all together and say “Aah! Got it!” It’s one of life’s cruellest tricks but then again, if we were given these nuggets at such a tender age would we know what to do with them? It’s the process of living that creates the wisdom and once we depart this mortal coil it’s that wisdom that sets us apart from our fellow man, we hope, not how much was passed down in the pot.

  1. What defines Andrea Walker?

I write about what moves me, I am a campaigner and part time warrior, having experienced the process known as Parental Alienation, whereby I have had two of my three sons, alienated from me, merely because I chose to not stay in a very unhappy marriage, many of my poems revolve around this subject. I run two groups on Facebook for fellow alienated parents and I am proud that I have not given up and given in but continue to fight to educate and shed light on this form of abuse against innocent children. So, in conclusion, what defines me is my life experience and the lessons it has taught me, that adds an extra layer to my writing.

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This publication is part 348 of 404 in the series Spotlight On Writers