February: Marianne Eloise – Poet Interview

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Marianne Eloise

‘Cactus’

 

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Today we welcome Marianne Eloise to the Muse Shack. I found her debut poetry ‘Cactus’ enlightening, current, challenging and entertaining. It awoke in me, a fellow mover of places, some of the emotions and feelings of the author. I recommend this volume to all readers

Bio: Marianne Eloise is a UK-based writer, academic and journalist who works in the media. She loves pop culture, the coast, and 90s/00s trash aesthetics. Cactus is her debut poetry collection.

 

What inspires you to write poetry?

I don’t really get inspired as such, I’m just very motivated to write and work through my experiences. I also write in an attempt to preserve a place I’ve been or a particular time.

What is a measure of success as a poet?

I would consider myself successful if poetry was the only thing I needed to sustain my lifestyle, but I haven’t achieved that yet! I don’t think there are many poets who have achieved that, so for now I’d be happy just having people know who I am.

Who are some of your favourite poets?

Honestly, I don’t read poetry. I like Plath enough, but I am primarily influenced by music and literature. Traditionally, poetry can be very inaccessible linguistically so I aspire to something more easy-going or lyrical. I probably borrow more from emo music like Bright Eyes or Brand New than I do poetry.

What about Cactus? What was special about it? What inspired you to write it?

I have been publishing poetry online for over three years and I wanted a collection that I and my readers could hold and that I could share. I looked at my work to establish a theme and found that I wrote about place a lot in an effort to understand my relation to certain locations, so I gathered several of them together and wrote new ones.

What makes a poem good?

As someone who doesn’t read much poetry, I’m not sure I’m the best to answer this, but I’ll try! When I was at University and reading other students’ poetry every day, it was so immediately clear which ones were false or trying to practice forms or ideas that didn’t come naturally. I think you need to have a really strong voice and an understanding of language to know how to manipulate it and have words work well together. Trying to sound old fashioned or evoke the same voice as writers 200 years ago is a really easy way to make a poem terrible. I just don’t think that a genuine voice is something that can be taught, only practiced.

How did you publish ‘Cactus’?

After researching and soliciting a great deal of advice on how to publish through a publishing house, I realised that it could take years and I wouldn’t have the control over my work that I want. So I turned to Blurb, a self-publishing site where I could have complete control over editing, design, etc. My partner (Owain Anderson) designed the cover, which I never would have had with a traditionally published collection.

What advice would you give aspiring poets, especially those who want to get into print?

Get a real job because poetry will never pay the bills. But if you’re good work hard at it, get your work out there, do readings, make friends. Read as much of anything as you can. Have other options and expertise, because it gives your work far more depth than if you’re just working in a vacuum of poetry. Google magazines and websites, especially ones in your area, and try to get some traction. Make yourself known in some way, even if it’s through your own website or self-published.

You can reach Marianne at her website, twitter @marianne_eloise, Instagram @mazisthebest, or by email Marianne.eloise@hotmail.com

CACTUS/LINKS

Cactus is Marianne’s debut poetry collection and contains three sections of poems about places: Leicester, Brighton, and California.. It has several poems you will never see on February Stationery.

 

You can find it in these places:

Kindle
Blurb
Amazon UKUSA (available on others if you search)
Bigcartel (directly from me, with a note)
and the Goodreads page (courtesy of Becca at Libfem) is right here

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Rejection and Self Publishing.

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What keeps you back from writing, or even worse, from submitting that manuscript?  As writers, many of us experience the fear of rejection. Losing confidence, we assign our manuscript to the file drawer or worse, the rubbish bin.

Believe it or not, many of the great writers whose names and titles roll off our tongues have faced the same fears and ultimate rejection. Here are just a few of them:

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

A Time to Kill by John Grisham

Dubliners by James Joyce

Chicken Soup for Soul by Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen

Dances with Wolves by Michael Blake

Jaws by Peter Benchley

Dune by Frank Herbert

Gone with The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence

Recognise the famous names? Imagine if they had given up, suffered a loss of confidence, threw their work in the trash can…literature would have suffered a severe loss and we would be the poorer for it.

Some of the great authors resorted to publishing their own work, at a time when such a move was frowned upon. Later they came to be picked up by the big publishing houses. Now, self-publishing has become totally respectable and has grown at a phenomenal rate. Many authors who have been rejected in recent years have become successful in terms of sales and followers; Some have been picked up by the main publishing houses, netting them substantial incomes.

When you next sit down with pen and paper or the keyboard and you fear rejection and feel your work is unworthy; remember the greats that have gone before you and become aware of those who have carved out their own path by self-publishing.

You may be the next best seller. Self-publish and have the satisfaction of watching a growing readership. Nothing increases confidence and self-esteem like it.

Those Were Our Days Volume 2

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It took a long time but at last, the second volume of Those Were Our Days is published. Available from all major book distributors and Amazon. The volume comes in both print and Kindle editions.

Old and young alike are often excited when stories of past times are retold. It takes the listener and the reader into worlds otherwise unknown and lost.

People, places and events that we might forget, or that others may not know about are all captured here in delightful, evocative and emotional stories.

The writers of the York U3A Living Memories Group have completed a second-year project to give us new insights into the world that was. Readers will be delighted, charmed and moved as they step into bygone days and have the opportunity to be surprised by joy as they remember and relive once again the world that is past. For those too young to remember the times that are captured in this volume there is the opportunity to share the experiences of the Authors’ worlds.

The Authors hope that this collection of short stories will excite the memory of the reader as they begin to draw on their own memories of a bygone era.

Enjoy the ride through time.

Available now in print and on Kindle.

 

Those Were Our Days Volume 1

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Before I announce the launch of those Were Our Days Volume 2, I want to draw your attention to the writers of Those Were Our Days volume 1. This group of writers came together under my leadership two years ago. Few had any experience of formal writing and were nervous about starting on a writing enterprise. By the end of year one, they had acquired enough confidence to turn-in some touching, funny and evocative stories. In spite of still needing to tighten grammar, we decided to publish.

Here is a book that will transport you back in time to a world that is vastly different from ours. Those Were Our Days aims to give the present-day reader an insight into the past and to preserve experiences and ways of life that might otherwise disappear with the passing of time. On these pages you will experience people, places and events that stretch back almost to the turn of the 20th century. Written by a group from York U3A, these stories are full of delight, evocation, humour and resourcefulness. This first book will leave you waiting for the next volume.

Enjoy reading.

The House on Argyle Square

ThumbnailThe House on Argyle Square is published.

This collection of short stories is designed to facilitate those who love to read in those short spare minutes that present themselves throughout the day. I had a lot of fun writing this book along with my colleague, Frank Emslie. The title is available on both Amazon and Kindle.

Human beings have an insatiable longing to read. Everyone has their own favourite genre of story, usually for the journey, the holiday, the coffee break or even in bed before going to sleep…we want to read. The House in Argyle Square is a collection of short stories designed to be read during short breaks, or as a book on a longer journey. In this collection you will find stories containing irony, humour, delight, surprise and even the dark side. David and Frank recommend this book as a good read for those short on time. There is something here for everyone. Order here from Amazon

Rose of Skibbereen – Book Review

Rose of Skibbereen

In Rose of Skibbereen, John McDonnell has brought us a book that captivates from start to finish.

Rose Sullivan meets and has to leave Sean McCarthy but has to say goodbye to him and her beloved rural Skibbereen for a new and better life in America.

From here, John McDonnell weaves a series of events that leads us through the life of these two people. Powerfully and sentively written, Rose of Skibereen draws us into the opposing pull of rural Ireland and a dynamic emerging America where life takes a series of twists and turns that will change Rose’s life and future plans.

The Characters in this story a vivid and real and create a strong sense of empathy and emotion in the reader. The narrative tension is subtly woven through the book, and will keep you turning the page again and again

If you like a love story full of romance, tension, twists and turns then this book is for you.

The end of Book One presents the reader with a cliff hanger that will make you want to order book two right away.

A brilliantly crafted novel that carries the reader to another place and time.

Elation

the_muse-233x300It was a wonderful experience to finally have copies of my new book in my hands. The writing task can seem long and unrewarding, that is, until the finished work is finally tangible. The Muse is pleased, but she refuses to let me stop…”Next project please” she intoned.