US Mag: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Your background, education, writing passion etc. ??
I was formally educated in communications at Northwest Missouri State University where I also received a minor in creative writing. After graduation, I worked in the independent film world for a few years then ended up teaching high school English for several years. I loved teaching and I have never read as much as I did when I was an educator. I have always had a love for reading but those several years in education really helped me develop my reading abilities and reinstalled my love. I have always written poetry, I started writing short poems when I was young, starting in junior high and into high school. I continued to write in college and after and tried several times to get a collection together for publishing, but just never got it off the ground. In 2020, I just got a bug up my butt to publish so I did, I self-published my first book of poetry “0% of Something”.
US Mag: Can you please tell our readers more about “Drop of Atom“?
This is my second book of poetry, with a lot of the poems written at home during the covid-19 pandemic. It might not be obvious to all readers but through several of the poems you might be able to tell I work in healthcare, as a nurse. And I write about my experiences in nursing during the pandemic. But that’s not all I write about. I write about politics and racism and sexism and mental health. I write about love and lust, heartbreak and loss, death and dreams. I am very proud of this collection because I truly believe it touches on important issues as well as has some simply entertaining prose. I hope that all my readers can find at least one thing they connect with, one thing they enjoy or even one thing that makes them think.
US Mag: What’s the reason behind writing this poetry book?
I knew I wanted to write a second book as my first book really was a combination of 15 years’ worth of poetry with some new poems as well. Being this was my second book, I wanted the poetry to be newer, more relevant and I wanted to push myself in the way that I write. In order to accomplish this, I used a variety of different poetry specific editors that really helped me push my thinking and edit my poems to become what they are.
US Mag: Why do you choose this name for your book?
I wrote a poem titled “Drop of Atom” and I really liked that title, so I focused hard on the poem, editing and editing and editing, and it became one of my favorites. So I figured why not make it the headliner of the book and call the book Drop of Atom. The idea behind it, as I am sure you can tell by the cover, is that everything is big and small simultaneously. An entire universe can fit inside a drop.
US Mag: What has been one of the most exciting achievements of your career so far ?
Having several of my poems published multiple publications. I think it feels great when someone else recognizes you and you work. But to be honest, next would the release of this book. I am very proud of this work, and I hope it is well received.
US Mag: What’s your goal in life you want to achieve next?
I own a small publishing company called (insert creative name here) Publishing that focuses on publishing poetry mostly. We are getting ready to publish a chapbook from a poet who lives in California, and I am very excited about it. He is very talented and I am thrilled her trusted my small company with his work.
US Mag: What motivates you to do your best work as a Author?
Probably just the fact that I know the more I write and the harder I work at writing poetry, I get better. To perfect my craft, I know I simply need to write writewrite every single day. And luckily for me, I really do enjoy writing.
US Mag: Did you choose this field, as a career, or as a hobby?
I have tried several times to just do freelance writing only and I have always considered the possibility that one day I could just be a writer and that’s it, but I think we are probably a few years away from that. I currently work as a nurse and I am in graduate school getting my master’s degree in nursing education. I want to go on and get my PhD in Nursing Education and eventually would like to be back in front of a classroom, teaching nursing. So for now, writing will continue to be a very important hobby to me. I am fortunate that I picked a career that allows me to have time off during the week to be at home with my family as well as time to read and write.
US Mag: Your favourite book?
Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut is probably my favorite book as I think I have read it 10 or more times. Vonnegut is by far one of my favorite authors. Now, if you want to know my favorite book of poetry, that will be much harder. However, I think “Interior with Sudden Joy” by Brenda Shaughnessy is one of my all-time favorites. I met her in college at a poetry reading and have a signed copy of her book. I highly recommend any of her books poetry.
US Mag: Everybody needs time out. What do you do in your free time?
Being a father and husband and nurse and grad student leaves very little time for down time. But if I had to choose an activity it would be either reading, writing or watching a show on one of the several streaming services we have. I do enjoy being outside when the weather permits, so going on walks and going to the park with the family are also fun ways to relax when I have free time.
US Mag: How can people find you and follow you online?