Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
I was always comprehensive to the extreme in learning, but especially with reading and writing. My grandmother instilled the importance of reading in all of us from a young age, I remember getting my first library card with her. I joined a summer challenge at around 7, and won by accomplishing the perusal of about 30 novels that Summer. Around the same time, I was part of the young author’s club at 6, and already showed signs of becoming a writer. I wrote my first lyrical poems by 7 or 8, and had my first poem published which was penned at 12.
My father told me I’d be a writer, and was so excited that I’d started a newsletter for my childhood hero at only–again, 12–he would sneak and photo copy all of the issues for me to send out to members, at his place of employment. I also penned letters to 30 pen-pals internationally at that time! By my early twenties after many years of writing poetry, I moved in novel writing.Let the reader get to know a little bit more about you. The more they become familiar the better the chance they will buy your book.
Tell us about your books.
Addictarium was penned when I spent two years in a therapeutic community for mentally-ill drug addicts, and would-be felons, as well as many homeless patrons. I learned so much in that invaluable environment! The book shines a very stark light on recovery from heroin addiction, but is interlaced with MANY themes. It’s a poetic, candid, and real account of suffering from many addictions. I had to recuperate from being addicted to pain, and torment, self-destruction, and despair. I was on an emotional roller-coaster, and had to patch myself up. The central theme may be addiction, but it touches on other matters as well. Toxic love, depression, suicide, and so much more really. The book exudes a raw but philosophical quality, and I poured my soul into every sentence in it.
How did you go about getting published?
I designed my own creative services firm, LCDS Creatives, and expanded with a branch for publishing & eBook promotions – The Book House of Seviles! The plan was to publish my own work primarily, but I ended up working with so many other talents!
The greatest gift in writing, is the opportunity to speak with other writers.
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
I can and do write everywhere. My process is no process really – chaos. I jot things down everywhere, I save everything, I record dialogue for later uses, save inspiring texts,, quotes, letters. I correspond with other authors.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
I am an artist, so I am also, incidentally introverted. I like public crowds and people though, so I am more of an introverted extrovert. I love all facets of artistry ~ painting, sketching, photography, graphic design, web design & interface development which I consider a creative skill.
I also like reading & studying poets.
Any advice for authors about book covers?
I do graphic design so I had an advantage but, there are many great free sites! Use canva.com, or postermywall.com. They have templates too, if you don’t know how to perform graphic design. They are both very effective in creating beautiful imagery for free, to very low costs.
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
Just keep moving forward. There is no get-rich-quit, in writing. You have to love doing it, and also be a business minded artist. Selling out is an absurd and ridiculous stamp, an unfair label attached to authors & artists who have success in what they do. You have to SELL to keep writing, so don’t feel guilty about that.
I would say persevere and ensure you are always looking for ground-breaking and new techniques. Don’t waste time doing what EVERYBODY else is. Also ~ be the creator. Don’t take a course, DESIGN one. You have to be the master, or become the master, at some point. The pupil must evolve into the teacher eventually, otherwise you cannot succeed.
What’s your favorite book?
The Diary of Anais Nin, Incest by Anais Nin, White Oleander by Janet Fitch, and Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk.
What are you reading now?
A study on Edgar Allen Poe, Jane by Sandra Raine, Sweet Melissa by Susan Segovia-Munoz, and Running in Circles by Eva Yin. Oh, and Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel. All are very good so far!
What’s your next book project?
I am releasing a poetry collection called WAR STORIES: Bombing Narcotica. It goes hand-in-hand with my memoir Addictarium. The War Stories Chronicles are going to be a hefty collection of fictional-part real memoirs, and poetry, PHOetry and mixed media art collections. I have currently published Addictarium: Asylum of Anarchy as installment I of The War Stories Chronicles. I am penning NARCOTARY: Chemical Warfare, the second partly-fictional, part-real memoir which is actually a prequel to Addictarium in many ways, and installment II in the collection.
The collection of poetry, WAR STORIES, is out 8/31 in honor of National Overdose Day. It is a thick collection of poems I penned that relate to the themes in my novels; addiction, heroin abuse, recovery, mental illness, toxic love, and emotional turmoil.
PHOetry and PHOetry-in-Motion, are my own concepts and intertwine photography, poetry and other mixed media elements. IN PHOetry I am releasing a book called ‘Asylum of Artistry – A Poetic Transformation in the Addictarium’ – which is a collection of PHOetry (photos & poems) that were created in my actual real-life stay in the ‘Addictarium,’ or drug recovery center. I have combined pieces of poetry, photography & art to tell a new unique story for each.
MY OTHER collection; The True Colors Series, is a 3-part poetry collection of similar themes, and includes the freshly released; The Colorful Disaster (Rainbows in Revolt), and parts I (Lacking Shades of Grey), and II (Black Beauty).
Aside from The War Stories Chronicles, and The true Colors Series, I plan to release a separate poetry collection; Mother Nature (Earth Bleeding Tears) in 2018!