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Author Spotlight: Christine Brooks

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Neece Editorial would like to present Christine, our Friday Author Spotlight!

Who is Christine Brooks?

Christine Brooks is a graduate of Western New England University with her B.A. in Literature and her M.F.A. from Bay Path University in Creative Nonfiction. Her poem, the price, is in the October issue of The Cabinet of Heed and her poems, life and I Don’t Believe, are in the fall issue of Door Is a Jar. Two poems, friends and demons are in the January 2020 issue of Cathexis Northwest Press and her poem, communion, is in the January 2020 issue of Pub House Books. Her series of vignettes, Small Packages, was named a semifinalist at Gazing Grain Press in August 2018. Her essay, What I Learned from Being Accidentally Celibate for Five Years was featured in HuffPost, MSN, Yahoo and Daily Mail UK in April 2019. Her book of poems, The Cigar Box Poems, was released in February 2020 and her second book, “beyond the paneling” is due out in early 2021.

Want to know more about Christine?

Follow her on social media!

Twitter  @OMG_its_CBrooks

And her website: www.christinebrookswriter.com

Want to read by Christine?

The Cigar Box Poems

HuffPost Piece

And many more listed on her website above!

Now let’s get to know Christine even better! I sent her some questions, and here’s what I found out!

Interview:

  1. What genre/s do you write in? And why?

I started out writing only nonfiction, mostly personal essays, but over the last few I started writing poetry and even a little fiction. I find them all very interesting and writing across genres is a great way to learn about many different aspects of the craft.

2. Tell me about your WIP or recent works. 

My current WIP is a middle-grade fiction work titled, “The Milk Carton People.” My first book of poetry, “The Cigar Box Poems” was released in February 2020. My second book of poetry, “beyond the paneling” is due out in early 2021.

3. What writer (living or dead) would you most want to have dinner with? Why?

I would most like to have dinner with Ernest Hemingway. I first read “Hills like White Elephants” in high school and that piece triggered something in me to write.  His life, although one I don’t necessarily agree with (not all of it at least) keeps me thinking about how to love writings and not necessarily the writer himself. While I do find his life fascinating, I would like to have dinner with to ask him his views on feminism, politics and war.

4. What’s your writing process like? For example, where and when do you like to write? Do you write every single day? 

My writing process, admittedly, is bizarre. Although I do write at all hours, I typically write late at night into the morning, using only the notes on my iPhone.  I have written an entire novel that way. I would never recommend this process, but for me it allows me to get the words out of my head quickly, as quickly as they come and continue.  I then transfer those words to Word and begin editing.

5. Tell me one fun fact about yourself. Make it unique.

Although not very good, I like to surf. The biggest wave I ever got was in Piha, New Zealand. It was so big when I saw it I burst into tears!

6. Is the current world situation making writing hard for you?

Absolutely! I get many ideas but getting those out of my head and on the paper (or notes) without my brain wanting to talk to me about the climate of the world is challenging. I also think that getting the notes down right now is most important and the time to write and celebrate is later. As Gwendolyn Brooks said, “First Fight. Then Fiddle.”

7. If you could give one piece of writing advice to your past self, what would it be and why?

Several years ago, I had dinner with a writer friend, and he gave me the best advice I could hope for. If you want to be a writer, just write. Doing the work is the hard part.  I would tell myself to turn off the doubts and just write.

8. If your day job isn’t writing, what is it? If it is writing, how did you get there? 

My day job is working in local government. It is a job that offers security but not much else and one I am trying very hard to leave. I took the job out of necessity thinking I would look for something in my field sooner than later. Unfortunately, that was 16 years ago.

9. Other than writing, what passions/hobbies do you have? 

Other than my daily quarantine walks, I enjoy traveling in search of the perfect beach, break, and hammock. Although not a good surfer (my surfer friends call me the small wave ambassador) I do enjoy being in the water and riding the energy of the Universe. 

10. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I currently have two unpublished books and one half-finished book. My two unfinished books, “Tambo Man” and “Letters to M” although wildly different in nature both deserve a loving home, so I keep trying!

11. Do you believe in writer’s block?

Positively! I am very lucky to not suffer from it often, but after I finished “Tambo Man” (a book about the Bohemian Grove) I didn’t write (or sleep) for over a year.

12. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones

Well, luckily, I have only had one review on Amazon for “The Cigar Box Poems” and it was positive.

13. Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I think I am a little of both. I love to develop a thorough plot, but I also love a good twist at the end. 

14. Do you believe in writing muses?

I absolutely do! I do so much that I often think my work isn’t my own because I am only the scribe.  This happens more with poetry for me then it does with full-length works, but that muse is often very busy, and I write faster than I could ever think just to keep up!

15. What author/books are you currently reading?

I am currently readying, “Homie” by Danez Smith

16. As a closer, what do you want people to remember about you and your writing?

What I would most like to be remembered by is that my writing is honest. I have written about such deeply personal things as being celibate for five years and the struggles of bipolar depression. I think it is time to tear down the stigmas that our society creates and stop judging each other and ourselves. I hope people remember me as someone who always tried to keep things interesting!

Thanks for joining me for today’s Author Spotlight. Check back regularly! 

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