Today I’m joined by Loretta Livingstone. Loretta has published three poetry collections.
“I wrote my 1st poem at school when I was ten - the teacher asked us to write a poem about a haunted house. I scared myself to death at bedtime for weeks with that one! I never took further education, although my teachers were rather miffed about that. Notwithstanding, I never found myself out of a job until I came down with M.E. some years later.”
What made you write (or continue to write) poetry?
I started writing poetry at school, when we were set it for English lessons, and found I was rather good at it. Then a few years later my sister, a friend, and I started making up silly rhymes to go on the Christmas cards at Church. They more or less stopped, but I continued, and the Pastors enjoyed reading them out. It turned out people loved it when I wrote them poems. And of course most teenagers write reams of teen angst - yup! Been there, done that! I eased up a bit from time to time, in fact for 10 years or so I hardly wrote any, but in the last few years it's all started pouring out again!
Do you write on a daily basis?
No, not at all. I can go several weeks without writing, then write 4 or 5 in a day. For Hopes, Dreams and Medals I did write quite a lot each week though. Normally, when I have enough, I start to think about my next book. Hopes, Dreams and Medals is probably the only book I will write to a schedule.
Do poems come to you when you’re doing other things, like shopping?
Sometimes! That's often how I get my inspiration. But sometimes situations just pop into my head. Also when I'm chatting away to God I tend to get my more inspirational verses.
What are the reasons behind your themes for your books? And what made you decide to publish your poetry?
The first one, Fire and Ice, is a little bit of a mish mash. I hadn't written poems for a few years, but they were becoming much more frequent, and I found that people liked them, it seemed a shame to shove them in a drawer somewhere, but I didn't have a clue how to go about publishing, so I prayed about it and a few months later I discovered a way to do it. The rest is history. My latest two books are much more structured, but of course that comes with experience.
How has M.E. impacted your life? And has your poetry helped you at all?
The M.E. had a devastating effect on my life. It almost came to a standstill. Even now I can do so much less than people with normal health. I have to rest a great deal, which is incredibly boring! I am improving somewhat now, but still have to rest loads more than I'd like. I can at least write lying down!
You recently did a book signing. Were you nervous?
Incredibly, as it was a reading as well, although I did used to sing with various (not terribly good) groups when I was younger, so I was at least used to having to get people's attention. I'm not sure I could have done it without that previous experience. And I was completely wrung out at the end of it.
Are you working on any more poetry collections?
Well I am still writing, though with somewhat less frequency at the moment. When I have enough work I will doubtless start putting it together into another book. But I have written 3 books within the last year, so I think I need a bit of a break now.
What is the most exciting thing happened to you since your books have been published?
One of our well known and well loved British athletes has just told me she definitely intends to invest in one of my books as it looks fab. (I'm assuming she means Hopes, Dreams and Medals)
Anything else you’d like to mention?
Yes. 'Hopes, Dreams and Medals' and 'Jumping in the Puddles of Life' are both also available from Apple iBookstore from £1.99
Paperbacks are available in the U.K. From my own website http://www.treasurechestbooks.co.uk and hardbacks and overseas sales are available from http://www.blurb.co.uk/user/store/poetloretta
Thank you to Loretta for visiting me today. Please go to her Twitter or Facebook page for more information.
Twitter at https://twitter.com/L_Livingstone1