Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Interview with Lillian Brummet - Part II



Welcome, Lillian Brummet, to Reviews and Interviews. It's a pleasure to chat with you once again. [This interview is broken into three segments over three months, and this is the 2nd of 3. Part 1 is here.]


Let's focus a bit on your published writing and particularly your second book.

Please tell us about Towards Understanding, revised edition.
You know, Towards Understanding has to be the most emotional ride I’ve been on as a writer, surpassing the experiences I have ever had in the past in any other career. The revised edition is a collection of 125 non-fiction poems written in chronological order and is available in e-book format. The original version of this book (with 120 poems) is still available in paperback through most online and retail bookstores. Most unusual for poetry books, our publisher released a limited 1st edition in hardcover format in the summer of 2009, we hope to see this repeated at some point in the future.

Anyway, the new revised edition (released in late-July 2009 by Booklocker.com) offers 5 new poems, creating an ending that I am much more comfortable with and has other updated sections as well.

What inspired you to write this book?
This book tells the true-life journey of a young pre-teen female growing up on her own, struggling to survive, breaking the chains of inner issues from childhood abuse and neglect, and finally - growing towards understanding of her value & purpose in life, but not quite reaching it. Thus the title… Towards Understanding.

The reason behind the release of this raw and emotional book was to show other victims of abuse, violence and neglect that they can live a wholesome life without baggage from the past. Second to that Lillian wanted to provide a roadmap that showed the healing process that victims go through, letting others know they are not alone. People who are involved with victims can learn what that person is going through or will go through and therefore they might be able to provide a better support system.

Did you enjoy the process of putting this book together? What did it entail?
Well, the exploration as a poet was the most enjoyable part; the reaching beyond what is comfortable to my pen and creating new sounds, new rhythms – trying to create different effects with words. It is a beautiful process.

I had numerous poems published in anthologies, won contests or magazine publications or local print publications that gave me the spark of the idea that maybe there could be a book here. Dave helped a great deal in choosing from the more than 300 poems, narrowing them down to those I felt most comfortable sharing with the public and having Dave help me select those that keep with the story-line and focus of the book was incredibly helpful. Dave created the cover, which the publisher loved, based on a photo he took of me on a beach, during one of the many introspective nature walks.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
There were several really monumental emotional curves when it came to this book’s creation. Going through the piles of poems initially was really heart-wrenching. To see again the self-hate, the suicidal thoughts, the rage; it was really shocking to see it there in raw words. But then as we went through the pile of contemplative creations I noticed a thread of hope was strung throughout, and love… and then a spark of an expectation for a better life. After the book was released I had an immediate sense of regret, a fearful “what have I done?” ringing in my head. This was soon soothed by reader’s reviews and wonderful comments from those the book gave hope to. Poets and poetry critics had very kind, insightful observations about my work and I began to feel validated as a poet as well.

Did you learn anything from writing your book? If so, what was it?
Yes, I learned a great deal. I learned that even when we are afraid our little story of survival one of life’s issues after another could be a valuable gift to someone else, sharing could make a difference and have an impact we might never had expected. Here’s one of the poems that I wrote about this very thing after the 1st edition of Towards Understanding was released:

Tiny Treasures

The past seems so distant
So very far away
It feels like another tread
That path of dismay

My heart is resistant
To thoughts of Yesterday
The Pain is now sated
Stone memories fade to gray

Crying out, so insistent
Words moving years away
Was it I who wrote them?
And what do they mean today?

Years lost in crazed emotion
Time eroded while pain healed
Here am I a new person
Only tiny chains revealed

Moments of horror are defeated
Melted down to fine gold
Gifts of tiny treasures
To those who need them most.

Crying out, so insistent
Words moving years away
Was it I who wrote them?
And what do they mean today?

©Summer, 2007
Published in Literary Spot Magazine’s January 2008 issue.


What can we expect to see from you in the future?
Well, Dave and I both have several short-story projects that have been on the back burner for a few years that we are both aching to get back to. We also have a garden book and a cookbook that we’d like to see reach a publisher’s hand one day in the near future. Currently though we have enough on our plates just handling the marketing for these three books in all their formats, and manage our bi-weekly newsletter, daily blog, weekly blog and two radio shows.

What ways have you found effective for promoting your book(s)?
Initially we focused on creating a platform to work from and thinking about branding – meaning how we want to be seen or how we want people to feel when they think of us. New writers rarely come into the career knowing that it takes a lot of time and energy, sometimes many years, to build name recognition and an online presence. I’ve worked with print media, online and radio media – but my favorite activities are interviews like this one where I appear on blogs, newsletters and e-zines or radio and answer questions that challenge me to respond in a way that interests their readers.


And to wrap up…

Would you like to share a little about your blog with the audience?
Sure, I’d love to – Thank you. Well, the Brummet's Conscious Discussions Blog – is where you will find environmentally-conscious tips for every-day living, quote of the day and many resources for green living. You will also find interesting views into the world of writing, literacy, updates on the Conscious Discussions and Authors Read radio shows, prize contests and more: http://consciousdiscussions.blogspot.com

Would you like to give a little information about your radio shows?
Ok – Conscious Discussions Talk Radio (www.brummet.ca/conscious.html) began back in 2007 on the Blogtalk Radio Station – which is now the #1 online talk radio station in the world. Conscious Discussions has now grown to air several times a week – on Tuesday and Thursdays I interview interesting individuals from around the globe who have found a way to make a positive difference. Every other Sunday offers Positive Eco-news Segments and in the growing season (April-September) I also offer a special episode called Sunday Gardening, where I talk about sustainable, organic gardening using bio-intensive, inter-cropping methods and open-pollinated crops. Listeners may hear me speaking about pollination issues one day and then tune in to hear me discuss growing a particular plant variety or giving composting advice the next time. It varies with each show.

Do you have a website where writers can learn more about you and your writing?
Yes, it is: www.brummet.ca - this site has links to everything we do, excerpts from all of our books that you can access for free to see if it appeals to you or not… you’ll find articles, resource links and much more there.
People can easily contact us via that same website address – just click on the “contact” link and follow the instructions on how to email us from there. Its really very easy and we love to hear from people.

Thank you for your time in answering my questions.
It has been a sincere pleasure, thank you for inviting me to be a part of this wonderful project!

Look for part III of this interview on March 10.

1 comment:

Lillian Brummet said...

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity, I enjoyed re-living the interview today with your most recent blog post.
In appreciation, Lillian
www.brummet.ca