Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Interview with poet and author Floriana Hall
Floriana, welcome to Reviews and Interviews. It's a pleasure to have you stop by. I'd like to introduce you to my readers with a few questions.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I was inspired at the age of 68 in church as a poem literally popped into my head while the pastor was speaking. I had written some poems and stories earlier but never entered them anywhere. This time, I entered the poem LOVE NEVER DIES in the National Library of Poetry and won the Editor's Choice Award. That started the whole writing process.
What do you enjoy about each type of writing: poetry, short stories, and nonfiction books?
I have always loved poetry since I listened to nursery rhymes read to me by my mother. My favorite is rhyme, which is fun for the tongue. I write all types of poetry, though, and teach it. I founded and coordinate The Poet's Nook which is a group of twenty local poets who meet once a month at the Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, library. It is the only group like it in the Akron area. I have edited and published four books of poetry for them. The Poet's Nook is a nonprofit organization who has a charitable mission each year and holds an annual Children's Poetry Contest in April.
Short stories are easy to write. I have a book of inspirational short stories that have a subtle message as do all my short stories published online. The purpose is to help people realize positive morals and/or to laugh. Laughter is the best medicine, for sure.
When writing nonfiction books, I tend to write about actual happenings in my life or others I am close to. I do not think I would want to write a novel because I write about things I know and believe that truth is stranger than fiction. A book takes at least a year to write and at 82, I have one more in mind but have not started writing it as yet. I am currently waiting for a young children's book to be published titled SIMPLE PLEASURES.
My daughter who is a fifth grade teacher, asked me to write my first book, SMALL CHANGE, revised later to THE ADVENTURES OF FLOSSIE, ROBBIE, AND JUNEY During The Great Depression. She was looking for a book that contained history, prices, and an exciting story. She and other teachers read it to their classes and the students write letters to me telling me that they learned to appreciate what they have after hearing it. It is in many libraries of schools in my area.
What type of research was involved in writing FRANCIS, NOT THE SAINT, and how long did it take to write?
I checked history books, but I remembered most of it myself. It took a year to write.
Would you change anything in FRANCIS, NOT THE SAINT?
No, but perhaps I should have included more poetry and short stories in SELECT SANDS OF RHYME AND REASON.
Do you have a day job?
Yes, I take care of my husband who had a stroke last year but has recovered nicely. His slight dementia is not as bad as it was before the stroke and he is now able to take the trash out and actually cleared the walk yesterday of snow. He is 88 and I do most of the work and all the driving now. It is a relief that he is doing better, but no matter what, I always find time to write.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My writing quirk is that I tend to do my own thing when it comes to writing poems. Sometimes I use different combinations of style.
Besides writing, what do you do for fun? What are you hobbies?
I love being with my great-grandaughters and my children and all my family. We celebrate birthdays and there are many. Wholesome movies are entertaining. I go to water exercise at least three times a week at the Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium. I used to love to sew, but cannot thread the needle now. I used to love to hike, but cannot walk far now. And last, but not least, I love to read, especially biographies. Teaching poetry is fun, too.
Can you tell us a bit about your next project?
My next exciting project will be another book POEMS OF BEAUTIFUL OHIO by The Poet's Nook. Judging the Children's Poetry Contest is enlightening and brings a lot of laughs. One of my (The Poet's Nook) books TOUCHING THE HEARTS OF GENERATIONS is compiled with winning poems of children.
Do you have a website where writers can learn more about you and your writing?
My websites are: www.alongstoryshort.net/FlorianaHall.html