Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"I can shake my eyeballs back and forth really fast" - Author @hgracestewart

What is your name?
Heather Grace Stewart

Tell us about you.

I'm a Canadian poet. I write about real life; about marriage, parenthood, love, loss, and social networking. I love combining my love of accessible poetry with photography.

Tell us about your book.

This is my fourth collection. This one is poetry, prose and photography. Three Spaces explores themes within our public space, our personal space, and cyberspace.
Some reviews:
"Heather Grace Stewart is one of my favorite poets, and her poetry collections only get better over time. Her latest, Three Spaces, is proof [...] Add it to your space. You won't be disappointed." ~Elisa Lorello, best-selling author of Faking It, Ordinary World, Why I Love Singlehood, Adulation
"Heather Grace Stewart brings tenderness to the page addressing modern-day reality, gracefully and unconventionally, yet heart-felt." ~Michelle Casto, Author, The Destiny Discovery

What inspired you to write this book?

This is my fourth collection. This time, I was inspired by looking at the three 'worlds' I find myself dealing with on a daily basis: my personal space, my public space, and cyberspace, I really wanted to explore these three spaces of society today, how those spaces intersect, and how we're trying to balance them. And I wanted to do it in a way in which others could relate.

What can readers expect when they open your book?

There are dark and intense poems that start this collection, but then I move into tender, humorous poetry and prose to lighten the mood, and colourful images that can provide space for introspection. As always, I try to give my poetry substance, but make it accessible. I don't want my readers scratching their heads or pulling their hair out after reading one of my poems! I want you to relate in some way. I'd like for you to walk away from the experience of reading this book feeling moved, energized and entertained.

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment as a writer?

You'd think getting published by a traditional publisher a few times (Three different publishers for different projects) would be my greatest accomplishment, and while I'm proud of that, I think the best thing I've done with my writing is finding a way to sponsor a child in Kenya. Graceful Publications now sponsors Mercy, thanks to proceeds from the sales of Where the Butterflies Go and Leap. I give half the proceeds from the sales of these books to a wonderful Canadian charity, Hearts for Change ( I hope we get to visit Hosanna Orphanage in Kenya some day and meet Mercy. She's a cutie!

Who is your favorite author and why?

It's hard to pick a favorite: I have different favorite authors for different moods! I love Mitch Albom and Robert Fulghum's simple yet meaningful prose; Helen Fielding's wit and humor, and Mary Oliver's beautiful poetry.

Do you have any suggestions for writers just starting out?

Don't over edit. Don't second-guess yourself, or your ideas. Just write. Write every day, and keep at it. Don't get discouraged with the rejections. Tape them up on your office wall, to remind you of all the hard work you put in when you finally start getting published! It's all about persistence and passion. And have fun with it. Don't forget to have fun.

What is your favorite quote?

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. (Robert Frost)

If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?

I have several fun characters in The Friends I've Never Met, and some of them lead pretty exciting lives. I think I'd choose Alexis, even though she gets a very rough start in The Friends I've Never Met. I don't want to spoil things, but life improves for her, and she has some cool stuff happen to her.

If your book was made into a movie which actor/actress would play which character(s)?

Oh I know this one! For The Friends I've Never Met,
Jessica: Keri Russell; Renee Zellwegger
Brian: not sure! maybe Owen Wilson?
Jack: Mark Feuerstein (he told me he would!)
Alexis: Reese Witherspoon
Frank: John Goodman

What does writing mean to you?

It's like the air I breathe. I need it every day. It's nourishing. It can be frustrating of course, but when I persist, it ends up doing me good every single day.

Anything else you want to share with us?

Tell us something you've learned about yourself in the last year:
I've just learned how much I enjoy doing radio! I did a podcast with Creative Nexus last week, and really enjoyed myself, and being able to read my poems on the radio. It was so much fun.

Tell us 5 random things about you the person, not the author:

1) I can shake my eyeballs back and forth really fast. I used to annoy boyfriends with this a lot.
2) I love cats. We have three of them!
3) I have always loved books, and yet I've pretty much given up reading paperbacks. I love my Kindle for iPad!
4) I can't get the day started without my coffee.
5) I like to bake and make chocolate lollipops. It's creative and if we make enough we can surprise our friends with gifts!

Where to connect online

Twitter: @hgracestewart

FEATURED BOOK:  Three Spaces
Genre: Contemporary Poetry & Prose
Buy on Amazon