WITH BEE HALTON 🐝
WRITER & BLOGGER EXTRAORDINAIRE!
Hello, Tamara and hello Tamara’s readers.
I feel very honoured to be a guest on “Tales of the Dragonfly”!
As you can see from my name, I have a close connection with beautiful insects, and I just love Tammy’s books. Well, I love the one I have read so far but I am looking forward to reading the others too.
I would like to tell you a little about an interview series I have on my blog “The Bee Writes…”. It is called “The Bee Talks With…” and is dedicated to advertise for author’s books but also to help apprentice authors as I call those who start out to write to find their very own way of a writing life. Tammy was so kind to take part a few months ago. Thanks again Tammy. It was a pleasure to have you on “The Bee Writes…”
Anyone can take part in “The Bee Talks With…” as I do not have a special genre I support. Even though I love to read fantasy, sci-fi and poetry I prefer to stay open and try out different genres. My goal is to assist authors in this ever harder getting business of promoting books as well as young authors to find their way.
I post the answers to my questions plus a blurb for the authors book, a little introduction and any links to where to purchase the books and social media.
Ever since I started this interview series, I thought: “It would be great to answer the questions myself”. When Tammy offered me the opportunity to write a post on her blog I knew this was my chance. Even though I only have published a few poems in a German poetry anthology and a little self-published poetry book I believe I have something to say about writing.
Because blogging is writing too, and it gives you a good chance to develop a writing routine. So let’s not digress any longer and see what my questions for you authors are:
How would you describe yourself in one paragraph?
My head is firmly in the clouds, but my feet stay connected with Mother Earth. Even though you can hear me complaining a lot, deep down inside I’m a very positive person. I love my family, reading, writing, baking and just hanging around nice people.
A fun fact about you?
My nickname came from a misunderstanding of mine of the English language. My day job is working in a supermarket. There are two electricians who repair the electrics for different stores, and they are pretty chatty guys. When they asked me my name, I said “Beatrice” or “Bea” but said the latter in the German pronunciation. Those electricians started calling me “Bea” but of course in the English pronunciation which sounds exactly the same as the insect.
I felt so flattered that these guys thought I was busy as a bee, and it needed me nearly seven years to figure out that that was not necessarily the case. Still I just love the nickname “Bee” and have built my whole online presence around it.
What made you write in the first place?
A diary my grandparents or my godmother gave me for my 10th birthday. It was a beautiful little book that had a Chinese fabric cover all red and shiny. I loved it from the first glimpse but did not use it always. So it lasted a very long time. The next step was writing letters to pen friends. I had one in Switzerland, one in Great Britain and one in India. Unfortunately, I lost contact with all of them. Later on a teacher asked us to write a landscape description. He thought I did pretty well and gave me best marks for it which in turn made me believe that writing might be something I could be good at. Then one day I wrote a poem… and the rest is history.
Which Author has influenced you and why?
That is a difficult question as I used to be a ferocious reader and had many authors I loved to read. Those whom I find important now are Erich Fried who’s ability to play with language is just beautiful and J.R.R. Tolkien. I believe he is one of the best storytellers and if you want to learn about how to structure a good story, read his books.
What is your favourite book?
Ah, there are so many. Soooooo many:
Lord of the Rings ~ J.R.R. Tolkien
Women who run with the wolves ~ Clarissa PInkola-Estes
Traveller of the Century ~ Andres Neuman
The Artist’s Way ~ Julia Cameron
Siddhartha ~ Herman Hesse
The Wallander Series ~ Henning Mankell
Kissed by Fate ~ Tamara Ferguson
Becoming One ~ Sarah E Olson
Es ist was es ist ~ Erich Fried
Out of Practice Aphrodite ~ S.E. Babin
Your writing ritual (if you have one)?
I’m not sure if I can call it a ritual, but I try to develop creative habits that make writing easier:
I have taken on Julia Cameron’s suggestions of writing “Morning Pages” which means to write three A-4 pages longhand every morning. This is strict Stream of Consciousness Writing, so I just write down what comes to mind. I work through writing problems, life problems, organise my writing….
Then I read a poem and write a poem. Next I work on a short story and later on on Blog posts. This is what I try to do in the morning before work as it is hard to be creative after an 8-hour shift in a mad house of shoppers and dedicated managers. Like that, I get the balance right between writing, working and getting enough rest.
Your secret “sin” when you write?
I have to laugh about this question quite often because many of the more “professional” writers don’t know what to say here. Or maybe think this question is stupid. They write: I don’t know what that means…
Well, I do: It’s my husbands flapjacks and cookies. Just can’t do it without them. Right now I hold a carrot cake muffin in my hand that he took out of the oven an hour ago. The perks of being a baker’s wife.
Do you suffer from writer’s block and if, what do you do against it?
Not anymore. Since I have taken part in “NaNoWriMo” and challenged myself to write a poem a day for a year I have learned that you can write anytime. Yes sometimes the words do not flow easily and yes sometimes you are preoccupied with what life throws at you. However, you can learn to switch all that of and just start writing. In the end, it is a decision you have to take: You either write no matter what or you deal with other important things. Which I believe is ok. But if you want to get anywhere with writing you just have to do it every day.
The pressure has also become less since I know about first drafts and editing. At the beginning, you just write ahead. Then you leave it a little and then you edit it into a masterpiece. In Germany, they say, “No Master fell from heaven” meaning that those who are masters of their art have worked hard and often a lifetime until they managed to do brilliant work. And those who had the ability at a young age never let life or anything get in the way of their art.
And that’s the spirit I believe!
Your advice for apprentice writers?
I think I have answered this question in “Do you suffer from writer’s block…” But let’s do a short recap
Write no matter what!
No Master fell from heaven (you need to allow yourself to be a bad artist and just exercise your writing until you become a master in your art)!
Read Julia Camerons “The Artist’s Way” and the rest of the series. She has brilliant advice on how to get unstuck.
And believe in yourself! You know I do: I believe in your ability to write great stories, poems, blog posts…!
Yes, that’s my combined “wisdom” about writing and blogging for more than 20 years. Being a writer doesn’t mean you have to have a book published. You are a writer when you write. Doesn’t matter if you write diary, blog posts or stories for your children or grandchildren. There is no “ aspiring writer” in my opinion: You either write or you don’t. There might be an “aspiring published author” but that’s an entire different matter!
Dear Tammy, this was great fun. Thank you so much for having me on your blog.
READY TO CONNECT WITH BEE🐝??
Since beginning my Author Shout Outs On Twitter, Bee has been one of my most supportive online writers – not just by retweeting the authors, but by offering me an open invitation for posting as a guest on her VERY popular blog. But most importantly, she’s become a wonderful FRIEND.
July 13, 2015 at 4:26 pm
Hi Tamara, thank you so much for having me on your blog! Bee