Saturday, April 6, 2013

Author Interview – Jessica Bell

Do you have any advice for writers? Learn the rules and then break them intelligently.

Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to say to your readers? I’m often asked how my writing can be so brutally honest and not be real. As I said to a reviewer recently, there is  “… a difference between ‘honest’ and ‘factual.’” For example, in Twisted Velvet Chains, a poetry collection of mine, I’ve really amped up the ‘tragic’ quality of the poems and although the content stems from ‘real’ feelings I had at some point or another, they do not necessarily stem from the events in the poems. Notice I say ‘stem from’ real feelings. As writers we have the freedom to embellish. There’s that common saying, ‘Write what you know.’ Well, what I know is what it’s like to feel so depressed you don’t even want to lift a finger. I also know what it’s like growing up with rock musicians as parents. I also know firsthand what it’s like to be a musician and perform in front of an audience. I know that when someone is suffering from Valium withdrawal, the symptoms mimic the symptoms of bipolar disorder. I also know what it feels like to hate everyone in the entire world as a teen—teens tend to feel that way, and teens tend to exaggerate those feelings, too. I know what it feels like to love, to hate, to envy, to regret, to feel so passionate about something that you don’t care what is going on around you. Put all these ‘experiences’ together, and wham, you’ve got something that is ‘honest,’ but not necessarily ‘factual.’

What do you do to unwind and relax? You’ll always catch me reading when I go to bed. But I’m also a sucker for a great TV series. My favorites are Homeland, Grey’s Anatomy, Dexter and Fringe.

When you wish to end your career, stop writing, and look back on your life, what thoughts would you like to have? That I don’t regret one minute of it.

What exactly is your connection with Greece? My stepfather’s roots are from Ithaca. Both my parents live there now as well.

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Genre – Non-Fiction / Writing Skills Reference

Rating – PG

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