Saturday, January 28, 2012

Meet Our Writers Week 29 on Katie

Tell us about yourself

I'm a twenty-something woman living in the Northwest of England in a small seventies house a short walk from the beach. Knitter, part-time poet, writer, smoker, drinker,  and prone to eating a bit too much. I adore The Smiths and 80's synch pop/electro, and collect brightly-colored nail polish and strange hair colors. At the last count I had thirty-eight body piercing and four tattoos, but I'm not much of a rebel. I like old-fashioned flower print blouses and pretty jeweler, and I really don't like loud rock music. I'm in love with a curly-haired laboratory assistant called S. Nothing makes me happier than a big cup of tea (milk, two sugars) and a bad horror film on my laptop.
Tell me about your blog(s), name(s), what does it mean to you?

My blog is called Halfway Between The Gutter And The Stars

Oscar Wilde said that "all of us are in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars". As I write primarily about my experiences with chronic depression, I just felt it fit nicely with what I wanted to achieve from writing a sort of personal diary online. My aim was to learn from my past mistakes and use my writing as a way of understanding my life - and go from laying in the gutter, to being in the stars. I'm halfway there.

When have you started blogging?

Earlier this year, I began publishing my real-life diary online (which can be found right at the start of my blog, in May I think). I don't know what inspired me to carry on writing past the ending of my diary, but I carried on and found the whole experience very therapeutic and a real challenge to improve my writing skills.

What's the theme(s) of your blog(s)? What do you write most? poetry, fiction or novel, or  short stories?

The underlying theme of Halfway Between The Gutter is depression and mental illness, but because I write about everything in my life it also covers pretty much all aspects of life; love, relationships, family, health and the mundane every day things we all do. I also frequently post a combination of new and old poetry, photographs and letters. Poetry will always be my first love (after music), and so I'm trying to share everything I've ever written - good or bad - to show how I've changed through the years.

What are the inspirations of your writing?

Real life, I'm not fantastic at writing fiction; I find it difficult to write from somebody else's point of view, especially when it comes to poetry.  

Does music impact your writing?

In a huge way, I often hear a lyric and adapt it to fit into a poem. I suppose that by doing so I'm not being entirely original, but inspiration has to come from somewhere and I adore music of all kinds, so it's a natural source.

You are involved with Bluebell Books Short Story Slam writing challenge? How do you feel about it so far? What's the benefits of it?

I love it! It's helped me develop my writing (before I found Bluebell Books, I wasn't writing poetry. I hadn't written for a long, long time) and seeing the amazing poetry from other bloggers has really triggered an old desire in me to write. I've 'met' some lovely people through the writing challenge.

Do you have a favorite blogging friend(s) to share? Tell us about his/her blog link and the writing in it!

I don't think it would be fair to nominate people for this, because the vast majority of what I've read related to the writing challenges has been entirely brilliant, and I'd be worried about leaving anybody out!

Do you have a favorite book or author?

A few. Girlfriend In A Coma by Douglas Copeland and the Gormen ghast trilogy by Mervyns Peake will always be at the top of my list, and I love the Disc world Novels by Sir Terry Pratchett. Books have played a huge part in my life. I taught myself to read, and throughout my life they've been my best friends.

Any tips for those who started blogging and wish to become successful in it.

Get yourself out there. Comment on other blogs you find interesting and build up a rapport with other bloggers. Don't worry if your blog seems quiet at first; there are millions of pages out there and yours will be noticed one day. If you want your poetry or stories to be read, join challenges and poetry rallies online, and again, make sure you give something back if somebody comments on your blog. Really think about your comments, and you'll find people start revisiting.

What's your writing plans in the near future?

To continue writing on Halfway Between The Gutter, and articles on depression and mental health. I also want to get back into writing poetry on a regular basis, but don't feel I can do so until I have my own study to write in.