Welcome Kathie Sutherland – poetess.
1.Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?
This is a difficult question.
I have written a number of short stories about legendary relatives from previous generations in my family. One of them was the mother of my great aunt, whose real mother gave her up to be raised by my grandmother. No one knows for sure who she was. I was fascinated by this tidbit of family history and so gave her a voice and a story, although she arose from my imagination.
Because I write quite a lot about my life experience, I have given voice to different parts of my personality in poetry. One of my favourite “girls” is “Felicity Fix-it” who carries a tool belt for fixing family brokenness. Another is “Darla the Drama Queen” a rather melodramatic actress who is learning to give up her roles. I hope someday this will be a book of portraits.
2.Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?
My first love is poetry, but I began writing life stories in 1995 when I took a course looking for inspiration for poems. My writing took a different path then and I moved on to write short fiction and essays, both taken from family and personal experiences. I have recently returned to a collection of autobiographical short stories which I hope to publish someday.
3.Have you got a favorite place to write?
My office is my favourite writing space when I can wrestle it away from my 12 year old grandson who is currently living with us! For the past few years I have written by hand in notebooks (this is very portable!) and at one point took courses and presented journaling workshops to share my passion for personal writing on the page. Many of my published works, especially poems, have arisen from the journal page.
4.What inspires your stories?
I have a strong desire for self expression. I love to experiment with perspective and different points of view. Inspiration comes from my grandchildren, my family life, friends, experiences like camping and scuba diving, and travel.
5.Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?
At one time, I belonged to two writing groups in Edmonton, and because I wanted to write with others locally, I started one in Fort Saskatchewan, but it was not sustainable. At the moment, I’d like to come to the evening writing group at the SCL but haven’t made it yet. I have it marked on my calendar for February. (WFSC)
6.What age did you start writing stories/poems?
I wrote my first short story in grade 10. I began writing poetry when I was a young adult (22), but did not return to it until 1995. For a time, I wrote stories, essays and magazine articles. Writing has been has been a continuous creative outlet for about 15 years.
7.Do you have a book published? If so what is it called & where can readers purchase it?
My poetry book “balancing Act” was recently published by Dream Write Publishing. I have published a number of poetry chapbooks which can be purchased from me. My work has been published in the Edmonton Stroll of Poets anthologies. Personal essays and articles have appeared in a variety of magazines. For example, the first one “The Grandma Bag” was published in Canadian Grandparent, and “Vagabond Soul” in Synchronicity Magazine. A short story “Suspended in Solitude” was published in Outside of Ordinary an anthology of women’s stories of spiritual transformation while traveling published by Second Story Press. Copies can still be purchased on line at Amazon or from me. A short story “Journey to Darkness” recently appeared Through the Window of a Train, an anthology of stories about train travel in Canada. This anthology is also available from me. Although I am proud of these accomplishments, I would enjoy having a “real” book published and am looking forward to finding a publisher for my short story collection.
8. If you could meet one favorite author who would it be and why?
Elizabeth Berg wrote Durable Goods, a coming-of-age novel about a young girl growing up in a military family in the U.S. I discovered after reading the book that we shared a military background. I was thrilled to find an author who wrote what I knew! I have read every one of her books and enjoy her ability to create both male and female characters that leap off the page and into my heart.
9.Where can readers find you and your blog?
My blog at http://wordpainter.wordpress.com is a fairly recent endeavor in which I hope to encourage authentic and honest writing. I can also be reached at email@example.com.
10.Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?
My cheerleader friend, Glenda Sheard. Many people have inspired me, including writing instructors, fellow writers, books, friends, my church family, family members (especially my mom) and spiritual mentors, and many others.
Thanks to Kathie for the insight into her ‘writing life’.