The Smart Cookie: Shaye, thanks for joining me today. What was the moment you realized you should use poetry to share your story?
S Baker: Thank you. I was in the process of writing a full-length horror novel when my life became its own horror story. I received a world-shattering phone call that my brother died in a car accident. It was sudden, like the snap-of-the-finger. The only platform I had to share my thoughts was, sadly, a journal. I’m an introvert, and don’t do well with a lot of social activity. Poetry allowed me to express everything I was feeling, processing.
The Smart Cookie: What inspires the ideas behind the poems you write?
S.Baker: My brother lived and worked as a musician; he’s a brilliant pianist. He travelled the world, playing for Holland Airlines B. B. King band. When he passed away, I realized how great his impact on this earth was, and wrote my poems to leave my own legacy. He may be physically gone, but his presence, art, photos, memories, are very much alive, fossilized within the people he loved.
The Smart Cookie: Outside of poetry, would you ever consider writing a memoir to share your full story?
I toyed with the idea, in my full-length horror novel there are striking resemblances. I would consider it.
The Smart Cookie: Has writing this collection helped you find peace despite the tragedy?
S. Baker: It has, you couldn’t imagine what this collection has meant to my family and I. So. Yes, it has been cathartic. Great question, by the way
The Smart Cookie: What is a Cerebral Fossil?
S. Baker: Another great question. So. A fossil is any trace or remains of any once living thing. Cerebral Fossil is the memories, art, thoughts, poetry, books, text messages, love notes, social media posts etc. left behind by any once living being. It’s deeper than that, but I’m okay with my concept inspiring personal interpretations for others.
The Smart Cookie: Any advice for anyone who resonates with this collection?
S. Baker: Be vulnerable. Allow yourself to feel and don’t stop yourself from seeing where those feelings take you. If your feelings lead to calling your brother or sister in the middle of night and saying “I love you,” then do it. I’m an introvert, and I don’t always pick up the phone or reach out to people because social settings drain me. Still, I wish I could go back and do more. I am doing more now.
Poetry is this beautiful snippet into the window of someone’s soul and so is the case with Raquel’s collection.
The short collection offers much perspective into what it means to grieve the loss of a relative or friend, a love or romance that had to end, and the gain of finding hope in a love that wraps you up on both the good and bad days, and even the hope of finding Christ.
One thing is certain
Poetry is a nice
Reprieve from memoir and fiction
But anyone who reads this collection
Will find a new vice
With the ink of this author’s pen.
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Sometimes in life, without looking, we find all you weren’t searching for. With a unique cadence and story-telling rhythm Shaye Baker’s Cerebral Fossil will have you engrossed from page one.
The collection was inspired by the tragic event, the author’s unfortunate loss of his younger brother. The poems discuss these emotions and all those associated with life, death, grief, and the in-between.
Can, Can, Can, Tethered, Breathe, Garden District, A Fire Pit Story, and God Hates were my favorites yet the poem I personally resonated with was Seeds to Grow.
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For Immediate Release April 13, 2021 Chelsea DeVries, Publicist email@example.com Sticks and Stones currently #1 in Drama and Poetry Sticks and stones by Chelsea DeVries, which is a collection of prose and poetry for anyone healing from a painful experience bringing up themes of mental health, suicide, and love and heartbreak. It is currently nominated […]Press Release: Sticks and Stones Nominated For Book of The Year! — One Girl Revolution
Today, my guest of this new series is Molly S. Hillery Best-Selling Author of Bare Roots and Recently Released Follow-up collection The Medicine That Burns.
The Smart Cookie: Molly, Thank you for joining me today. Any writer would definitely agree that the act and art of writing is in itself very cathartic. What was the moment you realized you should write poetry to share your story?
Molly: That’s a great question! I have always wanted to become an author and I always loved journaling and writing as a child. After what I went through in my teen years, I really felt like sharing my perspective. I didn’t write for fame or fortune, it was just special to me to be able to share my story and fulfill my dream of publishing.
The Smart Cookie: You write about real human struggles related to trauma and mental illness. What inspires your ideas for poems?
Molly: All of my poems come from my own experience and perspective. A lot of the poems I wrote in bare roots were inspired by blogs I had published in early 2015, that I fit together into a cohesive narrative. Many of the poems in The Medicine That Burns were written in first-person perspective from journals and many were written following therapy sessions.
The Smart Cookie: Outside of poetry, would you ever consider writing a memoir to share your full story?
Molly: I think in their own way, both of my collections are a memoir. They are just more stylized and easier to digest, in my opinion. Readers who have read both books will have a pretty solid idea on what I have been through throughout my life!
The Smart Cookie: I think in their own way, both of my collections are a memoir. They are just more stylized and easier to digest, in my opinion. Readers who have read both books will have a pretty solid idea on what I have been through throughout my life!
Molly: On the good days, I feel creative and enjoy writing and being artistic, like painting and collaging. I love to just relax and unwind after a full workday, so the normal Netflix, snuggling with my dog, and talking to friends on the internet works for me! I also spend a lot of time with my family these days, which has been a nice change of pace. My nephew will be three this summer!
The Smart Cookie: Bare Roots and your upcoming release Medicine That Burns share similar truths about the after effects of trauma and traumatic experiences but Bare Roots uses a resilient view while Medicine that Burns is darker, raw, and emotive. What was the writing process like for each book, and which one to you felt like more of a release than anything?
Molly: The writing processes for both books were very, very different. I wrote, edited, and published bare roots in four months. I worked on it almost addictively; my husband and I were going through a rough time and I almost used writing the book as a safe haven/escape. My perspective on life really changed after my divorce; Four years passed between the two books and I lived a lot of life in between then. I started writing The Medicine That Burns in quarantine last year when I was on furlough from work. This process was a lot slower, and I took my time with it.
The Smart Cookie: What are your final words to those who are broken and bruised, and resonate with your poetry?
Molly: It sounds cliche but, that you are not alone, and that there is hope. I also really encourage people with trauma to continue to seek out appropriate treatment, because seeking the wrong kind of care can make things worse. At the end of The Medicine That Burns, I share some modalities of therapy that have helped me– I even had a medical procedure done to aid in symptoms. I want to share these with people in hopes that they can find relief in some of their symptoms, too. Trauma informed care is essential to recovery.
To find out more about Molly and her poetry, visit mollyhillery.com
Hillery is no product of trauma. She is a beautiful rose, rising high above what tried to bury her, end her, and silence her, one poem at a time. She is the voice of those who know the struggle of suffering at the cold, dirty hands of trauma, mental illness, or society’s unmeetable expectations following the divorce and/or infidelity.
“Medicine That Burns” serves you a shot of the dark liquor of life, and helps you come to terms with “not being fine” in a world that glorifies perfection, illusive love stories, but doesn’t want to fall in love with the breaking process of all of us who are broken.
Whether you’ve had you had to mask your pain or survive by masking, Hillery’s poetry will have you drunk on the truth of what it means to live even if the pain still cripples your veins.
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Poetry for me is an eye-opening experience. You step into the soles of the shoes of another but ironically enough because the human experience is mirrored through triumphs and pain, you will find some of ‘you’ in the pages of Bare Roots.
No matter whether you’ve gone through similar traumatic experiences as Hillery:
- sexual assault and rape
- anorexia, addictions, and self-harm
- depression and suicidal thoughts
- suicide attempts
- or overall just feeling like a burden to the people you love.
My favorite piece in this collection was a piece called What They Don’t Tell You In College which poignantly pens the struggle between feeding on the lies they sell you about growing up and adulthood and the reality as painful as it may be, as it is.
Bare Roots will act as new soil and help you water the roots of the trauma so you can start anew, flourish and thrive.
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Hillery’s newest poetry collection will be out this Monday April 19 and it is entitled The Medicine That Burns. Look for my review coming this Monday right here. Pre-order it now and get your copy of Bare Roots here.
Today I launched the first episode of Snap, Crackle Pop: Book Versus Movie Discussion
where I read books based on movies and then watch the movie and give my feedback.
I feel like it will be beneficial to the book community as I always aim to read the book before watching the movie or tv show that they make based on books but it also allows for me to save people the time if I felt the movie didn’t honor the book in the way it deserved.
Here is the first episode. Enjoy (with or without popcorn) and please consider liking the video on Youtube to help it reach more bookish movie lovers.
When someone says, “It’s a vampire book,” what’s the first image that comes to mind? For me, it’s the angst and sparkle of the skin on Edward Cullen’s torso in the movie Twilight. I was always Team Jacob myself but vampires picked up a cultural trend and popularity in the 2010 decade.
This vampire book is unlike Twilight in many ways but the key ingredient is that it is set in the Victorian era when vampires were seen as angsty romantic suitors but instead as monsters, and people ran in fear of them. In this particular book, the vampires are an army of fierce soldiers commanded to protect the local church from the “untoten.”
For me, this book is a cross between Dracula, 1917, and the Vampire Diaries minus the teenage angst but just as dark. Dare I say it this book will stab you in the heart.
Check out more from Sayda Hope at the links below.