Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Kali Rose Schmidt

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews

I am honoured and privileged that the following writers local, national and international have agreed to be interviewed by me. I gave the writers two options: an emailed list of questions or a more fluid interview via messenger.
The usual ground is covered about motivation, daily routines and work ethic, but some surprises too. Some of these poets you may know, others may be new to you. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I do.

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Kali Rose Schmidt

Kali Rose Schmidt is a writer and poet from North Carolina living in Toronto. She is a certified yoga teacher, uncertified book hoarder, and mother of two. The best place to find her is on Instagram at KaliSchmidt, but she can also be found at KaliRSchmidt.com. Her latest chapbook, All that She Can, is available on Amazon.

The Interview

1. What inspired you to write poetry?

Ironically enough, 9/11 inspired me. I was in 5th grade and my teacher had us write a poem on how we were feeling about the events that transpired on 9/11. I wrote a lengthy poem, probably the first I had ever written, and since then, I had returned to poetry at various times in my life to help get my thoughts and feelings onto the page.

2. Who introduced you to poetry?

The first works I remember reading from poets like Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost and Samuel Coleridge and others were during university, where I was an English major. My professors were very into poetry, as English professors tend to be, and their enthusiasm spread to me. Prior to that, I adored Poe all on my own.

3. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?

Pretty aware, particularly with Poe. Great work is great no matter the age of the work.

4. What is your daily writing routine?

This is very dependent on whether or not I’m actively writing a manuscript (I write books and articles as well as poetry). On average, I write 2000 words per day, but this can be much more if I’m in the middle of a book, or much less if I’ve just completed a project. I get my work done while my kids are napping or in childcare. Every day I write something.

5. What motivates you to write?

I can’t not write. It is as necessary for me as eating and yes, I realize that’s such a dramatic, poetic thing to say, and yet it’s true.

6. What is your work ethic?

I like to be busy (which can have many downsides, by the way). I am currently editing two of my own books for publication, I just had a poem released today, a chapbook earlier this year, and am in the midst of writing my next book, which is non-fiction. I also edit and handle social media marketing for a few companies, and I consider reading a necessary job duty, so I do that every day as well. In addition, I have two children, age two and under, and the various life responsibilities that everyone has. I may not be the best writer in the world, but I put in the time to do the work.

7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?

Harry Potter was my first obsession, as well as Lemony Snicket. I think J.K. Rowling’s world of magic has inspired most people on some level, whether writing or not. Creating a world that fosters hope even among the darkness is something I strive to do in all of my writing, fiction or not. Lemony Snicket is just pure fun and horror, and sometimes that reflects in my work, too.

8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?

This list is long. I really enjoy reading Ryan Holiday’s work – all non-fiction, but all so good. I adore Sabrina Benaim, Sarah J. Maas, still love J.K. Rowling’s new work as Robert Galbraith, Nikita Gill, the list goes on.

9. Why do you write?

Because I can’t not write. Writing is cathartic for me, a stress reliever, a way to put the anxiety of my thoughts into a manageable, editable form. I can’t imagine my life without writing.

10. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”

My professor told me this once after class: If you write, you’re a writer. I still believe this to be true.

11. Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.

I’m currently editing two of my books, one of which should be out later this month entitled “All the Dead Souls”, and another next year and that title is being worked on.

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