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.
Bee Parkinson – Cameron
is a writer of poetry, short stories and plays. Bee focuses on exploring love in all its forms, the oppositions of life and death and the nature of humanity and what it means to be human. She is passionate about issues such as mental health, domestic abuse, euthanasia, abortion and human sexuality. Bee’s work has been published in several anthologies including ‘collections of poetry and prose: Love, War, Travel and Happy’, ‘the challenges of finding love’ and ‘uncovered voices’. She has also produced two plays ‘The Divine Comedy Show‘ in March 2017 and ‘The Journey Home’ a play about domestic abuse in November 2018.
1. When and why did you begin to write poetry?
I began to write poetry when I was 13 years old. It was a way for me to escape from the world that I was living in, to challenge all the negativity of the traumas of my life and the growing issue of my mental health into something productive. It also quickly became a way for me to examine the world and the concept of relationships, natural beauty and just rejoice in the freedom of bird life.
2. Who introduced you to poetry?
My dad wrote poetry and I remember some of his poems from when I was young including one about my mum being crabbit (grumpy and bad tempered). In terms of the great poets of our past, I found them through my reading at the library and school assignments. My dad also had this amazing copy of all of Shakespeare’s works that I used to read. I now own that very copy, bequeathed it by my father.
3. How aware were and are you of the dominating presence of older poets?
I am acutely aware of the poetry of the past ranging all the way from Homer through to Dante to Wordsworth, D.H. Lawrence, Sylvia Plath and Carol Ann Duffy. These people came before us and we need to respect and appreciate the work that they did and the impact that this has on all of us. My writing style has been influenced by some of what I have read across the years.
4. What is your daily writing routine?
I write my dreams down in a diary and I write a few words here and there. Sometimes I get snatches of lines in my head and I write them down on pretty much anything. If I don’t write, I plan what I’m going to write instead.
5. What motivates you to write?
Being perfectly honest? I write because to live without writing is something that my soul couldn’t stand. It’s in my blood to write, my grandfather is a writer, my father is a writer and it’s as much a part of me as my eyes or my fingers.
I am inspired by many things and regularly write when I visit places and encounter new people or new situations. I write about concepts such as love and death and freedom. I am also motivated to write by my own experiences, both good and bad, and I write in the hope that I will help influence social change and that my words will be able to help someone else get through the hard times in their life. If I can make it through, then I know you can.
6. What is your work ethic?
I am prone to procrastination sometimes, ‘procrastination for the nation’ as I dubbed it in my younger years. When my motivation is there and present, my work ethic is exceptionally strong to the point where I regularly forsake drinking and eating and other such things. Thankfully, I have a fantastic husband and a best friend who annoys me into eating.
7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?
Sometimes I don’t even notice the influence that other writers have had on me until either someone points it out or I look back and I begin to notice it myself. Some of my concepts have been influenced by people such as W.H. Auden and D.H. Lawrence. Moving away from poetry, I cannot deny the influence of J.K Rowling as I grew up with the Harry Potter books and of Anne Rice with her almost sensual and erotic style of writing in the Vampire Chronicles (The Vampire Armand being my favourite).
8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?
Stephen King. Without a doubt a complete Master of his genre. I have never experienced horror like it before, not even reading Lovecraft or Stoker’s Dracula. Stephen crafts his stories like an artist crafts a painting and completely captivates the mind and the soul.
Karin Slaughter’s stories are amazing and her descriptions so graphic and so true (particularly ‘The Good Daughter’).
Robert Harris reawakened a love within me for Roman History, demonstrating such a strong commitment to crafting a story but paying such close attention to the source material and bringing to life a character from centuries ago whose voice still speaks to us now.
9. Why do you write?
I write because if I did not write, I could not live
I write because if I did not write, I could not dream.
If I did not write then I would not thrive
If I did not write then I would not survive.
Every piece of my writing contains a piece of me, an expression of my soul.
10. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”
You become a writer by picking up that pen and writing whatever comes into your mind. You become a writer when you push that fear away, the dark whisper in your mind that tells you that you can’t do it, when you pour your heart and your soul into crafting a story or writing a verse and you stop worrying about what the world will think or your family will think, you just do it.
11. Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.
I am currently in the process of trying to gather funds together to self-publish my very positively received play based on my own experiences of domestic abuse. A newly set up independent company was going to publish it however the printer they used went into administration so I’m now trying to find another way for the play to continue on and for the story to continue to inspire hope and raise awareness.
I am also revising my first stage play ‘The Divine Comedy Show Part 1’ and finishing Part 2. I am also starting to go through the back catalogue of my poetry to select pieces for a small collection in the future.