Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Kristi Elaine Ivey

Kristi Ivey,

for the past thirty-eight years has been a reader and writer. She is an award winning poet, children’s, historical romance, and one of her favorite genre’s Science Fiction writer. 

She says:

The best part of being a writer is that I can create my own worlds. Doesn’t that sound wonderful. Here is some information about me, my nickname is Kiki. Writing is something that has been encouraged by my family, it didn’t matter who it was, my close family or extended family. They would encourage with love, or paper and pencils. Cherish the people that love you and support you.

Please go to my website:

www.kristiiveywriter.com

The Interview

1. When and why did you start writing poetry?

One of the first books I read was a Wrinkle in Time and the thought of creating new worlds along with new characters appealed to my young mind. It was at that moment that I realized SOMEONE actually WROTE this book. How did they do that? It wasn’t until I was twelve and going through my first bout of teen angst “the world is against me,  nobody loves me” phase I wrote my first poem. My grandmother Susie was an avid reader, her favorite author was Agatha Christie, I saw how my grandmother loved the written word and I wanted to follow in her footsteps and love the written word also.

2. Who introduced you to poetry?

 My grandmother Susie Lowe did. She was addicted to Agatha Christie. She would read her novels over and over. I would watch her and think what is so great about a BOOK. I had read the required amount in my classes. It wasn’t until I realized people read for PLEASURE! My grandmother gave me A Wrinkle In Time to read and I was addicted after that. I loved and respected the written word from that time onward.

The first poem I remember reading (I had to think on that one)

It was by Joyce Kilmer  titled Trees

I had to memorize it for a class in elementary school. I really loved that poem, especially for me to remember it all these years later. After reading that poem I started reading poetry by different poets to see what “that stuff” was all about. I know Trees is considered simplistic but for a budding poet it was just what I needed. I was too young to understand the emotional complexities of Elizabeth Browning or the The Road not Taken by Robert Frost. 

3. How aware are and were you of the dominating presence of older poets traditional and contemporary?

 I hate to admit it, when I first started reading I need never looked at the name of the authors! That is sad but, in my defense I was a preteen. I truly became aware of the “creators” after grew up a little. I remember a quote by Maya Angelou.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story in you.”

Isn’t that absolutely true. The classical writers like Shakespeare, Hardy, Barrett, Austin, and Bronte’ all were very skilled. We can learn a lot in their structure and over all thoughts, faults, and feelings. 

Contemporary writers offer me something more. I guess it’s because we are “wired in.” Our reading list is more diverse. I remember being in a writing forum and telling them my goal is to finish my sci fi series. 

One fellow came back with,  “your kidding right? Women CAN’T write decent science fiction. “

I absolutely did research and found Butler, Atler, and Le Guin there are a lot more.  I have set my mind to finishing my science fiction.  

My poetry is my hearts release to the world.  We should all write whether in a journal just for ourselves, or for the world.  Great writers are not born they have to earn that title. If you live what you do put sweat, blood, and tears into it. 

3.1. What did you find in “Butler, Atler, and Le Guin”?

They have a recurring theme empowerment of women. They are also called Ecofeminists. I tend to call them trailblazers. Think of Offred trying to survive sexual servitude. Then of Lauren a WOC (woman of color) who after many trials and tribulations emerged as the leader of a colony called Acorn. Last but not least Therru, a woman who is kind,  strong, and determined. She is maternal and very protective. She lost her husband in the beginning of her story, then adopted  a child that had been burned severely by her own father (he wanted to kill the child.)   

These authors started out with poetry first.  Octavia Butler stated she kept a pink notebook to write her poetry in. These trailblazers highlighted women as powerful and strong. They are just three of modern day female writers that blazed a way for women in speculative fiction. 

4. What is your daily writing routine?

I  truly am an odd duck. I am my nephews home school teacher from 8-2 then I rest my mind for an hour. I write through the day if he doesn’t have a huge project or test. I write better when it’s evening its quieter, and I write prolifically in the evening.  I am a night owl. There are some days that are harder to get in some writing time than others but I make myself pick up the proverbial pen.  

5. What subjects motivates you to write?

There are quite a few motivational things I use.  Music, art (there is an artist I follow) who is a Surrealist painter I absolutely love her work. That is where I got the inspiration for Surrealist Potential. Nature provides a lot of motivation for me.  I live on the side of a mountain in the Appalachian Mountains of East Tennessee. I also get inspired by listening to the podcasts by Mark Antony Rossi, Strength to be Human. If you listen to those you will definitely grow and mature as a writer.  

6. How do the writers you read when you were young influence your work today?

I was and am a voracious reader, when I was young I read A Wrinkle In Time that stirred my mind toward the universe. Then I snuck into my Grammy’s secret stash of Harlequins and was transported to other countries. Countries like Great Britain, Greece, Italy. That opened up my mind to traveling when I got older.  This world is so diverse, chaotic, and beautiful I learned much of that through books. My science fiction is inspired by Ursula Guinn, Margaret Atwood, H.G. Wells, Asimov, and more recently B.V. Larson, Jonathan Yanez, and Ross Buzzell I could make a full page list of science fiction authors. Poetry is of course one of my very top pleasures, have you ever read a poem that stuck with you for years? That made you ponder your place in the universe? That is the type of writer I aspire to be.

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

 I love so many.  This was very hard but here are my top ten, and why. (They are in no particular order)

1.) Jonathan Yanez: I found Jonathan by happy coincidence. He is an indie author who really caught my attention with his Gateway to the Galaxy novels. They are very engaging. 

https://www.jonathan-yanez.com/

2. Mark Antony Rossi (poet, and playwright): His poetry is unique in the fact that his poetry, short stories, and plays come from life. If you would like to know more, read “Philosophy of Rent” it certainly is not all rainbows, unicorns, and candy.  Sometimes we need that outlook. Below is his website.

https://www.markantonyrossi.com

3. JR Castle: She is a preview into women in sci-fi/fantasy in modern times.  Her novels stand on there own. 

https://m.facebook.com/authorjrcastle/

4. Ross Buzzell: He is helping those out with dyslexia, he writes novels in a format that makes reading easier for dyslexic people.  You see he is dyslexic and wanted his writing to be enjoyed by everyone. I truly enjoyed his work. He is a sci-fi/fantasy author.

5. Kelley Tharp: I ANXIOUSLY await her every word.  If you haven’t read her Protectorate novels please read them.  I guarantee you will be on the edge of your seat. 

6. JR Handley: He is the author of the Sleeping Legend series. I really enjoy his books. Like the authors on this list I wait anxiously for his book releases. I follow all of them across all social media platforms. If we enjoy an author we should follow and support them.

www.jrhandley.com

7.  J N Chaney: I absolutely have been enthralled with his Renegade series.  He brings his stories to life. 

www.jnchaney.com

8. B.V. Larson: His books caused me too lose so much sleep its unreal. The Undying Mercenaries series and Star Force are the ones that put the dark circles under my eyes. 

9. Anna Hackett: She writes sci-fi, and thriller romance.  Her romance is spicy and very engaging. 

10. Nathan Hystad: His Survivor series, it is unusual and very creative.

https://www.nathanhystad.com/ This list is just ten of my favorite modern authors.

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

You would think this would be a very easy question. Its really not, with becoming a writer, first you have to write. I would suggest Journaling keeping a small notebook with you. Carry it in your purse or in your pocket write down ideas and thoughts you get during your day. This was advice I received from an experienced author (thanks Mark). Then once you get your thoughts and ideas into coherent words now you begin your stories. Poetry for me is different, I usually get inspired then write.  Poetry itself (for me) is mood or feeling based. 

Then of course rewrites, editing, then submitting. You can’t rush it either.

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

I am working on a book of poetry that will have published and unpublished poetry. I am working on my science fiction and in fact have submitted the first of several stand alone short stories (set in our galaxy). It is a preview into the full novels. 

Kristi

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