Red was finishing up the closing ritual at the M3 Coffee Shoppe when she noticed a lady out on the patio with her feet pulled up in the chair and a journal on her knees. She recognized the poet’s pose and wandered out to see what Emma McClain was writing in her version of Mantra’s notebook. It was time to talk poetry.
M3: Emma, why not read the book jacket bio of you for the M3 Readers to get to know you a bit?
EM: At sixteen, Emma McClain began writing the “Great American Novel” but turned to writing poetry instead. Being a very shy person, she found that poetry was a natural vehicle to convey the deep emotions that evaded expression through speech. The mother of two grown children, she is a long-time resident of sunny southern California and an active member of her church.
M3: I think a lot of poetry is born meaning to begin something completely different. Is there anyone you would like to thank?
M3: Many people underestimate the support of their spouses and families. You are M3’s first poet author. You told me you thought poetry was going through a revival, so I have to know if the genre picked you.
EM: Yes, poems are poems.
M3: Then, what is it which makes Poems from Still Waters Running Deep different from all the other poetry books on the market?
EM: I think it has its own rhythm and is very deep.
M3: Which is whence its name comes. What makes this book close to your heart?
EM: It is me coming out on paper. I grew up with speech problems. Speaking was a chore to me, so writing became the way I express myself.
M3: I can identify with that rather easily. Since this is your first book, what advice do you have for budding authors?
EM: Go with your heart, don’t be afraid to let your emotions come out in your writing. People will relate to them.
M3: That is true. Where did you get on the road to publishing?
EM: I think in the 1980s, I started sending poems to poetry contest sites. Before that, I just keep the poems to myself and friends.
M3: I am glad you have opened it up to a larger audience. What do you have in the works?
M3: I like the idea of an autobiographical book of poetry. Do you think the M3 Readers should care about your day job?
EM: Creating takes time, but that is the author problem not so much the reader.
M3: How is it you find time to write?
EM: Time, that is the problem. I was single up until I was 40, so I wrote a lot before that time. With kids, a husband and work, I was too busy to write except poems for special purposes. When my husband died, writing was a way to release the emotions, and, of course, there was a lot of time.
M3: I sympathize. With all you have had to do, do you take time out for yourself and a hiatus once in a while?
EM: Yes, during the twenty years of marriage and raising my son and working 10 hours a day there was not much time for writing. During those years however, I did jot down occasional verses that later became poems.
M3: Your method to poetry is quite different from many other poets I know. Tell me how you feel about your colleagues.
EM: I have nothing but respect for them. I look forward to sharing with them and for them to share with me.
M3: Which brings me to ask how important your own marketing efforts are to the success of your book.
EM: Very, I get great joy in passing out my books for free to those I come in contact with daily.
M3: Have you parlayed your contacts into any victories in the publishing industry?
EM: I hear from friends and acquaintances that have shared the book with loved ones going through medical difficulties, that they felt the love in the book and were comforted. As far as the industry, I would just like to get that love and comfort out to others.
M3: One of the most important ways is the one-liner. Tell the M3 Readers in 15 words or less why they should buy your book.
EM: Everyone has downs in their lives; perhaps they could find comfort in my pages.
M3: I would hope so.
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Who wants to get a copy of Emma’s book compliments of M3? This is our first Book Giveaway. There are three books up for grabs. The more you do, the more chances you have to win. Some you can only do once, but there are plenty others you can do everyday or more than once per day! As always, thank you for your phenomenal support of the talented artists of the M3 Coffee Shoppe!
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