Hope you’re having a good weekend and a nice Valentine’s Day, no matter what you may be doing. I have a treat for you – the fab Jamieson Wolf dropping by to talk about his new release, Dancing in the Flames. This is wonderful collection of poetry – so rather apt for today 🙂
Thanks for much for being here Jamieson. So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself.
I’m an award winning, Number One Best Selling Author, a poet, a blogger and, above all, a story teller. I currently live in Ottawa Ontario Canada with my cat, Tula, who is fearless.
Ooh, impressive 🙂 Lol, I can imagine having a fearless cat can be a little worrying tough, sometimes I’m quite glad mine seems to have turned into a wuss in her old age! Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?
I had written a couple of Harry Potter fanfic’s and at the end of the second one I sat back and thought “Well, that was fun. I want to tell my own stories now.” That was when I was nineteen and I haven’t looked back since.
Sounds like a fun way to get started, I’m a huge Harry Potter fan 🙂 Do you have a particular writing routine, or any special rituals?
I work a day job for a living, so I when I come home I do my workout and then get started. I usually write for an hour or more a night depending what I’m working on. There always has to be some sort of music on (currently there is Blackstar by David Bowie).
Good choice! Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.
I write in all kinds of genres (romance, sci-fi, horror, young adult, poetry) but currently I’m working on the second book in a trilogy that’s just normal fiction (a first for me!). I’m drawn to tell all kinds of stories in whatever way they want to be told.
Sounds like a nice variety there. Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?
I was greatly inspired by Stephen King, however if I had to pick one author that would be Carol Shields. I had the great fortune of meeting her and had asked her if it was easier to write a narrative for a poem or for fiction. She answered me fiction and I told her I really wanted to be a writer. She said that the very fact that I wanted to be a writer meant I already was one. Wise words from a wise woman.
Good advice, she sounds like a lovely woman. What five things could you never do without?
Coffee, books, chocolate, anything Harry Potter and books.
Hehe, yup I think it’s totally reasonable to have books down twice. Speaking of which, tell us a bit about your new release.
Dancing with the Flame is my third book of poems. The first, Talking with the Sky, was all about finding my voice again after being struck with Multiple Sclerosis. The second, Walking on the Earth, was all about finding my balance. Dancing with the Flame is all about the healing power of love and self-love, of coming to terms with my life as it is now and celebrating it rather than running from it.
Wow, it sounds very inspirational. Where did your personal inspiration for it come from?
Well, really from the life I’m living. I had had enough of hating the MS and the Cerebral Palsy I was born with. So I set about changing the way I look at things. With that new view on the world, I worked hard on loving all of myself.
A lot of the poems in the collection are based on conversations I had with family, friends and strangers. Inspiration is everywhere for poetry.
That sounds like an amazing mental journey, I’m so glad you could document it in this writing. What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?
That moment when I finished a poem that was particularly hard to write. I just sat back and read it and thought: wowzers! Especially nice was reading people’s reactions to it if I posted it to my blog. Reading readers reactions was the best part, knowing that with just a handful of words I could evoke emotions in others.
That is really the ultimate aim of all writing, isn’t it, and it’s a wonderful feeling when you realise you’ve achieved that. What was the hardest part about writing it?
Being honest while writing the poems. Writing poetry for me is like living on the page as you don’t have the smokescreen or plot, characters or a setting. It’s just you and your heart and your words on the page.
It is quite scary letting other people see you like that, I think that’s what makes the best kind of writing though. Just in case we’re not convinced already – why should we run out and buy it right now?
Well, it is February after all. What better month is there for poetry? There are quite a few love poems in the book that are to and about my partner. But poetry is wonderful because even though I wrote the love poems for a particular person, the sentiments and words within could be for anyone.
Trying to find words to describe how I feel about my partner Michael is often difficult and that’s saying a lot for a writer.
Often I feel that I love you just doesn’t cut it. I write him poem after poem and still I’m left trying to find a way that tells him how I feel. He supports me in all I do, and loves me unconditionally.
One evening, I sat down to try and put that into words. I’ve always been fascinated by the elements. My books of poetry are actually named for them: Talking to the Sky (Air). Walking on the Earth (Earth). Dancing with the Flame (Fire).
I sat down to write about my love for him inspired by the elements and this is what came out. It remains one of my favourites in the collection.
You are the sun to me,
bright like Fire.
Every time I look into your eyes,
my world is brighter and
filled with light.
You are the Wind to me
Every time you speak my name,
it’s like a soft breeze
caressing my face.
You are the Earth to me,
supporting me with each
step that I take.
You are Water to me.
Every time you tell me
that you love me,
my body and soul are
nourished by you.
You are the element
that brings all of me to life
and you make my Spirit
*sniffs* That is just beautiful. I think sometimes the stronger the emotion the harder it can be to express it, I hope he loves it 🙂
If you want to read more, the book details are here:
Following the Number One Best Sellers, Talking to the Sky and Talking with the Earth, Dancing with the Flame contains poems that are part memoir and part journey towards self-love.
They are Wolf’s attempt to not only find balance but to love all parts of himself, even those that are most difficult to love.
They are a testament to the strength of the human spirit. The poems show us that whatever life throws at us, with courage anything is possible.
With unflinching honesty, Wolf talks about disease, sexuality, physical disability and the healing power of love.
You can get your hands on a copy here:
And don’t forget to follow Jamieson to keep up with his news and releases.
Take care and have a lovely Sunday x