Facebook fans of Patricia Neely-Dorsey, please click over to the Trouble Down South and Other Stories Facebook page and LIKE this post after reading this interview. This is Part Two of the interview with Neely-Dorsey.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia?
I think that Reflections came out exactly the way that it should have, and it has been wonderfully received. The basic content and subject matter could not be changed because it is my life as it is and was, and the truth will only and always be the truth, even if it is my truth . My feelings are just my feelings. It is what it is! (smile) I would not have wanted to change how they were written because I felt that they came to me exactly like they did for a reason. As I said in the forward of my book, I feel more like a vessel or a conduit through which the poems flow.
Have you published any other books?
Hopefully, Magnolia Memories-In Poems will be out in February 2011. It is basically a continuation of Reflections.
Have you published any short stories, essays, or poetry? If so, where has your work been published?
I am a staff writer for The Greater Tupelo Magazine here at home. I am a contributing writer for WHOA! Women Magazine. Also, my poems have been published in several southern journals and blogs.
Have you ever won awards for your writing?
I have recently been nominated for The Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.
What do you think makes a good poem?
In my opinion, a poem is a good poem when it evokes the intended emotions and paints the intended picture. Most of all in my poetry, I look for the relatability factor. I feel that it is good when people can relate it to their own lives and when they can totally step into the poem and into the words.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Simple- Simply Southern
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Marketing and promoting are 95% of the WORK. The writing is the easy part!
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I rarely just sit down to write unless someone asks me for something specific. I am inspired by something, and I write. I am inspired all of the time.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Oh my goodness! My wonderful Facebook friends have totally embraced and supported my work. So many of them are now more than Facebook friends. I call them my “Celebrate the South” family, and I have met so many of them in person. I have received most of my referrals, speaking engagement invites, interviews, reviews, and articles about the book from Facebook friends. Bloggers (especially southern bloggers) have also been wonderful in helping me to get the word out about my “little book of southern poems.” I have certainly depended on and benefited greatly from the kindness of “strangers” (smile).
Is there a writer that you would consider a mentor?
John Campbell, the author of Daydreaming on My Cotton Sack and brother of the late blues singer, Little Milton, is the real reason Reflections is in print. I have known John since I was 16 yrs old. We have a lot of history. He encouraged me to publish the poems, hooked me up with his publisher, and has held my hand all of the way through this whole process.
Who are your favorite authors, and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have always loved Maya Angelou and Nikki Giovanni. The realness, the grittiness, the straightforwardness, and that relatability factor have always appealed to me in their works. “Egotripping” by Nikki Giovanni just blew me away as a teenager. It still does! As she says in the poem, “She is… BAD!!”(LOL) I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou is one of my all-time favorite books. I STILL read it!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Be persistent. Be patient. Be positive. Believe in yourself. Believe in your work. Believe in your dream. Never take “No” as a final answer. Never give up. Find a way or Make a way. Be You! Do You! Promote! Promote! Promote!
What are your current projects?
Promoting Reflections and preparing Magnolia Memories.
What else do you like to do besides writing?
I love spending time with my family, and I love, love, love to read!
Where can readers get a copy of your book Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia?
or signed copies from www.reeds.ms/books.asp.