This week we got to know one of our youngest authors, American poet Charlotte Avery, whose broad range of interests and fabulous advice in the battle against writer's block makes it clear that she has years of wonderful writing ahead of her. We're so proud to be a part of it!
Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a seventeen year old poet from the United States who completed my first publication with Rowanvale in Spring of 2019. I love chocolate, coffee, Oscar Wilde, reading history books, and going swimming in my lake.
What first inspired you to start writing?
I first started writing little poems in elementary school because I wanted to express my thoughts about things I was passionate about, from history and current events, to personal life events. After an experience with bullying in freshman year of high school, I decided that my voice needed to be shared, so I contacted Rowanvale.
What made you want to work with Rowanvale and be published?
I chose Rowanvale based on a recommendation from my uncle, who also used Rowanvale publishing and really enjoyed it. I couldn't wait to share my poems, since all I did for years was write them.
When you’re not writing, what are you reading?
When I'm not writing (which is seldom!), I read all different things! I love historical books, literary fiction, and of course, poetry. My current obsession is Flannery O'Connor, so when I'm not writing now, I'm reading her work.
Which work are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my book of poetry that I published with Rowanvale, The Suitcase, and from those poems, I think my favourite is 'Palais Royal' or 'Disobey'.
What’s your best advice for handling writer's block?
My advice for handling writer's block would be to take a break from what you're writing, and write something else. If you are stuck where you are, skip ahead to a scene you're looking forward to. Or, if it's a poem, write down the imagery or specific lines you want to include. If you really can't write at all, read or do some research on your topic or themes. If all else fails, I make playlists for my different characters or vision boards for themes.
What’s one thing you always have with you when you’re writing?
When I'm writing, I always have a cup of tea, sometimes iced, sometimes hot, some chocolate, and often one or both of my dogs. I also listen to classical music, particularly Erik Satie.
What is the one book you would take with you if you were stuck on a desert island?
If I could only have one book with me on a desert island, I would choose my collection of Romantic poetry. I feel that Keats, Byron, Shelley, Coleridge and Blake could let me appreciate the nature of the island, continue my optimism, and also occupy my time.
What is the best part about being an independently published author?
I think the best part about being an independently published author would be the ability to make very personal connections and decisions. I can respond to any comments I get or messages, and actually answer any questions. Additionally, I can make better-tailored decisions about my book and its distribution.
What’s next for you?
What's next? I do have a lot of poetry that I've written since The Suitcase, so I am excited to eventually share that. I also finished a draft of my first novel, which I am still deciding what to do with. The best part about writing is that there is always "a next" because you create the world yourself.