KEEPING YOUR HEAD UP
Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has three published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press - June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon - January 2014), and If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016). Her fantasy novel, Blood & Magic, was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series, Dragons & Magic, was published in October 2015. The third of the seven book series, Centaurs & Magic, was published November 2016. Her novel Corvids & Magic was published March 2017. Her novel Phoenix Tears is forthcoming.
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
During the Summer Edition submission period, we recieved a poem from a talented young woman named Linda M. Crate titled "Power of the Dreamers," which went on to receive our Editor's Choice for the issue as a whole. It's succinct summary of a world at odds with an inner yearning for positive change had us wriggling in our "Editor" emblazoned office chairs with glee. An excerpt that truly rang in our Bohemian chests:
"our roots are deep in the earth
because we know we need
support and strength from something
inside of ourselves that no one will give us."
For us, reading lines such as these and experiencing heartfelt art from all around the globe is what keeps us going. In the interview, we discuss the writing industry, communicating with difficult editors, and how to get back up on your feet when you've been knocked down. Keep up with Linda to find more of her upcoming work. Her words are bound to strike a chord in you the way they did us.
Q: What is your ideal setting when you sit down to write? Where do you write from?
I typically prefer writing at my own apartment although I can write most anywhere. I've even written poems in notebooks sitting beneath the sunshine which was fun but also challenging trying to keep the insects away. I usually write on my computer, but I do write notes and ideas by hand sometimes. If I'm not at home and an idea or phrase hits me I try to scribble it down on a small notebook or leave a note in my phone so I can go back to it later.
I always write from the heart. I pour my heart and soul into everything I do, and I try to do so in a way that makes sense and can touch the hearts of others. Even my fiction pieces I try to infuse with realism because I feel that it's important that something be believable and
be able to relate to readers.
Q: What have been your one or two biggest learning experiences or surprises throughout your writing career?
Writing is a very subjective business. What is good for one press isn't always good for another. I have had to learn not to give up on a piece simply because one person doesn't like it. It doesn't mean that it's bad or my words won't touch someone. Perseverance is key.
Also, I made the mistake early on in my writing career of editing a short story that an editor said that they had liked but hadn't quite met their standards and sending it back in. The editor was so rude about it that I almost stopped writing short stories altogether. It was an honest mistake, but looking back at it, I'm glad that I didn't let it stop me from writing other short stories.
Q: What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced in the pursuit to get published?
Rude editors because every time they make a snarky comment it always makes me feel something. I am sensitive and an empath so I can really draw on negative energy and let it ruin my day. I have to remind myself to breathe and remind myself that editors are people, too, and maybe they were just having a bad or challenging day.
Another issue I've had is with small presses accepting my novels and then turning around and giving me the rights back to my books. It makes it very hard to trust the process, editors, and my novels in general. But I have to keep pushing. Dreams don't work unless you do.
Q: What is something personal about you people may not know?
I was told when I was younger that a lot of babies are born with blue eyes. I wasn't. My eyes have always been brown.
Q: What’s one poet or writer more people should know about?
There are many poets I could list here. I do think Adrienne Rich is underrated. I have been in love with her work ever since I read "Diving Into the Wreck" in college. I remember writing an essay on it using the Jungian method for analysis. It was actually a lot of fun, but also a lot of work because I dissected it line by line.
Q: Where can people find more of your work?
I post all of my work on my Facebook page, as well as on Twitter. I have also been known to post a lot of my projects on Instagram (but not all of them). If you look me up on Amazon you can find some of my projects on there, and I am also on Goodreads.
Q: What’s next for you?
I'm going to keep pushing and writing. I have two forthcoming chapbooks. I'm hoping to get more of my novels published. The future is never certain but I'm going to keep following my dreams, keep writing, and keep pushing to make my dreams a reality.
I have also always had the dream of being an actress/singer. I like the idea of fantasy modeling and even cosplaying seems like a fun time. We'll have to see what the future holds for me. But I do know that I will always be writing.
Q: If you could pass along any advice to other poets and writers, what would it be?
It isn't always going to be rainbows and unicorns. You're going to have to work hard and faithfully on your craft. Dreams don't work unless you do. It isn't always easy, but I promise that it's always going to be worth it. You have to keep your head up because your critics are going to try to drag you down. If you listen to the people who tell you that you and your work aren't worth it you're never going to accomplish anything. Always stay humble and kind and keep pushing through to show them just how very wrong they are. Make them eat crow. Nothing gives me more pleasure than proving to people I can do what they said I could not.