#1. What is your “favorite” spooky poem from the collection?
Wow, this is a tough one. I have so many favorites in the book. If I had to narrow it down, I'd say it's a tie between Susie Sawyer's "Hixon House" and Jennifer Cole Judd's "Love Song of a Werewolf."
#2. Where did your inspiration come from for your particular poems?
My poems span a wide variety of spooky subjects, so my inspiration sort of came from all over the place.
I based "Halloween Night" on my love of decorating for Halloween. I go all out every year with a graveyard, ghouls and ghosts, bats, spiders, witches, etc., and one night, I imagined what it would be like if all that stuff came to life after dark.
"Witch's Shopping List" came about because I'm a huge Harry Potter fan. I wanted to write about a witch, and then I started thinking about all of the interesting things that witches need to craft potions and spells. I spent several hours reading through articles on spellcraft and found a good mix of ingredients that would make for a fun poem.
"The Highland Train" actually took me the longest to write. I knew I wanted to write about a ghost train (my son was in love with trains at the time), and I found some accounts online of a ghost train that people had spotted on the Highland Railway near Glasgow in the 1920s. I wanted the poem to have an old-fashioned, yet mystical, feel to it, so it took me many months to select the words and phrases I wanted to use.
I have several other poems in the book besides these, and I wrote them because either a) the subject inspired sensory images that appealed to me, or b) our publisher asked for a specific topic.
#3. How does feedback from the other poets affect your final decision?
Feedback from other poets makes a huge difference in my revision process. If I post a poem for critique and several poets point out the same problem areas, then I know I have some work to do. Conversely, if they tend to agree on a poem's strengths, then I feel pretty confident that I've done something right. If I receive a wide variety of feedback, then I take my time, thoroughly examine my options, and revise in the way that feels truest to my vision for the poem.
#4. How long have you been a rhymer?
Many, many moons. I actually don't even remember when I started writing rhyming poetry; I just know it was sometime in elementary school. I remember winning my school's PTA Reflections Contest in 6th grade with a rhyming poem I had written.
#5. Do you write varied forms of poetry for children?
Yes, I write in many poetic forms--rhyming couplets and stanzas, acrostics, free verse, haiku... I've published children's poems in all of those forms, and I'm also on staff at Berry Blue Haiku, an online magazine devoted to haiku for children. I love exploring different types of poetry--they're all so magical!
#6.How are you personally promoting your group’s debut book?
I'm doing author events in my community, as well as spreading the word about our book online. Jennifer and I manage the Eyeball in My Garden fan page on Facebook, and I've also posted about our book in the various writers' groups and list serves that I belong to. In addition, several of us are working on building an Eyeball in My Garden blog. We're in the planning stages right now, but we hope to go live within a few weeks.
#7. Do you plan to do any book signings? If so, where can fans find you?
Yes, I currently have two events scheduled and more to come! Information can be found on my Author Page on Amazon.com. Also, once we get our blog up and running, all book signings and poetry readings will be posted there.
Thank you so much, Gail! It's been a pleasure discussing our book with you!
Thanks so much, Laura, for your "eye-opening" answers.