Multi-talented poet-writer-winner extraordinaire Cheryl Holland is up this week.  We get all sorts here, in my Monday interviews, but I have to say, this is the first time I’ve gotten somebody who shuns the well established practice of goat sacrifice.  I’d be shocked, but I’m too busy oogling Argentina.  You kids have fun while I ignore you, k?

You write poetry as well as fiction. How does writing poetry inform your fiction writing?

Poetry, even more so than flash fiction, is a study in how to say things in as few words as possible. Sometimes those words don’t even have to make sense. And they’re great for inspiration: I know a writer who’s working on superhero epic poetry, and my next project is an epic novelisation of TS Eliot’s “The Wasteland”.

What prompted you to self-publish your novelette?

Unfortunately it’s difficult to sell to mainstream publishers at the best of times. They usually tend to demand their authors partake in unsavory practices involving sacrificing goats and suchlike. My boyfriend’s a vegetarian and I knew he wouldn’t approve, so I decided to go it alone. No goats were harmed in the production of any of my eBooks.

How has being a Writer’s of the Future winner affected your career?

I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.

What’s with the stationary love?

Michelangelo said that statues are hidden inside blocks of marble, and all a sculptor has to do is look for them and peel away the layers to reveal them. Stories hide in blank notebooks in the same way: all a writer has to do is bring out the hidden words with a pen. Unfortunately it takes the right notebook and the right pen – it’s no good trying to write a violet-ink story in a notebook that wants to be scribed in emerald. Which is why I have so many empty notebooks and lying around the house.

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