Today it is my pleasure to introduce author Lily McKenzie! She enjoys art, poetry and prose as well as fiction. A kindred spirit, to be sure! I was interested to interview her regarding her writing process and hobbies. Please find her interview below:
1. Please tell me how you got started with writing and what you enjoy writing most.
I was a high-school dropout, and while I’ve always read a lot, writing wasn’t something I thought about until my mid-twenties. At that time, I went through a year-long deep depression that pushed me into therapy, and that’s when I discovered I had a writing self I needed to midwife. Once I earned a GED, I was able to attend college and my BA was in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing. I later earned two masters’ degrees as well, one in the Humanities and the other in Creative Writing.
Poetry was my foundational genre, and continues to be my favorite one. But I was adventuresome and wanted to see if I could include fiction in my repertoire. As you can see I was successful. I now have published three novels, with another on its way, as well as many short stories.
2. What inspires you to write? Do you have a favorite place to write?
Reading well-crafted poetry or prose motivates me to continue mastering those genres. But I also have an inner need to write daily. It’s as important to me as food! I have numerous drafts in process of poems, non-fiction, and fiction that I rotate among.
As for a favorite place to write, I use a laptop computer, and I settle in different places in our house. I can’t sit at a desk to write. I need a comfortable chair and a window to look out of.
3. Are you involved in any other creative types of work/hobbies?
Don’t I wish I had more time for dabbling in watercolors and acrylics! Playing with color gives me intense pleasure. I’m not trying to be a visual artist, so that frees me to just enjoy the process and not get hung up on the end product. Our home is filled with my creations. Unfortunately, the business of selling books has stolen my painting and collage time, but I will get back to it. My art table is set up in the study I share with my husband and is ready any time I am.
4. What would you like your readers to know about you?
I’m intensely interested in our inner lives. Jungian psychology intrigued me when I was in my late twenties. I read every book I could find by Carl Jung and Jungians. I also have been in Jungian analysis and find that we are continuously evolving. I’ve kept a dream journal all of these years and look to my dreams daily for glimpses into my inner world.
5. Tell me about your most recent book and what you hope your readers will appreciate most about it?
The seeds for Freefall: A Divine Comedy came from a two-day visit I had back in 1998 with two of the three friends I’d travelled from Calgary to Toronto with in my late teens. I wondered what would happen if these four women had a reunion. Would the old bonds still be there and what would they discover about themselves and each other from spending time together? Freefall is a result of trying to answer those questions, but, of course, much more entered the narrative as I watched the story unfold. While the surface narrative is about these four females, the sub-narrative focuses on art’s role in our lives (the main character, Tillie Bloom, is an installation artist), female power, death, religion, and sex. Freefall zeroes in on a fundamental truth: We’re all in freefall, and that’s the real divine comedy. No matter how old we are, we’re still trying to “find ourselves” and discover what we want out of life.
Thank you, Lily, for being a guest on my blog. It was a pleasure to meet you!