Annette Rochelle Aben was first published while a sophomore in high school. She has since published nine books and has a story included in The Indies Unlimited 2014 Flash Fiction Anthology. Her latest book, A Haiku Perspective 2017, was released on March 30th of this year in celebration of National Poetry Month (April). She also is an editor of/ contributor to The Magic Happens Magazine and is a host on the blog talk radio show, The Magic Happens. Please join me in celebrating the publication of Annette’s 9th book!
Purchase Annette’s books HERE
Now let’s learn more about Annette . . .
Thank you, Tina, for this opportunity to share a bit of me with those who care to read this interview. As I have always thought I could hide behind my words, much like Cyrano De Bergerac, I now, nose better!
Most welcome, Annette. It’s my pleasure to host you.
Tell us a little about yourself, Annette. In my youth, a set of Golden Book Encyclopedias cast a spell on me. Ever since, I have been at the beckon call of words. They use my mind as a gathering place and I am honored to present them in physical form.
What is the title and genre of your latest book? Who published it? A Haiku Perspective 2017 is the book I released April of 2017 in recognition of National Poetry Month. As I have with the previous 8 books I have written, I self-published through Create Space.
Tell us a little about your books. Five of my books are books of poetry. The rest fall under the Spirituality or Self-Help genres. My very first book, Perspective, it’s all about replacing one thought with another, is filled with prose, poetry and photographs. Here is one of my favorite entries: “Run it past your heart and if you wouldn’t salute it, don’t do it.”
What inspired you to write them? I believe the books have written themselves. They required me to do the typing, etc. So, with A Haiku Perspective 2017 (for example) I assembled nearly all the haiku I wrote in 2016 and published them in a book.
What inspires you to write in general? Thoughts inspire me. I would love to say I am a wildly gifted artist, meaning that I can take a pencil and replicate something I see in a visual. I have mastered a couple stick figures but basically that’s not my forte. So, turning words into pictures that your mind can see is how I contribute to the artistic community. I may hear a song, grab a lyric line and “poof” it becomes a haiku. Recently a conversation became a magazine article. Everything is fair game.
In what genres do you write? Basically, I am a poet. Books of a spiritual nature and self-help are also genres I have published. However, the very first book I created nearly 30 years ago, was an activity book for children. I don’t say I wrote that book, only because I created it for my employer. They dared me, just to shut me up and eventually it became a national award winner with a first printing of 250,000. It was fun, I learned a lot from that experience.
When and what did you first start writing? I wrote because I had school assignments of book reports and essays. Seriously, I found that I could express myself in ways that gave me good grades, so I took that as a cue. Then the emotional stress of childhood confusion began to surface as poetry and I found I enjoyed that as a release.
What authors have most influenced you? How and why? I remember loving the works of Taylor Caldwell when I was a teenager. She made me feel as though I were experiencing her books as my own life. Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein showed me that word usage could be fun as well as wise.
How do you write – outline or free flow? Writing my poetry, is free flow. Putting my books together, I outline. I use index cards. For Christmas, last year, a friend gave me index cards. I could have kissed her as I was nearly out and in the middle of putting 2 books together. I arrange the cards in the order I want them to appear in the books, then type accordingly. I think that is a throwback to when I wrote television commercials and we would create a story board to show the client how the we saw the final product coming to fruition.
What genres do you like to read? I enjoy autobiographies and biographies. Reference books are always a hit with me too. If they make me laugh, it’s a bonus! Books on self-help, poetry and quantum physics line my shelves.
If you have a blog, what subjects do write about? I started my blog because I wanted to share the Angel Messages with more people. It was also an outlet for my poetry. Since then I have expanded to share and cross promote the works of others. There is a lot of good stuff out there and I am happy to spread the words.
What is your current writing project? Ah, yes… I have written a short story about self-esteem. It’s working title is Just Like Me, although it has been shared as Ellis the Elephant. I wrote it 2 years ago, in response to a comment about bullying. It’s such a personal thing for me that I have had to allow it to come together in its time frame. But yeah, that’s the biggie right now. I have always seen it becoming a picture book.
What advice would you give a new writer? READ and WRITE! Let it all flow. Put it on paper, a journal on your computer, wherever you can, but WRITE. Write to please yourself, entertain yourself, soothe yourself and to challenge yourself. Then, self-publish your works if that is what you wish. You may be the next best-selling author but you’ll never know unless you WRITE and PUBLISH! Remember, something someone else has written, has influenced YOU.
What do you wish to say to your readers? Thank you for allowing me to rent space in your grey matter. Thank you for your feedback. Thank you for sharing my works. Thank you for buying my books, and reading my blog. I wish for you the success of your heart’s desire. I wish that you receive, in return, all the kindness you have ever bestowed upon another. I wish you love.
What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? That they find a bit of themselves in what I have written. And to that end, that it is our similarities that mean more than our differences.