Name Halee Maj
Where are you from
Born and raised in Flint, Michigan by a single mother, I grew up with one sister and one brother. I currently reside in Kansas City and have been a Kansas Citian for the past seven years.
A little about yourself `ie your education Family life etc.
I grew up in Flint, Michigan. I was an honor student, very active in school activities that fostered growth in academics and socio-economic issues. I was raised by a single mother and life wasn’t always easy or fair, but, I give credit to my mom. She raised two girls and a boy on her own and none of us ended up in prison, on drugs or worse. I studied Engineering, Computer Science and Business. Eventually settling on a career in Accounting, but, my love of writing has always stuck with me. I’m a single mother of three wonderful young men (one just published his first book in December 2015) I operate two businesses, work full time, consult on a part time basis, contributing writer to several publications, Author, admin part time for a poetry group on Facebook…honey I do it all, lol.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My second book “Lyrical Indulgences” is coming out in February and I’m so excited. My first book was and is a testament of my heartache, anger, harassment and depression and the fog lifting of all the ugliness that comes with divorce. In Lyrical Indulgences, you’ll sense the freedom, the weights have been lifted off my shoulders and it’s a new beginning for me. Also, a little more risqué and introducing my homage to traditional Japanese haiku. Trust me, if you liked Love Nearly Killed Me…hold on tight because you’ll fall in love with Lyrical Indulgences.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing when I was around 14. I was just starting high school and I had awesome teachers that cared about me a great deal and encouraged me to write. My English and Science Teachers were a great influence on me, Mr. Reed and Ms. Zwiebel, I love you both!
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Lol, I still don’t consider myself a writer. There are authors out there that are ten times better than I am. I’m still learning but I start by telling my story, everyone has a story to tell. I just put mine on paper; if that makes me a writer then….I guess I am a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Love Nearly Killed Me is my journey and salvation. The poems I created are inspired by my emotional, mental, and physical stress of a tumultuous divorce. I suffered from depression and anxiety and the emotion is so raw that all I could do was just write. I have been writing for over 20 years and my recent separation with my ex-husband, the divorce, and trying to cope with it all led to this emotional outpouring of my life. Love Nearly Killed Me speaks about betrayal, infidelity, suicidal behavior, depression my journey in re-discovering myself, my strength, weaknesses and salvation.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I don’t have a specific writing style. My poetry is free form. I recently started intensively studying traditional haiku. It fascinates me because it is so simple, yet very complex to write. I’m also writing more erotica poetry; it has a sensuality to it that just resonates.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Love Nearly Killed Me?…….It literally did just that….Love almost killed me. I was hospitalized voluntarily in a mental hospital when I tried to commit suicide. The title was just….fitting.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
OWN YOUR PAIN! My hopes for this collection is to inspire anyone going through these facets of life that it’s okay to own the pain, the hurt and the ability to love again, starting with Self Love. My coming out of this on a positive attitude and worthy of love, it’s an awakening as well because I know there are so many others out there that feel the same and can’t express it
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
This collection of poetry was created and written during my journey as a human being on this Earth. The poetry and short stories are a reflection of my life past, present and future that I wish to share with the world. This page is dedicated to my love of words and the power they wield. Welcome to my World!
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? A mentor?
My favorite author is Laura Ingalls Wilder, I love the Little House on the Prairie Collections. I read them for the first time when I was ten. My favorite poet unlike what many would have thought, not Maya Angelou, my favorite poetess is Ntozake Shange. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the most revered Maya she inspires the heck out of me, but my soul feels Ntozake Shange.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m ashamed to say it but my own. I’m also getting re-acquainted with the Holy Bible. Without the GOD in my life, I wouldn’t be possible, this wouldn’t be possible.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Of course! I’m a little biased because he is my son, but, Evan Navarre is a great storyteller and he is going to be a force to be reckoned with as he gets older.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m currently participating in local open mics and readings on the Kansas City artist and entertainment scene. I’m currently published in four books and I have several poems slated for publication in multiple online magazines. I do guest appearances on radio poetry open mics as well. My time right now is devoted to releasing my upcoming book Lyrical Indulgences and promoting Evan Navarre’s Skateboarding Based on a True Story by Evan. I’m
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
All my support came from the love of my Family. Blood ties or no blood ties, they are all my family. But the one person I would just like to show gratitude to is a very dear friend of mine that circumstance and the will to live led me to this woman of Faith, Ms. Woods, I love you and thank GOD that he sent you to pick me up off that pavement. I will forever be grateful. I can’t even say it without tears welling up, sorry.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
That would be awesome now wouldn’t it, yes of course. I’d love it…so to the publishers out there……I’m here, lol!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I wouldn’t change a single thing, even going through all that pain. I would not change it. It’s made me who I am and I love and adore who I am and who I’m going to be!
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
When my mother gave me my first diary! I think I wrote in it every day!
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure, the following is an excerpt from There is a Difference:
There is a difference between a woman and a child. There is a difference, I assure you.
There is a difference between the children that you dared to place on my stage and the woman that I am. There is a difference, I guarantee it, there is a difference.
I am a woman who chose you, because I wanted you and loved you, not because of what I have between my thighs. That’s a child’s game. A tool as a means to entice and wrap you in the warmth of false hopes and beautiful lies. There is a difference, you see, the woman in me!
The woman saw your worth, to build, to grow, to inspire.
The child sees your potential, accepts temporary shelter, complacent, ready to move on when the child so desires.
There is a difference. There is an inexcusable difference. I and she.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The challenge for me is finding the time to stop, jot it down, and keep moving until I can devote more time to work with it. TIME is my challenge these days!
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favorite author is Laura Ingalls Wilder, I love the Little House on the Prairie Collections. I read them for the first time when I was ten. It was something so inviting and loving about the simpleness of those times and her memories were so full of vision. I longed for a family picture of her life when I was young.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I don’t travel at the moment, but, I’m hoping that will change….
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Susan Joyner-Stumpf, she is a Published Author & Certified Graphics Artist. Her company WILDFIRE PUBLICATIONS published Love Nearly Killed Me.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Re-living and constant reminders of those experiences was the hardest part of writing the book.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Be patient. It’s a labor a love. Metaphorically I was giving birth to a child, so it was a process.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write what you feel. Don’t worry about opinions that count. If you’re 12, you’re old enough, if you’re 80, you’re young enough. Just write if that is what you want to do. Stick with it and keep going!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
It’s your story, write it, no edits. Just you!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
LOL, No…maybe it was Dr. Seuss, I can’t remember.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My children. I can literally being crying and laughing at the same time. They are my joy, but, a handful. Teenagers, huh!
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Yes, Michael Jackson. Why? Well because he is awesome, that’s why.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
I don’t think I’ll have a headstone, but, if I did it would probably say “Nothing much to see here, move along…it’s a piece of stone, lol”
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Karaoke is always fun, dancing ( I can keep a beat, lol), arts and music.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Game of Thrones fanatic, sorry Walking Dead Folks!
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love Music, just like the O’Jays, I love it, except Polka music, not sure what’s going on with that. I love a good medium well ribeye paired with a nice red blend with hints of chocolate!
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I wanted to be a travel and food critic of all things.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
That is my official Facebook page. I don’t have a website yet…any takers…I’m good for it. I promise, lol!