Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Thank you so much for allowing me to shine a light on my work!
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
I am Laura DiNovis Berry, and I am twenty six years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Originally, I am from Lititz Pennsylvania. A town known for amazing fireworks, horse and buggys and Wilbur’s Chocolate. I am currently living in Corpus Christi, TX.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
My major in college was English Composition mainly because I didn’t know what to do with myself and I loved writing. After that, I did anything but write creatively until my junior year when I took a poetry class. My professor at the time Kim Bridgford, the director of Poetry by the Sea now, essentially woke up my creative passions again.
Many of the poems I wrote in her class ended up in my chapbook, Bright Pink Ink, which only came to be after I had worked as a manager of a software company, an insurance producer and library assistant. It took time for me to realize I needed to really poetry to be a major fixture in my life.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My main project Berry’s Poetry Book Reviews, which provides free book reviews for poets and donates 10% of all profits and donations to different non profit every year, is really picking up steam I am happy to say. But I have also begun work on my first full poetry collection. The work is dedicated to the joys and trials of the female rugby player.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I wrote often. Even when I was very young. When I was six, I created a magazine for one of my sisters which asserted a lot of dubious information about chickens. As a kid, I wanted to make people laugh, but when I turned thirteen or so humor was replaced by hormones. Writing became a form of release for me then.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Not until recently. I would always say that I liked to write. Or that I wrote on occasion. I don’t even think publishing my book solidified the thought, “I am a writer” into my head. It has really been through my book review series that I have come to think of myself as a writer. I am not only providing a service but content that people want to read. That knowledge that what I am doing is actually benefiting people make me more confident to say, “I AM a writer.”
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Stress. I was maybe two months out from getting married and moving out of Pennsylvania for the first time. If I didn’t have anything to do at night, I spend my time worrying so – I turned to creating a chapbook to keep me sane.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It’s a line from one of my poems – “When I Think of Marrying You.” The piece is dedicated to my husband. It’s a little, simple thing, but it is one of my favorite poems in the book.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I don’t stick to specific forms of poetry. I like to experiment and learn about new forms. Trying to fit an idea into a particular poetry form is always a challenge, but it’s my form of a puzzle. I HATE puzzles and brainteasers but a poetry puzzle – those I’ll actually make an effort for.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Quite a bit is based on my personal experiences but there are poems that reach outside myself.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Travel, in the sense of simply getting out of my outside, does provide an amazing creative effect on my brain. Fresh air can bring fresh idea. Many times if I am stuck on something just taking a walk with my dogs can help me ruminate on it.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I designed the cover of Bright Pink Ink myself. I am not sure if I will do it again for my second collection though.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Ah, well as my work is not prose I simply hope that my poetry resonates with my readers and can perhaps help them see certain topics in a new light.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
That has been the ultimate joy of writing poetry book reviews. I have encountered so many tremendous poets that I may have never found on my own. Carla Cherry, Lauren Scharhag, and Susana H. Case to name a few. W. R. Rodriquez’s poetic collection dedicated to New York holds me enthralled. His ability to struggle with love and anger in his work is fabulous.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Kim Bridgford, my friend Shannon — These two women truly set me on that path. Kim, by providing me with the example of professional poet and my friend Shannon, by constantly pushing me to expand my way of thinking.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I do now. Yes.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would have someone look over the final copy instead of myself. Fresh eyes are a writer’s best friend.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I did — I learned that research can go SUCH a long way in elevating my poetry. My poem “The Crab” is, I think, one of the best pieces in the poem and wouldn’t have been possible unless I had taken the time to do some reading on why people see so many crab shells on the beach.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Oh wow, that would be a weird, funny little movie! But — June Diane Raphael. June Diane Raphael, if you ever see this and want to make a funky poetry film — please, please let me know!
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Keep reading poetry by people you aren’t familiar with!
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you for reading my work, first of all! And I want to know what you think! Your critique makes me a better writer so let me see those reviews!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Right now I am reading We All Need Therapy by Lamar Neal for my book review series and for pleasure I am actually on a reading first. I’m taking a crack at Esther Rabbit’s Lost in Amber. It’s a paranormal romance which I never read so I am curious on how it will affect me.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Absolutely no idea, but I do know my mother would read to us constantly and I loved when she would read Winnie the Pooh and The Hobbit.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Oh god. Everything? I’m a cryer, no doubt about it. I’ve cried because of intense joy when playing rugby, there was this really sappy, like, happy family commercial that would get me. Oof. Yes. Everything can make me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I would love to meet Carl Safina. His book Beyond Words is a must read. Not only is he a scientist who is trying to create sustainable fishing materials but he is a poignant and funny writer who provides amazing insight into the stories of the natural world.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I do! I knit (badly) and play rugby! Right now I have the privilege to play with the Corpus Christi Clams!
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Project Runway is one of my favorite reality shows, but nothing beats a good gardening show like Big Dreams, Small Spaces.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I am trying to become a more creative cook so I enjoy a wide variety of foods. Colors – that can vary on the season really. Imelda May and Florence and the Machine are two artists I can listen to over and over and over.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I work as an actress full time.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
After desperating calling all my nephews and nieces to tell them how proud I am of them, I’m with my husband and my dogs. We’re probably cuddling on our bed, relaxing into each other. There’s no place I’d rather be. This question is making me well up! I told you I’m a cryer!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Something funny hopefully.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?