Liken to the waves of the ocean in her hometown of Savannah, GA, Brook Blander, is a force of nature. At the tender age of five, she penned her first story and has since matured into an author, poetess, publisher, lecturer, teacher and mentor. Honesty, passion and the power of words are her weapons to proclaim love, profess healing and calm the unrest in the souls of the lost. Her personal movement includes the restoration of the hearts and spirits of women wounded by violence. Thus, she is a compassionate philanthropist to the cause. Her proudest of all accomplishments is being a mother and partner in love. She lives in Michigan where she continues to write, design and manage her companies.
now that I’m here; lyrics from the mud to the sun
now that Im here is a story filled with the joy and pain of remembrance, and the glory of a journey to the sun. Like the lotus flower, the roots of poetess, Brook Blander, settle in the muddy waters of her past. These seven chapters rearrange the mind and reach for the deepest regions of the heart.
The product of a rape and molestation, the collection opens in The Basement of moist walls, singing blues and the marks the end, and the beginning of two souls. Hanging Moss is a meal to remember those gone during a season of unjust killings. Waiting for Tomorrow tells of a child deprived and Girl of a life of growth and acceptance. Making You tells of the desperation for and need for love while A Getting Society shows how selfish behaviors and laziness are inherited. It tells they are passed on in a predetermined roap map and in the end a choice must be made to continue or derail. Good Morning, Dew is an aubade and truth is sought in I Wanna Taste The Sun as it screams to explore and challenge all that is supposedly known. In I Want To Ask You Something, the burden of generational curses is described and the non-accountability of the careless transfer of them are exposed.
The collection is filled with fury and a desperation to unfold. It is the story of the journey of a soul, a lotus flower, from a dark beginning into the rays of the warm sun and the pains, and joys of the emergence.
How did you start out your writing career?
At age five, my mom taught me to read and write at home. Being an only child, I sought refuge in making up characters. From there the stories began. At age nine, I got my first audience riding the city bus back and forth to school. The regular riders encouraged me to share my stories with them and this gave me an avenue to share my imagination.
What did you learn while writing this book?
I learned that I have come farther along in my healing than I thought I had when I first began writing this book. Many wounds I wrote about did not hurt as bad and many scabs had been formed and faded away.
What did you hope to accomplish with this book?
With now that I'm here, I would like to tell my story of triumph over the various abuses that I have endured throughout my childhood and teen years through poetry. This book allows me to really begin to heal as well as paint a portrait for others who may be in the same situation(s).
What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?
The toughest test I’ve encountered as a writer is having to face my own demons and wrestle them onto paper. To write about fictional characters and situations is much easier, but in this book of poetry, I have had to get up close and personal with my feelings about the topics I wrote about. There were times I wanted to through in the towel. But I couldn’t. And I am glad I stood up to the challenges.
If you had the opportunity to talk with three writers, who would you choose and why?
Alice Walker would be my number one choice. Though I had the honor or meeting her and speaking with her briefly, I would love to sit with her and just listen. I don’t even know if I would want to ask questions. I would simply just want to hear the words she has to say, watch the facial and body gestures, and bask in her energy.
Jill Scott would be my number two choice. There is a raw and real element to this Sistah that I admire in her. Her poetry is exact reflection of her music and of her performance, which to me says authentic. Authentic is rare today, and I’d love to sip tea under a tree with her and just have real girl talk, artist to artist, sister to sister.
Though he is no longer with us, I’d love to talk to Langston Hughes.
His poetry “puts me there” and though I can read his lyrics over and over, I’d love to hear him describe the day, the weather, the heartbeat of the situations he wrote about. I would love to learn the man behind the words from his own mentoring and teaching.
What are three things is one thing you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
Even though I’d been told, I wish I had accepted the bit of advice given to me that the real works starts after the book is completed.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
One do would be, create your own standard. Don’t try to write in a way that will get you published. Write from your heart and to a level that satisfies you first. All else will follow.
I borrowed this question from Author Carleene Brice, What is your author fantasy?
Well, lets see…my author fantasy would be to write full-time and have a series with a waiting audience. I also want to experience being able to write in unique and exotic places all over the world.
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
I wish that non-writer would understand that no matter how great a poem may sound (or read), it isn’t always easy. Writing poetry takes a lot out of a writer. And its often heart and soul on paper. Every piece of poetry is not always written for an audience, but sometimes for the writer him(her)self.
What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry? The worst?
The best advice…”write for yourself and then see where you fit into the markets. If you don’t see a place with your name on it, create one. “ The worst advice…”write to accommodate your readers.”
If you could visit any place in the world where would you travel to?
Because I am a person who wants to explore so many places in the world, right now, it would be Japan.
What is something readers would be surprised you do?
…that I like to sneak and eat fried chicken wings for breakfast in the morning.
Our theme for this month is STAYING OUT OF THE SLUSH PILE? What advice would you give someone to make sure their manuscript stays out of the slush pile?
…to write authentically but study any market prior to submitting their work. Knowing your market that you are submitting your work to is similar to applying for a job. It is important to do the work and research your desired audience as well as the publishing company that will represent you.
Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?
I know for sure that I can’t change the past, but I can control how the past directs my present and future.
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
I am working on multiple projects right now. One is a novel entitled “The Secret of Sweet” which is a family saga and their endurance of abuse and challenges across generations. Poetry continues to spill from me through the next poetry collection I am working on which is currently untitled.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of now that I’m here; lyrics from the mud to the sun.
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