A couple of weeks ago introduced you to Renee Bess through a review of her book, The Butterfly Moments. This story teetered on the brink of love, lust, and murder and threw a curve ball with every turn. After reading her book I couldn’t wait to sit down with Renee Bess and discuss the book and her craft. I encourage you, if you haven’t done so already, to not only pick up a copy of The Butterfly Moments but also her other works: Breaking Jaie, Leave of Absence, and Re: Building Sasha.
We have often been told not to judge a book by its cover and The Butterfly Moments by Renée’ Bess, is no different. From the outside it appears as if we are going to read about a nice little town filled with love and warm fuzzies. No turmoil or dark clouds on the horizon, not a stern word or harsh experience. This is so not the case with this wonderful piece of intelligently written literary work.
The story begins with the discovery of a young woman’s dead body that appears to have been sexually assaulted and brutally attacked. Death has always had a way of connecting people who would have gone through their lives without the slightest inkling that the other existed. From this lone cruel act of rage, a web of deceit becomes apparent and slowly unravels, destroying all that lie within its path. But everything isn’t completely ruined. Along with broken marriages, relationships that are built on lies, former borderline alcoholics, and a one-night stand enthusiast, comes love, awareness of self and compassion.
Artists are of a rare breed. Although their numbers are far more greater than that of any nationality, each member of this prestigious clan is an entity of their own. Through my travels I have been privileged to meet many of its members and with each encounter I am taken aback. The thing about artists is that they not only march to a different beat but they create the drum that drives their existence. My favorite sect is The Writers. These people possess a gift that many aspire to have. The gift to tell a story that can inspire and create life.
A very special book crossed my desk recently; one that I have shared with you, Black Girl Love written by Anondra “Kat” Williams. At this very moment as I write I am taken back to the stories Kat shared in this collection of work. Her book was filled with stories that took on personalities of their own. There was the lover, the stalker, the cancer patient, the closeted lesbian, the other woman, and many more. It fascinated me, the gift of this writer to create so many different stories all spewing from the mind of one. Well my loyal readers you know me and of course I had to get an interview with her.
Kat is the producer of Sipping on Ink, an internet based radio show on Blog Talk Radio. SOI has been on air for many years and every Wednesday night she introduces her audiences to a different artist that has dedicated their gift of expression to give a voice to the many faces that dawn our earth and rainbow. I smiled when I asked her how she started the show and she responded that it began with a story. This is ironic because she does not consider herself a writer but a scribbler.
As a writer I know why I write and who I write for. I know why I describe things as I do and why I hide subliminal messages behind a mirage of simple words. I know what makes me tick and how my emotional state influences my writing. What I cannot speak for is why other writers do what they do so I am always interested in speaking with them to find out. As I read another’s work, I wonder why they pick the subjects they do and if they too mask alternative meanings behind a camouflage of words. And this is why I choose to interview the authors whose books I review. It is my opportunity to get into their head and look at the world through their eyes, granting me the ability to see behind the stories they have written.
"My only fear was that I would finish the trail and be unchanged by it."
- Jennifer Hanson
Hiking the Continental Divide Trail: One Woman’s Journey
A writer’s gift lies within their ability to share with you their world while maintaining their voice. And if they are truly gifted they are able to throw you into their universe allowing you to see through their eyes. Hiking the Continental Divide Trail: One Woman’s Journey written by Jennifer Hanson does just this.
For those of you who have never hiked let alone explored your own back yard, the CDT is a 2600 mile scenic trail that reaches from Mexico to Canada. This trail is not thoroughly documented from beginning to end and although many pledge to conquer its vast wilderness very few succeed. Jennifer Hanson is one of these few and thankfully for us and for future thru-hikers everywhere she decided to capture her journey and share it with us all.