POET, TEACHER AND MENTOR JOREE WILLIAMS
1. Where are you from? Birthplace, childhood hometown, etc where you grew up.
I was born in Los Angeles, USA, and grew up as an U. S. Air Force brat, living and attending school in many places. I got married, had 3 children, got a job and went to school when I could. I studied Anthropology, graduating President and Valedictorian of my senior class. I was a Phi Beta Cappa and a member of the Society of Professional Journalism. I have been named an outstanding volunteer in the state of California. I worked for the Department of Defense and Social Security, getting awards in both places. At the same time I did volunteer work teaching illiterate persons to read.
2. When did you start writing?
I never really had time to write, but would write things down and toss them into a box. Most of those memories have now been made into poems. In college I wrote about anthropology, beginning of civilization and essays on philosophy.
3. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I don’t consider myself a writer, just a journeyer putting beautiful words to image. I am just putting to paper the thoughts in my mind. I try to share knowledge in a pretty way in my writing.
4. Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes, I use color, taking something ordinary and making it special using word pictures , that is my art.
5. Is there a message in your books that you want readers to grasp?
All my books are poetry, except one which is part poetry and part prose. That one is about a girl who has lavender hair and enters the world of people via a vacant planet with one building full of brains. She could enter these brains and see the past and used that knowledge to help real people. Also, there is a poem in the book that deals with a leap of faith when you don’t know all the answers.
6. How much of your book material is realistic?
Some are based on real life. The ones that I use to teach with are based on real life. The others are a mixture of fantasy and life around me using word pictures.
7. Are your book experiences based on someone you know or events in your own life?I wrote about my brother who committed suicide and about my own childhood and abusive live that I endured. Fantasy is also a strong in some of my writing. As a child, after bad experiences, I would go outside and sit under a tree listening to the voices of Nature to calm myself. This communing with Nature shows in my writing, especially when I write for children.
8. How did you come up with your book titles?
I have published 6 books. The titles come to me I like short titles and ones tles that bond to the reader.
9.What books have most influenced your life most?
The Bible, anthropology, philosophy. Ayn Rand. Hugh Prather and humor. Mary Duhart’s poems about the Bible are dear to me.
10. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
A poet named Emil, from the old site, Poets.com. I can’t recall his last name.
11.What book are you reading now?
Not reading any now, but teaching a young man on Facebook how to write a book.
12. If you had to choose one book to read the rest of your life, and nothing else, what book would it be and why?
The Bible or the Book of Religions of the last 2000 years. It is written as a textbook. I studied it in college. Or THE UNIVERSE, another college textbook. It explains our global diversity, yet shows the commonality of the galaxies. It emphasizes that we should accept people as they are and not as you wish them to be. Our galaxies are spreading apart and someday there may be only one star.
13. Do you have something you are working on at the moment that you’d like to share with us?
Yes, Daveda Gruber and Helen McManus and I are going to do a joint book of poetry. Each of us will contribute different subject material. I would also like to publish some prose.
14. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, it is a realistic story and I would not want to show anything but the reality.
15.Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
As a child I would sat outside trying to recover from some bad experience and make up songs like “Sing little bird, come to me, make me better” My first poem was Monster and It. I wrote about it at age 10-12.
16. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Sometimes I struggle with rhyming because there are 8 types of rhyming and the writer needs to know the rules for all of them.
17. Who designed the covers of your books?
Helen McManus; Daveda Gruber, Diana K., Pat Simpson Kenny Cowle and Charles Ross
18. What was the hardest part of writing your books?
Never had a hard time, but lately, remembering has caused me problems. Also, it is always difficult to select the poems for the books.
19. Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
You can’t do anything in this life without learning. Doing a book is a set series of steps and all must be completed to have a good product. Finding the right word is difficult and requires much thought. You should have an editor do that job.
20. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Don’t give up, believe in yourself, keep learning, The joy you will find in writing will fulfill your life. Find a mentor to help you. Don’t be afraid to try a new style. Keep experimenting until you find the style you are comfortable with.
21. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for taking journeys with me, if I can help you in any way, please let me know.
22. If you could mirror the career of any other author, who would it be and why?
No one that I can think of, I want to pursue my own venue.
23. Do you have a muse? (a person, type of music, location you love)
I like to write in my computer room when it is quiet. I like to write outside with the background of birds and other voices of Nature. I feel that I am in God’s world and it makes me happy.
24. What is the interview question you always dread being asked? Can you give us the answer.
I dread being asked to judge any other writer. Or to compare two writers.
25. What is your favorite interview question, and what is the answer? Have you enjoyed our journey together this afternoon?
I have enjoyed this interview today.
26. What is the most interesting thing about you?
The way I use color in my poems. Most of my poems use color in ways that no other writers I know do. My poetry is easy to understand.
27. Is there a website or page you would like to be included on your Hub Page?
28. What would you like to say to readers of this interview.
Thank you for reading my interview, I had a lot of fun doing it with Bob who is a gentleman and a very fine poet. To every person who has touched me I thank you, to every person who has loved me, thank you, for I have loved each and everyone of you.
29. I understand that you have been fighting cancer for several years. Can you tell us how you are doing now?
I am now a Stage 4 Cancer patient, having fought the disease since 2003. I have lots to do before I go. I want to publish some more books and help the young man on Facebook finish his. I will keep on writing as long as I can. Helping others has been, and still is, my life. My doctors give me to December 2011. In October , a group of my writer friends and family are meeting me in Las Vegas for face to face get together. I am looking forward with much joy to that meeting.
POSTSCRIPT: Here are a few of Joree’s favorite poems>
Butterfly in Irons
Black swirls the world
Maze of charcoal thickets
smoke of ebony
Everything grows twisted
Angles all wrong
Black darkness unkind
Blood red sky agleam
Night rules the day
Killing the soul
Choking the will
Death the end
Butterflies in irons
Beauty in metal bracelets
Darkness need be opposed
Fly butterfly fly
Set the world freeComment: in our world, it seems that faith is being attacked from all sides; this poem is about the effects of the world’s loss of faith in faith has; may the butterfly (faith) set man free
Frost tinted evergreens
White washed sky cold reality
Snow drifts cover forest scene
Chocolate brown forest trees
Leaves budding beryl green
Soft blue sky sun's bright sheen
Hope comes with gentle breeze
Red gold sun shimmers heat
Sky a peacock blue treat
Branches laden berries sweet
Enchanted forest magical
Leaves of tangerine and plum
Flame kissed by a scarlet sun
Slowly dropping one by one
Forest gently sleeps again
Under a crooked sky
Down an unpaved road
Came a pale girl running
Running for her life
Feed her deepening distress
Yearnings of her nature
Ripping her to shreds
Hanging on by just a thread
Spiraling downward her control
Corkscrewing tight in the night
Memories seeping red
Raw emotions in distress
Echoing the siren song
Come from the corridors
Live again with us
Pushing through the mist
Dripping red with blood
Comes the pale girl running
Running for her life
Calling out her name
Come back and be with us
You’ll never be the same
Twirling within herself
Life’s Transparent Duplicity
When will it end?