In addition to writing poetry and short stories, Joanne Van Leerdam is a teacher of English, History and Drama/Production. She is an active member and performer in her local theatre company. Her hobbies include reading, music, travel and photography. Joanne loves traveling, and has visited many places in Australia as well as holidaying in New Zealand, Fiji, the USA and Canada at different times. She is the author of thought-provoking and profound poetry, horror and short stories. She has won a number of awards for her books New Horizons and Nova.
Joanne, why do you write in the particular genre you have chosen?
Why do I write poetry? Poetry comes naturally to me. I love to use beautiful language and powerful images to deliver an idea in a way that will make people stop and think about it. I love the rhythms and the sounds of poetry. There are actually times when I catch myself thinking in poetry, or changing my thoughts so that the “lines” rhyme or follow a certain rhythm.
And why do I write horror? That actually happened almost by accident. I was reading a horror book that wasn’t really very good, and I thought, “I could do better than that!”
Then, on Friday 13th, I wrote what I thought would be a one-off, fun story with mild horror in it for my writing blog. It featured a black cat named Friday, who took on a character and story of his own. Sometimes I wonder if I really created him or if he just wandered into my consciousness and demanded I write his stories
What is the most challenging aspect of your writing life?
For me, the hardest part of being a writer is finding more readers. The writing comes naturally; the marketing does not. It’s a constant demand.
What piece of writing advice has had the most influence on you?
“Trust your instincts.”
I often wonder when I’m writing, particularly poetry, if people will like it, or if it is too honest, or… you get my drift.
Yet when I trust my instincts and write what is pressing me to write it, it’s invariably good and people do like it.
Just for Fun:
Name a favorite food you use to reward yourself.
It’s usually chocolate, although sometimes it’s something like pizza for dinner.
If you could be any fictional character, who would you be? Why?
This question actually made me stop and think for a very long time, and I found it almost impossible to narrow it down to just one. Is there a fictional magical character who gets to live with the love of her life in a castle somewhere in eastern Canada, have a magnificent library/study in a tower room, and stay there and write enormously popular books with a dog and a cat for company? If so…I’ll be her, please.
CONTACT Joanne at the following…