with Mary Jaimes-Serrano
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
Mary: I started writing when I was 8 years old. My first influences were Poe, Shakespeare, and Jane Austen.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
Mary: There are so many. The biggest would still be Jane Austen. Newer influences are Maya Angelou, Elisabeth Horan, Ankh Spice, Robert Frede Kenter, Amanda McLeod, Beth Gordon, David Hanlon, MJ Saucer, and Jude Marr.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?
Mary: I grew up all over the U.S. We moved a lot, which taught me to value the time I had and take in the beauty of the world around me. It also gave me an insight into the cruelties that persist throughout the country, which has led to a desire to be a positive influence in the face of so much darkness.
Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work that you’ve done creatively so far?
Mary: I would have to say the book I am currently working on titled Duplicity, which is about the effects of bipolar and the aftermath of emotional and mental abuse.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Mary: I knew I wanted to be a writer from a very young age. My first writings were poems about everything when I was eight. This turned into a passionate desire when I found in poetry a way to write out the feelings I wasn’t allowed to express in my daily life.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Mary: Spending time with my children doing just about anything, watching crime tv, and reading.
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?
Mary: I am currently reworking my blog mjaimesserrano.com from a poetry platform to a blog of emotional and mental abuse. Something that will help others out there know they are not alone and that it is okay to walk away.
Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?
From my poem Soulmates:
Soulmates are not the embodiment of
love, but the infinite
love of one’s being.
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?
Mary: So many people from the #poetrycommunity have helped me to hone my craft and encouraged me to find my voice. Notably are Elisabeth Horan, Beth Gordon, Amanda McLeod, Robert Frede Kenter, MJ Saucer, and Gabriela Blandy.