Q1: When did you start writing and who influenced you the most now and currently?
Mattie: I began writing when I was 17 years old. I wrote a paper on alcoholism and my teacher at the time was brought to tears and told me that I had a way with words. I also discovered my favorite form of poetry was haiku. Toni Morrison was a huge influence when I began writing poetry. I would read her books over and over again and discover a new story each time. LIfe and World events cue me to pick up a pen and express the emotions held within.
Q2: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Mattie: Yes, when I discovered that I loved writing, I began submitting my work to different publishers, contests and magazines. I was contacted by a cable network to come out to Los Angeles to write. I had to decline, my mother was ill and I could not leave her. Fast forward 35 years later and I’m bursting at the seams with short stories and poems and living my dreams. I have the World as my platform.
Q3: Who has helped you most with writing and career?
Mattie: C. George Bender, my mentor and Author of the “5 P’s”. When he first read the book at our West Coast East /Coast meeting in Washington DC, the room stood in applause. The power of words.
Q4: Where did you grow up and how did that influence you? Have any travels influenced your work?
Mattie: I grew up in Pittsburg CA in the seventies, a small quaint town in Northern California. Every year I would travel to Mississippi and Alabama to visit my grandparents. Bonds of love were established that lasted a lifetime. My great grandmother died in 2002 at the ripe age of 102. I would call her every Sunday and listen, as she passed on our family’s story. Her daughter who lived to be 96 and died in 2016, also shared her experiences with me throughout her lifetime. Q5: What do you consider your most meaningful work creatively to you? “Pick a Nick”
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Mattie: I enjoy painting, hanging out with my friends and family, and cooking meals with my children. Q7: What is a favorite line/ stanza/lyric from your writing? “Chamomile catnip pedals, laced with traces of scattered blood”
Q8:What kind of music inspires you the most? What is a song or song that always come back to you as an inspiration? Blues, R & B, Jazz, Reggae, County and Neo Soul Music.
Mattie: Marvin Gaye’s, song brother brothers lyrics are powerful
Q9: Do you have any recent or upcoming books, music, events, etc that you would like to promote?
Mattie: Yes, I’m hosting a virtual poetry slam on October 15th, 2022, the submission details will be posted on my YouTube Community Page the 3rd Sunday of September.
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