Author Interview-Kiana Donae, Cultivate Your Love For Her Ink
Welcome to Untamed Publishing's Author Interviews! As a company that caters to the self-published author, we want to highlight and support indie authors. There is a vast array of talent amongst us, and here's the opportunity to connect the readers to their next favorite author!
This interview features, author and poet, Kiana Donae. Sit back, relax and cultivate your love for poetry by diving into her ingenious ink!
Welcome Kiana Donae! Why don't we start with finding out just who Kiana Donae is? Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a wife and mom. A lover of animals and I can't live without my music. I've got a confident exterior and an insecure interior. I'm a lover first but a poet always. My pen speaks where I cannot and my love prevails where I fail. I am love and ink.
Ooh love and ink. I love it. So let's get into that. Why did you make the decision to become a published author?
There's a lot of reasons why I chose to become a published author. I wanted to fulfill my dreams and I wanted to share my voice. I think the biggest reason was to show my kids that sometimes you have to go after the passions you believe in instead of waiting for others to recognize you.
Are there other genres that you write or wish to write?
I write predominantly poetry. That is where my passion lies. I have however started a fictional story about love/relationships and a non-fiction work based on my childhood.
That brings me to my next question. If you were to write a book about yourself what would you name it? Why?
As I mentioned, this is already in the works, the working title is Silence. It's based on some unpleasant events from my childhood that caused me to lose my "voice" metaphorically speaking.
Aside from Silence, what is your upcoming project about? When will it be released?
My latest release, Cultivating Ink, is a collection of poems that were written during NaPoWriMo. Every April is National Poetry Writing Month and during the month, I used prompts and challenges to explore various styles, topics and more as a way of tending to my pen's poetic garden.
See. That's one thing I love about you as a poet, your knack for so eloquently stating even the description of your work...tending to your pen's poetic garden. I so love that. Readers, you must read her work. That is only a bird's eye view into the epicness of her pen. Yes, I said epicness. (I'm an author and I can make it up, lol.) Let's continue the excitement over your latest release. What was the motivation/inspiration behind your latest release?
As I stated above, this release was all about exploring styles and topics. I feel like a writer should always be willing to try something new. To venture outside of their comfort zones. With this release that is what motivated me. I use every April as a ways of trying new poetic forms, covering topics I may not have written about and just learning new things about my craft in general.
Now, I am going to back up a bit because I also want to ask about your titles. You have very interesting book titles. Can you please share the idea behind those titles?
Lol, thank you! The simple answer is I love words. I always have so when trying to think of book titles I first look at what my collection is about and what it represents to me. My first release was a true labor of love. As I said before, I am a lover first. I love 'Love' in all its forms. And I love poetry which is my passion. So it came natural to name it after the things I hold dear. Love & Ink. Collection two was just another volume in that series, Love & Ink Vol. 2: Reflections, the reflection part was because the majority of the pieces are made to make the reader really look at their reflection in the pieces. This latest release was an extension of my exploration and growth which made me think about gardening. You have to cultivate your land to have a beautiful garden and I feel the same way with my craft. So Cultivating Ink was born, ink of course is a play on poetry and writing.
Would you like to collaborate with other authors on a book project?
I recently collaborated for a small sampling of poems with another poet. At this point, I would be open to another collaboration IF we had the same goal for the finished project.
You know I have to ask. Are you interested in performing spoken word or making a spoken word CD?
While I love poetry in all its forms, spoken word is not where my heart lies. I have a quote that I coined when I released my first book, "Not every poem is meant for oral stimulation, some are better devoured mentally." That just means that some poems are better read than said. I believe that my poems are better when the reader is allowed to take them in on their own and sit with them in their own space. That's not to say I would never, should my heart lead me to spoken word then I'll give it a shot!
I'm speaking to your heart right now...the world would love a spoken word CD. No pressure, lol. So let's discuss a little about Kiana Donae the poet. When it comes to writing, are you a morning person or a night owl?
Neither. As a poet, my pen is inspired by many things, which means it's always ready. I can be inspired at any time. But the time I write most is mid-afternoon.
Tell us a unique writing habit that you have.
Lol. I truly don't think I have any unique habits. I think since inspiration is spontaneous, I have to always be ready for the spark. So no rituals or habits can prepare me for that. There's not a "one thing" I have to have or do before or during my writing. I'm pretty free to the process.
What makes your writing stand apart from other authors?
My simple answer = my voice. We all have a unique way to tell a story because of our experiences. But someone told me recently that they loved the way my heart was synchronized with my mind. I like that answer better. Lol
And I concur with their answer. Actually, both of your answers perfectly describe your uniqueness. Now let's get into some fun facts about you and really get to know Kiana Donae, the person. Outside of writing, what are your favorite past times?
I'm an avid angler. I love to go fishing and enjoy it immensely. I'm also a keeper of digital scrapbooks and a graphic designer.
Tell us one thing about you that is a little known fact.
I'm a hoarder of pens.
Name your top 5 favorite books by indie authors. Why are they your faves?
Okay this really isn't favoritism, I promise. But truthfully, all of the books by Author Untamed have made it to my library as 5 star reads. So my top 5 are from her. The 4 books from the Never Again...No More series and The View would be my top 5 indie reads. Why? It's simple, she has a true talent for writing. I can read her passion for the craft when I read her words. She can bring the characters to life and her love of writing is easily recognized in her work.
Your check is in the mail, girlfriend, lol. I'm kidding. Readers, I promise that answer was not coerced. Thank you so very much, Kiana! You don't know how humbled I am just to be in your top five. That's an absolute honor. Since we are discussing poetry then it is only befitting to ask, who is your favorite poet and why?
My favorite poet is Maya Angelou. Her boldness was what first stood out to me. You can read her collections and her pieces range from political stances to sex and everything in between. She was the first poet that made me be proud of my own pen and feel free to write what I wanted and not try to fit into the academic "standard".
Absolutely. She has assuredly inspired tons of poets in different ways, including myself. Her legendary words in poetry and personally, her powerful presence will always and forever live on. Having asked that, I must ask, what is your favorite poem and why?
I have so many it's hard to choose, but the one that stands out is, When Great Trees Fall by Maya Angelou. It just resonates with my soul. The grace with which it is written and the message it sends are something otherworldly. Truly a profound piece when you let it sink in.
Before we end, I'd love to pick your brain for advice for future and even current poets and writers delving into the publishing arena. What is one lesson you’ve learned since becoming a published author?
I've learned that I can't rush my own creative process.
What is one myth about being a published author that you learned and would like to share?
I think many people think that being a published author means your work is good or that you're talented...FALSE! With the market of self publishing options, there are tons of grammatically challenged books with bad plots and terrible story lines. Lol
Kiana Donae, it was a pleasure to interview you, and we look forward to your future works! (We promise we didn't coax her into giving those awesome compliments!)
Please connect with the author and check out her books, Cultivating Ink, Love & Ink and Love & Ink Volume 2: Reflections.
And we'll just go ahead and tell you that you will LOVE the ink of her poetic scribes!