Do you love poetry? If you do, you should definitely check out the poetry collections by Cendrine Marrouat – Poet, Photographer, Author, Playwright and Blogger. Storizen is glad to interview Cendrine in its March 2019 Issue. Below is the complete interview coverage.
1. Are you more into poetry or photography? Do you see them together (a link) or differently?
I love photography and poetry equally. When I write a poem, I see a picture in my mind. When I take a photo, I hear words in my head. So, maybe we could define them as a “conjoined” twins…
2. Tell us something about the play you have written.
I wrote In the Silence of Words in 2007. At the time, I wanted to try something different from poetry.
This play is a more personal project than anything else I had done before, it took me more than a decade to finally release it to the world. Here is the synopsis below:
“It’s the beginning of September. 30-year-old Cassandra Philip has just lost her mother. The secret she uncovers shortly after the funeral resurrects the ghosts of the past while threatening the present and shattering her pre-conceived notions of what the future is supposed to hold…
“In the Silence of Words” is not just a story of loss. It also questions the validity of personal sacrifice in a world that seeks to preserve the status quo over the needs of the soul.”
3. How did the passion for poetry and photography happen? Was it by your own instinct or someone influenced/motivated you?
I always say that my passions stalk me until I’m ready to embrace them. People find that comment funny, but it actually is what has happened my entire life.
I started writing out of the blue in January 2005. And when it comes to photography, it took me quite a few years of practice before the bug bit me.
4. There are different kinds of poetry like Haiku, an elegy, an Ode, a Limerick, etc. You have tried them all? If not, which ones you like to write and read?
I have tried many, but I only enjoy free verse and short forms. These days, I mostly focus on haiku.
5. Have you tried your hands at Video poetry?
Yes, I made a few videos at the beginning of my career. But I am not very comfortable in front of a camera. It was more fun to record my own spoken word CD. Rizen was released in 2010 and is available at https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/cendrinemarrouat.
6. Who is your favorite poet/playwright/Author?
I am a former English major, so the answer is easy: Shakespeare! As far as poetry is concerned, Elizabeth Bishop and Kahlil Gibran come to mind.
7. A lot can be said with a few words in poetry. Do you agree/disagree? Please elaborate briefly.
I agree of course. The most memorable poetry is concise. It teaches you something in simple terms.
If you cannot write that way, your poetry won’t be as effective. I actually advise every budding poet to hone their skills with haiku. It is the most concise and impactful form of poetry.
8. Which genres do you enjoy reading the most? Which don’t you enjoy at all?
Mostly non-fiction. I love a good history book! I rarely pick up novels to read. But you won’t make me open a romance book. lol
9. Tell us about your toolkit for poetry and photography. (Camera you use, landscapes you love to click the pictures of, writing software etc?
English is not my mother tongue, but I am a translator and French instructor to adults. So I have a “linguistic” toolkit: a bilingual (English / French) dictionary, thesaurus, and grammar books. The rest is in my brain. 😉
As far as photography is concerned, here is my gear:
Camera: Nikon D750
– AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
– Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD AF-S VR
– Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
– Nikkor AF DC 105mm f/2 D
– Sigma 35mm F/1.4 DG
Tripod: Cameron CF600 W/BH20 Ballhead
– Darktable for basic editing of RAW files: sharpening, shadows, highlights, local contrast, and denoising.
– Lightroom for fine tuning with my own customized presets.
– Topaz / ON1 (occasional) to create a specific mood.
I specialize in nature, black and white and closeup photography.
10. Anything you would like to say to your readers?
Thank you for your support!
11. What are some ways in which you promote your work? Do you find that these add to or detract from your writing time?
I used to work as a social media trainer and coach, so I believe in strategy. I set up small goals to try to be as consistent as possible.
Promoting your work takes time and effort. You have to be organized. I mostly use Twitter to build relationships with and support people. I avoid self-promoting too much. I take opportunities when / where they are offered. I treat people the way I would like to be treated. And I partner with like-minded folks on valuable projects.
12. What projects are you working on at the present?
I am almost done working on volumes 2 and 3 of my Walks: A Collection of Haiku Series. Book number 15 is also in the works — a mixed-media project featuring haiku and photography.
13. What advice would you like to give to potential writers?
Practice, practice, practice. Write every day, even if it is only for a few minutes.
Stop comparing yourself to others. You are uniquely talented.
Embrace your doubts and weaknesses. Turn them into strengths.
14. What do your plans for future projects include?
As I mentioned earlier, I have three more books lined up.
15. How do you feel about eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
When I released my first books, in 2006, print books were pretty much the only thing available. And traditional publishing reigned supreme. Now, we have ebooks and audiobooks. And self-publishing keeps gaining ground.
You have to move with the times. Poetry has always been a (very) hard sell. But it tends to do much better in the digital format. That is the reason why I do not sell printed copies of my books anymore.
Traditional publishing works for some genres, but not for others. And the same goes for ebooks vs. print books. It depends on your field and your audience.
16. Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?
Alphonse de Lamartine and Kahlil Gibran have been the most influential writers in my career. They have taught me a lot about poetry and what makes a style impactful.
17. What is the most important thing that people DON’T know about your subject/genre, which they need to know?
Poetry is not just random words put on paper. It takes time and hard work to create a piece or book. Poets deserve to be respected for what they do.
The same goes for photography. Clicking the shutter of an expensive camera doesn’t guarantee a good photo. Most of us have practiced for many years to reach the level where we are. So, stop just complimenting us on our gear when you meet us. We have taught it everything it knows. 😉
18. What were your goals and intentions with this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
You are talking about Walks: A Collection of Haiku (Volume 1), right?
I noticed years ago that there are two types of people: Those who walk without thinking and miss many things in the process; and those who move with intent. The latter often mention insightful details about the world around them. As a photographer and poet, I consider myself a part of that category.
My goal with Walks: A Collection of Haiku (Volume 1) was to explore all the little things that we take for granted and that actually make life so interesting. More people need to take a step back and embrace what is available to them. Based on the feedback I have received so far, I feel that I have succeeded. 🙂
19. What did you find most useful in learning to write? What was the least useful or most destructive?
While each writer has a specific style, it is important to understand that people have opinions about what they read. Constructive feedback is necessary
I have never taken negative comments personally. But knowing how I can tweak a story or piece to make my writing more relatable to my ideal readers is a wonderful thing.
Everything is useful to me.
One-liners/One word based answer questions
1. Your all-time favorite author/writer?
2. Do you believe in writer’s block? Did you have it anytime or not?
I have never met a writer who has NOT experienced writer’s block. It happens to me very often.
3. Your favorite place to write your book(s)?
4. Research and then write or research while writing? Which one do you prefer?
Both. I have no preference. Each situation is different.
5. What do you do in your free time?
Crossword puzzles, reading, music…
6. How many hours a day do you write?
I try to write at least 15 minutes daily.
7. Do you Google yourself?
8. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
I write about life, its beauties, and the lessons I learn. There is no secret.
9. If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
I already do all the things I have ever wanted to do. I am a French instructor to adults.
You can follow Cendrine on the following links –