Introducing Joanna Maharis
Throughout the years, Ms. Maharis has done plenty of writing. It is her greatest joy. Writing enables her to explore worlds through the written and spoken word. She enjoys being creator of lives which would have never existed without the power of her imagination. Aside from being a writer, blogger, and published author, she is co-caregiver for her elderly grandmother. When she isn’t writing, she likes to workout at the gym, cook with her aunt and grandmother, and delve into a good book. Every book she reads sparks her curiosity. Her own published works consists of Dominica’s Inferno (a novel), Japlin And Japlin (a novella), Peering Through A Streaked Window (a collective work of poetry), and four ebooks.
She developed her passion for books in the fourth grade when reading Judy Blume’s Tales Of The Fourth Grade Nothing. Ms. Blume inspired Ms. Maharis to put pencil to paper, and write her own works of fiction. In the fifth grade, her teacher assigned the class spelling words each week of which they were to use for creating short stories to present at the end of each week. Ms. Maharis’s stories were the favorite of her class.
Interview – Book: Behind The Eyes of Paradise
Creative Talents Unleashed: Hi Joanna thank you for agreeing to this interview.
Joanna: Thank you for asking.
Creative Talents Unleashed: Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Joanna: My background is in creative writing. I got my BA in the writing field from Western Michigan University back in 1992.
Creative Talents Unleashed: So when did you fall in love with poetry or writing in general, when did you decide this life was for you? Tell us a bit about that discovery process.
Joanna: I’ve had a passion for writing ever since the first grade. My passion for poetry stemmed from my interest in music. One day, when I came home from school, I ran upstairs to my bedroom where I listened to records from my collection. It was at such time I was compelled to write my first poem. It was about the red rose.
I loved nature. We had a variety of flowers and shrubbery growing in our backyard planted by my great-grandfather. Anyway, while composing my very first poem, I’d imagine the velvety touch of the petals, the deep red, and its sweet scent. Once I got started with this poem, I became addicted to writing. I felt compelled to write a poem every day following school. I didn’t keep the first few poems I wrote. I gave them as gifts to some dearest friends to remember me by.
Creative Talents Unleashed: Why do you write, what is it that you’re trying to communicate through your work?
Joanna: I write, because I love it. I need to write like I need air to breathe. Through my writing, I try commucate feelings. With each piece of writing, I strive to enable my readers to live and breathe the subject matter I write about. In doing so, I’m enabled to establish a connection with my readers.
Creative Talents Unleashed: Where does your inspiration come from, what might inspire you at any moment to write a story or poem?
Joanna: I get inspired by a variety of facets in life, rather it be from the media, people I know, my own life, and nature.
Creative Talents Unleashed: What was the hardest thing about writing your book?
Joanna: Most likely, the hardest thing about writing my book was digging deep into myself and baring my own soul.
Creative Talents Unleashed: What was the easiest thing about writing your book?
Joanna: Transforming my feelings into imagery. I believe through being honest with myself, I can tap into my inner being, and relay my message and feelings to my readers through using imagery to not only connect with my readers, but to also teach about the many facets of life.
Creative Talents Unleashed: There are many authors who say that in the process of writing a book you learn things about yourself. Did you learn anything in your book writing process about yourself, if so what?
Joanna: Yes, the process of writing has taught me about myself. Upon examing my writing, I came to realize as a living being, I’m composed of many layers. To heal from the pain inflicted upon me in the past, I had to peel the past away layer by layer. It’s crucial to embrace the past without living in it.
Creative Talents Unleashed: What in your view is the role or responsibility of a writer or poet, if there is any?
Joanna: The role or responsibity of a writer or poet is to teach their readers, in addition to entertaining them.
Creative Talents Unleashed: What are your ambitions as a writer, where do you hope to see yourself in say 5 years?
Joanna: To reach as many readers as possible, and write content resonating with them.
Creative Talents Unleashed: Who is your favorite writer or poet? Perhaps you have a favorite quote from them that you would like to share.
Joanna: William Shakespeare is my favorite writer of all writers. I love his play, Mac Beth, especially where Mac Beth says toward the end of the play, “Out, out, brief candle…”
Creative Talents Unleashed: What advice would you give to aspiring writers who have dreams of publishing or making writing a career choice?
Joanna: Don’t give up hope for what you want in this world. Keep the faith.
Excerpt from the book: Behind The Eyes of Paradise
Two Worlds Coming Together As One
There once was a ceramic jar
whose beauty nothing compared to.
One day it crashed into its death
and now its halves are two beings.
They ascended from the earth
and danced on the grave
of their past selves unburdened from fear.
They danced in embrace
in their passionate waves of emotion
that carried them far.
Through hours that mended
their souls now complete,
two worlds coming together as one.
© Joanna Maharis
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