Just so you know, dear Reader, I was so excited to present today’s interviewee that I had to tone down the hero-worship in my introduction. It was getting long! Only, I have so much admiration for this lady, one of the most amazing I have come across since I have been active on social media, that even now it’s hard to rein it in. She’s funny, intelligent, wise, beautiful, humble, sunny…genuine. Many of you know and love her from her blog http://lovepainandothercatastrophes.blogspot.com, where, through her essays and poems, she shares pieces of her heart and soul with her readers. She even provided me with some of the most adorable childhood pictures to share with you all, so I hope you stick around! Warning! Super-cute cheek pinching moments ahead!
Finally, my guest today is a staunch supporter and encourager of other writers and artists (including myself) and I am pleased to return the favour by presenting to you one of my favorite artistic people around, Yolanda Isabel Regueira Marin. If you stick around, you’ll see for yourself what a special and talented lady she is.
1- Hello, Yolanda. Can you start by telling us a little about yourself?
Let’s start from the very beginning, I was born on 29 September …. LOL. Ok I will get serious. I am an import from Spain. Born in Madrid and immigrated to the land down under with my parents when I was four years old. We always spoke Spanish at home and I was surrounded by all the Spanish traditions growing up. Hence, I speak Spanish fluently, but probably with an Aussie accent. I call myself a Spanaussie. Sydney, Australia is my home and I love this country, but part of my heart belongs to Spain. My visits there have allowed me to tap into my heritage.
I studied law later in life, by later I mean not straight after finishing high school, and am a Licensed Conveyancer. For those of you who are not familiar with this profession, it is identical to a lawyer, but I only practice in the area of Property and Commercial Law. Whilst I enjoy my work, there are so many other things that I am passionate about.
2- I know you have LOTS of creative interests besides writing. Can you tell us of them? Where does writing fit into your life, and why are you drawn to it? How did you get your start and what keeps you motivated/inspired?
My passions …. where do I start? Both my parents were actors in Spain and I guess that is where I get my passion for the theatre, both attending and performing. I am a member of a community theatre group and try to do at least one play a year, time permitting. I love escaping into the different characters I play. I will let you into a secret … Ssssssh, don’t tell anyone! There is movie that I have been in, which was a lot of fun to do. It would probably be classified as ‘D’ grade LOL I have often thought that it would be interesting to write a script and that is something I have yet to do. If I had the chance to play one character it would be Blanche in ‘A Street Car Named Desire’ … so much to work with. As a child I also studied dance for many years, even flamenco and I do a pretty mean salsa. It’s in the blood!!
I love art. Whilst appreciating modern art I prefer contemporary and the Old Masters. I’ve often imagined myself dissolving into one of Monet’s gardens. Oh, to be able to paint. Stick figures are about the best I can do. LOL
Travelling is also of great interest and I have been fortunate enough to have travelled extensively. You learn so much from other people and cultures and it is great fodder for writing.
Now to my greatest love, writing. It has become over the last two years such an intricate part of my life and is an outlet for every thought and emotion. In so many ways writing has become the essence of who I am today. I cannot say that I have been writing since I was a child and that I always knew I was going to be a writer. Whilst always an avid reader and journal writer, it is only when going through difficult times that I would truly write, so many times it has been my salvation. I guess, I have only in the last two years been writing continuously, purely for myself originally and then through my blog. What inspires me…? I would have to say Life with all its ups and downs, beauty and ugliness. It is a never-ending source of material to write about. What motivates me? The readers, their encouragement and the wonderful feeling of having touched their lives in some way.
3- What forms of writing (short stories, poetry, novels, etc.) and genres do you prefer to write? Why?
I would have to say that I am passionate about poetry as this is the first form of expression I used when I started writing. There is a flow and melody to poetry that is hard to duplicate in prose. Poetry pours out me with ease. That is not to say that I do not enjoy writing prose. If you have read my blog you will know that much of it is not poetry. The more I write the more I want to try different genres, perhaps short fiction. When I write my book it will be non-fiction. I write as if in conversation with the reader and it is the different aspects of life that intrigue me. Relationships, people … This is what I would like to write about.
4- Do you have favourite writing tips/words of wisdom you like to share with other writers?
Writing tips … The truth is that I am still taking tips from others with much more writing experience. I consider myself to be very much a novice. For me, the most important thing is to write from the heart and keep whatever you are writing about real so that your readers can relate. Even when writing Sci-Fi or Fantasy, I feel the readers must be able to relate to the characters in some way or another. At least that is how I am when I am reading.
5- As a reader, what do you think makes a good poem or story? What’s one thing a ‘bad’ piece has taught you to never do in your own writing?
For me, a poem or story must instantly reach out, grab me and make me want to keep reading. I like to be able to be transported to another place and become part of the story and its characters. When it’s over I should feel that I have to drag myself back to reality. In respect to what I have learnt from a ‘bad’ piece … I have to add here that whilst I have enjoyed some books more than others, I always try to take something from whatever I read. Too much ‘getting to know the character’ before you get involved in the story line. I understand you have to set up the characters, but sometimes this will stop readers from continuing to read.
6- As a writer, what elements do you find are the most crucial to include in your stories? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Whatever I write I want people to hold their breath and be touched by it, whether it be in excitement, sadness or laughter. My strength I would say is the ability to live what I am writing and my weakness is that I lack the experience to know whether I am doing it well. That is why I am so grateful for the community of writers that I am involved with, such as yourself.
7- Who are your favourite writers and why?
I am an avid fan of the classics so, Jane Austen, The Bronte Sisters, D H Lawrence, Charles Dickens, there are so many. I am a romantic and these writers take me to another time and place. I also enjoy Jodi Piccoult, I admire that she writes about confrontational subject matter and writes with heart. I must admit I don’t mind a good murder mystery either … I have read a lot of Agatha Christie.
8- Can you tell us about your blog? What other projects are you working on?
My blog was started as a means of externalizing feelings and emotions during a very difficult time in my life. I bare my soul in it; I don’t know any other way to write. It is about life intermingled with poetry and I hope somewhere where readers can go and feel that they are not alone. Where they can take my hand and we can go through things together. I am always working on poems and have started delving into short stories. I write as inspiration comes, whether it be visual, a thought or an emotion. At the moment I am seriously considering writing a book, early stages still. I would like to one day write a column for a newspaper or magazine. I have often imagined myself in PJ’s all day, cup of coffee by my side connecting with my readers … Perhaps a ‘Sex and the City’ type column LOL
9- What do you find is the most difficult aspect of writing and how do you cope with it?
Writing itself is a great joy, but finding the time to write and then promoting your writing is difficult. There are not enough hours in the day.
10-What do you find is the most satisfying part of being a writer?
The readers whose lives I may touch and have an impact on. It is a legacy that will hopefully live on when I am no longer here.
11- How can readers get into contact with you?
I hope you enjoyed this interview and feel that you have come to know one of the blogging world’s most sincere voices. I find Yolanda to be such an inspiring and vibrant personality. Please visit Yolanda’s blog and drop her a line. I know it would make her day.
Until next time!