T.L. Curtis - Poet of the Soul


T.L. Curtis is a poet who started her career as a mental health therapist and is very versed in the variables that play a role in the human psyche. Suring the summer of 2016 she stepped out of her career in social services to devote her energy to writing. She is encouraging to other writers and entrepenuers and was very easy to connect with and relate to. Her poems are poignant and often powerful, and she uses her understanding of people to connect with her audience. I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Curtis at the DCPL Author Expo, where this whole vein was inspired. Thank you Teneesha, for participating in my People Who Inspire segment.

Can you tell me a little about your early life?

I was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. I went to J. Graham Brown school from 1st through 12th grades and built a lot of strong, positive relationships with the faculty and students that I met there. I started writing almost as soon as I learned how to. My father would read to me at home and I came to love reading so much that I wanted to write my own stories as well. My mother would review and critique my stories, helping me grow as an author. I had lots of wonderful friends and family who encouraged me to write.

What did you want to be when you were little?

A roller coaster designer! As I started to realize that my natural talents had nothing to do with mathematics and architecture, and as I gained knowledge that some of my other talents could be turned into lucrative careers, my occupational goals shifted.

When did you realize you had something that needed to be written and shared?

In middle school, I wrote a poem about Phyllis Wheatley (a last-ditch effort to not fail a presentation I hadn't thoroughly prepared for) and moved my teacher to tears. That incident was a turning point that helped to validate my inner feelings and helped me understand that they could be expressed in a way that other people could understand and resonate with.

What was the writing process like for you?

I'm what you might call "scatter-brained." So, if I don't have a clear road map for where my story is going, it will either end up an amorphous blob, or it won't get completed at all. I always start with an outline and use that to revise the general plot line before I begin writing in an effort to not waste energy on passages or chapters that I'll just end up scrapping.

Can you tell me a little about your body of work? Who is your target audience?

As I said, I've written a lot throughout my life, but I've been too scared to publish it until recently.

When I think about all the different pieces that I've written--and will be publishing--it's hard to define a single audience that might like my work. There's some fantasy, some poetry, some sci-fi, and other genres throughout my collection of books. So far, I've actually published a book of poetry and a dystopian, psychological thriller (with a second book of poetry on the way!). My target audience would have to be true literature lovers. People who love good writing and don't restrict their literary experiences down to a single genre.

Did you self-publish or are you with a legacy publisher (traditional publishing house)?

I'm an independent author who is self-publishing. My company is called Volo Press (volo-press.com) and it is one of my platforms for connecting with my readers, keeping up with my fellow authors, and selling my creations.

What do you want to inspire with your work? What do you hope to achieve?

I hope that people can be moved to think more deeply about how they think of themselves and how they interact with others when they read my work. I hope I can push people to reflect and make choices that help them achieve their dreams by reading about how one of my characters failed or triumphed (or both).

Is there any one person in your life that inspired a change in you that led you to your current path?

"It takes a village to raise a child," as they say. It's really hard to name a single person because so many people have had an influence on me regarding this path I've taken. But I'd ultimately say that, most noticeably at the moment, my husband has really been my biggest support as I've started making literature my career instead of just a hobby. Literally and figuratively, I couldn't do what I'm doing without him.

Do you have an organization you would like to bring attention to, as an ancillary to your writing?

Multiples, really. My writing groups: Atlanta Writes, The Gwinnett County Writer's Guild, and Vicious Circle Writer's Group. They keep me inspired, motivated, organized, and on schedule!

What is the one piece of advice you most often give?

If you don't HAVE to pay for it, don't. Many of us are struggling with being able to step off of the 'employee' stone and onto the 'entrepreneur' stone without falling into a lake of debt. I don't think anyone should have to go broke to start publishing their work and that's why I've figured out how to get my books work-shopped, revised, edited, published, and promoted without spending a dime. Not having enough money can be another excuse to not try to publish your work and, as hard as writing already is, no one needs another reason not to do it.

I hope that people can be moved to think more deeply about how they think of themselves and how they interact with others when they read my work. I hope I can push people to reflect and make choices that help them achieve their dreams by reading about how one of my characters failed or triumphed (or both).

T. L. Curtis - Contact Info

http://volo-press.com


Official Website for Illinois-Raised, Georgia Author, Angie Gallion
Contact: angie.gallion@yahoo.com
© 2016 by Angie Gallion. Proudly created with WIX.COM