ALWAYS WAS WHO I ALWAYS AM - Q&A
Q: So, I was wondering how did you come up with this title?
A: I had a few ideas about what I wanted my title to be and this was not my first idea, but obviously my last. Who I am is eternal. In the dark moments of my life...in the contrast of my life, if you will, the eternal part of me was there - always there. Who I always am could not be beaten out of me, shamed out of me, or completely isolated from me. When that clarity made itself known to me, there was just no other title that could compare.
Q: Do you have a favorite poem in your book?
A: You're talking to someone who thoroughly enjoys herself...truly, I do and I love everything that comes out of me. Goddess was written at a time when I was reclaiming my power...my feminine power...so it's special to me. Wearing Someone Else's Shoes really paints a picture of someone who knows better but cannot stop herself...that one is interesting to me. Grace honors my grandmother and I believe it captures my beginning as well as any poem could. And then, there's Complete which is the culmination of the entire story of my life to this point. I could go on, but I promise not to.
Q: What do you hope most to accomplish with your story?
A: Hmm...accomplish? Really, I just wanted to tell it. I wanted to free myself from the weight of it. But, I would like others to take away from it that there is nothing and no one who can destroy us if we do not give away our power - that we can write a new story and that the purest part of who we are is never really lost.
Q: Another interesting title - So, how did this one come about?
A: The title is really a reference to the skin tone of the main character, Christina. In her youth, it was used as a putdown and she carried that idea of herself as "less than" throughout her life. That name and all that it stood for is really what shaped who she became.
Q: Let me ask the obvious and you have probably been asked this before, but are you Dirty Butter?
A: You're right! I have been asked that before. No, I am not Dirty Butter, Christina, but I did lend her some of my charm (laughter). Other than that, the main thing we have in common would be New Orleans. There is another character, though, that is more closely based on an old version of me, but I am not telling you which one!
Q: In spite of myself, I found it hard to dislike Christina. Was that your intention?
A: Yes, in fact, it really was. She was just this lost person who did not know how to outrun her demons, did not even know that she could, and decided just to succumb to them - to be who and what she had been told she was destined to be. I think from that perspective, she can be understood by the reader and even liked in some ways. I hope that she is.