Monday, October 4, 2010

Author Interview - Cendrine Marrouat - Poetry Author

     Thank you so much for joining us here  in my garden today as we welcome a wonderful author. Cendrine Marrouat was born in Toulouse, southern France, in 1978. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English-to-French translation that she received in 2001 from the Université of Toulouse-le Mirail.

     Marrouat authored five collections of poetry and a spoken word album: And They All Rejoiced! Soul-Stirring Poetry, Short Poetry for Those Who Fear Death, Sortons des chemins battus. Poésie de l’âme (2006), Project: Heartbeats and Elevation (2009), Rizen (2009), and Five Years And Counting. A Journey into the Mind of Soul Poetry (2010).

     In 2003, she moved to Canada and became the first member in her family to permanently settle in a foreign country. Deemed completely bilingual, she has written in English and French for many years.

     Since the inception of her writing career, in 2005, she has been acknowledged as a unique voice in the poetic community. According to April Sims, “Cendrine is a profound writer who gives a voice, both through written and spoken word(s), to others that do not have a voice or are afraid to use theirs. Her words touch your heart and soul, because they come from her heart and soul.” Hailed by some as a Rumi-esque poet, her work is a reflection of her deep knowledge of English and French, her personal experiences, as well as her constant observation and study of the divine aspects of life. Thriving on challenges, her ultimate goal is to bring spiritual poetry to the forefront through Soulpoetrysite.com, the website that she created in 2005. She likes to tread on challenging grounds, something that many authors would not dare do. Death and Christianity are two of the most prominent topics in her poetry. As a result, her readers are invited on a journey that will change the way they think and experience life.

     Some of Marrouat’s poems appear in the Stellar Showcase Journal, e-Muse-zine and Vertikal Magazine. In 2009, she was chosen to contribute to The Significance of Music, Justin St Vincent’s project that was released as a series of books. She was also a guest on numerous Internet radio shows, including “April Sims A and E”, “Author Speak” and “Nesheba of ESpiritE”.

     A Translator by profession and a former Teacher, Marrouat also authored two plays, In the Silence of Words and Sound in Mind and Body (2007) that she hopes to direct someday. She writes for Examiner.com and contributes articles to WAGTi Media Group and WAGTi Radio. She is also an aspiring photographer, using her skills to create the covers of her books and CD. Her second spoken word album is currently in the works.
Cendrine Marrouat is a member of the Manitoba Writers’ Guild and lives in Winnipeg, Canada.

Deanna:  Cendrine, I'm honored to spend the next two days with you. Welcome to my space! What brought you to write poetry?

Cendrine:  Poetry and I did not always see eye to eye. When I was at university (I am a former English major) in France, poetry was taught in a very rigid fashion. We had to dissect every sound, word and line and then write long and boring essays, following a specific pattern that left no choice for creativity. If we wanted to have good marks and graduate, we had to follow our professors' lead.  As a result, after I was done with my studies, it took me about two years to open a poetry book again.  
      One evening of January 2005, I was suddenly overcome by the desire to write a poem. “I Write Your Name,” my first piece, was penned in an hour. Within a week, I was truly in love with poetry. I started writing in French, my mother tongue, and English followed a few months later.
     I jokingly say that poetry stalked me all these years, hiding in a corner of my mind, until I was ready to embrace it.  

Deanna:  What first sparked the idea to write Five Years And Counting?

Cendrine:  I would say that everything started at the inception of my writing career. I had always known that I would create something similar to Five Years and Counting. A Journey into the Mind of Soul Poetry. However, at the time, I did not know exactly what form the idea would take.
     In 2009, after the release of my two projects, Project: Heartbeats and Elevation and Rizen (my first spoken word CD), I re-read some of my early poetry and compared it to my newer one. I realized that my style reflected the changes that had taken place in my life over the last four years.
     When 2010 started, I really wanted to celebrate my fifth year as a writer. Five years is a milestone to me! So, I completely redid my Website (http://www.cendrinemarrouat.com) and decided to translate most of the poems from my French collection, titled Sortons des chemins battus. Poésie de l'âme. Later on, I started adding more and more poems. Within a few weeks, I had over 160 pieces that I regrouped in a specific order.

Deanna:  What are some of the topics that were difficult to write?

Cendrine:  Five Years and Counting is not a regular book. It is about poetry as a reflection of the human mind, as well as a testimony of the kind of growth anybody can experience if they understand that life is what they make of it. It may be painful at times, but overall, it is extremely beautiful. 
     In the collection, I talk about life, death, love and God. Difficulty stems from fear. As I am not afraid of living, loving and dying, no topic was really difficult to write.

Deanna:  What do you hope others will get from your book?

Cendrine:  I hope that it will help people enjoy their lives, despite the problems they may encounter. We are challenged every day. What matters is the lessons we learn from those challenges. I also hope that readers will start loving poetry again. It is such a beautiful art form!

Deanna:  Where can people find more information about the book?

Cendrine:  People can visit my website. On this page, they will be able to read extracts, reviews, watch trailers, and purchase their copy.

Deanna: What is your writing process? Do you have a specific writing style?

Cendrine:  I am a very slow writer. Some poets can write five pieces a day. I, on the other hand, usually take up to three weeks to complete one. To me, time is always of the essence. Also, I cannot start without a title.
     I love repetitions, occasional rhyming and chorus-like poems; I have been told that I would make a good lyricist.

Deanna:  What books have influenced your life the most?

Cendrine:  My favorite author is Khalil Gibran. Despite the fact that I love his entire body of work, two books stand out: The Prophet and Jesus the Son of Man. They are my personal Bibles.  
     Actually, Gibran is the author that I tried to emulate at the beginning of my career. Obviously, I failed, but it truly helped me shape my style.
     Another book has played a major role in my life: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It is the universal story of lost inner childhood, a time when innocence was golden, and a deep spiritual reflection on humanity.

Deanna:  Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Cendrine:  Writer’s block is part of my daily life. When it hits me, I simply focus on other things, like writing articles, doing research, playing some guitar, listening to music, reading, etc. Inspiration usually comes back fairly quickly.
     As a matter of fact, writer's block is like anything else in life. You choose to either accept or deny it. If you are able to embrace the frustration that comes with it and learn to let go, it will leave you alone. If you fight it, it will fight you back.  

Deanna:  What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Cendrine:  I believe that anybody can be a good writer, as long as they pour their heart, mind and soul into what they do. They must have their own voice and never compare themselves with others. Also, they should use tools such as dictionaries in order to check their typos; quality is a very important factor. And finally, the language they use should be accessible so that readers can relate to the message.

Deanna:  What is your advice to unpublished writers?

Cendrine:  Many people jump into the publishing boat without doing enough research or taking the time to find effective ways to promote themselves. It is very easy to write and publish a book nowadays. Marketing it is quite another matter. Basically, it all boils down to hard (and smart) work, patience, positivism, and a professional attitude.

Deanna:  Are you currently working on other projects?

Cendrine:  I am completing the new version of my first spoken word CD, titled Rizen. It will be released in November or December 2010 and contain 18 pieces accompanied by music from amazing composers (Kevin MacLeod, Loren DiGiorgi, Bill Cushman and Tshombe Harris) and sound effects. I wrote all the poems and recorded 16 of them; the last two feature the voices of April Sims and Tantra Zawadi, wonderful spoken word artists.  
     I would also like to direct the two plays that I wrote in 2007. So I am currently looking for theater troupes in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
     Finally, I am a freelance journalist and always looking for artists or inspirational people to spotlight. For those who fit the bill, visit HERE and contact me.

Deanna:  Where can people find more about you?

Cendrine:  People can find me at www.cendrinemarrouat.com or www.soulpoetrysite.com. From there, they will have access to my Examiner.com articles, some of my poetry, the store, etc. They can also subscribe to my monthly newsletter.   
     I am very accessible and answer all the e-mails sent my way. So, do not hesitate to connect with me through Facebook, Twitter and Myspace. Please leave any comments or questions in the comment area below and we can chat. Thank all of you for coming and Deanna, thank you for having me here today.

Deanna:  It's been a pleasure to introduce you to my readers! Best of luck with the rest of your tour!