By Lenore Skomal
I write to be heard. Growing up in a large family, wedged in between four brothers and two sisters, two sets of grandparents and my own parents, it was a struggle at best to be listened to. Especially as a middle child.
I suspect this is where my manic need to write down my thoughts stemmed from, initially. And when I won my first essay competition in grade school, well, that just iced the cake for me.
Over the years, I’ve found that while expression is the primary reason for my writing, it’s also become a very practical way for me to sort out life. This started at a very basic emotive level. Emotions were often complicated in the world of my youth, which was layered with dysfunction and blame. Working through to discover what I was really, truly feeling happened almost mystically through my writing.
As I have grown up and older, the craft has become an expert way to pick apart the ups and downs of a lifetime, not just for me, but for my fellow human beings. Observing others and myself, I have quickly discovered that we as humans respond to situations, disappointments, joys and sorrows pretty much the same way. And in that, lies the commonality of our human experience.
Much of my writing is insightful and that is purposefully so. I want to touch other people because once we all reach a place of resonance with each other, the next step is understanding, and with that, all barriers between us can be dissolved. Or at the very least, recognized.
I write from my human experience and my heart. Everything I put on paper comes from deep within me. It is authentic. It’s the most potent aspect of my writing. The readers are never far from my heart and I think they can feel that. I also never talk down to my readers, by neglecting my art as a skilled wordsmith.
The best compliment I can receive is when someone says, “I feel like you’re writing what I’m feeling.” And make no mistake about that—it isn’t always pleasant or, conversely, heart wrenching. It can be disturbing, downright immoral and very ugly. Which is why I tend toward themes that are often those we as a society are prone to avoid—death, long-term illness, rape, infidelity, addiction, mental illness, you name it.
My belief is that while we eschew those topics, trying to distance ourselves from them for comfort’s sake, if you scratch the surface, we are all somewhat drawn to them, even if it is only for macabre reasons.
This is not to say that my writing is depressing or dark. In life, I prefer happy endings, am a sucker for nostalgia and pageantry, revel in fairy tales, and believe in the goodness of humanity. I’m an optimist but also a pragmatist. For without acknowledging how base we can be as species, we can never truly find redemption, understand, and implement how truly powerful and ecclesiastic we are.
Lenore Skomal wants you to eat her books, especially her new novel, BLUFF. Winner of multiple awards for blogging, literature, biography and humor, her catalogue spans many genres. With 30 years of writing experience, over 17 books published, a daily blog and weekly column, the consistent themes in her work are the big issues of the human experience and adding depth and voice to the intricacies involved in living a multi-dimensional existence. She has won many Society of Professional Journalist awards, the Whidbey Island Writer's Conference honorable mention for best fiction, Writer's Digest 73rd Annual Fiction Contest, New York Public Library's Best Books for Teens 2003, and most recently, the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Award for humor for “Burnt Toast.,” her first anthology of her award winning humor columns. From journalism, to literary fiction, to humor and biography, her writing is consistent, if not in genre, then in message. As a member of the world community, she is excited by the opportunities presented in today's publishing climate having started her own publishing imprint in 2011 in order to release her anthologies and her upcoming debut novel, “BLUFF.” Check out her website at www.lenoreskomal.net