Under the Influence is a journey of abuse, trauma and grief through poetry, divided between three chapters. They are Addiction, Withdrawal and overdose. Each chapter is a different part of the author's abuse-ridden life as she grew up under the influence of her dysfunctional parents.
An Interview with Jacquelyn Lee
Because Under the Influence is so honest and full of emotion, was it hard to write, or was it more like a relief to release all of your emotions on paper?
This is such an interesting question. It actually wasn't hard to write at all. It just came so naturally. In about a month, more than half of it was written. In a way, it was like therapy and it helped me heal. The hard part is reading it, I've only read the entire book once since it was released.
Have you got any plans to write more in the future?
Yes, of course! I've started so many projects for future books about topics including mental illness, feminism, and more. I'm also working on re-releasing Under the Influence with a fourth chapter and illustrations added! I can't wait to announce more information about my future books.
What would be your advice to someone wanting to self-publish? Or become a freelance editor like yourself?
My advice to someone who wants to self-publish is not to stress over it because it's so much easier than one might think. I learned by watching YouTube tutorials. If I can do it, anyone can! I plan on releasing an e-book soon on how to self-publish, that's another project I'm working on. I hope it helps many others learn how to self-publish and makes the process as easy as possible for them!
As far as freelance editing, I actually just started. But as long as you have a bit of experience in writing and editing, it's a great way to make some extra cash and help others while doing it. I use Grammarly when I edit which is great for double-checking spelling and grammar errors! I actually just finished editing a college essay for someone. It's great to edit other people's writing because it really helps you grow your spelling and grammar skills without having an attachment to the writing.
Do you ever get writer's block? What do you do to help overcome it?
Yes, all of the time! Sometimes I go weeks without writing a thing. To help overcome it, I typically read other poetry books. Reading poetry always helps me get inspiration to write it. I usually write on and off. So I'll write for a few weeks straight, and then have writer's block for a few weeks. I think it's completely normal to have writer's block. Along with reading other poetry books, I often get inspiration to write from life itself. Sometimes I'll get inspired by hearing something someone said, watching a movie, even seeing a post on Instagram. If you really look, there is inspiration in everything!
Who are your favourite authors/poets right now? Do you have a favourite book or collection?
My favourite poet overall is Amanda Lovelace. Her debut poetry book, The Princess Saves Herself in this One is my favourite poetry collection. I relate to her words so much, reading her work made me feel like I wasn't alone. She was a huge inspiration for me to write my own poetry book. She actually followed me on Instagram and it made me so happy! Other poets I love and admire are: Pierre Jeanty, Damien Tillman, Trista Mateer, Ashley Marie, Caroline Kaufman, and many more!
I enjoy asking everyone this question: if you were stuck on an island, what 3 people would you take with you and what 3 objects/things and why?
That's a good one! I would definitely bring my two younger brothers, Paul and Justin, and my younger cousin Alexa - because they're all extremely smart and good at problem-solving. And for objects, I would bring food, water, and a tent for shelter because I think those basic necessities are extremely important for survival.
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You can purchase Under the Influence here.
I hope you enjoyed this post and I'll see you all next week! Love, Vee x