Category: Author Interviews

Some Questions for Elias Bailey

What inspired you to write “Inseparable”?
My inspiration for Inseparable is the loss of my mother and father so close together just prior to Covid. They stay on my mind constantly, and I’m sure they would be happy for my time here a LAGCC.

What was your writing process like for “Inseparable”?
My process was revision, revision, and more revision!

How has COVID impacted your creative work?
Covid has given me much time to contemplate. This time can be good or bad, depending on how we wish to spend our time.

Read Elias Bailey’s “Inseparable.”

Some Questions for Edernis Adames

What inspired you to write “Breaking the Mold”?
Breaking the Mold was actually an assignment for English 101. We were asked to write a narrative about the turning points in our academic careers. I chose to talk about the connection between learning attitudes and academic experiences. I also chose to discuss how often in school, students are taught to absorb and regurgitate content instead of being taught to learn. By recalling three different times in my academic timeline where my relationship with school and learning differed, I attempted to show how I was able to come to this realization.

What was your writing process like for “Breaking the Mold”?
I started by mapping out things in my academic career that I could take inspiration from. Once I knew what I wanted to express and got myself in a coffee-induced groove, the words just flowed through me. My problem is that sometimes I say too much, so my first draft of Breaking the Mold was over 3000 words. I struggle with perfectionism, often getting discouraged and giving up when my writing isn’t flawless. I had to make the realization that there is an infinite way to say things and that no first or even final draft will be objectively perfect. After that, it was a bit easier to kill my word babies. I edited and rewrote until I got to something that was more concise and clearly developed.

How has COVID impacted your creative work?
I was not the best writer in high school and usually struggled with writing essays and narratives. During Covid-19 quarantine I was able to use writing as an outlet for my feelings and subsequently develop my skills. I also started reading for fun again in my downtime, which exposed me to a plethora of different writing styles.

Read Edernis Adames’ “Breaking the Mold.”

Some Questions for Viviana Peña

What inspired you to write “The Birth”?
I was inspired to write “The Birth” by an experience I had during labor. I realized while writing this story how deep the wounds were from my experience, and how important it was to write about these fictional characters and their experience. A woman in labor should have whomever she’d like witnessing the labor of her child.

How has COVID impacted your creative work?
COVID has taught me that all my stories are important. It’s also given me a chance to be more creative.

Read Viviana Peña’s “The Birth.”

Some Questions for Arben Alovic

What inspired you to “Cherry Blossoms”?
Call me a sucker for a love poem? In all reality, I’m really not a love poet. I can’t say I ever have been, but I wanted to capture a moment in the spring when I fell in love, even if that moment has gone like the seasons. Though whenever spring does come around, it’s like I can feel the memory in the breeze.

What was your writing process like for “Cherry Blossoms”?
Honesty is the best policy! There is no writing process! There never is. I wrote this in one sitting; no editing, no changes and no planning. I wanted the piece to capture the moment so whatever I wrote in the moment is how the piece would remain. Writing isn’t perfect and it doesn’t need to be. Focus on sincerity.

How has COVID impacted your creative work?
I can’t say it has impacted my work much. If anything, I wanted to take some time to break away from my usual writing style and write happier poems that could remind everyone that, “Hey, COVID changed our lives. We can’t go back to the way it was but life is still beautiful. We still have many moments to look forward to. These bad days will end soon; they have to. Just don’t give up.”

Read Arben Alovic’s “Cherry Blossoms.”

Some Questions for Alicia Evans

What inspired you to write “Love in Quarantine”?
During COVID I thought about what happens now to the couples that were living as roommates. Now they are forced to spend time together, to speak to each other. Since I believe in happily ever after, they work it out and find love again. Love inspired me to write “Love In Quarantine.” With all the sadness during the pandemic, I wanted to show that love prevails. Sometimes we lose sight of what is important and with work and dedication, we can get it back if we really want it. Love takes work. It is not always pretty or easy.

How has COVID impacted your creative work?
COVID taught me to just write. Don’t let fear stand in your way, just write. My stories changed, my characters changed as well. They are a little more sensitive to the world that they live in.

Read Alicia Evans’ “Love in Quarantine.”

Some Questions for Angelica I. Ayala

What inspired you to write “Sunlight”?
My mental health journey inspired me to create this poem. With my partner by my side, it has definitely given me the motivation to step into sunlight instead of choosing isolation. My relationship with my partner inspired me to write “Sunlight.” They have stood by me even when I have pushed them and I believe the love they radiate is one of the brightest things.

How has COVID impacted your creative work?
Surprisingly, COVID-19 has actually aided my creative work. I have been able to shush the crowded thoughts and really get into the core of my being while hiding in my little cave.

Read Angelica I. Ayala’s “Sunlight.”

Some Questions for Clare Kenefick

What inspired you to write “Polarized Politics”?
I have been writing more poems again in the past year or so and I am the only one who usually gets to see them. One of my professors made an announcement in class about The Lit and I thought it would be a great opportunity to try to share some of my work.

What was your writing process like for “Polarized Politics”?
I was in English 102 with Professor Terry Cole who is really great at encouraging creativity. Professor Cole had an assignment for his class that had several prompts, one included writing a poem. I started the poem but gave up and submitted a different prompt to the assignment. Professor Cole asked me to share the poem I had written. I edited it again before submitting it. In the poem I was thinking of how many of us can be stubborn and only see things from one side, our side. This is especially true in politics. I wanted to write about what each side of a different perspective sees when looking at one another.

How has COVID impacted your creative work?
I feel I have been writing more. The stresses of COVID and the devastation it has had on so many people we can see on the news and around the city. I also have watched the resilience and coming together of people, which has been really beautiful and has inspired me to watch people and write about what I see.

Read Clare Kenefick’s “Polarized Politics.”

Some Questions for Kiara Byrd

What inspired you to write “Blank”?
I wrote this piece for my ENG271 course this semester, my Professor Carrie Conners thought that the poetry my class wrote at that point was really good and that we should try submitting it to The Lit.

What was your writing process like for “Blank”?
As this is an imitation of Audre Lorde’s “Coping” I really had to get into the grieving mood. To do this, I isolated myself for a few hours and recalled how I felt when grieving the loss of my grandmother a few years back, As it was really similar to how the speaker in Lorde’s poem felt my imitation was not difficult to write.

How has COVID impacted your creative work?
Before COVID I would go outside for a walk, sit at the park, or even hang out with friends; all of which inspired some of my creative works, but during COVID some of my inspiration died down and I stopped writing as much as I used to.

Read Kiara Byrd’s “Blank.”

Some Questions for Marlin Muñoz

What inspired you to write “Song for My Beloved”?
What inspired me to write the poem that was submitted in The Lit in Spring 2022 was the original poem of Diane Di Prima “Song for Baby-O, Unborn.” When I read the poem I loved that Diane Di Prima did such a great job in expressing the honest feelings that we don’t communicate or admit to ourselves. While writing this piece I had gone through a breakup and I was starting to open up again to the idea of love. I thought about the honest feelings that one goes through that often does not get expressed. I sat down and thought about everything I would say to the next person that walks in my life, the good, and the ugly.

What was your writing process like for “Song for My Beloved”?
The writing process for this piece flowed naturally. I was in my ENG 102 class and we had to write a poem imitation. I had never done a poem imitation before but once I read Diane Di Prima poem I knew I had to try. Collectively as a class we read examples of poem imitations. After I got the gist of it I started writing and tried to put my emotions into words. The writing process not only sounded beautiful when read, but it was healing to write my emotions.

How has COVID impacted your creative work?
COVID has impacted several areas in my life. In regards to my creativity COVID has enforced it. Being in quarantine and alone with all the thoughts it was interesting to process them through writing. I gained love for literature and it became a form of escapism.

Read Marlin Muñoz’ “Song for My Beloved.”

Some Questions for Michael Ferrin

What inspired you to write “Paradise”?
I had spent some time thinking about my relationship with my father, I guess more specifically, the relationship my siblings and I have with my father. It is a bit strained to say the least. There are a handful of reasons as to why, but in the past, we shared some really, really good times. My dad is a flawed man, but he was and is an amazing parent. He did everything he could to provide us with a happy childhood. I wanted to put that into writing. We have always bonded over music. It is a universal language. The 4 of us together on that road trip was indeed paradise.

What was your writing process like for writing “Paradise”?
It started with the connection my father, siblings, and I share through music, specifically my father’s road trip mix tapes. I worked backwards from there. It was important for me to highlight both our childlike naivety as well as the protectiveness of my father. I found it enjoyable showcasing my siblings’ personalities through their eating habits.

How has COVID impacted your creative work?
Well, I am a restaurant employee doubling as an aspiring writer. Quite literally overnight I had more free time than I can remember ever having. During the early quarantine of spring 2020 my roommate and I started a magazine for artists in the service industry. We were able to explore our own creativity as well as seek out like-minded creatives. It actually fueled my desire to return to academia.

Read Michael Ferrin’s “Paradise.”