In our next StarkLight Press Interview, we discuss Roxann Harvey’s winning entry in StarkLight’s Third Short Story Contest.
Roxann Harvey is the Business Administrator for her husbands company, Rocky’s Tours Jamaica. She is a practical Nurse by profession and a self-published Author – very enthusiastic, loving and fun. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in business Administration.The current Novel that she is working on is “Love and Money Worries”. It is about the life of Catherine Barrows , a very young and beautiful young lady from a small village in the lovely Caribbean Island of Jamaica, her life was full of struggles.
1. What was the first thing that you remember writing?
The first thing I remembered writing was a poem entitled Life a narrow path. I entered this poem on the previous poetry.com and it was a winner. I wrote that poem when I was only 10 years old and I carried it with me into adulthood I will never lose that poem. I currently have more than one version of this poem.
2. What is your main inspiration to write?
My main inspiration to write started at the age of eight years old I stumbled up on a poetry book written by Robert Frost on my grandmother’s book shelf, I would read a page from that book every day. The poems hit home, at that age they were like a story to me and I said to my self I would like to write like this one day. So at the age of 10 years I wrote my first poem , never stopped writing and reading. At the age of twelve I was still reading Robert Frost book it had many pages and was very thick, I believe I read it over and over, from just reading a poetry book by a very renown author and writer without even knowing at that time, it spiraled me into a a poetry drunkard. A writerholic, even if I am not writing a poem I would find something to write, I just love to write.
3. What is your story for StarkLight Press about?
My story for StarkLight Press is entitled Parents were Cousins, which is a flash fiction, this story is about a young girl by the name of Catherine who went to spend some time with her uncle’s family, she fell in love with her cousin Chris, she also got pregnant by him. She was betrayed, locked in an attic and later on was sent to the asylum. She was locked away to protect the family name because it was wrong for women to be in relationships with their family members. Chris married a wealthy doctor who later on in the story helped Catherine to get out of the asylum.
4. Why did you choose this story/genre?
I am apart of a writing group hosted by Virginia Stark, she gave us a writing Challenge to write a flash fiction story off a list that had many different reasons why people were committed to an insane Asylum back in 1864 to1869. I liked the one that said parents were cousins, it hit me right there in the head, so I submitted my first story to the group it was liked by my fellow poets, and I was encouraged to expand on it. Based on the fact that this was the first story I had ever written I believed that I should really expand on it. When Starklight press posted that they were accepting Short Stories and It could be a flash fiction, I said yes! this is my opportunity to make this story come alive. It reminds me of Flower’s in the attic by V.C Andrews a 1979 novel. I really love that story, Therefore Parents were Cousins is my version of Flowers in the attic. It is a reincarnation of the images that the story flowers in the attic has left in my mind, expressed my way.
5. What advise do you have for aspiring authors?
My advise to aspiring authors is to follow your dream, write as much as you can, try to find positive persons to be around who will give you sound advise and push you in the right direction. Get on the internet find writing groups to join. Learn how to self publish yourself. Never give up and never give in to pressure, obstacles and hurdles will come your way, but don’t you faint, continue to press forward because you will reap the reward at the end of the struggle, my motto is “Hard work brings true joy” I am very grateful to prove this to be true. If you work hard when you reap the reward of your labor you will be very happy.
6. What are some of your other hobbies?
My other hobbies are listening to music, helping others, Surfing the internet, socializing, relaxing and enjoying nature.
7. How do your hobbies infiltrate your writing?
My hobbies infiltrate my writing in a very positive way, I am able to write the things I see, I write about people, I am able to put life’s experiences into words, its putting pen to paper. its living each day as a day with new ideas and new words. My hobbies are like one with my writing, I always have pen and paper close by so I can jot down stuff to write about later. If I am driving and I see a sign I will either write the words on it or take its picture, I always have my phone on me and I use it like a camera, I shot any thing and then put it together later to formulate a poem, a short story, quotes of inspiration and new phrases for my miniature book of constant self encouragement.
8. How has your own past influenced your writing?
My past has influenced my writing greatly it is the driving force behind my passion for writing, I grew up in a Christian home. I have seen good days and bad days so I am able to relate to both circumstance in life. Most of my writings are influenced by my christian belief that there is a creator who made all things and it is through him that we live and breathe, that there is hope and no matter our status in life or the situations that we face there is hope.. My poems are encouraging and inspiring to keep going no matter what. over time I have been learning to come out of my comfort zone and launch out into a variety of genre’s, I explore far beyond my comfort zone and this feels great. I am very optimistic so I am excited each time I try something new. I am always searching for more.
9. Any final thoughts?
My final thoughts are:
a. To implore anyone that is reading my interview to stay the course, weather the storm don’t give up and follow your hearts desire to write, because words are powerful and if you write encouraging words you will bless a heart, save a life, encourage someone, you will be an inspiration. Set your goals and execute them. No matter where you are from once you have ambition you can be among the greats.
b. A big thank you to my husband Roxroy Lawrence for his tolerance and continued support of me in my writing endeavors also my children for being my cheer leaders.
c. Wow! I must say thank you very very much Anthony Stark and Virginia Stark for making this short story writing eligible for me,you are awesome. You are doing a great big wonderful job and I wish you all the very best in your writing and publishing business, I can truly see that you love what you do with a passion, you go about it with a lot of enthusiasm and professionalism. This is brilliant as you have all the mechanisms for growth, development and success.