Please welcome Elizabeth Paharsingh to my blog. Shall we have a chat over coffee?
1. Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.
My name is Elizabeth Paharsingh. I was born and raised in the little town of Corozal in the Caribbean country of Belize. I am a single mother with one daughter who is my biggest fan. Recently I self-published my first ever book titled Quiet Noise: A Collection of Poems and Prose.
2. Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book?
Writing, poetry specifically, came into my life when I was eight years old. I was in Standard three (equivalent to fifth grade) when they started teaching us about poetry. The art of figuring out how to write poetry and make it work and make it rhyme was like solving a puzzle to me. I was always a quiet child and afraid to speak about anything which caused problems with anxiety. Learning to write poetry helped save me and it’s been a part of my life ever since.
Over the last twenty years, I have tried to find ways to save my poems. Whether it was in little notebooks, or emailing them to myself when I got older. I always hoped that one day I would have my work published and have a book with my name on shelves. It wasn’t until last year when my daughter found some of my poems and asked me about it and encouraged me that I decided it was time to do so.
3. How difficult was it writing your first book?
I thought it would be easy at first. I mean, I already had enough poems, I just needed to put them together and that’s it. I was wrong. I was very wrong. I watched videos on the internet and read many articles with tips and guidelines on editing and proofreading etc. I felt a bit overwhelmed, but I just took my breaks in between and took deep breaths and got through it and I’m proud of the final result.
4. Have you ever wanted to give up and what stopped you?
Oh yes. Many times. I kept thinking “What if I go through all this trouble and it ends up being for nothing?”. Too many times I worried about what other people would think. Would they hate it? Would they love it? Would they laugh about it? Especially the people in my home town. Again, whenever I felt like that I just took a break and took a deep breath and brought that confidence to myself that this is worth it, I am doing something I love and I am accomplishing my goals. My daughter is ten years old, but she is also my ‘boss’ sometimes. She helped push me and kept saying “You got this mama!”. That kept me going.
5. Who is the most supportive of you and your dream to be a writer?
My daughter is most supportive. I have support from other family and friends, but if my daughter sees me sad or hears me saying something like I’m thinking this book will fail, she will definitely tell me to suck it up and that I can do it because ‘I’m the best mama in the whole wide world’.
6. Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I would like my readers to know that I like to write based on the emotions I feel or the emotions that others close to me are feeling. I hope by reading my book that there was at least one poem that touched you and I am so thankful for every single one of you that have taken the time to read my collection of poetry written by someone from a small country that most people don’t even know exists. Thank you.
7. What is the best advice given to you (book or otherwise), and by whom?
The best advice I got was from my mom and it was to not let people’s negativity get to you. Don’t let it spread to you and take over your life. In Belize we have a saying that goes ‘Don’t sweat someone else’s fever’. Just because someone has built up hate and anger, doesn’t mean you have to share that hate and anger with them.
8. What is your target audience and what aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?
I am reaching out to an audience that has trouble with mental health. Mental health is such a broad area and affects basically anyone of any age and there are people that are ashamed of it. I titled my book Quiet Noise because that is how I describe my problems with mental health. It is like this ongoing sound in your head with everything you are worried about or scared of or more, but while all of this is going on in your head the people around you are oblivious to what is happening because they don’t hear it. I am hoping that with my poetry collection, it will reach out to those having troubles with mental health and it will help them realize that they are not alone. There are others that feel or have felt the same way, and you can get through it.
9. Did the cover evolve the same way, or did you work with someone to make it come together for you?
I tried working with others to design my cover, but it just didn’t feel right. Eventually I started playing around with it myself and I decided I didn’t want to complicate it. I knew I wanted the background to be black and something bright to pop. I am very happy with how it is and hope others like it as well.
10. What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt?
Right now I am going through what many writers are going through, which is I have about 10,000 ideas and no idea how to start either one. I would like to start working on a second poetry collection that revolves around awkward intimate experiences like first kiss, first date etc. I am hoping my followers will be willing to stick around to see what comes next.
11. Any last words before we wrap things up?
I just want to thank you Mary so much for the opportunity to be on your blog and talk about my book Quiet Noise. I appreciate it so much!
Contact and links:
Email: paharsinghpoetrycollection at @gmail dot com
Facebook: @EMP Writings https://www.facebook.com/empwritings
Instagram: @EMP_Writings https://www.instagram.com/emp_writings/
Twitter: @EMPWritings https://twitter.com/EMPWritings
Amazon Book Link: https://www.amazon.com/Quiet-Noise-Collection-Poems-Prose/dp/B0BLYBM4QK
Amazon Author Bio Link: https://www.amazon.com/stores/author/B0BNWFZ8YV/about