Hello dear readers!
I’m so excited to share today’s post with you. It’s full of poetry, flowers, hope in the midst of mental illness and struggle, and to top it all off, an interview with an author I know.
Amie Woleslagle is releasing Fifteen, a poetry compilation, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for it. And let’s just take a moment to swoon over this gorgeous cover.
If you haven’t heard about Fifteen yet, here’s the official blurb:
You’re not alone. You’re not the only person who struggles with mental health issues, not the only person with demons floating in your mind. Amie Woleslagle wrote Fifteen because she deals with them as well. Not to fix your pain, but to reach out and hold your hand. To remind you that you are not alone, to ask you to stay and make the world a better place. Because the world will never be the same without you and your unique take on life. Fifteen is a book of poems crafted from one teenager dealing with mental health issues to another teenager in the same place. It walks through the battle of pretending to be okay, of having people you thought were trustworthy shatter your heart, and the battle of not giving in when your brain has given up. Fifteen covers true friendships, embracing joy, self acceptance, and living your faith while struggling with mental illness, all the while showing that, in the end, flowers will bloom in the ashes of your pain.
Without further ado, let’s move on to the interview!
Welcome Amie! I’m so glad I can interview you today. To kick it off, what inspired you to write Fifteen?
Amie: On the eve of my birthday, I was struggling with my mental health and the pandemic, so I texted my friend. I’m the type of person who loves projects. Projects make me happy, and help me feel fulfilled, so I told my friend to give me a project, and she said I should write fifteen poems for the next two weeks to remember the lessons I’d learned through the past year. That was how Fifteen was born!
That’s a very neat origin for this poetry compilation. Speaking of poetry, who are some of your favorite poets? Have any influenced your style?
Amie: My poetry style hasn’t really been influenced, actually. Growing up, my mom always told me that poetry is boring and no one could understand it, so we didn’t really have poetry books floating around. It wasn’t until the past few years that I’ve started reading poetry. But some of my favorite poets are Emily Dickinson, Allison Beery, and William Shakespeare.
Emily Dickinson is one of my favorite poets too! How long did it take you to write Fifteen, and what did your writing process look like?
Amie: Fifteen took a very short time. Less than three months, and the writing process was starts and stops, because I didn’t expect to publish it. Also, poetry writing isn’t very much like novel writing, so it doesn’t require quite as much time.
Wow, that must have been exhilarating with everything happening so fast. For a lot of people, there’s a veil of mystery surrounding indie publishing. Can you give us a glimpse into your self-publishing journey?
Amie: Absolutely! There’s a lot behind any kind of publishing, and I would love to shed more like on the topic. I’m a person who works best with lists, so at the end of July, my friend sat me down, and together we made a schedule of all the things we wanted to happen with Fifteen, and the steps to get there. Following that list, I finished writing the poems, I illustrated every poem, I formatted my book myself, set up KDP, contacted podcasts and Bookstagrammers, and just went to work like it was a real job. I think that’s the most important thing if you want success. You have to put in the work, and pray a lot of prayers.
“You have to put in the work, and pray a lot of prayers.” That’s fantastic wisdom. Someone needs to put that on a poster.
I know your poems touch on some raw topics such as mental health. In light of this, what’s the one thing you hope your readers take away from Fifteen?
Amie: I want the readers to take away hope. I want their soul to expand and their mind to shimmer with hope. A hope that stays with them as they leave the book on their shelves.
That’s beautiful. I love seeing your heart behind this project. Thank you so much for sharing your time and answering my questions, Amie.
So you don’t miss out on this lovely book, here are the pre-order links.
I also want to let you know that you can get some fantastic swag if you pre-order Fifteen and fill out this form.
Plus, if you pre-order, there’s also a giveaway you can enter here. After all, who doesn’t love the chance to win free goodies?
And don’t forget to support Amie by adding this book to your Goodreads shelf.
If you need a master list of all the stops on this blog tour or want more information on Fifteen, be sure to check out Amie’s website!