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Interview with Areatae N McGhee

She is a mother, Certified Family Life Educator, and Life Coach who holds her master’s in psychology with an emphasis in life coaching. Her love for music is the reason why she started writing and began journaling as a young child. She enjoys supporting individuals seeking community resources and information that supports their career, education and personal goals.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?
I'm a designer of Inspire 2BU Design Studios on the Zazzle platform. I design buttons, mugs, magnets, shirts, journals, and much more.

Q.2 When should we expect your next book? What will it be about?
My next book will be released on August 12, 2022.

Dating Me briefly shares the sweetness of life and the hardships that come along with it. Each chapter of this book gives it to you raw about communication, change, self-awareness of my struggles, behaviors, and relationships that lead to a lack of self-love but maturing to fall in love with self all over again.

Q.3 When did you decide to write Torn Back Together?
Torn Back Together was written in 2016.

Q.4 What sparked your initial love of poetry?
My love for poetry is always how I have written, which comes from my emotions and feelings. It’s always how I’ve written.

Q.5 How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?
I’ve written seven books and self-published three. I can’t say that I have a favorite book because they are all special to me. I do have favorite affirmations, poems, or quotes.

Q.6 What do you see as the role of the poet in modern-day society?
Poet is someone who speaks from their truth, and feelings about experiences that have happened in their life or around them.

Q.7 How does one even begin to judge poetry? Are there some yardsticks that help you define a “good” poem from a not-so-great one?
I think if one has to judge poetry they should with their heart and mind because within their heart they will recognize where the emotions and passions come from and also recognize the tug of war of feelings of the mind.

Q.8 Do you have any particular audience in mind when you write, an ideal reader?
I write to lovers. A person who is a hopeless romantic. To speak with love is amazing. I know a lot of people don’t know how but I do and there are millions of people like me.

Q.9 What is your stand on translating poetry? Can a translated work genuinely do justice to the original poem?
That depends on the translator. I think it will never be the same as the work from the person who wrote it will articulate in a certain way.

Q.10 In what fundamental ways does poetry differ from fiction?
Poetry speaks from your real emotions. Nothing is made up to make it seem real. Fiction is not poetry, although it can read as real I feel I can tell the difference.

Q.11 What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
My uncle told me one time, “You can do anything you set your mind to, but you have to do it”.

Q.12 What role should a title play for a poem? For beginning writers, what’s important to consider when titling a poem?
Title may give you insight into what the poem is about or nothing at all. It will come to you when you write. For myself, I don’t title my poems before I write them. I get my titles during or after I'm done writing the poem.

Q.13 Has your idea of what poetry has changed since you began writing poems?
No, if poetry is emotion and feels it will always be the same.

Q.14 Can you work anywhere, or is there a particular space and quietude required to write?
I can write anywhere. As long as the words come to me I will write them down.

Q.15 How do your family/friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?
My family and friends are a great support of my work.

Q.16 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good and bad ones?
I do read them. After being in college for so long you get comfortable with receiving constructive criticism.

Q.17 Can you give any advice to someone wanting to write and publish poetry?
Write what's in your heart, on your mind, and always respect others with your words.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?
I would like to meet my Grandmother. She passed away when I was a baby, but I hear how impactful, smart, humbled, and loving she was to her family and children. I am positive that being in her presence would be awesome.

Q.19 What books/poets have most influenced your life?
A. Langston Hughes'
poetry has always been inspiring to me because his writings are a direct reflection of life and I enjoyed his short poems. It gave me new thoughts that poetry doesn’t have to be three pages, it can be as short as 40 words.

Tupac Shakur, many know him as just a Rapper, but he was more than that. As a Poet, he could move words all over the page and make you feel a part of his writing. Intelligent. 

This brings me to Maya Angelou, one of the greatest poets of all. She embraces words and forms sentences that spark your thoughts as second guesses when they are facts. Passionate. Lastly, is Saul Williams who is the emotion, passion, and fire in the room all at the same time.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
My journey so far as a writer has been challenging but always rewarding. I love to write because I can express my feeling. It’s a way to get it out and gives me my own type of therapy. 

In addition, I have met wonderful people along the way and connected with authors, writers, illustrators that support each other in their craft. For me, the ride has been a blessing.

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