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Interview with Cendrine Marrouat

Walks: A Collection of Haiku

Q.1 Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
A. Hello and thank you for interviewing me.
My name is Cendrine Marrouat, and I am a French-born Canadian living in Winnipeg. I moved here from France in 2003.
I am a photographer, poet, and the author of 12 books. But I started my career as a translator and French instructor to adults. I also worked as a journalist, art reviewer, social media coach/trainer, blogger, and content creator and curator. Now, something that not many people know, I am very shy, but learned to hide it well.

Q.2 Are we going to read more from you in the near future? Any new project you’re working on?
A. I have almost completed the manuscript for my 13th book, which is the second volume of Walks: A Collection of Haiku. I created the series as a celebration of my love for haiku. I am also looking for a traditional publisher for my 14th book, a mixed media project featuring haiku and photography. This poetry form forces you to “say less and show more”When done well, a haiku will hit you with a bang and make your heart skip a beat...
Q.3 What did you do with your first advance?                
A. I am a self-published author, so I have never received any advance payment. However, if I had, I would have certainly used the money to advertise the book. 
Q.4 What advice do you have for writers?
A. Simple ones, really. Only compare yourself to other writers to understand your own style. Doing it for any other reason will kill your creativity and self-confidence. You are uniquely talented.

It is ok to have doubts and share them on social media once in a while. But, consistently advertising your lack of self-confidence is the best way to shoot yourself in the leg. The way you portray yourself will be the way people will see (and judge) you.

If you cannot afford to pay an editor and a proofreader to correct your manuscripts, bartering is a viable option. You have skills that others can use. Even if there are thousands of writers in your field, remember that nobody else can tell your stories like you. Stop seeing others as competition.
Q.5 Does writing energize or exhaust you?
A.  I only write from a place of joy and to share the lessons I have learned from life. So I always feel energized. 
Q.6 If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
A. I would tell her that she needs to rest more. I was a workhorse for ten years. Until I experienced a major burnout and was forced to stop abusing my body with lack of sleep and 14-hour workdays. It took me a couple more years to understand the value of a real vacation.   
Q.7 What are the most important magazines or websites for writers to subscribe to?
A. I only read haiku blogs these days. One of my favorites is Ten Thousand Haiku.  
Q.8 What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
A. My mother taught me to read (and count) in kindergarten. When I entered middle school, I was ahead of all my classmates in many areas as a result.
My parents passed their love for the language on me. I cannot remember how old I was when my father told me that people judge others based on the way they speak. It left a lasting impression on me because it is (unfortunately) true.
Q.9 Do you believe in writer’s block?
A. Not only is it part of the life of every writer, but it is also an experience that can teach you positive lessons.

Q.10 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
A. I write to help others. So reviews are inescapable. 
Many authors mistakenly brush off bad ones. They take things personally. But as I keep telling others, reviews are just reactions to the energy behind a work. Even if some of them feel like personal attacks on you, it is actually rarely the case. 

Whether positive or negative, constructive feedback will help you improve your work and understand what your readers are looking for. So I choose to use them to my advantage.

Q.11 Does your family support your career as a writer?
A. My family supports me because they love me. But I know that they would not mind hearing that I have decided to do something else.

Q.12 What do your fans mean to you?
A. My fans mean the world to me, of course. I may write for myself from time to time, but my books are here to help them.

Q.13 How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
A. I have written 12 books. I cannot pick a favorite, but I would say that my latest one, Walks: A Collection of Haiku (Volume 1) brings a smile on my face every time I think of it. 

Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
A. Yep! I find most of my best ideas while in the shower. And I cannot write anything without a title.

Q.15 What do you consider being your best accomplishment?
A. I celebrate every achievement, no matter how big or small it is. One major accomplishment that comes to mind, though, is my feature in the Canadian version of the Costco Connection magazine in July 2015. The traffic to my old blog exploded for several weeks afterward.

Q.16 What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
A. Probably what vanity presses do. Authors have to pay to have their books published. And sometimes, those companies ask for thousands of dollars, without any guarantee.

Q.17 Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
A. I edit my books myself. With that said, I use a proofreader to correct my manuscripts. She and I have been friends for more than a decade and she has a proven track record in her field.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
A. Kahlil Gibran, my favorite artist in the world. He wrote some of the most spiritually uplifting books in the 20th century.

Q.19 What is your favorite book and why?
A. The Prophet by Gibran which is is one of the most translated books in history. I call it my personal Bible. It saved my life.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
A. After 14 years as an artist, the only thing I can say is that I am just getting started. The older I get, the more interesting life becomes. 

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