Thursday, February 13, 2014

Share the Love!

I am happy to introduce and share with you a poetry book by a talented writer, Jennifer Howard. Jennifer’s book of poetry has just been published—a perfect gift for those Valentine lovers, or anyone who wants to immerse themselves in Love.

A mutual friend of ours, Nick LeVar, who I met on LinkedIn, introduced Jennifer and I regarding a business venture. Jennifer was looking for someone to format her book, and I was eager to help. Jennifer’s new poetry book, The Fume of Sighs:
A CompilationDedicated to Love, Love Lost, and Love Redefined is now available. Without wasting any more time, I’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Howard, writer, poet, and one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met.

1) Tell us about The Fume of Sighs.

The Fume of Sighs is a poetry compilation dedicated to: 1) Love, 2) Love Lost, and 3) Love Renewed. It contains twenty-seven years worth of poems that regard my own run-ins with all three. Each section represents a different way of looking at love. The first section, is all about that first,explosive, stars-in-your-eyes kind of love that we all experience. The second section, Love Lost, deals with when that warm, fuzzy love changes, dissolves, or turns into something that you didn’t expect. Finally, the third section, Love Redefined, revisits love, but with new eyes, and a more mature heart. It gives love the second chance that it deserves. 

2) What made you write a poetry book?

I have always adored poetry, be it through the reading of it or the writing of it. Throughout the majority of my life, poetry has been a medium for expressing myself and my thoughts, dealing with issues, or placing my emotions into words. This has been a very personal and introspective journey. I truly never expected to put these words of mine out for public viewing. But, I decided to embrace the fear and step outside of my comfort zone. So, I did just that, and voila!

3) What type of poems can a reader expect to find in your poetry book, traditional or free verse?

I love and write all types of poetry, but for this compilation, expect to find free verse. It is my favorite form, because there is so much freedom. I love the lack of restrictions that free verse provides. It gives the author a chance to be completely creative.

4) Is The Fume of Sighs traditionally or self-published?

The Fume of Sighs is self-published. I am very proud to be an indie. I absolutely appreciate traditional publishing, and truly hope to endeavor into that world someday. But, for now, regarding the intent behind Fume, I am so grateful that self-publishing exists. It is more intimate and less restrictive than traditional, and this is exactly what Fume needs. I simply want my words to be out there, and hopefully someone else, besides me, will enjoy and/or relate to them.

5)  What poet influenced you?

This is a toughie! :) I adore and appreciate the styles and the words of so many. A person can find poetry anywhere from a book in a library to a song lyric to a passage in the Bible to the back of a cereal box. I could write VOLUMES about who influences me. But, to name a few, I would say: William Shakespeare, (The title of my book actually comes from a quote of his. The quote is located inside of the book. I’m gonna keep my lips zipped, though. If you want to read the full quote, you must buy Fume. Muahahaha! But, I digress...) Robert Frost, Walt Whitman, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, Pablo Neruda, Langston Hughes, the apostle Paul (1st Corinthians Chapter 13 is the essence of both love AND poetry), and a contemporary, Tyler Knott Gregson. These guys all bring me joy and make me think.

6)  How long have you been writing?

I have been writing pretty much all of my life. I still possess a copy of the very first short story that I ever wrote, How the Hippo Lost His Snowshoes. I believe I was six, at the time. Mom immortalized it on the fridge for way too many years to count. Haha! That is one of my favorite childhood memories. I actually dedicated Fume to her. We would sit many afternoons in our recliner in the living room, and read Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses together. I’m sure the tradition began with her reading to me, but I very soon took over and began reading to her. Those afternoons and that book made words come alive for me. I’ve been a word-junkie ever since.

7)  Is this your first publication?

No, it is not. I have self-published three other books, as well. In 2009, I released a children’s book entitled Lucy and the Land of Lost Socks. In 2013, I released two adult contemporary romantic fiction titles, The Healing Heart and The Steps to Karma. These works, as well as short stories, my blog, and other featured indies can be found on my website:

8) Any future projects in the works?

Yes!! I have tons of “voices in my head” just waiting to escape onto paper! :) The project I am currently working on will be a romantic/mystery series set in 1936. It is entitled: Two Strangers and a Train. I plan to release this in probably five parts in e-book form, with a paperback containing all parts to come at the culmination of the e-book series. I am soooo very excited about it. FYI, there is a sneak peek of it at the end of The Fume of Sighs.

I want to thank Jennifer for taking the time to let me interview her.

Writing and Friendship,


  1. Thank you, Bea, and congratulations to Jennifer on her new poetry book. I wish her much continued success in the New Year. :-)

  2. Great interview. You're both awesome ladies. Much success to the both of you.

  3. Sounds like something I would like. I can imagine formatting poems for a self-pub takes all kinds of tricks to get the works to look right on the page.

    1. When you're dealing with different formats and pictures, it can be tricky.

  4. Great interview and congratulations to Jennifer on the new book. I so admire those who can write poetry, mainly as someone who can't.

    1. I think poetry often repels people because they don't think they will understand the poem. I believe poetry has achieved its job if it invokes some type of emotion.