Friday, April 20, 2007

Interview With Author/Poet C. Denise Sutton

I recently interviewed my partner in crime! Denise teaches the Publishing & Promoting seminars with me and is very well known in Eastern NC. Her books include "My Words And Me" and "Do You Know Him?", and she has produced several CD's featuring local singers putting her poems to music. Everyone welcome genuine & passionate poet, Denise!

What prompted you to publish your first book?

I was excited about sharing my work verbally with others. A few family members and friends told me that I had a special gift and needed to share it with more than just a select few. I wanted to see how well my writing would be accepted by the public and thus I decided to self publish.

What does “My Words And Me” mean?

While going through some difficult times in my life, I used my ability to write poetry to calm and motivate me to keep moving forward. I soon realized that even if I had no one else around, I could motivate myself to bounce back from setbacks by the words that I spoke to myself.

You have two poetry books now – what has been the response? What advice would you give to someone wanting to do a book on poetry?

Most of the responses have been very positive. The only major negative response came from someone whose religious belief conflicted with something I wrote. This person's reaction really enlightened me about being aware of how others may perceive my work. For the most part, though, many others ask to use my work in their church programs or in tribute of a loved and/or deceased one. My advice to those wanting to do poetry is to do it for the love of poetry. Poetry does not sell as well as other types of books but, if you are a writer like me, poetry flows because it is in your heart! There is so much that you can do with poetry other than placing it in a book. I frame mine. I recite it at functions or on special occasions. I place it in a song. And sometimes, yes, I place it to music and just "rap." I used to pick up Hallmark cards with Helen Steiner Rice's words and say to myself, "That's what I want to do! Encourage others with my writing. Lift other people's spirits. That's me!"

You have done two CD’s – how did that all come about? What is the process of producing a CD?

I decided to do a CD to see how well my songs would do and to attract more attention to my poetry books. So far, it is working. When I tell about my CD's, I have to tell about my books because my songs are an extension of my poetry. Producing CD's is a totally different process than publishing books. I would need a lot of time and space to tell you about that process!

What was easier – the CD or the Book?

The book was easier because I was the only one involved and worked at my own pace and with my own deadlines. With the CD's, I had so many others involved that I had to wait til the singers on the album could come and then, I had to coincide this time with the person who worked in the studio. The CD was also more expensive to do because of the many components involved that I was not originally aware of. With my book, I was aware of all the costs up front because my publishing company explained it in a booklet which I read before publishing.

How did the conception of teaching a seminar on publishing & promoting come about?

Since so many people approached me about tips on publishing books, I thought it would be nice to do a seminar. When the community college that I approached offered to take it in under their small business center, I decided to ask another author to join me in this endeavor. (I bet you'll never guess who this person is - smile). So far, the seminars have been very successful and I am getting a lot of positive feedback from them all.

What is next for you?

I am very confident in my writing. I do not worry about what I will write next. However, I want to try my hand at writing a book that is not poetry. What I am also concentrating on now is marketing and getting more name recognition so that when I come out with my next project, I will have built up a greater following. Words to encourage others is what the world needs more of now. And that is what you will get from me!

Please visit Denise's site at:


Mike Douglas said...

Good interview. I think the part where she "produced several CD's featuring local singers putting her poems to music" is fantastic. I also like her views on poetry.

C. Denise Sutton said...

Thank you, Mike. I enjoy feedback but positive ones motivate me all the more!

Mike Douglas said...

You're most welcome. I'm pleased to meet you Denise.