Winterview with Poet Jennifer Galambos

To celebrate 13 weeks of winter, Hàlön Chronicles will be conducting one interview a week for 13 weeks. Join us on the hashtag #13Winterviews, or check out our right-side blog hop to sneak a peek at all the wonderful authors and artists I’ll be interviewing in the coming weeks.

Hosted by: K. J. Harrowick

Without further ado, Blood Lines Author & Poet: Jennifer Galambos.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. First poem ever written walking home from elementary school:

Every step you take is a mile for a rock
They can’t move
Cause they got no groove

Total work of genius. That being said, writing has always been my anchor. I don’t think I could stop if I wanted to, or I would lose something too valuable about the core of who I am.

A couple of years ago I graduated from Acadia University with a BAH in English. My thesis, Blood Lines, was a collection of poetry belonging to the Canadian tradition of the documentary poem and the need to seek out one’s roots by uncovering the fragments of history. The poems were inspired by the stories and lives of the people in my family, and were written in free verse, with images palimpsest and ekphrastic poems scattered throughout to create a photo album type feel.

Besides short and long fiction, poetry is something I have always come back to. I have several collections on the go that I would like to see through to completion. Screen writing is the newest form I am exploring, and I am currently working with a director to convert one of my stories into a short film.

What types of books do you write, and why?

I find it difficult to pin myself down to a particular genre or style of writing. I have four different plans for four very different novels, each that would be unrecognizable to the other. The most completed project would fall somewhere into the young adult fantasy/fiction/sci-fi genre(s). It’s a story of two brothers struggling against an avalanche of blood history and opposing ideologies, ultimately fighting to stop a war while standing in the epicenter.

I’m enraptured by their story, and I have fallen in love with them as characters – all of their ignorance, and well-minded mistakes tangled up in the unwavering desire to do good, while you yourself is not necessarily good. I love watching them grow throughout the story, taking part as they evolve on their own free will as they are clinging on by their fingertips for what they believe to be right.

What were your early influences, and how does this manifest in your work today?

Tolkein is an incredible influence – both as a child, and then again as an adult. My mom read the Lord of the Rings to me as our bedtime book, and I fell in love with the magical, heroic story. Later in university, I studied his works more in depth, and fell head over heels all over again at the unreal brilliance of his writing. One of my favourite parts about the Lord of the Rings is that Frodo ultimately fails in his quest to destroy the ring. He perseveres through everything, keeps going step for step even though he longs to turn back, and in the end, he doesn’t have enough to release it into the fire. Everything that Tolkien writes about in regards to heroism, failure, and sacrifice is incredible, and never stops inspiring.

Are there aspects of the craft that excite you more than others?

I get most excited by the unknown aspects of writing. I can start with an idea, a plan, or a style, and it always evolves beyond my initial expectation. It’s been said a thousand times, but for me, writing is always like uncovering something hidden, and it’s more of a delightful surprise than a stagnant catalogue of events. I also love how little of it belongs to the writer – the reader brings so much to the story with their interpretation and imagination that nothing is ever a single story.

What books or websites are your go-to places while editing?

Besides quick and dirty thesaurus/dictionary sites, or the occasional internet perusing for fact checking or information augmenting, I’m pretty old school when it comes to editing. I worked with a well published professor while I was finishing my thesis, and we mostly resorted to printed sources when it came to copy editing and formatting. Bronwen Wallace, Denise Levertov, and Robert Kroetsch are all good sources of inspiration.

Tell us about your writing space (music/snacks/interruptions/etc).

I tend to write wherever and whenever I can. While I was still in school I would find myself writing snippets in-between lectures in the margins of my notebooks. I’m also terrible for writing on scraps of paper – faded receipts, ripped-out pages, the occasional napkin. One day I should just stitch it all together in a patchwork of unfinished dialogue and half-formed ideas.

If I’m deliberately sitting down to get some work done it will most likely be a comfortable couch, or sunny park bench. Coffee shops are fun for collaborative writing, as long as there is an outlet nearby (my laptop is a thousand years old and immediately defaults to a sad, black screen of death if it’s without power). As far as brain food goes, I’ll never say no to an accompanying snack or beverage – alcoholic or otherwise. A cup of tea is usually a good choice.

Tell us about your current WIP or your latest book release.

I have several projects currently on the go the novel and short film mentioned earlier, a video game script, and several collections of poetry. I get so excited by a thousand ideas, which is probably why it takes so long to finish anything! However, lately, most of my energy is going into finishing the first draft of my novel. If everything goes according to plan (and the characters don’t hijack the story) then I should be two chapters away from completion. After that, editing, editing, editing.

Besides my own writing projects, for the next year I’ll be working with Kathleen O’Reilly, BAH in Psychology, while she explores the existential void through weekly podcasts. I’ll be supplementing the blog with excerpts and poems from my own project, Open Wound, a reverse-linear exploration centered on traumatic grief.

As my own projects get up and running, twitter will become a more useful platform for staying connected.

Before you leave, don’t forget to check out all the amazing Winterviews Authors. 🙂

One comment to Winterview with Poet Jennifer Galambos

  • Maria Guglielmo  says:

    Not only have you been writing since elementary school, you still have some of your early work. Awesome! Love to hear about peeps working in different genres.

Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>