I am proud to present another author whose work appears in the anthology, “Voices from the Block,” Lei Scott.
Lei is a poet, songwriter, creative non-fiction memoirist, and a jazz singer. She and I met over ten years ago when we were both volunteers for a community program called, the African-American Read-In. When the Read-In ended, our paths diverged and then one unexpected day, we reconnected through our writers group, the Writers’ Block, www.writersblockinc.org. When I first read her pieces in “Voices,” I was blown away. Her storytelling ability is amazing. In fact, I’d call her a natural considering she hasn’t taken many writing classes and has never attended a writing conference. She is a neophyte to the literary world. Below is the interview I conducted with Lei. I hope you enjoy learning more about this young lady and that you’ll get a chance to read some of her writings.
- What prompted you to pursue writing as a creative outlet? I didn’t pursue writing, writing pursued me and there was nothing creative about it. At the age of eleven, my mother made her transition. Pen and paper called me, luring me to unleash the pain into written words. This was a way of escape for me. I could take it out of me and pretend the ugliness ’round me was only words on paper.
- How do you get in the writing mood? Most of the time, I don’t get in the mood. The mood gets in me. When “it” calls, I better answer. Sometimes I’m defiant, especially in the middle of the night when I’m sleeping “real good.” But this never works out for me because no matter how awesome and wonderful I think the idea is and I just know I’m going to remember “it,” in the morning, I seldom do. However, while I don’t prepare myself to get in a writing mood, my favorite writing space consists of a beautiful bright sun, mountains, the view and sounds of water flowing, birds chirping in lush green trees and a nice cold or hot something to drink in my hand.
- How do you know when a poem, short story, novel, etc. is “finished?” When there is nothing left to write, a peace comes over me announcing “it is done.”
- What or who has been your greatest writing influence? Ann Fields (I promise I did not pay her to say this!). Ann is a great mentor and has supported and encouraged me as I take my baby steps. She is knowledgeable and well skilled in her writing craft. She just doesn’t write words, she creates visions with her words. She is a beautiful sister with a big heart. I appreciate her and everything she has done for me and the Writers’ Block, Inc.
- Do you have a preferred writing form? Poetry, short story, scripts, essays, etc.? I don’t know yet, I’m just starting. Before this is all over I plan to put my creative hands to whatever spirit brings to me to write, and taste all the flavors. I feel blessed that there are so many forms to choose from and the universe is infinite.
- What are your future writing plans? Keep growing, writing, expressing, cleansing, healing and sharing my spirit through words and music until all the hurt is gone and every heart is smiling. Looks like I’ll be writing for a very long time.
- What do you say to people who tell you, “I want to write a book?” I get excited and talk about Ann Fields and the Writers’ Block. I say “go for it” and “everyone has at least one book in them.” I don’t say anything negative or discouraging. They will find out how challenging it can be at times and when they reach those stumbling blocks I hope they have their own “Ann Fields and the Writers’ Block” in their corner.
- What was your first thought when you held your first published work in your hands? Thank you God, we did it.
- What was the most challenging thing about the publishing process for you? This was my first published piece. Exposing myself to others, during the critique process, and listening to, what I felt at the time, as judgement on my life and creativity was hard. I learned to grow thick skin and keep on writing. What was the most rewarding? Realizing that I actually completed the process, I didn’t give up or give in.
- How/What do you feel about the future of publishing? Publishing has become easier with the ability to self-publish. I see an increase in self-publishing as we move into the future, opening doors for writers who might not have had the opportunity to be read. The challenge of getting out to the masses may still exist and the major publishing companies may still control who makes it to the top. But making it to the top and bringing in a bunch of shekels is not always the most important thing – using the gift God gave you is. Write on Writers, Write on, Lei Scott.
So, you’ve just met Lei Scott. I told you she was impressive. And I think you’ll be even more impressed after you’ve read some of her writings. Excuse me now while I go prepare myself for her upcoming songwriting workshop. I know it’s going to be as awesome as she is. Happy reading! Live creatively!
You had me at jazz singer Ann. A wonderful interview and how lovely to meet Lei xxxxxx
Too funny! And an amazing singer, she is. I’ve heard her sing “live” once and have listened to her CD several times. She’s really good. And multi-talented. Her writings are just as powerful. Thanks for reading and I’ll pass on your kind words. Have a great summer.
This was an excellent interview and I appreciate Lei for reminding me about why I write. Her thoughts and sincerity were serve as a roadmap for to return to the love and passion for writing. I can’t wait to hear more from this author.
Hi Detra, good to hear from you and yes, Lei is inspiring, isn’t she? I am glad you’re revved up again and I can’t wait to see the results of your passion and love for I know you, too, are an inspiring (and inspired) writer. Let me know when your next book is available so we can talk about your writing journey. God bless the works of your hands.
Fantastic interview Ann and Lei. I love Lei’s free spirit – she writes when she’s called. So many of us get those great inspirational ideas in the wee hours of the night. And lovely kudos to you Ann as inspiring mentor. ❤
Thanks, Debby, always a joy to read your comments. I’ll certainly pass on your comments to Lei. She’s not as active on social media, and bad me, I forgot to tell her her profile was up. A mistake I plan to rectify tonight. I owe my forgetfulness these days to too many engagements and travel. I don’t know how you do it – travel, manage family, and stay on top of business. I am soooooo behind. Take care, Debby, and I hope you’re planning a relaxing summer.
Thanks Ann. Honestly, I don’t know how I do it either sometimes, I just keep going. And I shall continue to do so until I run out of gas then I’ll rejuvenate, lol. I sure could use a nice getaway about now but I know that I’ll be spending the rest of the summer finishing writing my new book and grueling revisions after. The show must go on, lol. 🙂 Hugs to you xx
Hey Ann, I really enjoyed this interview with Lei. She is frank and to the point, I like it. You continue to do good work with others my Sistah!
Thank you, my dear, and it’s time for us to get together. I’ll pass your comments on to Lei. If you know anyone who is interested in getting into the music business or interested in writing songs, Lei is leading a songwriting workshop on June 24th. Call me for details and to schedule lunch.
Lei, I love your favorite writing space. You are lucky to have such an inspiring environment at your finger tips! All the best for all that lies ahead for you.
Thanks Ann for this lovely interview. ❤
I like your answer to #2, Lei–how your muse puts you in the mood rather than you activating that. I agree. If I’m not ready to write, I just can’t.
Jacqui, hi! Funny how we get the order wrong sometimes. I’m learning with every passing day to listen more to the invisible than to force myself to stick to a writing schedule. The funny thing is, I find my productivity increases as a result. Funny how that works. Thanks for stopping by and wishing you many fun hours with your Muse.
Lei, so glad your path crossed Ann’s and happy she is encouraging you to continue in any and all creative endeavors! I will join her in say, “keep on going!” Smiles, Robin
Ann, what a lovely writer and songster you have met and encouraged. You are a blessing to many. 🙏🌈 ~Robin
Thanks, Robin, your lovely words and beautiful photography bless me more than I can adequately say. Lei is hosting a songwriting workshop this weekend at one of our local bookstores. I am excited to attend and learn from her. I bet some of your words would make lovely songs.
Ann, I can tell you have a busy life outside of blogging! Just wanted you to know that I posted an awards nomination post and included your name and blog on a short list of my “newer” friends! I also left you and Lei a message below or earlier than this one. Have a wonderful weekend and remembering all those Dad’s, uncles and Grandpa’s. 🙂 🎩
Robin, thank you! And I am so sorry I missed the nomination post. I’m heading over to your spot now to take a look. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I am humbled.
You’re most welcome, Ann! On your next post Debby and a few comments, mine included may have been missed.
Blogging on vacation I have missed a bunch!! Hugs and hope you saw some of my baseball series. I felt teary eyed about lovely responses to my Jackie Robinson post. xo 💐
I am so very behind in reading my favorite bloggers. My time is now again my own so I plan to spend the next few weeks catching up and will look for the Jackie Robinson posts. Bless you, my dear, for spreading love and understanding.
To Ann and all those who made time to bless me with your comments…THANK YOU!
Thank you Lei for blessing us! Keep singing. Keep writing. Keep on, keeping on.
Ann, do you have a story in this collection and collaboration of inspirational “voices?” I am trying to purchase a book to include you in my (late) Fall 🍁 reading pile! hugs xo
Oh Robin I should mention the titles of my stories, “Not Another” and “Lucky Charm.” NA is a myth that even though written years ago still applies today regarding social and civic injustice and change. LC is a fun little humorous piece to ease the heaviness of NA. Hopefully, even though this information is coming late, you’ll find the stories worth your reading time. Many Fall blessings to you. Heading over to your site momentarily….