Today we are pleased to feature the very busy Vivian Zems, a mother, a dentist, a songwriter, and poet who lives in London, in the UK, and who blogs at Vivian not only launched her book Lift Off! in April; she also produced a book of the poems she wrote during April in a second book, Verses of April. I don't think that has ever been done before. Let's dive in, and find out how she managed such a feat!
Sherry: Vivian, congratulations on the recent release of your TWO poetry books, Lift Off! and Verses of April. Both of these books swiftly rose to Number 1 in the Amazon Best Seller categories of Poetry/Anthologies and Literature and Short Fiction Reads. This leaves me breathless. How are you feeling these days? (Smiles.)
Vivian: Yes, indeed! Both Verses of April and Lift Off! briefly got to the #1 Amazon Bestseller position. And for a moment in time were both #1 and #2. I was thrilled beyond words!
Sherry: Congratulations! I was impressed that you produced the book Verses of April during the month of April itself. A feat I am not sure has happened before in the history of National Poetry Month. How did you manage this, during the white-heat writing of a poem-a-day?
Vivian: I actually ran the writing and publishing of Verses of April as a social experiment, and gave updates on my Facebook Author Page. I wanted to find out if it was possible to complete the book in 26 days…and I managed it in the nick of time. I’d learned from my previous marketing mistakes and applied my new lessons to both books. Incidentally, I’ve made Lift Off! permanently FREE.
Sherry: How wonderful! That is lovely. You have another poetry book, as well, titled Waxing Lyrical, that came out in 2018. And three previous books, which we talked about during our last chat. Wow.
As you are living arguably the busiest years of your life, I think what we all want to know is: how do you do it? Do you have a regular time set aside for writing, in the demands of working and family life? Or is it sheer determination?
Vivian: I wish I had a more stringent routine, but as it stands, I get up at 5 a.m. every morning and make sure I’m the first one in to work. I get some writing done then. After work, it’s another 90 minutes in the car - on my phone - before I head home. The problem with peering into my phone for so long is that I now need spectacles!
Sherry: Well, we are all left in awe, at all you accomplish. Let's look at a few of your poems, and sample the goodies awaiting us in your books.
Soul Search - from Lift Off!
This poem reflects how the journey of self-discovery can take the author down a myriad of paths. The speaker is thinking that the choice they have is either to find the answer in a bottle or, better still, puzzle it out with reasoning.
Dewey Love - from Verses of April
This was quiet observation on my way to my car- on a crisp April morning.
Two Great Creatures - from Waxing Lyrical
This poem was from my first-ever collection. I still read the book and smile/cringe. Nevertheless, this piece was about my two sons with their questionable fashion sense..and yet, very warm hearts.
Day 10 of National Poetry Month
Sherry: I love the way you present your poems so artistically, Vivian. I am not sure you have much spare time but, when you do, what do you like to do?
Vivian: You’ve got me there! My life is very much all used up between work, writing and keeping house. However, to unwind, I’d probably watch Netflix, visit friends, and of course play with our woof, Zeus.
Sherry: I love the beautiful Zeus, whom we have met before. What is his and your favourite pastime? And how is the family?
Vivian: We’re doing well. Everyone is busy with school/work/life. Zeus’ pastime is at odds with ours. It’s hide and seek; he hides our possessions and sits back while we scurry around looking for them! He virtually runs the entire household- including making our holiday plans. He’s apparently chosen a beach on the UK coast for our next vacation!(smiles).
Sherry: There is no creature happier than a dog on the beach!
Vivian, it has been such a pleasure, visiting with you. Again, congratulations on your recent book success. We are thrilled to have you at Poets United, and look forward to many more of your wonderful poems (and books!) Is there anything you’d like to say to Poets United?
Vivian: Thanks Sherry! I’d just like to say that being part of this collective has boosted my confidence and improved my writing. However, I still feel like I have a long way to go, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my poetry with you and everyone else here.
And we are happy for the sharing, Vivian. Do come back, poet friends, and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It could be you!