Please help me extend a warm welcome to D.L. Heather.
Welcome to the PBS Blog!
What is your name and where are you from?
Hi, my name is Debra, and I was born in Canada, but I live in Detroit now.
Oh, cool. Detroit in the house. Are you employed outside of writing?
No, writing is my life. Before writing books, I was a contributor and columnist for various magazine outlets.
Awesome! What was your childhood dream?
To walk into a bookstore and see my books on the shelves. As a child, all I wanted was to write. I was never without a pen and a notebook.
That’s so cool because I have a similar story. Always had me a notebook or journal.
Let’s talk about writing. Tell us about publishing your first book. What was that like?
My first book, Metamorphosis, was published in 2018. Indescribable – it’s not a word we writers like to admit to. Surely, there is an adjective or simile for every eventuality, and yet here I am using it to describe the feeling of holding my book for the first time. The writing process is a long journey of transformation, from a single idea to months of writing, innumerable coffees, countless revisions. And now it’s a physical thing I can hold in my hands. Like I said – indescribable.
I love how you described that process!
Debra, what takes up too much of your time?
I find building my brand on social media platforms the biggest time-consumer. I’d rather be writing, haha.
For sure. What’s your favorite TV Show? Movie?
My favorite TV show is Sons of Anarchy. Movie, hmm, that’s a tough one, I have many but I would say Training Day is up there at the top of the list.
What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?
The most difficult thing about being a writer is the fact that everyone in your life thinks whatever you’re writing is about them (sometimes they’re right but not always). That’s the truth–and as the artist, it’s a hard pill to swallow. Be prepared–before you’ve even finished the story, even, you can see it in their eyes that they are full of wonder. It’s about them, isn’t it. Yes! It is! It has to be! There’s no way it’s not!
The most exciting thing about being a writer to me is it doesn’t matter if it’s a novel, poem, or a journal entry, writing helps let the demons out. We have to deal with complex emotions and a good way to understand them (in a healthy way) is to have a creative outlet—like, writing, music, or art. Writing is great because you can literally put down on paper how you feel. It’s cathartic at the time, and in my experience, later on when you read it. It’s a reminder of how you felt and what you thought at a point in time and how you dealt with it.
What genre do you write in, why?
Poetry and nonfiction. I’ve used my writing not just for my personal creative gain but in the hopes that maybe I could write something someday that would help people get through tough times. Maybe I could write something that would make a difference in another person’s life.
I knew you were a poet by how you answered that one question!
In your own words, what is love?
To me, love is just a word and one I don’t use that freely. Because love is scary, it’s basically giving someone a map of all your flaws and imperfections and putting faith in them to not abuse that power. And that can be so beautiful, but it can also be brutal! Love can make you do the hardest thing a human could ever do, be vulnerable.
That is a very interesting way of putting it.
Why is writing important to you?
Writing keeps me whole. Writing keeps me sane. I’m not that great at expressing myself in person. Still, when I write, I feel like I can get all of my ideas down without interruption, without influence from someone’s body language, without fear of what someone will think of me if I stumble over my words while I’m forming a thought (which happens more than I would like to admit). Writing has always been my outlet. My writing is so closely linked to my personal experiences, regardless of what it is that I’m writing. It’s a way for me to process things and understand myself. It’s a way for me to escape the restrictions of my own life (such as grief, heartbreak, and childhood trauma). It allows me to feel free again.
Thank you, Debra, for spending this time with us.We enjoyed you!
D.L. Heather is the pen name for poet, writer, and former music journalist Debra Heather. She has a B.A. in English and is the author of the inspirational poetry collections Life Interrupted and Metamorphosis.
Writing came into her life in her teens through therapy and the exploration of healing through journaling. Her writing is motivated by her experiences with childhood trauma, love, loss, healing, heartbreak, and self-discovery.
She prefers to let her work speak for itself, a private person by nature, in the way poetry allows her to. She hopes to inspire others and reinforce the fact that you are not alone.
When she isn’t writing in her studio, she enjoys traveling, reading, movies and gardening. Her book, Petals of Healing, will be available in December 2021.
Be Sure to Follow D.L. online!
COMING DECEMBER 3, 2021