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Author Interview: 4 Questions for Julie Reeser

Need creative inspiration? Check out Julie Reeser!

I’m not sure exactly when I met Julie Reeser, although I know it was through the writing tag #StoryDam on Twitter a few years ago. Of course, as a hat aficionado, I instantly noticed the spiffy topper she wears in her profile pic.

Julie lives in Montana and I’m in Texas. As I’ve gotten to know her from afar, I’ve come to admire her creativity, poetic sense, and her outlook on life. I love supporting her on Patreon because the monthly postcards and tiny books she sends out are such a treat. (She also posts essays and weekly etymology posts that are fascinating.)

Since I can’t have Julie over for espresso, I’ve invited her to pop by my blog this week for a quick peek into her creative projects.

We’ve kept the interview to 4 questions. Here they are:1. Tell us about the poetry zine you’re starting in 2020. How did you come up with the name “Beyond the Gate”?

Beyond the Gate was a flash of an idea because I noticed the lack of steps to take readers beyond the gateway of Instagram poetry. A lot of people want to go further but get overwhelmed.

There’s a history of snobbery in traditional poetry that prevents readers from exploring and learning. It reinforces fears and locks them out of the conversation. I want to change that. I want people to feel joy and surprise as they explore the vastness of poetry, not unwelcome and small.

For instance, the first issue of the zine is about Haiku. A little history, a little rule-breaking, and scattered throughout are names they might research further if they like those included poems – plus art!

2. How will your poetry zine be distributed? Will there be physical copies of Beyond the Gate, or will it be digital, or both?

I plan to offer them in my Etsy shop, and maybe I’ll try and leave my forest hermitage and set up a table at a local fair or two. I rarely offer digital work. I am a texture-oriented person, so that comes out in my project choices.

I like the idea of someone jotting notes in the margins of my chapbooks, tacking a postcard on a bulletin board, or tucking a tiny book into their pocket.

3. Tell us about your Patreon account. How did you decide to start one? Who is your Patreon account for, and what are your goals with it?

I started the Patreon because my mail was anemic and tiring. So many days, I’d just dump the mail straight into the trash. There’s no joy. We have this amazing system of communication with the potential to brighten someone’s day, and I wanted to tap into that. The postcards seemed like a great start.

Julie Reeser creates adorable tiny books - cute to look at and fun to read!
Julie Reeser creates adorable tiny books for Patreon supporters. They are cute to look at and fun to read!

Also, traditional publishing of any genre is slow as lazy snails and pays very little. Another lost moment of joy, in my opinion. Patreon gives my work an audience, supports my creative experimentation and whims, and gives me permission to self-publish my collections. The pledges allow me the opportunity to try new things with less risk.

4. What makes you excited about your creative projects right now?

I’m really into learning how to draw right now. In between writing short stories, I’m taking time each morning to practice with different mediums. The goal is to offer illustrated short stories to Patrons and in the shop. I’d really like to make it feel wondrous and special, the way a Hogwarts letter would. We all get so excited by that concept, don’t we? Reading is a portal to that, and I’d love to give people that moment of excitement!

And, of course, I’m still working toward signing with an agent and getting into the SFWA. While I did pro-panel last year, getting that membership means the world to me. So, I’m also doing the work to reach those milestones – namely, writing.

Learn more about Julie Reeser:

BIO: Julie Reeser’s beak is full of tongue, and like a crow, she holds a grudge. She retired from her nursing career in 2009 for medical reasons, and decided it was finally time to write that book! Her work tends toward fantasy, and has been published in over a dozen magazines. She has written two full novels and is currently querying for an agent. An early draft of her story, Ten Thousand Cranes, won a Silver Honorable Mention from Writers of the Future.

Julie’s first poetry chapbook was Terracotta Pomegranate and chronicled her journey of recovery after trauma though the language of the seasons. Beak, Full of Tongue, her second poetry book, peers through a lens made of feathers and dirt and tides with a curious and reflective eye at the ease with which death threatens to step over the threshold, glistening and damp, full of story.

She runs a Patreon where she shares poetry postcards, handmade tiny books, and writing inspiration. Julie is currently developing her next project, Beyond the Gate – a poetry zine for those who love the idea of poetry, but need a comfortable path to expand their understanding and appreciation.

Find Julie Reeser online:

Etsy Book Shop

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