Author Interview: Valerie Auguste-Partin, author of Mom Me: E-mail 2 Heaven
By Lloyd A. Green
Welcome all! I’m thrilled to present the awesome Valerie Auguste-Partin. Valerie is a writer with quite an impressive resume. She’s written fiction and non-fiction books, where she has displayed a remarkable ability to blend her imagination and true feelings and pen them to paper. Recently, Valerie and I recently discussed how her writing career came to be.
LLOYD A. GREEN: Thank you for the interview. First of all, please tell me a bit about yourself, your interests and when you first decided to become a writer.
VALERIE AUGUSTE-PARTIN: And thank you for allowing me the opportunity to do an interview for your blog.
I was a full-time Literacy Through The Arts teacher in the Bronx for numerous years. In 2012, a few months before she died, my Mom asked me to slow down my rigorous work pace. I honored her wishes two weeks before she passed away. I currently work part time as an Arts Specialist for Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation. I teach Dance as well as Spoken Word to children in Grades 6-8. I am also a Co-Director for fundraiser Talent Shows and Open Mic events.
GREEN: On a personal note, you and I share a bit of educational background. We both attended the High School for Music and Art, which was located in Manhattan, New York.
AUGUSTE-PARTIN: Those were among the most memorable days of my life. WOW!! After completing high school I immediately went on to college. By the age of 23, I obtained a B.S. in Elementary Education and M.A. in Dance Education from NYU.
GREEN: Has your education at M&A and beyond ever worked its way into your writing?
AUGUSTE-PARTIN: My education at M&A and NYU has not worked its way into my writing. I began writing at a young age. My beloved Mom gave me a red leather journal. It contained two gold colored keys that unlocked and locked my book. I began writing poems and short stories at the age of 8 years old.
GREEN: Your newest works touch upon your dear mother, who suffered from cancer and diabetes. You delved deeply into how you loved and cared for her and its affect on you. These must have been two really difficult books to write. What was the process like of putting it down on paper?
AUGUSTE-PARTIN: The process of writing two books that delve into my diabetes, cancer and grief journey with my Mom was extremely raw, surreal, dark and filled with twilight zone anguish. The first book Mom Me: Soaring Through The Pain was quite disconnected in terms of the writing process. It was written on torn sheets of paper, which reflected the emotional pain that I was experiencing on a daily basis. I completed the writing of that book in (7) months.
The sequel Mom Me: E-mail 2 Heaven was a bit more structured and written in a journal. I completed the writing of that book fairly recently in 2015. Writing through the pain allowed me to be EMOTIONALLY NAKED with my readers. Through this horrendous experience with my Mom, I learned numerous new lessons about life. First of all, I learned that diabetes and cancer are equal opportunity KILLER DISEASES that do not discriminate. They can strike anyone at anytime WITHOUT WARNING!!!!! Secondly, I learned that grief has no set timetable. Grief has no expiration date. Grief is like drifting in and out of consciousness.
GREEN: Who are some of your favorite authors and out of your published stories do you have a personal favorite?
AUGUSTE-PARTIN: Some of my favorite authors are Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Judy Blume and Sidney Shelton. Out of my four published books my favorite one is Eye Was Blind...Now Eye See. This book is the sequel to an indie movie that I wrote entitled Eye Was Blind. The film won a BEST DRAMA award in the 2005 International Independent Film and Video Festival. Some of the other awards that the indie film EYE WAS BLIND won were:
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 Southern Appalachian International Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 Macon Georgia Film Festival
FINALIST: 2005 Arizona Black Film Festival
GREEN: Do you have any advice to newer writers out there about ways to utilize their own real-life stories in their writing?
AUGUSTE-PARTIN: My advice to newer writers is to dig deep and totally utilize your own life real stories in your writing. Share your life stories with the entire world. This is especially important if you have experienced traumatic events in your life, which you would like to share with the world. Unfortunately, life is not a happily ever after fairy tale. Bad events happen to good people. Diabetes and cancer are snatching people's lives daily. Those of us who have personally lived these horrific experiences owe it to other people out there to tell our stories. There is no sugar coating watching someone you love (especially your Mom) wither away like a dying flower from a terminal illness (s). I decided to turn my pain into purpose. My mission is to spread the word world wide and globally through my riveting story. My books were written with the sole purpose of creating an awareness about these devastating monsters named DIABETES and CANCER!!
GREEN: And finally, any suggestions on how to get inside the heads of fictional characters and make them realistic?
AUGUSTE-PARTIN: My suggestions on getting inside the heads of fictional characters is just to go with your inner voice of creativity. Write outside of the box. Don't be afraid to be a literary risk taker. Make your characters come alive. Create your characters as if you were watching a movie on the big screen. Now sit back, relax and enjoy the show, which you have created on paper.
Huge thanks to Valerie Auguste-Partin for being our featured author!
Mom Me: Soaring Through The Pain / Cancer and Diabetes: The 10 Year Journey
Mom Me: E-mail 2 Heaven
Eye Was Blind
Eye Was Blind ... Now Eye See
* Available in softcover and e-book version on:
Barnes and Noble.com
Xlibris.com (888) 795-4274
You can also follow her on-line at:
The greatest happiness you can feel is when you share with someone you love.