Author Interview: Sheen Francis Reyes

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This collection of poetry is a story about love, abuse, loss, and longing. It’s the product of over a year and a half of unbelonging, tear-drenched pillows, and pain and euphoria that won’t let you sleep unless turned into ink.

Anyone who is drunk in wanderlust, has a quivering heart, and has been separated to the one they have a unique connection with by distance, wrong timing, and misjudgment would be able to relate to this book the most.

It isn’t too often that we have a poet in the virtual studio. (I suppose that that makes today extra special, doesn’t it?) Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for Sheen Francis Reyes. 

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a Filipina living in New Zealand. Aside from reading and writing, my heart belongs to nature, travel and photography. I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology but never really used it. I guess I’m too free-spirited, arguably reckless, to stick to a single profession until I get old and wrinkly. I tend to take risks the moment I feel like I’m being trapped in a box. I’m too right-brained to live a smooth-sailing life.

I’ve always been an introvert but I do appreciate the magic of meeting people for the first time, and then getting a sense of familiarity — like you’ve known each other for so long. I believe in instant connection, it’s priceless.

2. When did you start writing?
I started writing when I was 13.

3. How did you arrive at your book’s title?
It just hit me spontaneously. I was lying in bed one afternoon thinking of a title that could encapsulate the poetry collection, and there it was, Brave Vulnerable – could never be more on point.

4. What is currently on your to-be-read shelf?
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. The complete series of Conversations with God. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga. A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot. It’s Not Rocket Science by Ben Miller. I’m also dying to get Chasers of the Light by Tyler Knott Gregson, and Bitter Sweet Love by Michael Faudet, but I still haven’t finished Essays In Love by Alain de Botton.

Apparently, I enjoy owning more books that I could read.

5. What is your favorite book?
Veronika Decides To Die by Paulo Coelho. It revolves around Veronika, a beautiful Slovenian woman who had a failed suicide attempt and ended up in an asylum where the book’s whirlwind of powerful life epiphanies began to unravel.

I’ve read this when I was still a teenager in college. And after countless books I’ve read since then, it remains to be my ultimate favorite. This book, in one way or another, has affected my life. Putting it simply, it helped me understand, appreciate, utilize, and love the crazy in me – made me realize that madness is the way to truly live.

6. Any project in the works?
Yes, I’m working on my second poetry collection which I plan to release in 2017.

7. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Especially to those who write poetry.

Just keep on writing. It doesn’t matter if people read it or not. Write sincerely – write to express, not to impress. I know this is a cliché, but write from the heart, there simply is no better way to do it. Put your soul into paper.

Don’t listen to naysayers. You have talent. Your work is beautiful because it’s you, it’s yours – claim it, own it. If it’s your dream, your calling, stop making excuses and simply get it done. Don’t worry about the future. Work in silence. Finish what you started so you can finally stop calling yourself an ‘aspiring’ writer. You can be a writer. You are one. Believe in yourself.

And now for a game of “Which Do/Would You Prefer?”
1. Books or movies?
Waves of both.

2. Dogs or cats?
CATS.

3. Ebook or physical book?
Physical book.

4. Nights out or nights in?
Nights in.

5. Living in the city or living in the country?
Country.

6. Having telepathy or having telekinesis?
Telepathy.

7. Being able to travel to the past or being able to travel to the future?
The past.

8. Working in a group or working alone?
Alone.

9. Losing all of your money or losing every picture you’ve ever taken and every picture that has ever been taken of you?
Losing money.

10. To find true love or to win the lottery?
True love. I hate this about me.

11. Bungee jumping or going on the slingshot ride?
Both!

12. Finding yourself trapped in the universe of The Walking Dead or finding yourself trapped in a slasher film?
The Walking Dead sounds more fun. I’d be the first to die in a slasher film.

Thank you for joining us, Sheen!
Readers: want to connect with Sheen? You can find her on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, and Instagram. Also, be sure to check out her blog and author website.

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