Monday, August 14, 2017

Author Interview: Holly Coop (inspirational poetry, original photography, greeting cards)

I am a picky reader, especially when it comes to fiction and poetry. I start (and dump) many books and recommend few.

Here's one I recommend.

I love Holly Coop's poetry.

It's not vintage and dark (which I love); it's not structured in complex layers (which I love); and it's not full of corkscrew metaphors (the reason I love another poet's work in WriteOn Joliet).

Rather it's full of simple wisdom, the kind one already knows. But Holly has a way of drawing the reader's attention to a focused point of that simple wisdom in a way that uplifts and inspires. I only own her first book, but I've read it one poem at a time as "spiritual food" for the day.

Yes, she's a member of WriteOn Joliet, but that's beside the point. Although without the group, I would never have read her poetry. Now you have the chance, too.

Here's a bit about Holly and her books, as well as where to buy them and follow her.

1) Tell us a bit about your books.

My first book “A Cup of Inspiration to Go Please - My Heart Runneth Over” is a collection of short inspirational poems and quotes. They focus on the simpler aspects of life, blessings in nature and the observance of those blessings.

My second book “Heart Strings - Forever Wanderer” is also a collection of poetry but with a more romantic flare. Celebrating and exploring, the emotional ups and downs of love, heartache, and desires of the heart.

2) Why did you compile them?

Over the years I have accumulated quite a bit of poetry and various writings, most of which can be found in binders, boxes, in-between pages of various books I’ve read, on little scraps of paper, napkins, and pretty much anything within my quick reach when a stream of words, thoughts, and ideas would come out of nowhere bubbling out of my mind via pen in hand. So originally I wanted to organize my writing collection into book volumes to leave for my kids someday when I’m gone. It was either that or everything tossed out someday by my non-hoarding brood - lol. But then I found myself looking back at poems I had written and drawing comfort from reading them whenever I was faced with difficult times. It occurred to me that maybe others would find comfort in my poetry as well. So I decided to put some collections together. I have quite a few planned.

3) Why did you illustrate them, too?

Well all of my poetry has a deep connection to my own soul and the photos and images I used to compliment my books come from my own photo collections. So the connection is there throughout the books. Most all of the photos are of my own family, pets, places we have visited, memories, and nature.

4) When did you start writing poetry?

I have always made up little songs for as long as I can remember. But it was mostly after my dad passed in 1994 that I started writing a lot of poetry. It serves as an emotional release for me and is very therapeutic. 

5) What type of poetry do you enjoy writing and why?

I write mostly inspirational / spiritual pieces, motivational quotes and daily life observances.

6) Why do you feel poetry is the best way to convey your message?

It speaks to hearts. I think it is vital in this life that we leave a good measure of positive energy. If a person can take away something good after meeting you, you are on the right track. A kind word, a smile, a thoughtful gesture can make all the difference in another persons day and in your own. You can literally see a person’s spirit lifted when you pass along a kind word, especially when they are experiencing a bad day. That’s what I hope my poetry does for those who read it.

7) What type of poetry do you enjoy reading and why? Who are your favorite poets and why?

I really love the writings of Helen Steiner Rice. Her poetry is very approachable. I also enjoy poetry that is completely out of the box, which makes your mind work for it (so to speak). We have some wonderful poets in our writing group who write the most interesting pieces that can be taken in various ways.

8. Are you strictly a poet or do/would you like to write short stories, essays or a novel?

I hope to someday write a mystery novel(s) or short story. I have two - four started.

9) Where do you draw your inspiration?

First of all God! He is my co-writer or I should probably say I am His. I get very inspired during my morning prayers and meditation time, and when I spend time with nature. I write a lot while puttering in the garden or while on a long walk. Driving too! Lots of inspiration comes to me while driving.

10) And you have a greeting card line, too?

Yes, I have a shop on Etsy. I offer greeting and notecards, bookmarks, business card design, as well as my books.

(Please add any final thoughts, upcoming events, website, Etsy site and social media sites, along with a jpg photo of you and both your books. Thanks!

Thank you so much for allowing me this time to share my story. I have several author fairs and festivals that I plan on participating in this fall.

Upcoming events include:

September 30th 10am - 4pm (tentatively)
Author Fair at the White Oak Library District - Crest Hill, IL

October 7th 9am - 1pm
Oswego Library Fest - Oswego, IL

October 14th Beginning at 11am with an Author Fair
Plainfield Library Indi Author's Day - Plainfield, IL,
I will be doing many area festivals this fall as well - details TBA.

I am also involved in the Romeoville Art Society and will be submitting in its season-long (August - May) Image and Poetry Contest hosted by White Oak Library District - Romeoville Branch. The contest is open to the public, and submissions are voted on, by the public. Each month is a different theme. It’s a lot of fun and I really enjoy participating in it.

Visit me at:

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter at @writerbeeme and @hollycoopbooks

My third book “Locks of Love – a book of encouragement” is due out early this fall.

Thank you ~Holly Coop