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Beauty in the Darkness

Jennifer LeBlancKirsten McNeill
Jennifer LeBlanc and Kirsten McNeill Author Interview

Blooming in the Dark is a collection of emotionally charged and expressive poetry that explores love, friendship, identity and healing. What inspires you to write poetry?

Jennifer: Inspiration comes to me from a little bit of everything: music, movies, other books, conversations with friends and family, personal experiences, past traumas, as well as other forms of art. I like writing things that can connect with people on a deep level and draw out emotions from readers to create a meaningful experience for them.

Kirsten: The expression of ideas and the goal to connect with the reader in a powerful way. With poetry, you have to be so careful with your word choices to make the most impact. It’s not like a novel where you have paragraphs and paragraphs to get the point across. Poetry requires instant impact and that’s an interesting challenge for a creative mind.

What was the writing collaboration process like with author Kirsten McNeill?

Jennifer: Working with Kirsten was such a great experience and I don’t think this project could have come out any better than it did because her and I think so much alike in terms of the theme for this book. She’s very easy to work with and it made getting to the finish line that much more exciting. When I ran out of things to write she was there to help me get some inspiration back or to help keep the flow going. We were essentially each other’s accountability partners as well as sounding boards and I think that was one thing that contributed to how well this poetry collection came together.

What was the writing collaboration process like with author Jennifer LeBlanc?

Kirsten: Reading the completed product of our book, sometimes I couldn’t remember which poem was written by me and which was Jennifer. We have a similar style and we were very clear on the goals and themes we wanted to include in the book. It was fun to collaborate and share ideas on what did or didn’t work in a poem. We’re both talented writers and being able to combine our skills and experience helped us create something incredible for readers. It helps working with someone who can align so well with your thoughts and writing style!

What themes do you find your poetry often drifts towards?

Jennifer: A lot of things I write tend to stem from past or personal experiences with love, family or trauma, but occasionally I get inspired by instances I simply observe and am completely outside of. I like exploring deep emotion and trying to bring that out in others. More often than not I write what I feel, but there are instances that I don’t and I try to explore new ways to put certain thoughts into poetry. It’s almost like telling a story and whether it relates to me or not I always lean towards thinking there might be someone out there who could relate to it and connect with it no matter what it is.

Kirsten: I love exploring the darkness in people. The struggles they go through that aren’t always on display for the world. It tends to be a “taboo” to talk about your dark thoughts or the negativity. We’re meant to put on a pretty smile and go about our day. Exploring the darkness helps me find a way to see the good, to connect with others who may be going through the same thing. To let readers know that whatever they are feeling is valid whether in love, friendship, or life in general. It’s all about the balance of light and dark.

Did you write these poems slowly over time or did you write them specifically for this collection?

Jennifer: Some of the poems I contributed to this project were extra ones that didn’t make it into my previous poetry collection Paper Heart. The rest were all written just for this book. The theme really inspired us to dive deep into what being human means. Both the good and the bad and how no matter what darkness you face, you can always find a way to rise within it and become stronger from your darkest days.

Kirsten: All the poems were specifically meant for this collection. We had the title Blooming in the Dark as our inspiration to show the journey of our struggles and how we can find our way to the light. There were a handful of poems that didn’t make it in because they didn’t quite fit, but we may use those for other poetry collections.

Jennifer LeBlanc Author Links: Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn | Website

Kirsten McNeill Author Links: Goodreads | Instagram | Facebook | Website

In this collection of poetry, co-writers Jennifer LeBlanc and Kirsten McNeill explore what it means to thrive in the absence of light. There is beauty in the darkness. Open your heart and let in the night.

Blooming in the Dark (Poetry Collections Book 2)

Blooming in the Dark (Poetry Collections Book 2) by [Jennifer LeBlanc, Kirsten McNeill]

Blooming in the Dark is a beautiful poetry book by Jennifer LeBlanc and Kristen McNeill. The poems contained within it are relatable and tug at the heartstrings. At their core, they are representations of different aspects of the human condition. They address issues such as love, friendship, identity, and healing.

They particularly delve into the intricacies of love – the intensity of it, the toxicity that can be created when this emotion is manipulated and the damage it can do when provoked. It tells of the depression of those left by loved ones, the loss of identity by those that were manipulated by lovers, and the healing required to reach a semblance of peace.

Interestingly, this book also thoroughly explores the love between friends and how a toxic friendship can leave someone withered and low. However, not everything is sad and depressing in this book. Some poems talk about overcoming imposter syndrome and the need to be perfect.

They talk of embracing the present and moving into new chapters of our lives without regret or remorse, of fighting our demons and winning, and of forgiving and letting go. In many ways, this book celebrates healing and the realization of the authentic self. It makes you remember your pain, your joy, and how they interweave – it feels like a love letter to your soul. It makes you feel seen, all of you – the intense and the laid back. Clearly, the authors poured their heart and soul into this project, ensuring that it was an accurate description of what it means to be alive.

They do a good job of weaving emotion into the poems without making the language feel heavy – it almost feels like you are reading the words of someone who has lived what you have lived. It also helps that while the authors do some symbolism, it is clear what they are talking about. They manage to create a beautiful balance between veiling and message execution, making this book easy to read, even for poetry beginners.

Once you start reading it you can barely put it down – it could take just a couple of hours to finish. As long as you like deep emotional poetry, Blooming in the Dark will be a breathtaking read for you.

Pages: 181 | ASIN: B08W4P1Q2C

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