Interview with Michelle G Stradford, Author of Rise Unstoppable
22 Sep 2020
What can you tell us about your new release, Rise Unstoppable?
“Rise Unstoppable” is book three in my “Rising” poetry series, written to celebrate the tenacity and the capacity we all possess to transform and rise to be an unstoppable force. The themes in this collection focus on the self-created barriers we place on ourselves, as well as the trauma of unhealthy relationships. It also touches on the social and racial injustices that many of us face, as well as the challenges and biases we often address in navigating our work lives.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I have always loved that we can experience so many other existences, live alternate lives through the stories told my others. From childhood I was intrigued by the art of story telling and started writing short stories and poetry in elementary school. However, I was encouraged by my high school English teacher who recognized my passion for the written word.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
- And Still I Rise – Maya Angelou (Tall on talent and grace, there are too many to choose from)
- The Fire Next Time – James Baldwin (or any of his books)
- A Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela (the epitome of strength, wisdom, servant leadership)
- The Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follet ( the longest book I have ever read that remained enchanting throughout)
- Becoming – Michelle Obama (inspirational, relatable and uplifting)
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
What would you want to ask?
With a life so full of adventure, experiences, and a fearless thirst for life, what is her one regret.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Discovery. Writing requires a hunger for knowledge, exploration of the world we inhabit, the people who surround us, and our thoughts, fears, and emotions. I love going wherever a thought takes me and often discovering something I had not noticed or contemplated before.
What is a typical day like for you?
My most productive efforts are on weekends when I have more time to devote to either painting, crafting or writing. However, during the week I awake early morning and meditate, stretch, then partake of my requisite cup of coffee before I begin writing. I typically spend a few hours on a work in progress or final edits, then get dressed for the day. I spend the better part of the day focused on my full-time role. After dinner and family time, I get caught up on social media and marketing. I finish my evening unwinding with music, and a great read from some of my favorite authors.
What scene from Rise Unstoppable was your favorite to write?
The ‘Guilt-Free’ poem. The wordplay of mixed metaphors, the mood-setting imagery while elevating the message of empowerment was just a delightful writing experience.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
My favorite quote is an excerpt of two verses of the Invictus poem by William Ernest Henley:
“Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”
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