Today, Paul’s Fantasy Writings is privileged to have an interview with author Kawtar Elmarabti. Kawtar is a very talented poet, who has written the book Thoughts Alight. Recently, Kawtar and I got in touch with one another via email and she kindly agreed to an interview.
Where do you come from and has this place influenced your book at all?
I come from Paris, but I don’t think it has influenced my book. I would say the thing that influenced my book is my will to heal the soul of the world. I was always guided by Gandhi’s quote: “be the change you want to see in the world.”
With this book I just wanted to put my words out there in the world for a wider audience; to share my experience with life, and to convey a message of hope and light. We all need it; especially, in these trying times.
This blogger: That’s a fine. A quote from one of the most inspirational people of the 20th-century is just as great a source of influence as a location. Also, I am very happy that you have used your experiences in a constructive way and have written them into beautiful poetry.
Your book – Thoughts Alight – consists of many poems. What are the poems about?
My collection of poems is mainly about self-love, love, hope and meditation. They are thoughts that I nurtured and cherished my whole life. They are petals that have flown around me my whole life.
I have always carried a notebook wherever I have gone, and I have always made sure to write down whenever inspiration struck. I believe that inspiration is a flowing, beaming entity coming to us. It reaches out to us in the most unexpected of moments. The magic of these moments is to fully engage them and to write them down.
As the title suggests, my poems are thoughts that light the path toward love, hope and the will to meditate and let go of the surrounding tensions. I want my poems to inspire people, to have a soothing power when they feel down.
Are your poems linked to one another, or are they separate stories in and of themselves?
Each section has a short introduction, with the chapters holding a metaphor of the petal given to the reader. All the poems are separate stories, but I would say that they are all interlaced with hope and light. The love section can be linked as well. You just have to look through it 😉.
This blogger: I love that you have a central theme running through the book. It takes skill and talent to do that. So, well done, Kawtar.
What was the spark that made you write your book? And why did you choose write poetry as opposed to a novel or novella?
The spark was a life-long dream of mine since I was a child. You know, I always had this deep affection for dedication pages at the beginning of books. I used to, and still do, go to bookstores, open books and read just the dedication pages. They hold such a powerful and raw story sometimes. Often, it can be a short line, but it holds a love and power unlike any other.
I always wanted to put my words out there in the world, to write a dedication page that someone will read and say: “wow that’s deep.” Also, for a long time, I have been guided by the sole ambition to spread love and kindness in the world and into people’s lives. With the power of words, you can accomplish magical endeavours.
In answer to your second question, Paul, I wanted my debut book to be a poetry one because poetry hits home to me and is a comforting light in my life. For me, Poetry is not just words inked on a page. I see beyond thar. For me, it is the expression of the universe through our senses. As a debut author, I aspire to have poetry as part of my literary career. I plan on writing more poetry books, with a hint of poetry in potential fiction stories 😊.
This blogger: You have quite the ambition, Kawtar. I really like that you use your talent in a positive way to enrich other people’s lives. (*Smiles warmly*.)
What would you like readers to learn or realise from your book?
I want them to learn that words have a healing power more than we think. I want them to learn to love themselves and engage themselves in a form of meditation, so that they see the things around them with a brighter perspective.
Moreover, I want them to be inspired and have their spirits lifted by my universe of poems. In fact, at the end there is a special poem for the reader 😉.
On a meta level, what does Thoughts Alight mean to you?
Thoughts Alight is one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. The sole proof that dreams are within reach more than we think. All it takes is a hint of hope and a leap toward self-belief 😊.
This blogger: That is not only wonderful to hear. It is a terrific message to everyone out there.
In your opinion, what three things make for memorable, engaging or touching poetry?
The will to not only write words, but to create landscapes and sketch emotions. Poetry is about expressing oneself: a touching poetry is one that makes the soul travel to greater horizons.
This blogger: I could not agree with you more. You certainly understand your craft. You sound like you have worked on it for years, which is a sign of dedication and love. Please God, you shall receive great reward for your efforts.
If you could go back in time and speak to a young Kawtar Elmarabti, what advice would you give her about the writing process?
Good question! I would say – “Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not enough because you’re more than enough: you are yourself. All these people, who are bringing darkness into your life, will fade away. You will thrive in your dreams and sooner than you think. So, hold on and nurture this inner light you have.”
What do you find harder – writing poems or marketing your book?
Honestly, writing comes easily for me. Even though French is my native language, when I write in English I feel completely like I am ready to self-discover the depth of my artistic abilities.
So, yes, marketing a book is not an easy task to do; especially, when you don’t have a lot of money. But I guess the most important thing is the ambition and the intention. Marketing a book on digital platforms is a complicated journey. Nevertheless, it also has its silver linings in the most unexpected ways.
Thus, I am willing to continue with it until it blooms into success. All the bestselling authors we look up to walked down the same path. I will walk this path with resilience, patience and fierce ambition.
This blogger: First, I find it incredible that English is not your first language! Your grasp of it is phenomenal. Second, I love your fierce determination to succeed. With that mindset, you will succeed and learn to become a great marketer in the process.
How has writing changed you as a person?
Writing has helped me to love myself more. It has also helped me appreciate what I do and to fall in love with life, itself, as it holds such beautiful treasures.
Additionally, it enabled me to discover my own depths and to build an inner safe haven, against the boisterous seas surround me. It’s a sort of shelter, a healing source.
Are you writing another book currently? If so, please could you tell us a bit about it?
Yes, I am! 😊. It’s a story that I always wanted to tell. It’s a fiction novel called Willing Skies. It is about two gifted sisters, who lose their parents during a war and embark upon a journey to the greatest horizon of all: self-love.
It will be a story meant to give an allegory to hope and to focus on self-love. Apart from this book, I’m also working on a second poetry book, which will talk about how our bodies are temples that we should cherish. Furthermore, I have two ideas for other fiction books 😊, but for now Willing Skies is the one in the works.
A lot of people have told me that ‘fiction sells more than poetry,’ which I’m totally aware of. However, I will never give up on poetry. For me, poetry will always be part of my writing style, even though I’m aiming at becoming a multi-genre author. Indeed, I would love to write in all kinds of genres in the future. One of my dreams is to be a bestselling author just once in my life and I’m working hard to make it happen 😊.
This blogger: Wow! Just wow! Again, I love your ambition and I pray that you fulfil of all your dreams, including becoming a bestseller one day. Also, by all means, write in every genre that you want. As for the negative things people say to you, treat it as water off a duck’s back. If you want to write more poetry, write it!
Lastly, outside of writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I’m an English Teacher in a high school. I see the job as part-time teacher and part-time entertainer. So, I like to develop new ways of teaching and spend time researching in this field.
Moreover, I am an avid reader, so I spend a lot of time reading. I also like watching TV shows, too, of course. Plus, I enjoy practicing yoga and meditation 😊.
End of Interview
That, I am afraid, brings out interview with author Kawtar Elmarabti to a close. I would like to thank Kawtar for her time and to say that it has been fantastic speaking with her. I wish Kawtar only success with her book, her future writings, teaching and yoga training, amongst her other skills and hobbies. May she achieve her ambition of being a bestseller one day!
You can purchase Thoughts Alight on Amazon. Anyone who likes emotive poetry that focuses on self-love, hope and kindness, check it out now.
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