Hope everyone is doing well today! I rushed in this gem this morning for a last minute interview before I break for the week. Poet and Short Story author Lisa Veldkamp is with me to discuss some of her poetry in the book “Nothing is Forgotten”, and her upcoming release of the teenage short “The Bridge Between Yesterday and Tomorrow”.
William: In “Nothing is Forgotten”, were there any memories in particular that sang to you? Maybe a memory that constantly reminded you of your past or a lesson learnt?
Lisa: Well Will, I’m a firm believer of the concept reincarnation. So actually Nothing is Forgotten should be taken quite literally. Apparently I have not forgotten. I’ve had flashbacks of several lives, sometimes alone, sometimes shared with people I love and know in this life. So this collection is about those memories.
William: That is a very interesting concept that intrigued me about you. Hence, why you’re on the blog today. What is your most memorable reincarnation memory?
Lisa: Most memorable reincarnation memory. Wow, okay… *throws aside the feeling of being judged a lunatic*
I guess the most memorable are the ones which are related to people I know in this life. Some I’ve shared my memories with. And some just find it rather uncanny I seem to know them so well. What moves them or makes them tick. Oh dear, that’s my cover blown! Fact of the matter is, I do know them. I know their soul. And even though souls evolve, you still recognize them. Well, I do anyway. Not the human being in this life perse, but on a higher level, I do. It’s not a great conversation opener, trust me Some things are best left hidden in shadows. Me, I like the quiet.
William: No one will judge you here, and I’ll be here to defend you if they do. No worries. Writers and poets like you are a fascinating find for anyone that is looking for something new and different to read. What kind of tone does your poetry have?
Lisa: Someone once said my poetry reads a lot like lyrics, which is why my second collection is titled When Words Start To Sing. I’m a visual kind of person, so I try to create images, which leads to conjuring emotions. Or so I hope.
William: What can we expect in your upcoming short story “The Bridge Between Yesterday and Tomorrow”?
Lisa: I’m very excited about it! It’s my first short-story and the first story I’ve written for teenagers. My family-in-law lives in Sweden and whenever I’m there, I’m in another world. A peaceful world, full of hidden depths and I can almost sense the trolls, hiding behind the trees and rocks. That’s how The Bridge Between Yesterday and Tomorrow came to life. It’s about Eydis, a little troll girl who falls in love with Talib, a human boy. One big problem, humans aren’t supposed to know trolls exist!
William: I for one am amazed at the idea of this story. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a troll falling for a human. It’s very unique and I can’t wait to grab it to see this love story take place. When you were growing up, what was your ideal fantasy world?
Lisa: Ideal fantasy world would have Enid Blyton’s Famous Five. I loved those books as a child and I still do. Back then I didn’t have a dog, I was an only child like George and I desperately wanted an island of my own! Their adventures were just so glorious, yes, that would have been quite something.
Nowadays I would say Hogwarts. When someone said to me: “You do realize it’s not real, right?” I wanted to kick him for spoiling my adult escapism. Harry’s world is far from perfect and those dementors scare the living daylights out of me, but I’d take on Voldie and his death eaters any day and twice on Sunday just to be at Hogwarts. Bring it on!
William: I understand that now you have a dog named Miss Ginger Rogers. Can you give us a little background on her and what breed is she? She seems like a very sweet dog from what you have on facebook.
Lisa: Hahaha, she’s a mixture of a Papillon and something else. People have also called her a mini version of a Duck Toller Retriever and I can see why. She’s from Romania, where she was roaming the streets with another little male dog. They named her Ginger Rogers because of her colour and he became Fred Astaire. Fred was also adopted by a Dutch family, but we never saw him again. We picked her up at Schiphol airport. It was love at first sight!
William: I can see why it was love at first sight. I remember when I brought my Husky Shepard home and I just about devoured her with love and kisses. Sweet girl. Her name is Luna. Sorry for veering off a little bit, Lisa. Back to your short story, what role does your main character have in the story? Maybe a few characteristics?
Lisa: Eydis is a pretty troll girl (her own words) with yellow eyes and a long smooth tail with a tufty bit on the end. She loves her family and she is heir to the thrown. However, she also loves Talib, a human. She’s very loyal to her tribe, so she struggles with her feelings for Talib a lot. She’s wise beyond her age, partly because she lost her mother when she was very young and partly because she has the gift of the shamans. Building bridges. How this works exactly, you’ll just have to read the book.
William: I couldn’t help myself, but I understand you have a novel coming out October 31 called “The Elemental.” Let’s break to a video trailer that gave me goosebumps from the start of it.
William: Just an amazing video that I did not want to let fall at the tail end of our interview. You really have captured a sense of urgency in this trailer that is pulling me even more to just want to have another one of your novels in my hand.
I want to dig deeper into your own life. How have your parents impacted your writing so far?
Lisa: My parents always taught me to think outside the box and to chase my dreams. My grandmother used to play writing games with me when I was just a little girl and poetry runs in the family. Reading and writing was quite common in my family and also among my friends. My best friend is an awesome writer, even though she does something completely different now. She’s always been a great inspiration to me and one of my biggest supporters.
William: Parents seem to be the backbone for most authors which is truly inspiring to hear. I want to rewind back to your upcoming novel. I understand you had a dream about “The Elemental”. What was the dream that you had which nudged you in the direction of a writing career?
Lisa: Ah yes, the dream. The dream actually came later. It started with a vision at Pinkpop festival 2009. Placebo was headlining and they were about to play ‘Come Undone’ under the most perfect pink, purple sky. Brian, the singer, said the song came to him in a dream. That’s about the last thing I heard, because when they started to play, I drifted off to another world. The world of Catherine van Dyk, the main protagonist of the story. That’s how it all started. Later I dreamed the entire story, the complete trilogy and I took it as a sign. For weeks I listened to nothing else than Battle for the Sun, at that time the latest Placebo cd. I think I drove everybody crazy. Now, almost six years later, it will see the light of day on October 31, with Halloween. Never thought it would come to this.
William: I understand you love London. I’ve read that you quoted it as “the city where magic dwells”. Why do you feel this way? Maybe describe a few examples.
Lisa: Lots of cities hold magic, but London is special to me. It’s hard to describe, but anything can happen in London. This is the city of James Bond, the city where JK Rowling created Diagon Alley. In short, things are hidden here. Best way to describe it, is a heartbeat. Our hearts beat at a certain pace. The moment I arrive in London, mine falls in sync with the beat of the city. I’ve fallen in love with many places, but I never had this experience. This is why, to me, this is the city where magic dwells.
William: London really is a wonderful place once you pinpoint all the amazing art and writers that grew out of those parts. Is there a favorite coffee house that you enjoy going to?
Lisa: Sigh…. Barista Café, what can I say? They’re my home away from home. Over eighty percent of The Elemental was written here. I love the coffe, love the menu, the buzz of people coming and going and, of course, the staff. They’re just amazing and so supportive of my writing. Whenever I have a deadline coming up for example, they keep an eye on me. If I have my iphone out too often I get this look. The look that says: “Don’t you have a deadline coming up? Put the phone away.”