Janet Autherine is the founder of Autherine Publishing and author of Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul: Poems & Inspiration to Live and Love Harmoniously. Born in St. Thomas, Jamaica, she moved to the United States at age 12, settling in Philadelphia.
Janet is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, Boston College Law School, and the Georgetown University School of Law.
Her poetry is inspired by her own journey of the past 30 years, and also explores the hearts of women from around the world. She hopes that her poetry collection resonates with women globally, and becomes a catalyst for healing and empowerment.
BPM: It is such a pleasure to have you join us to discuss, Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul: Poems and Inspiration to Live and Love Harmoniously.
BPM: Describe yourself in three words.
I'm a kind, peaceful, introvert.
BPM: How long have you been writing? What drove you to publish your first book or create your first series?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. As an introvert, I always felt more comfortable writing my thoughts instead of speaking them. My first book, Growing into Greatness with God, was published to inspire children to realize that there is greatness inside of them.
BPM: Describe what you do outside of writing to expand your business or brand.
Autherine Publishing and the Growing into Greatness brand is known for inspirational material. In addition to books, we publish quotes, poetry and interviews on our website (www.JanetAutherine.com) and social media (@JanetAutherine) to keep our audience inspired.
BPM: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your body of work/books?
I was surprised that I had so many thoughts and emotions to pour into the poetry. Because I grew up in a household where we didn’t easily express our emotions, combined with years of “just the facts” legal training, I have never been one to pour my heart out so I was shocked at how easily the emotions flowed from my heart to the page.
BPM: How did you choose the genre you write in? Have you considered writing in another genre?
Whether I am writing for children or for adults, my writing aims to be inspirational. Affirming or inspiring others come naturally to me, so I believe that the inspirational/self-help genre chose me. I have been working on a middle school novel for a few years now and trying hard to stick with the story and not turn it into a self-help book for kids. I have always had a vivid imagination so I am looking forward to working with my three boys to create a novel that middle school children will love.
BPM: Tell us about your most recent work of poetry.
I am really excited to share my first book of poetry and inspiration, Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul! This collection of poems and inspiration is a love offering to strong, vulnerable, badass women who lead with their hearts, love deeply and sometimes fall hard. The poems are inspired by my own journey spanning 30 years; it also dives deeply into the vulnerable hearts of women globally.
Many of the poems capture the pain and struggle of women who love deeply and pour into others without first filling their own jars. The poems and inspirational quotes provide empowerment by holding a mirror to our common struggles and motivate us to care for ourselves and rise above our challenges.
Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul is available on Amazon, major booksellers and on Kindle.
BPM: Introduce us to the topics in the book! Give us some insight into your creative space.
A reoccurring theme in Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul is reclaiming your heart in order to live and love harmoniously. Chapter 1, Wild Heart, takes the reader on a journey of self discovery — being an empath in a sometimes harsh world, feeling broken after losing love, not feeling good enough to be loved, facing rejection and abandonment, and navigating life with a heart that just wants to love unconditionally.
The second chapter, Peaceful Soul, is an empowering meditation on the peace that comes with reclaiming your heart — finding strength in the love and support of sister friends, practicing self-love while responsibly loving others, and finding joy in loving those that are worthy of our love.
BPM: What's so unique about your voice in this book?
Truth and authenticity of emotions. I tried to capture the stories about love and life that women only speak about to their best friends, if at all.
BPM: Share one specific point in your book that resonated with your present situation or journey.
There is a poem titled, The Princess Takes the High Road.
With a clear vision, she wrote her own ending. “The princess bravely scaled the walls of the castle. As she rose to the top, she created a path for the other young ladies who would follow and placed a beacon on the top of the castle to light their path. The End.”
It is about taking control of your journey and writing your own story. We all get to a point in lives when we no longer want to be defined by others and we are ready to create our own footprints in the sand. That is where I am in my journey and I am blessed to be able to share my stories with readers.
BPM: Are there certain characters you would like to go back to or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
Empowerment is important to me. Most of the poems that I am currently working on are about uplifting and empowering each other.
BPM: Is there one subject you would never write about as an author?
I would avoid any writing that is overly harsh or critical because I believe that we are all on a unique journey and we are here to love and support each other.
BPM: Have you ever received a rejection from an agent or a publisher?
Yes, I did for my first book, Growing into Greatness with God. It was a very sweet and encouraging rejection letter and it inspired me to keep writing. It also taught me that the words that we use matter, even when we are saying no to someone.
BPM: Do you ever have days when writing is a struggle?
Writing tends to be a struggle for me because my thoughts are scattered. I have to write three pages and then edit it down to one page that is readable. However, I have learned not to get frustrated with myself and that the story comes together at its own pace. Don’t rush the writing process but write every day whether you want to or not, whether it makes sense or not, because the writing is what makes you a writer.
BPM: Have you written any other books that are not published?
My next book is Everything’s Irie: An Island Girl’s Approach to Mindful Living and Being. It will be available on Amazon January 2019.
BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
My primary focus is on sharing the books with as many readers as possible. My first book, Growing into Greatness with God, has become a mission for me because it is an important motivational read for children. I am working to get it distributed internationally and to as many churches, and international children’s missions as possible. I would love for every child to have access to it and to provide it at no cost to those who cannot afford it.
Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul is really resonating with women and I am excited to get out and meet all the readers. I am happy to meet with your bookclub in person or virtually. My next book is Everything’s Irie: An Island Girl’s Approach to Mindful Living and Being. It will be available on Amazon January 2019.
BPM: How do you stay connected with others in publishing and your readers?
I am a member of several writing associations, including the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and I follow almost every book club or writing group on Instagram.
BPM: What legacy do you hope to leave future generations of readers and new writers with your writing?
The best writing comes from a place of honesty and authenticity and that extends across all genres. I certainly hope that my books will continue to touch souls and empower the next generation to live out loud, grow into their greatness and leave footprints in the sand for others to follow.
BPM: What is your preferred method for readers to follow you?
I love chatting with readers, authors and aspiring authors. Don’t hesitate to email at JanetAutherine@gmail.com or DM on Instagram @JanetAutherine
BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Follow me, Janet Autherine, on social media:
Twitter – @Autherine
Instagram – @j.autherine
Instagram – @janetautherine
Facebook – www.facebook.com/JanetAutherineJ
Goodreads – www.goodreads.com/author/show/8195798.Janet_Autherine