Photograph of author and blogger D.L. Finn

May’s Featured Blogger: D.L. Finn

My Featured Blogger this Month is author D.L. Finn.

Portrait of author and blogger D.L. Finn
Portrait of author and blogger D.L. Finn

D.L. Finn is a native of the Bay Area who now lives in Nevada.

Her work includes children’s books, poetry, fantasy for young
adults and adult paranormal romance.

Her latest work is a book of poems, ‘Just Her Poetry, Seasons of a
Soul’.

Just Her Poetry


What was it like to grow up in the Bay Area 70’s and 80’s?

It was an awesome time and place to grow up. I was born and raised in Castro Valley, which then still had some open land with horses and farms. I was within walking distance to town and the bus. So, I could go anywhere my feet, or the bus took me. It was great to live by The City, San Francisco, and visit Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, Union Square, Golden Gate Park, etc.  I also was a big fan of the ocean, redwoods, and Berkeley. As a teenager, I appreciated the music and local bands that included attending many Day on the Greens. Sports were always a big part of my life, too. My grandparents took me to baseball or hockey games in Oakland; football was deemed too rowdy for me.  I was never bored. Now it’s a place I visit but it will always be close to my heart.

When did you start writing?

I always enjoyed writing in English classes, but when I took a writing class in high school, I was able to explore writing more. The teacher of this writing class accused me of copying a writing assignment out of a magazine that I had spent a great deal of time working on. It was a questionnaire for teens on dating. In a very strange way, it was a compliment, but I could never convince the teacher that I had written it. She had both of my parents as a teacher, so I suppose I was pre-judged. I was a very rebellious teenager and being told I couldn’t do something, only managed to encourage me. I didn’t write much out of high school, but in my mid-twenties got back into writing again. Then, I just kept building on it and learning.

How does a poem come to you?

I usually decide I’m going to write a poem. I grab a notebook and write what comes to me. I relax and pour out what I see or what I’m feeling. It’s different than writing a story where the ideas come to me first, and then I write. Here I write and the ideas come through. At first, it may be a few odd lines, but then it begins to flow as I go on. I love sitting out front and feeling the landscape through words.

You write that you use poetry to vent your frustrations. How do you decide to share a poem?

My poetry book was twice the size when I began. I took out the ones where I mainly got off my chest how someone made me feel angry. One poem might have been all swear words…lol. The ones I removed were what I decided had no point or value. I also had several on my feelings about the current divide in our country. I felt adding those would only add to the divide that currently is frustrating me. What I wanted to do was mostly nature, but found I had other things to say. There were some I went back and forth with and decided to share how I felt dealing with illness or weather-related issues with the fires and the shootings, or death. I guess I took my darker poems out and left the ones I felt offered some hope in the darkest of situations. I did talk about abuse, which was in my books, but I always want to leave it open for hope. I’m very conscious of the words I put out.

How did you come to write the motorcycle poems?

I got the idea to write poetry in as many different places as I could when I decided to do a poetry book. I’ve always felt free sitting there with no walls around me, and that made it the perfect place to do it. The first time I took a pen and a couple of sheets of paper and gave it a try–it worked. Later, I was given a wonderful gift of a small journal by an amazing fellow writer, and that made it much easier.

When you say embrace your inner child, what do you mean?

When I think of that inner child, I think of that innocence we all come into the world before we learn what hate and judgments are. It’s that pure way of looking at the world through your soul. It’s a hard place to hang on to in this world with instant information and so much discord, but worth it when we can.

What sparked your interest in the paranormal?

I’ve always loved a good ghost story. I would watch “Creature Features” with my grandmother when I visited her. Night Gallery caught my interest as a young girl, too. I do believe there are things we don’t understand around us. I’ve seen things I can’t explain over the years. Some of that gets channeled into my writing and poetry.

While going through your books I was drawn to No Fairy Tale: The reality of a girl who wasn’t a princess and her poetry. I love the title, what inspired the book?

 

The cover of 'No Fairy Tale' by D.L. Finn
No Fairy Tale: The reality of a girl who wasn’t a princess and her poetry by D.L. Finn

My main intent in writing that book was to talk about my experience at 14-years-old when I was in a coma. I had tried to kill myself, bad home life, and ended up floating over my body and being told “You’re not done yet. You have to go back.” I’ve always felt pushed to get that message out. I struggled writing that book and decided to present myself as a princess.  Later, I went to my voice and finally added in poetry to finish showing who I was.

How much if your personal history goes into your writing?

There’s a lot of me in “The Button.” I’ve used what I’ve seen or experienced with others in my writing. “This Second Chance” was based on a good friend and what I watched her go through. I’m always looking for a happy ending, so my books do the same thing. My love of sports came through in my children’s books, along with looking for that magic that I experienced in the coma. I throw little things in each story for my family and friends to
find.

 

Book cover of 'The Second Chance' by DL Finn
The Second Chance

What advice do you have for new writers and bloggers?

If this is your calling, then learn the craft, believe in yourself and above all never give up.

 

You released a new book of poems in late April, will you tell us a little about it?

After writing “No Fairy Tale” that’s a half memoir and half poetry book, I got some good feedback on my poems. So, I began thinking about doing just a poetry book. That’s where I came up with the title.  I have always been drawn to nature, and that came out in my poetry. I was going to do a book of that, but other things came up in the two years when I was writing it. These poems became a part of the book and why I added in part two.

 

Just Her Poetry

Will you share a poem?

THE JOURNEY is a favorite of mine. I was on my elliptical watching a storm rage when I spotted a small bird. The bird’s struggle got me to thinking about my journey.

 

THE JOURNEY

The tiny brown and white bird clung to the cedar’s bark

The corn snow fell heavy and hard around it.

Then, the bird slowly began its journey by climbing upward.

A few feet up the tree, it was knocked back down to the ground

It paused for only a few seconds and tried again.

Deliberately, it made its way back to where it fell

The tiny bird carefully passed that point without stopping

It moved higher, toward the promised shelter from the pounding chaos.

Wings open, it faltered a few times, but hung on…

It kept rising until it reached the first bare branch.

Tucked underneath, the little bird found limited shelter

But it wisely did not linger there as it continued the climb…

Finally, the brave bird is immersed into the green branches

Now it is safely nestled in the cedar, as the storm rages around it.

Gone from my sight now I contemplate its journey.

When the bird was knocked down it got up and tried again

It passed the point where it had been impeded

There was no hesitation as it kept advancing.

Not looking back, it climbed higher and higher.

It didn’t accept the first offer of partial protection,

Instead it kept climbing until it reached its goal…

Until it found sanctuary from the pelting ice and winds.

And, having watched this journey—I was just a bit wiser for it

Because I knew whatever life threw at me, I needed to pick myself up

And keep climbing, no matter what the odds, until I reached the top

Exactly like the wise and brave bird did on its journey in the storm.

 

This is one of the first poems I ever wrote:

THE BEARDED OLD MAN (No Fairy Tale)

The bearded old man

Walks across the quiet desert,

His hooded white robe

Protecting and sheltering him

From the burning sky.

His feet are silent against the sand.

He walks day and night,

Going to a place that he knows exists.

He beckons strangers to join him

As he keeps walking toward…

That place he calls home.

 

 

 

 

Thank you, Denise.


Purchase Links:

AMAZON

SMASHWORDS

BARNES & NOBLE

D.L. Finn Links:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

D.L. Finn blog

 

Rob Goldstein 2019

All images, videos and poetry in this post are the property of D.L. Finn.

67 thoughts on “May’s Featured Blogger: D.L. Finn

  1. Another talented author and poet and a wonderful person. I read The Button and enjoyed it very much. I look forward to reading her other books. It was fun learning more about Denise. Thanks for featuring her, Robert!

    1. Aww…thanks Vashti:) Glad you enjoyed the interview. Its not only fun going down memory lane but insightful, too.

  2. WordPress isn’t sending me blog notifications for people. I’m sorry I missed this earlier but so glad I found it now. Denise, I am so angry on your behalf about that teacher. Your ability should have been celebrated, not questioned. And your courage in No Fairy Tale is gut-wrenching and inspiring. Sending love and best wishes.

    Thanks for hosting, Rob.

    1. Thank you Staci:) WordPress has a mind of its own. It decides who I follow or get notifications from. Sometimes I miss when they stop for a while. But when it works right it certainly makes it simple. I can’t remember the teacher’s face anymore, but I certainly remember her words….and house, she lived down the street from us. A bit of me still wants to prove her wrong so in the strange way she inspired me. Sending you lots of love and wishes right back Staci!

    2. Look at you, taking lemons and making limoncello! That’s truly inspirational, Denise.

      And technology. Sigh. It’s all great when it works. And all so frustrating when it doesn’t.

      1. Thanks Staci:)

        Yes, technology is a blessimg amd a curse for sure!

  3. Lovely to see Denise here, Rob. I am half way through this book and recognize the poem about the bird which I thought was excellent. The second one must be later in the book.

    1. Hi Robbie:) I’m excited to hear you are reading Just Her Poetry! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it! Yes, the second poem is at the end.

  4. What an insightful and touching interview, Robert and Denise. I’m so touched and happy to learn more about Denise, her journey as a writer, and the inspirations for her poetry. What a wonderful read. 😀

    1. Thanks, Diana:) I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed it. Rob provided some wonderful questions to answer.

  5. Hi Mary:) It is a compliment, but sad it stopped you writing for a while. Your story sounds interesting have you ever revisited it? I wish I knew where my teacher was, I send her a copy of one of my books…lol. It’s great we can both laugh at this now! Thanks for sharing your experience.

  6. Great interview and wonderful to learn about Denise and her work. I laughed at the story of the teacher accusing her of plagiarism as the same thing happened to me. We’d been asked to write about our summer holiday and as mine had been less than exciting I made up an adventure story involving a stolen necklace and the catacombs in Rome. The English teacher told me off for not sticking t the brief and asked which book I’d copied the story from. I was mortified and never wrote a word of fiction for many, many years. It was only much later I began to realise his accusation was actually complimentary if he thought I’d plagiarised.

  7. What a fantastic interview with Denise! This is the first time I’ve seen the trailer for “Just Her Poetry!” Interesting questions and engaging answers, Rob and Denise! Love it!

    1. Thank you, Jacquie:) It is a great place to visit! I’m glad Rob included the trailer:)

  8. Hi, Rob and Denise! I always learn so much about author friends through these interviews. Denise, the Bay Area sounds like it was a wonderful place to grow up, but I am appalled at the teacher who accused you of plagiarizing something from a magazine. She should have been amazed and encouraging your work!

    As for your writing, I love your paranormal stories and your poetry. Your poetry always inspires me to look at many elements in nature in a new way.

    Great job, you two!

    1. Hi Mae:) It was an amazing place and time to grow up! Plus, I met my husband there. With my parents meeting and having me while my mom was still in high school didn’t help this teacher’s preconceived notion of that outcome–or me., She lived down the street from us and my con artist step brother used to do yard work for her and probably conned her. I couldn’t get past my family’s umbrella. Besides she met my very rebellious side in my journaling…lol. Thank you, Mae!

      1. That gives some more insight into what was going on. Still, such a shame she let your family color her impression of you.

        And so cool you met your husband in the Bay Area!

  9. Hi Rob and Denise! What a fascinating interview this turned out to be. I can’t wait to read “No Fairy Tale.” Thanks for including the book trailers. They’re wonderful.
    Chin rubs or tummy rubs (depending) to all your furry kids, Denise. Hugs all around.

    1. Thanks, Teagan! Yes, it was a nice touch to add the trailers by Rob:) I look forward to hearing what you think, Teagan. Chin rub and tummy rubs right back.

    1. Aw, thanks John:) You are too kind. Rob put together some really great questions and post!

  10. Excellent, excellent interview, Rob. And I believe your interviewee, D.L., helped make the interview such a success. I learned so much about her/from her in the answers to your questions. I lived in the Bay Area for 20 years and responded to her experiences growing up there. I now live in the Boston area, but miss all the things that D.L. describes. Also, I feel that my poetry and stories come from a place similar to D.L.’s. Also…. I had a similar experience (not a coma, but a dangerous seizure) where I was told “you’re not done yet” even though I didn’t want to “return.” May we all continue our journeys, like the bird in the poem, and the bearded old man.

    1. Hi Pam. I’m so happy you connected with this interview. Rob is an amazing host. The Bay Area is such a special place that was a nice blend of nature and culture. What a place to explore. Perhaps this is what inspired both of us to write poetry. I got chills we you said we had both heard the same words that we had to come back.Wow. I’m sure I will be thinking about this for quite a while. Yes, may we continue forward like that sweet bird and old man. Thank you:)

      1. It’s my favorite City. If I was to leave the forest and live in a city that would be the one I would want to live in.

      2. I miss SF bay area every day. In fact. last night it was in my dreams. Would love to meet up sometime when I next get to visit the place where I left my heart. <3

    1. Thank you Paula. Rob is an amazing interviewer and knows the right questions to ask.

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