I hope you're managing well in this most challenging of years. Today, for our interview, we are meeting poet, Erelah Emerson!
PB: Hi! Welcome to pjbermanbooks.com. Tell us a bit about your background.
EE: I don’t think I have much of an interesting background yet. I’m sixteen and I live with my parents, siblings, dog, and lizard. I’m homeschooled, but that’s a very recent predicament. I’ve gone to private schools for most of my life, and since I struggle in most subjects, the majority of my teachers usually despise me. Until I get a bit older, I guess that’s all I can say about my background.
PB: What made you decide to become an author?
EE: I don’t think anything specifically made me want to be an author. It was the first thing I wanted to be that I stuck with, and I’ve been saying I wanted to be an author for most of my life. Before that, I wanted to be a waiter or a Petco employee. Those are still options, I’m sure.
PB: When did you first start writing?
EE: I first started writing in about third grade. I probably wrote to some extent before that but third grade is around where I can remember telling people that it’s what I wanted to be.
PB: What was the first story that you can remember writing?
EE: The first story I can remember writing was about a hamster that lives inside the corpse of a dead animal. Eventually they ended up going to the moon. To this day I’m still unsure how those connect.
PB: Tell us a bit about your writing process.
EE: I don’t think I have an exact writing process down yet, usually I’m pretty sporadic in where and how I write. Usually if I plan to write, I will make some tea and open my window, then find a nice playlist on Spotify or listen to some booktubers. I have a computer I use for writing, but I find myself switching between google docs on my phone and the laptop, so I can’t say which one I prefer.
PB: Tell us about Erratic and Unnecessary.
EE: Erratic and Unnecessary is my second finished poetry book. I tend to forget that there was another one before it, so I’m glad I remembered for this. I started writing it in the summer of seventh grade I believe. My mother told me and my brothers that we had to write for an hour a day, so I finally took all the poems I wrote in class and put them in one doc. I didn’t publish it till years later, in tenth grade, mostly because of my nerves. Originally it was titled He Will Tell You It Is Lovely, but my one and only Beta reader Herectic told me that it didn’t fit, and rightfully so, so I change the name to something that basically describes the collection- Erratic, definitely, and probably unnecessary too.
PB: How would you describe to someone who hasn’t read it yet?
EE: Only a few days ago did I come up with how I think the book should be described all in all. The best description I’ve ever really created for it is something around “do you like angsty middle school poetry? Do you like rhyming tiktok povs? Then this book is for you.” But I think the title gives you a basic summary on what the book is like.
PB: Of all your achievements, which are you most proud of?
EE: That one time in Biology where I grabbed a handful of crickets without flinching. I’ll never live it up.
PB: Of all the poems you have written, which is the most special to you?
EE: It’s hard to say which of my poems is the most special, and I guess it depends on the type of special you mean. Poem 77, I think, would take that title, because I wrote it before we found out I’m chronically ill.
PB: Who are your favourite poets?
EE: That my friend is an excellent question. My favorites include S.J. Blasko, Syrah Kai, Mhari Grace, David Elliot, Will Walton, Sophia Elaine Hanson, Rachel Wiley, Andrea Gibson, Lucas James, and Paris Morgan. I feel like I could keep going, but that would be a bit boring to read I’m sure. Anyways, these are the ones that come to mind first, but I could name many many more if given the chance.
PB: What are your long term ambitions with regards to writing?
EE; I want to write more books, of course and I hope to be published traditionally at some point. I want writing to be my main career- I know that isn’t possible in most cases, buts it’s a nice thing to dream about.
Thank you so much to Erelah Emerson for speaking to us today!
If you would like to sample her work, you can do so via the links below:
Until next time, happy reading!