Author Interviews, Blog

Author Interview: Cendrine Marrouat, Multi-genre/ Co-founder of Auroras & Blossoms and PoArtMo

Hello everyone! My name is Cendrine Marrouat. I am a poet, photographer, blogger, short story writer, and multi-genre author (poetry, photography, theatre…). I am also the co-founder of Auroras & Blossoms and PoArtMo, as well as the (co-)creator of several poetry forms and a type of flash fiction.

My most recent works include In Her Own Words: A Collection of Short Stories and Flashku and Tree Reflections, a collection of photographs.    

From Planning to Published

When did you start writing and why?

Author:    I started my career in 2005. I just felt compelled to write. Even today, after so many years, I still cannot explain why…   

Are you indie, traditional, hybrid, or vanity, and why?

Author:   Indie all the way.

I started my career as a poet. When I decided to release my first collections, I knew that it would be very difficult to find an agent or traditional publisher, because poetry books rarely sell well. So, I did a lot of research on self-publishing and then went all in. My first three books were released in 2006. I have never looked back since.

I enjoy self-publishing because I love the freedom attached to it. I know how to format manuscripts, design book covers, create promotional videos and press kits, write press releases and blurbs, etc. As a former social media coach, I also know how to create and implement a strategy.

It also helps that I am a photographer. I always have images that fit my projects, covers, and videos.

What platforms do you use to publish your works?

Author:    I have used several platforms over the years: Lulu, Smashwords, Amazon, Blurb (photography books), and Draft2Digital.

D2D is the best of them all, and not just because it is free. The website is user-friendly and offers wide distribution for books and ebooks. You can see what I mean here: https://creativeramblings.com/books/

Marketing

What is your launch plan for your works?

Author: It really depends on the book. I create a specific strategy for each launch.   

How do you promote your content?

Author:  In many ways. For example, I blog, do interviews, and use Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

I also spend a lot of time reading others, leaving comments on their blogs, and engaging with people on social media. This often leads to fascinating conversations.

To me, the human approach is the most effective form of self-promotion in the world. I have sold more books by being genuine, supportive, and respectful of others than by trying the marketing gimmicks recommended by self-proclaimed gurus.

About Your Work

What is your author brand (genre, mood, image, theme, message, etc)? How did you decide on it?

Author:  I consider myself a minimalist. I create like a Haikuist (haiku poet). That is why I choose the following slogan for my brand: “Visual Poetry of the Mundane.”

As a photographer, I mostly document the simplicity and beauty of nature. My written work speaks to the importance of embracing challenges, growth, and positivity. 

It is just the way I live my life. 🙂

How many works have you published?

Author:    If I include the anthologies I have co-edited, I have released 40 books since 2006.

Can you tell us a bit about your most recent publication?

Author:  Tree Reflections features 50+ digital and film images that I took in several parks and urban forests in Winnipeg, Canada, during early spring 2022.

In my province, we had a very long and wet winter. The snow-melting period also came with quite a bit of rain. So, as you can imagine, rivers flooded. Trees in parks and forests were immersed in water, which created stunning reflections. That is what I documented in the book.  

Here is an example.

For more information on Tree Reflections, visit https://creativeramblings.com/tree-reflections/

Do you have other supporting services like a podcast, blog, webinars, courses, video channel?

Author:   I have a podcast, called The Haiku Shack. I share thoughts on life and art, as well as some of my poetry. Each episode is under 5 minutes long. Right now, it is on hold because I have been busy with several projects, but I plan on releasing new episodes very soon!    Link: https://anchor.fm/cendrine-marrouat

On YouTube, I upload short poetry and photography videos a few times a month. Link: https://www.youtube.com/user/cendrinemarrouat

What do you want your readers to get out of your works?

Author:  That life is too short to waste it wallowing in negativity or constantly seeing your glass half empty. That difficult experiences are there to teach us important lessons. And that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Where do you network most with other writers, authors, and creative types? LinkedIn? Wattpad? Twitter? Facebook? Somewhere else?

Author:  I love Twitter! It’s a fascinating platform, where you can meet very interesting people. I also enjoy engaging with people on Medium these days. The community there is nice and supportive.

Link: https://cendrineartist.medium.com/

Struggles

Do you have any tips or recommendations for those who want to go the final step and become authors?

Author:   Just do it! That’s simple! Don’t cut corners, do your research. Have a strategy in place. If you do not have a lot of money, learn to barter!

If you could do it all over again, what would you change?

Author:   Nothing.

I built my platform without any help. It has been a LOT of work, but every mistake has been a blessing. I would not be the artist I am today without the learning curve I had to experience. That is the reason why I celebrate every little victory.   

Are you a driven & self-advocating author, a gun-shy promoter, or a total marketing procrastinator?

Author:  Very early in my career, I realized that nothing comes out of waiting for things to happen. I had to create my own opportunities and open my own doors.

Even though I am an introvert, I have a healthy level of self-confidence. I know my worth as an artist. So I have never been shy about promoting myself. But I don’t spam people. I engage with them.

Promotion is fun when you know the ropes and aren’t scared of testing new ideas. I’m constantly in marketing mode.

Fun Stuff

Do you have a writing companion?

Author:  David Ellis, a fantastic UK-based poet and author. Together, we have co-authored several books, and co-founded Auroras & Blossoms, a platform that celebrates upliftment and inspiration in the arts.

A&B gives a voice to young and adult artists from around the world via its flagship publication, the annual PoArtMo Anthology. (Link: https://abpositiveart.com/store/) Our mission is to inspire creativity in people ages 13 and over. That is the reason why we write guides for authors and artists and run a series of prompts and challenges on Medium. Finally, we also invent poetry forms.

Link: https://abpositiveart.com

We are currently looking for stories and visual art for the third volume of our anthology. Feel free to check us out (https://abpositiveart.com/submit/), we pay royalties to selected contributors. 

My website: https://creativeramblings.com

Books: https://creativeramblings.com/books

All my books are available from major online stores. However, I encourage you to shop locally and ask your neighborhood library to carry my books. I explain how here: https://creativeramblings.com/books.

I am very active on Twitter: https://twitter.com/haiku_shack. I am also on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, but I am not a big fan of those social networks. I use the same username: @haikushack.