Welcome Alison Paul Klakowicz to Creekside Cafe. I guess I should say, welcome home.
Alison: Yes, I was born and raised in Beaufort County, North Carolina. My family lived in Aurora from my birth until we moved to Washington when I was nine-years-old. My parents grew up in the Aurora area (Campbell’s Creek and Core Point).
Sherri: I used to hang out at Campbell’s Creek a lot. I remember running through fields and tromping through the woods.
It’s good to have you with us today. Join me for a cup of coffee. I understand you are addicted to it to.
Alison: Yes, COFFEE!
Sherri: You call Beaufort County home but its not your home at the moment.
Alison: I lived in Washington until I left for East Carolina University following graduation from Washington High School. Upon graduation from ECU, I moved back to Washington for a few years and worked as a reporter for Washington Daily News and then was employed with Beaufort Co DSS (Department of Social Services) which was the start of a career in human services. I moved to Wilmington and went on to work in the mental health field for several years. I moved to Fayetteville, ten years ago and worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor for North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and earned a master’s degree from Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A few years ago, I choose to leave my career in human services to focus solely on my creative pursuits.
Sherri: Are you writing full-time, now?
Alison: I am currently marketing my children’s book which takes a lot of time and energy. I started a podcast in May 2018 called Hodge Podge on Anchor
(anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom) to promote my writing and record my journey in pursuing my dreams and to inspire others to do so. I am now dabbling in the blogging world: www.hodgepodgebyalisonklak.com.
Sherri: I’d love to hear more about your podcast. How did you get started doing the podcast?
Alison: So, my husband came home one day last spring and told me I needed to start a podcast. I thought he was crazy. But there was a new, easy way to podcast from an app on Anchor right from your phone. I downloaded the app, hit record and the rest is history. anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom
Sherri: It sounds like you’re busy. Are you married, have children? Does this effect your writing?
Alison: I married my Green Beret and Philadelphia born and bred (cheesesteak lover) husband, Adam, nine years ago. We have one son, Mak, who is seven and in the first grade. He is our pride and joy. We are a military family. My debut children’s book, Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck, was inspired by my son’s infatuation with monster trucks when he was a toddler and he would tell me every day he wished I drove a Big Red Monster Truck. So, YES. It has affected my writing… through inspiration.
Sherri: You mentioned a variety of careers, tell us how they have influenced your writing.
Alison: I’ve loved storytelling and reading books and poetry all my life. I developed a love of writing in high school when I was on the staff and Co-editor of my high school literary magazine. I went on to major in English at ECU 24 years ago. Loved studying poetry and creative non-fiction. From there, I spent some time as a newspaper reporter. I absolutely loved meeting people and talking to them about their stories. Feature writing was always my joy. Because I had a knack for listening to others and empathy for their life successes and struggles, I found myself in the helping profession. I learned so much about the people and world around me.
Sherri: How long have you been writing?
Alison: 27 years
Sherri: So, since you were born? What genre do you write?
Alison: I have a deep love of historical fiction and the supernatural. I have several manuscripts I’ve worked on over the years that I hope to complete and publish. All based on and inspired by my deep-set Eastern North Carolina roots.
Sherri: Do you have plans to write any other genre in the future?
Alison: I want to do it all! I also enjoy writing poetry.
Sherri: What is your latest project?
Alison: My focus at this time is Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck!
Sherri: What do you most enjoy about writing?
Alison: I love the art of storytelling. I believe we all have a story inside us.
Sherri: Even though writing is our passion, there are still aspects of it we dread. What do you despise about writing?
Alison: My inept attention span. I have a hard time sitting still and have so many ideas that it is difficult for me to concentrate on one thing!
Sherri: I’m not sure when you would find the time, but do you have any hobbies or interests besides writing? Do these show up in your writing?
Alison: I love gardening, being outdoors, bird watching, and pier sitting on the Pamlico River.
Sherri: If you are like most writers, you were a reader first, who are your favorite authors/genres?
Alison: I enjoy so many different types of genres. Good writing and storytelling does not follow one sect. Some recent favorite novels I’ve read are “Chasing the North Star” by Robert Morgan, “Where the Crawdad’s Sing” by Delia Owens, Suzanne Adair’s North Carolina influenced colonial mysteries, “Girl in Translation” by Jean Kwok and “Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi.
Sherri: Alison, I’ve had a lovely time chatting with you. Before we go, give our readers a little insight into who you are.
Alison: I am a mother, military spouse, proud native North Carolinian, lover of the underdog, a fish out of water living in the Sandhills of NC, storyteller and lover of life. I’m tomato sandwiches and Duke mayonnaise.
Facebook: @mommysbigredmonsteryruck and @hodgepodgebyalisonklakowicz @nautigulcustomwoodart