InHERview. Or my view, if you want to get technical.
I have been blogging now since the beginning of 2019. I really enjoy having a reason to sit down and write about different topics and areas of my life, but I wanted to introduce another feature to my twice-weekly blog. (See my first, the Monthly Family Update, here.)
In order to branch out in my writing, I decided to create "InHERview" as a way to learn more about the people that inspire me and share it with my readers. I plan to ask someone I'd like to know more about a few questions, including some rapid fire favourites. My view will be provided as the introduction, with further commentary at the end, after we've read about them and what they do.
First up, we have my friend and fellow author, Aubri Black.
I met Aubri for the first time in person after being brought together through social media, having both ventured into the self-publishing world. I had actually just been at the same event as her a week before we met for coffee, but didn’t have the chance to introduce myself.
We have since read each other’s books and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her as a person and fellow author. It took me just over twenty-four hours to finish her book, Did He Hit You?. I drank in her words about the abuse she suffered in her first marriage and the story of how she moved away from it. Her story has stayed with me since and I can see how impactful it would be for anyone who has gone through something similar, especially without realizing it.
I have a feeling that there’s much more to this seemingly quiet but epically strong woman. Let’s find out a bit about Aubri Black!
Give us a quick look into your background as a writer.
I started writing when I was a kid. I wrote my first short story when I was nine. I was published for the first time by a newspaper when I was 15. I began freelancing when I was 18 and was published by various magazines, newspapers, and websites. I have a Professional Writing diploma from Douglas College and a BA in Professional Communication from Royal Roads University. After I graduated, I went on to become a copywriter, working for different marketing agencies. I’ve done copywriting ever since. I became a published author this year.
What inspires you to write?
I have a lot of crazy, elaborate dreams (and some nightmares). When I started writing stories as a kid, and into my 20s, I would write out my dreams then create stories based on those. I recently started doing that again. Other than that, people and conversations always inspire me to write.
Do you have a routine that gets you into a space where you can write?
I always have to have something to drink beside me and a notepad. Other than that I can write anywhere at any time. Even if that means I’m pushing a stroller and writing into my phone with a tea or coffee in the cupholder.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
That I hate working alone. As a writer it seems like a given that I would enjoy it and sometimes I do. But I work better when there are other people around, keeps me more focused. It also gives me the opportunity to verbally process, which makes me more productive. There is only so much I can figure out on my own without someone to discuss my ideas with. I’m learning to be okay being alone but it’s not easy.
What made you start writing your first novel, Did He Hit You?
I started writing it because I was really angry. Too many people I talked to had no idea what an abusive relationship is like and they didn’t understand what my ex was really like. I had to explain myself over and over again and it was exhausting. I started writing down as much stuff as possible in hopes that somehow I could do something with it that would get people to understand what I had went through and what kind of a person he really is behind his charm and outward likeability. I also needed to write to process what had even happened to me. The novel was birthed out of those two things: my need to explain myself and my need to understand it.
What was the hardest part in your self-publishing journey?
I think the hardest part for me is marketing it now. I put a lot of effort into writing and editing the book and I know it’s good but I feel self-conscious telling people about it. I will have to find a way to wrap my head around that and learn to be genuine in marketing. My intention was to let abuse survivors know they are not alone and to help people understand abuse. I need to keep trying to find people who fit into that audience.
Name one thing that makes you most uniquely you.
My ability to empathize and see multiple angles to a situation. I do my best to try to see things from other people’s perspectives.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
When people talk negatively about their kids in front of their kids. The kids can hear what is being said, and it drives me crazy.
Our words affect our children and it matters what we say and how we say it. It seems obvious, but if you need to vent about something your kid did, do it when they’re not around.
- Aubri Black
You have one entire day with nothing to do and no responsibilities. What do you do from the moment you wake until you fall asleep?
In the morning, I would wake up and make myself some tea. Then I would write. I might go to the beach and read a book and write some more. In the afternoon, I would spend time with my husband and daughter. After my daughter falls asleep, I would watch a movie with my husband. Then I would stay up late writing some more.
Rapid Fire Favourites:
Book: The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
Song: You’re Somebody Else by Flora Cash
Place to Read: At the beach
Place to Write: At my desk
Drink: Earl Grey Tea
Food: Ice cream
Place: Anywhere near water
Something I have learned from getting to know Aubri and reading her book is that just because a person is special to us, be it a husband or a friend, it doesn’t mean that they truly have our best interests at heart. And that’s okay. We’re all human, and while it can hurt to walk away or change what our relationship looks like with someone, it can be a necessary step towards true self-care.