Jessica Highstreet was born between two Great Lakes in Michigan, and raised on the shores of the Atlantic ocean in Florida. She currently lives, writes, and teaches in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains in Denver, Colorado.
What inspires you to write?
Recently I had someone say to me, "I assume, when something traumatic happens in your life, you don't just pick up a pen and get to writing." I was like, "actually, yeah I do." It's always been the most natural outlet for me. Primal even. When others might scream or punch a wall, I know I won't feel better until I've written out everything I'm thinking. Everything I'm feeling.
Tell us about your writing process.
Rose Hips is my first book. I self-published it in June of 2020, when the pandemic left me with lots of time on my hands. I was calling my grandma a lot that spring since neither of us were getting out much, and she kept encouraging me to finally publish my poems. When I started to put the collection together, I realized that I had really recorded my process of finding my identity with my poetry. I think finding your authentic self is something everyone searches for at some point. I wanted to be really vulnerable and raw in my writing. Hopefully anyone who reads Rose Hips will feel a little less alone in their journey.
Who are your favorite authors?
Oh wow, I’m inspired by so many authors and poets. I could never name them all. But there’s a few that come to mind- Mary Oliver, Pablo Neruda, Andrea Gibson, William Shakespeare, Maya Angelou, Shel Silverstein, and possibly my first true love, Emily Dickinson.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I was really encouraged by my grandma to publish Rose Hips and I was so excited to get it published and into her hands. I started to research the Amazon KDP self-publishing process and got started. I really enjoyed the whole process- formatting and editing, getting feedback from beta readers, talking cover concepts with a designer. It was all on my terms with self-publishing, and once I got the ball rolling, it didn’t stop until I was published. And I got that book into Grandma’s hands.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I love that writers continue to have more and more options in publishing and that getting your work published is more accessible than ever. We are hearing more diverse voices because of this and it’s beautiful. It also means that it’s a saturated market out there. But a writing career has always required a bit of elbow grease to get going.
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
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