Interview with poet and prose writer C.S. Phoenix

Reviews and Interviews welcomes poet C. S. Phoenix today. We’re chatting about Honor, Book 1 of the Carbon Copy Series.

C. S. Phoenix is a certified life coach, athletic coach, podcast host, and proud single mother of two. A BIPOC and LGBTQI+ ally, Phoenix is a strong advocate of open communication, empathy, and regaining power through vulnerability. When she isn’t working or writing, Phoenix enjoys gardening, driving through the mountains, and playing a variety of sports. In the future, she hopes to travel to every continent and continue to bring courage to others by opening up about her own experiences.

Please tell us about your current release.
When I started writing Carbon Copy it was with the intent to write one book about my healing journey. As it went on, I realized that I had a bit too much to heal from to fit in one book and decided to create a series. I wrote Honor with the intent I had for the original book, some hurt, some healing, some backsliding, and finally finding a way to move forward as a perpetual work in progress. The topics I chose for Honor are the ones I felt most people could relate to; body image, suicide, and self-harm. The things that most people have been affected by but feel shame to talk about.

What inspired you to write this book?
As I grew up with my many struggles, I felt alone in my pain. I learned in therapy that connection helps in healing. I also learned as I spent more time in the world, my struggles and pain were so much more common than people let on. I began reading other poets who were starting to speak about their experiences, which were similar to mine, and I felt less alone. Eventually the time came were I developed enough courage to share my story, knowing that if I can reach only a handful of people, I could be part of helping them find their voice and their courage, to heal. That is really what it is all about, exposing all my vulnerable parts in hopes that it gives courage to others to explore their own.


“No Need to Hide”

I was always magic
I was always fire
I was always fury

I don’t need to hide it anymore


What exciting story are you working on next?
I am currently working on getting the next two books of the Carbon Copy series ready for release later this year and early 2023.

On top of that I am working on my next project. It is a story about healing trauma, building relationships, and finding your way through to the other side. A mother and daughter will learn that they are more similar than they ever knew, and a young woman will learn to stand in her power with the help of those who have overcome before her.

It is a novel that will share stories of various traumas that real people have shared with me. Though the novel will use pieces of these stories, a non-fiction compilation with their full stories will be available alongside it.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first considered myself a writer in fourth grade, then I lost it for about 22 years because I believed what the world told me about myself. In 2020 I wanted to get back to writing and try to make something of it when I realized, I had never stopped writing. I just lacked the courage to believe in myself enough to embody it. Since, I have compiled the work I created over the years and call myself a writer every chance I get.

Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your workday like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Currently, I don’t do anything full time. Blame it on my ADHD or just that I found a system that is working for me right now as I am building my dreams. They might go hand in hand. I am working on being me and feeding the parts of me I have ignored for too long (while also paying my bills). I do gig work as a cleaner, substitute teacher, and hopefully bartender come summer. I am also working on starting my own business(es) with life coaching, strength and conditioning coaching, and writing.

I generally build a few hours each week in specifically for writing. I go to a room in our local library, lock out the world, and hope my brain follows suit. However, the thing that has helped me be a writer, is always having something to write with. If I’m honest, most of my time spent in the library is actually editing, my writing occurs anytime, anywhere. Four things I have with me almost anywhere I go (two being the minimum) my water bottle, my laptop, a notebook and pen, and my phone. I do so many first drafts on my phone! I will be driving down the street and things pop into my brain, I open a document, click speech to text, and decipher it later. Or in between sets at the gym. 3 am. You name it.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I think for me it is that what I perceive as upbeat and empowering, many see as dark. I talk about things that other people avoid, because I believe in shining light into the dark places of life. Many people would rather those places stay hidden.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A performer, a veterinarian, an athletic trainer for the Dallas Cowboys, and a writer! Now, I’m doing many of those things in some way. I’m a writer, self-proclaimed. I have shifted to teaching athleticism to youth rather than a pro football team. I perform my poems at open mics and have some spoken word on Spotify. I have however, given up on being a vet. It turns out you don’t just get to cuddle animals all day.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Find what moves you and move with it. We are meant for so much more than we allow ourselves. It is never too late to find something that brings you joy. I found mine in my 30s, some of you will find it sooner, some later. I just want you to find it.

Also, heal whatever hurts you. It is worth all the effort and pain.

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