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This week, I want to talk about one of the many cool people I have met on twitter.  Her name is Mia and she is a one of a kind renaissance woman.   She’s nice and does all kinds of artistic stuff not just in the illustrating realm, but in the areas of writing as well.   I saw some of her poems on her blog right here, and thought to myself that this is an optimistic person doing great things.

We need more people like her in this world.

So on that note, I decided to see if I could interview her.  To my joy, she said yes.   At some point in the future, I’d love to do a chat with her, but this is a great glimpse into her mind and philosophy.  She even sold me me on her pitch for her upcoming novel in the middle of this interview.

Enough hoopla from me, let me introduce Mia Zephyr.

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Joshua Pantalleresco: What exactly are you working on this moment when you reading this?

Mia Zephyr:  My body, mind and soul are kind of all over the place right now. I’m currently finishing a commissioned design for a tattoo while side-eyeing the (hopefully) final version of my novel called Vector To Happiness. It still needs some serious editing, but I’ll get to that as soon as this commission is done. My mind is busy thinking of new blog posts and designs for upcoming paintings and / or art prints. I guess I’m on a roll today, haha!

JP:  Can you tell me about the commission piece or is it confidential? Totally understand if it is.

MZ:  Sure! It’s a rather simple lettering in Latin, which I drew freehand. I went for a rather wavy kinda style with a dainty touch. I topped it off with a small heart at the quote’s very end. There will be a photo of it on my Instagram page (@miazephyr), it’s definitely worth taking a look once in a while. Usually my commissions for tattoo designs are a little more complex, so it was nice to have something different to do for a change.

JP:  Do you have a medium you are most comfortable in?

MZ: I think my biggest weapon would be my pencils. They helped me start my career as a full time artist. It’s still amazing to me how this little thing helped me to finally live my dream. I hope that one day, I can say the same about my writing.

11667098_846017518822871_1285530178_nJP:  What are you trying to say?

MZ:  The message I want to deliver in everything I share with the world, whether it is art or written pieces, couldn’t be simpler: It gets better. There is always hope.

Every poem I publish on my blog or Instagram, every piece of art and the main message of my upcoming novel all show that life will turn out the way you want it to if you’re brave enough and actually live your life instead of just letting it pass by.

JP:  Where did your “get better” philosophy come from?

MZ:  Life wasn’t too much fun during my teenage years. I suffered from depression for nearly nine years until I finally had the courage to reach out for help. Only a few years ago, I never thought I could be as happy and content with my life as I am right now, but it all worked out the way I dared to hope. This is what changed my perspective on life completely. Whatever happens – it will get better. Whatever happens – it’s not the end. There’s always a tomorrow. If you want it bad enough, that is.

JP:  Influences are always a thing. List me a bunch of yours.

MZ:  Well, I like to let myself ‘lead’ by humans who show the raw, honest side of life.   Charles Bukowski is very inspiring to me. Poe, Baudelaire, Kerouac… The list is endless.

There’s a young poet called Neil Hilborn… he is absolutely amazing. One of his poems actually inspired a whole chapter of my novel.  My best and oldest friends, all of them survivors of the battles life threw at them, inspired more than one painting and short story.

JP:  What is your favorite thing to draw?

MZ:  Tough questions. I like illustrations the most. If I had to choose one thing, then I would say I feel the most comfortable while drawing portraits. People who show certain emotions with their eyes rather than shouting and yelling it into the world are extremely interesting to me. I like to get those emotions on paper as detailed as I can.

JP:  Tell me about your novel, Vector to Happiness. Pretend we are in an elevator and I’m this uber rich publisher. 11647400_846017492156207_282836109_nMake me want to buy it.

MZ:  Are you tired of reading the same cliché-ridden good-girl-falls-in-love-with-bad-guy story over and over again? Vector to Happiness might be exactly what you’re looking for. Claire Saint is on her way to find herself and meets someone she begins to love along the way. And exactly that man offers her something she learns to love even more. Something that brings her happiness; the happiness she had always dreamed of. But to what price? This is what you’ll have to find out as soon as my novel is published.

JP:  Do you prefer prose or poetry? Or another style you haven’t shown the world?

MZ:  I actually prefer prose. Mainly because I can write more freely and detailed than in poetry. I guess I just don’t know how to properly do that in poems yet.

JP:  Considering your gifts, would you ever do a graphic novel someday?

MZ:  Absolutely! Nothing’s planned yet, but if I ever come up with a suitable story, it’s definitely something I would like to try.

JP:  Is there a particular written piece of yours that you like more than others?

MZ:  Woah, now that’s a tough question. First of all, I’m glad you asked me about my written pieces instead of art. I could have never answer that since there’s a love-hate relationship going on. Well, I like the short story I posted on my blog called ‘Forgotten Life | Forgotten Love’. I wanted my readers to think. It has an interesting twist so… yeah, I’m proud of that one, mainly because it’s something different.

JP:  Tell me a little bit about your blog.

MZ:  The main reason I opened my blog is to have an outlet for my writing. I didn’t want it to gather dust in the depths of my hard drive and I also wanted to know what people think of the gibberish I call ‘my writing’. People started to ask me questions about how I write this and that, so I decided to offer some advice for fellow writers as well. I talk about writer’s block, how to get better at writing dialogues and so much more. To top it off, I talk about some things I am interested in as well. Fitness, healthy living, movies, video games, … I think it’s definitely not a waste of time to check it out. Wink wink.

11655240_846017508822872_953848978_nJP:  A common theme in your influences are people and some of the rougher things in life. Why is that so fascinating to you?

MZ:  Oh, how do I put that into words… It’s fascinating to me because I find it interesting to know that at least 99% of our population fights their own personal battles on top of having a career, ‘handling’ family and friends etc. I also think that most people are just way too afraid to be open – and most importantly open-minded – about certain things. I personally have no problem to talk about the things that others would only talk about behind closed doors. My novel, for example, will show the pretty & wonderful as well as the awkward, uncomfortable and ugly things about life. And why shouldn’t it? Everyone experienced them, so there’s no need to not be open about it. People, all of them individuals, and their stories fascinate me because it shows that there’s so much more in this world than that little bubble we all seem to have built around us.

JP:  Anything else you’d like to add?

MZ:  There’s a light that never goes out.

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Thanks Mia!

All of these works are some of the things Mia currently is working on.  You can check her current works out on her Instagram at @miazephyr (which also happens to be her twitter handle as well) or you can check out her writing stuff on her own blog at http://miazephyr.wordpress.com.  She also happens to have a facebook page you can visit at http://www.facebook.com/TheMiaZephyr.   Finally, she does like chatting and giving advice as much as she can.  After hearing her elevator pitch, I’m really looking forward to Vector to Happiness.  I hope it’s up soon.  My money is burning a hole in the pocket for it.

I want to thank Mia for her time and hopefully this will not be the last time you see her on the blog.   It was a pleasure.