Friday, August 24, 2012

Interview with writer/poet Faye Adams

Today's guest, Faye Adams, is a wonderful friend I met through the St. Louis Writers Guild. She's easy to like, and so is her poetry! 

Cona F. ("Faye") Gregory-Adams is an award-winning writer of poetry, children's books, nonfiction and short fiction. She has published in newspapers, magazines, poetry journals and anthologies.

Faye serves as Advisory Board Member to the Missouri State Poetry Society, as Co-editor of the On the Edge Annual MSPS Poetry and Prose Anthology, and as Representative to the Missouri Writers' Guild from the St. Louis Writers' Guild.

Faye won the Senior Poet Laureate Award  in 2010 and in 2012, and was honored as a featured poet in Lucidity Poetry Journal, Summer of 2011. Her books may be viewed at:

The Writers’ Lens is about "Bringing fiction into focus." What brings your writing into focus-- the characters, the stories, the love of words? Most of my poems tell a story. Whether I am writing prose or poetry, the story serves to bring my writing into focus. It is only during the telling of the story that the characters emerge and become important to the content.

When we talked recently about inspiration, you mentioned NPR's daily podcast, the Writers' Almanac. Can you tell us about that? The Writers' Almanac is a daily podcast in which information is given about famous writers born on the current day. The year and place of birth and death are given, plus a short life history, and mention of major works. Garrison Keillor then reads a poem, written by a different poet, each day.  

How do you find poetry markets?  I subscribe to several free newsletters, such as Winning Writers, Readers Digest, Narrative, About Poetry, etc.

How long does it take you to write a poem? Usually, less than a day. But revision will sometimes take several days.

What tip would you give aspiring poets? Join a critiquing group. Read lots of poetry. Learn to write different forms of poetry.  

What are some of the organizations and/or conferences that you've found helpful in your writing career (and why)? Missouri State Poetry Society (MSPS), Lucidity Poetry Retreat, Arkansas and Missouri Writers' Guild Conferences, St. Louis Writers' Guild (SLWG), Writers' Society of Jefferson County (WSJC), and many others. In these organizations and writers' conferences, I have met and learned much from other writers and poets. Interaction with other writers has helped me to widen my horizons and reach beyond poetry to write both nonfiction and short fiction. 

What do you consider your greatest success so far? Winning the Senior Poet Laureate Award in Missouri, in 2010 and 2012.

What do you think readers will like about your book? I write about everyday life experiences. Readers will be able to relate to my stories. I intersperse prose and poetry to eliminate boredom. 

Would you share a bit about your next project?  I have hundreds of poems and several stories written which have not been published. Pulling together a collection for the next book is my current project.

What's your favorite way to interact with fans/readers? In person.

How much fact is in your fiction? None.

What are your top three reasons for writing? 1. Self-expression.  2. Self restoration. 3. To leave something behind, of possible benefit to others.

What's the highest compliment someone could make about your writing? That I remained true to myself.

Is there a different genre or type of book you’d love to try to write? I will write it (if I live long enough). My autobiography.

What’s your favorite writing accessory or reference?  My Computer. It saves my arthritic fingers.

What is your favorite writing/editing/query-reading snack? Pretzels (snaps) and Crystal Light.

If you could borrow one person’s zest for writing and/or life, whose and why? I would like to be able to write like Linda O'Connell. I love her humor.

Describe the best writer you know and something wonderful he or she has written. Robert B. Parker.  I've read dozens of his books, and couldn't point to a favorite, but his technique for writing dialogue is amazing.

Fill in the blanks: Writing/Editing books is like _taking a journey of discovery_.  You never know __what's around the next corner_.

Not every idea is a winner. Written or not, what’s the most ill-conceived story idea you’ve ever had? Inventing an alter ego and writing her story.

Thanks to everyone for reading and commenting on The Writers' Lens.Your comment on today's post by Faye Adams will enter your name into this week's drawing for a hunter green silicone bracelet promoting the 8/25 Writers in the Park mini-conference. The bracelets say "Writers in the Park" on one side and "" on the other.

This is T.W. Fendley. You can also find me at and on Twitter @twfendley.


  1. Faye's a sweetheart - nice interview.

  2. Oh my, what a surprise seeing my name in this interview. I absoutely believe that Faye is one of the BEST poets ever! Her work is so relatable and fun. She knows how to turn a phrase and use the right word. I admire her work.

  3. Faye is encouraging to other writers and works within the WSJC and On the Edge to line up speakers who educate our members as well as motivate us to do more with our writing.

    Her positive energy and enthusiasm for writing poetry is inspiring.

    And besides all that, she's a joy to know!

  4. Very nice interview.


  5. Great interview, thanks for sharing, lots of inspirational and practical advice.

  6. Thanks for sharing this interview filled with practical and inspirational advice!