Southern California Writer Discusses New Poetry Book

LOS ANGELES, (April 24) — This spring, Lisa M. McDougald has released her first book, a poetry collection—The Driver, The Journey, The Fall, now available through online global retail distribution. She established a publishing company to produce her own work after four years of submitting to traditional book publishers. Observing the constant changes in marketing tools and ease of self-publishing, she made the decision to follow in the self-publishing footsteps of her favorite authors, Mark Twain and Virginia Woolf—setting up Raven Shadow Press in 2018.

Having studied graphic design at Oregon State University, Lisa has an advantage as she can design her own marketing materials and book covers, saving on the costs of producing a book.

Photo by Linda Mae Watson

“I had a fellow writer and successful self-published author suggest that I self-publish something small to get my name out there and see what happens. It was a bit intimidating at first, but I gave myself a full year for my first book and planned everything out. Along the way, I took advantage of the advice of my fellow writers, my editor, and studied everything on the subject of self-publishing,” says Lisa.

Many of the poems from Lisa’s collection were revisions from her personal blog on Generation X she started in 2014 – The blog looks at various aspects of pop culture, philosophies, and history of the Gen-X zeitgeist weaving her personal experiences throughout.

Lisa further explains, “I’ve often thought that my generation, small in number and often in the background, is unique in its pathos. I wanted to explore that. I researched some of my own experiences as a reporter does, citing events that actually happened to me.”

This pathos is a characteristic of Lisa’s poetry, but, not to be overwhelming, as there is an arresting sense of hanging onto a hopeful place in a world accelerating toward an unknown climate reality. Navigating autobiography and confession, Lisa draws from intimate moments, bleak at times, but always grounded in the natural world.

Writing has always been therapeutic for me. When I have a complicated personal situation, I need to unpack the emotions and separate them out so that I can understand the best way to respond. Often, my thoughts come out on the page in poetic phrasings through imagery—water, geology, and space.

In her new book, Lisa explores uneasy feelings of her grandfather at his funeral, an abandoned broken bicycle on the street, the loneliness of being a teenager, parting ways with a dear friend, and searching for meaning in the stars.

“Ultimately, releasing this work has been a healing process. Many of these poems cover my formative years and up through 2017. It touches on observation, hope, and determined resilience—that thing that keeps us going despite the dizzying demands of life in the 21st century.”

The Driver, The Journey, The Fall is available now on Lulu, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and IndieBound. Reviews are available on Goodreads.


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