Introducing Spark || Book Review + Author Interview (it’s more exciting than it sounds)

Helloooooo and happy Monday, everyone! I hope you’re having an excellent day. Today, I get to share some beautiful art created by a talented friend – you won’t want to miss this. We’re gonna have a great time. 😀 *turns on The Lumineers and pulls you up a chair*

You all know who Allison is, unless you’re very new to the blogosphere or you’ve been living under a sad isolated rock. She runs a sunshine-filled blog overflowing with beautiful photography, stunning artwork, gorgeous words, and just general kindness that is appreciated by all who are lucky enough to know her. Last year, she published her first poetry book, Unfurling. I was lucky enough to help out with it in a small way, and I’ve read it several times since it was published – it makes me so happy to have it on my bookshelf! When Allison asked me to be a beta reader for her second poetry book, I practically exploded with excitement, abandoned all responsibility, and stayed up past midnight devouring every word. 😀

HERE IS THE BOOK IN ALL OF ITS GORGEOUSNESS. It contains 100 poems of varying lengths, many of them accompanied by beautiful pen-and-watercolor illustrations. I have it open in my lap while I’m typing this, and let me tell you, reading poetry on a printed page is a million times better than reading it online. It makes it feel real in a whole different way, like the poems are breathing on the page, their ink-and-paper texture so lifelike compared to words on a screen. ❤

these thoughts inside me
have been simmering for too long –
i must get them out before they burn.
i must tear them out,
share them out,
but do i really want to show others
the wallpaper of my heart?

spark – “weaving words”

I think this quote from one of my favorite poems in the book captures Spark wonderfully well. When a writer truly opens up in their work, when they pull back the curtains and show, in Allison’s words, the wallpaper of their hearts, it creates something incredibly refreshing to read. It’s like an honest conversation between the author and the page, the kind of conversation that leaves you wishing it didn’t have to end. Spark makes you think – it reminds you to take a step back and remember what you’re here for. It’s a quiet book, full of words that make you stop and wonder, sentences that you’ll find yourself thinking about long after you’ve finished reading.

All that to say… buy the book because you will 100% not regret it and it will be refreshing to your soul. 😀 There’s my review, I’ll stop talking now and let my interview with Allison take it from here! My questions are in bold and her answers are in normal print. 🙂

– Why do you write?

Because I’m no good at talking. 😝 The simple fact is that my fingers keep up with my brain much better than my tongue can, and when a scene or a person or a feeling grabs me and a poem starts churning around in my brain, writing down my thoughts is the only way to get them out of my head. Writing, for me, is a way to process my world and explore it from a different perspective – as well as a more portable way to share my point of view with others.

– Do you have a favorite poem that you’ve written?

Oh dear. *gulp* Well a few of my favorites from this book include “tears,” “knock, knock,” and “word soup.” From Unfurling, I like “thrown,” “heart of wax,” and “journey.” My favorite poems tend to be the ones with personal stories behind them; whether those stories are my own or other peoples’. For that reason, my favorite poems may not resonate as much with you other ones – but that’s the beauty of poetry! All the white space on the page, both literal and figurative, allows you room to fit yourself and your own story between the lines.

– How is Spark different from Unfurling?

For one thing, Spark has almost twice as many poems as Unfurling does! *happy dance* Also, the overall feel of Spark is a little more quiet and contemplative than the tone of Unfurling, a difference I tried to reflect in the different cover design. Unfurling has a bright, almost innocent-looking cover, whereas Spark’s cover draws you in to a cozy, magical, but slightly more intense atmosphere. I think my poems will naturally keep changing as I grow and mature, and Spark reflects that. Overall, though, there’s definitely a mix of fun, happy poems and thoughtful, deep ones, just as there were in my previous book.

– Do you have any favorite poetry books?

Yes! I love Locomotion, by Jacqueline Woodson; and All the Small Poems and Fourteen More, by Valerie Worth. I greatly admire the poignant yet subdued storytelling in the first one, and the simplicity and delightful descriptions in the second. I also love the little volume of Emily Dickinson’s poetry (The Essential Emily Dickinson) which a friend gave me recently.

– Who, if anyone, would you consider to be your writing role model?

You know, I’m not really sure. One reason the label “writer” doesn’t pop into my mind when people ask me who I am or what I do is that, for me, poem-writing is more of a sporadic, solitary work. I don’t follow a ton of writers on social media or read a lot about the proper technical aspects of poetry, except when I wonder about something and look it up. But one classic poet I really admire is Emily Dickinson. I think we share just a tiny bit of a similar style and perspective. In one poem, she comes up with the most charming descriptions of nature and objects, and in the next, she dives deep into her own head and genuine human thoughts. Her words hold a wonder and intensity I aspire to in my poems.

– Do you plan to continue releasing poetry books?

Yes! I’m not sure if I’ll keep releasing a book every year, though, as this book took quite a bit more effort than last year’s and I might not be able to keep up this pace. 😝 But I will keep releasing books as long as I have poems to fill them with, and I don’t plan on stopping poetry anytime soon!

– What do you love best about writing poetry?

Capturing beauty (or sometimes ugliness and sadness) in a real, raw, and unusual way. Words are powerful; there’s a reason some books don’t translate well into movies. Even though a picture is often worth a thousand words, it can’t convey the imaginary thoughts of a tree or the soul of someone with a pasted-on smile quite the way even 100 words can, if you use them correctly. I love the constraints of poetry; the way certain words cast shadows that say so much more; the challenge of finding those words and using the least amount of letters to convey the maximum amount of impact. And I love the authenticity of poetry. Poetry doesn’t have to be confusing or needlessly flowery (although there are plenty of those poems out there – some of which are mine!). Poetry gets to the heart of the matter, and figuring out the morse-code tapping of those heartbeats is half the fun.

– If you knew that you were writing your last poem, what would it be about?

Wow, that’s an excellent question! It would probably be a really long poem filled with observations and things about myself or other people I haven’t written down because I was too afraid someone would read them.

– Is there anything you want to change about Spark now that you can’t edit it anymore? XD

Heh heh. Well, I wish the cover looked a bit more like it looked on my computer when I designed it, but honestly? I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. 😊

– Why should the person reading this consider buying a copy of Spark for themselves?

This little book is about looking past the surface, whether it’s the undercurrent of a simple landscape or the laughing façade of someone who’s breaking inside. It’s about finding light in the darkness, not about pretending the darkness doesn’t exist. And it’s about intentionally seeking out the beauty and the wonder God has placed all around us, in the midst of a busy and chaotic world. If those sentences resonated with you, you might just enjoy this book, whether you’re normally a fan of poetry or not. 😊

Allison Beery is a Christian teen with a passion for creating and capturing beauty, whether it’s through writing, art, photography, or taking a walk in the woods. She lives on a big farm in Central Virginia with her parents, four siblings, and a multitude of pets. She strives to glorify God in everything and love people genuinely. Learn more about her at her blog, A Farm Girl’s Life, or stalk her art Instagram @thecolorboxstudio.

Thanks for letting me interview you, Allison! ❤ You guys just got some extra poetry in her beautifully-worded answers, huh? If that didn’t convince you that Spark is a good use of your money, I don’t know what will. 😀 Maybe you just need to see some other people talk about how wonderful it is! Several other lovely humans have participated in this blog tour – my post is the last stop before Allison wraps it all up on her blog tomorrow. 🙂 Here’s the schedule in case you’d like to see all kinds of creative reviews, snippets, and more from around the blogosphere!

October 25
Allison @ A Farm Girl’s Life Blog Tour Kickoff, Author’s Intro, + Giveaway Begins

October 26 (Saturday)
Aria @ Aria LisetteBook Review

October 27 (Sunday)
Amie @ Crazy A Book Review, Author Interview

October 28 (Monday)
Jo @ Pananaw Review, Snippets, and Author Interview with a slight twist

October 29 (Tuesday)
Sam @ The Chocolate BoxBook Review & Poem Snippets

October 30 (Wednesday)
Megan @ A Barefoot GalMini Book Review

November 1 (Friday)
Hannah @ The Striped Plaid Book Review & Poem Snippets

November 2 (Saturday)
Charis @ Charis RaeMini Book Review & Instagram Q&A

November 3 (Sunday)
Heather @ The Frozen LibraryAuthor Interview

November 4 (Monday)
Clara @ Clara & Co – Book Review & Author Interview

November 5 (Tuesday)
Allison @ A Farm Girl’s Life – Blog Tour Wrap-Up + Giveaway Winners!

One last thing before you go – Allison is giving away a copy of Spark + some cozy bookish things to one lucky person! Click here to see the giveaway details and enter. 🙂

^ Also, don’t forget to click right there and get yourself a copy! Thanks so much for reading – I hope you enjoyed this rather wordy post. 😀

Until next time! ❤

What’s your favorite part of Allison’s blog? Have you ever written a poem? Who is your favorite author? Are you only answering these questions for giveaway entries? XD

43 thoughts on “Introducing Spark || Book Review + Author Interview (it’s more exciting than it sounds)

  1. Loved this, Clara! Great job! I love seeing how Allison answers deeper questions about her work.
    My favorite part of Allison’s blog is her amazing photography and spectacular drawings!
    I wrote ONE poem – and it wasn’t too bad, but I prefer writing song lyrics and stories.
    My favorite author? Oh, I have so many! I love Elizabeth George Speare, C.R Hedgecock, and Sarah L. Bryant’s encouraging books from KBR. (And I have tons more!)
    XD Partly. I also love answering questions, so in that retrospect, entering the giveaway by answering questions is just another plus. XD

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This may be the first time I have actually read through one of your posts and commented. I like the pictures! (That I helped with) 😉 And those were some awesome questions and answers! Ahhhh! Allison’s book looks AMAZING!!! My favorite part of Allison’s blog is how fun it is! Nope! Jeanne Birdsall. Yep, I am definitely just answering the questions so that I have a higher chance on winning some awesome stuff! slides on sunglasses

    Liked by 3 people

  3. EEEEEP THANK YOU FOR THE AMAZING REVIEW, CLARA. And those pictures! ❤ ❤ ❤ I loved them, especially the one of Laura holding it under her arm, because I haven’t seen Spark in black and white before. 😀 I had so much fun answering your questions and just… ahh, thanks for the incredibly lovely post, my friend. ❤ I was so blessed to have you as part of my beta-reading team! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. YOU ARE QUITE WELCOME. I’m so glad you liked it! ❤ I think everything looks more interesting in black and white. XD Thank YOU for letting me interview you and sending me a book, I had so much fun being a part of it all! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    I can’t not get this book!!!!!!!!!!! I will die!! It’s just so beautiful and reading the snippets of Allison’s poems and all the interviews and things makes me want to cry and laugh and buy it right this very moment (I would, if only I had money 😂)!
    My favorite part about Allison’s blog is her stunning photography, incredible art, and her cheery attitude. 😊
    Yep…. I’ve written poems. Mostly for school, and I was forced to try to rhyme and make it make sense at the same time. xD I enjoy writing free-verse though!
    You’re making me pick one??? I guess I’d just have to say a tie between Nadine Brandes and J.R.R Tolkien, because I simply CANNOT pick ONE.
    Erm, yep. 😂 But I actually like to the questions, anyway. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

      Well goodness, don’t die on us! Christmas is right around the corner, maybe you’ll get a copy then. 😀
      That’s an excellent description – I quite agree. 🙂
      Yeah, forced-rhyming poetry isn’t the best. XD Free verse can be so fun!
      Both excellent choices. applauds
      Thanks for the excellent comment! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I like the way Allison writes.
    I have written a few poems. When I try to rhyme them they turn out bad so I like to write blank verse, but then it doesn’t seem like a real poem to me.

    Most of the authors I like I’ve only read one or two of their books. But I like
    Amy Le Feuvre, F M Kingsley and A.L.O.E
    They are 19th century authors.
    I also love Anna and Elizabeth Botkin. They have only written two books but I love their book It’s Not That Complicated, and the articles on their blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed! Her writing is wonderful. 😀
      Yeah, that’s a good point! It’s interesting to see how different people define poetry. 🙂
      Ooh, they sound great! Thanks for the comment, Mandalynn!


  6. I loved this post! I can’t wait to read the book. I’ve been following the trail of posts, and each one makes more more interested. My favorite part of Allison’s blog are the art posts, since I myself can’t draw very well.
    I have written some poems, but I definitely want to write more and improve.
    Favorite author? I can’t pick one. There are so many! And yes, I probably wouldn’t have answered these questions if it weren’t for the entries, but I enjoyed it anyway. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I really want to read Spark! And I love the cover. 🙂
    To answer your questions, my favorite part of Allison’s blog is the photography (I know that’s fairly broad, but whatever). I have written maybe a few poems in my life. I think I had to write one in 6th of 7th grade for a writing assignment, which I didn’t particularly like. 😛 Who is my favorite author? That’s really hard. I would have to pick a few: Martha Finley, Bodie Thoene, and B.J. Hoff. As for your last question, yes, the main reason I’m answering the questions is for the giveaway. 😉 But if I really didn’t want to answer the questions, then I wouldn’t have answered them despite the giveaway motivation. So I guess my point is, I liked to answer the questions regardless of the giveaway, because they were fun questions (and I like to comment on your blog). I hope that wasn’t too confusing!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love Allison’s art posts the best! She really inspires me to try new things. 😀
    I think I’ve written some poetry before for school or something, but I definitely enjoy writing novels more. 😛
    I don’t know, I read a lot of books and I tend to pay attention to what the books are actually about than who wrote them, but I’m starting to learn about authors more.
    Ummmm…maybe? XD But I’m on the blog tour too and it’s been fun reading everybody else’s posts! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great point! Her posts are definitely inspiring. 😀
      Haha, yeah, I get that – novels can be a lot of fun. 🙂
      That’s so interesting! I love researching authors after I finish a book. Have you learned about any interesting ones lately?
      Thanks so much for the comment, Heather! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This was a great interview that you did!
    I love how everyone part of the blog tour has a different favorite part of the poetry book, it sort of speaks to the fact that everyone can take something new and different away from the book.
    I’d say my favorite part of Allison’s blog is when she posts pictures with poetry that goes along with it- those are always cool.
    I’ve written a few poems myself, though mostly just song-style ones.
    My favorite author is probably…I’m not sure XD I’m still trying to figure that one out.
    …and, while I am answering these for giveaway entries, I think these questions by the end of the blogs have been fun. They make it a lot more interactive, and I like that about it.
    I should be more active about commenting on blogs anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why thank you, Olivia! 🙂
      Yes, that’s a great point. I love seeing how different people interpret and appreciate the same work of art. 😀
      Ahh, yes, I love those posts as well. I agree with you there – interactive posts are my favorites! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. 🙂


  10. Hey Clara!
    My favorite part of Allison’s blog is THE WHOLE THING XD I love her crisp photography, and her art posts are so inspiring, and I love reading about some of her and her family’s adventures. Yes, I have written a few poems though they’re mostly the result of sporadic, late-night inspiration. When I was young I wrote a poem asking God to kiss my mom goodnight for me because she and dad hadn’t come in to say goodnight to me that night 😀 Most recently I wrote a poem personifying Death and Christ’s victory over him, inspired by my study of all of Emily Dickinson’s poems on death. My favorite author (which is not the exact same thing as a favorite book, right? Cause I have 3 of those) is Gene Stratton-Porter. She writes some AMAZING books; so alive with description and noble characters and complexity of plot – they are just wonderful ❤ And they’re LONG, too!!
    Last of all, yes, the inspiration for my comment is for giveaway entries, but in all honesty I enjoy responding to specific questions like these. I don’t do it very often though because often my time is required elsewhere or I feel guilty spending time engaging in what seems like relatively fruitless activity such as speaking electronically with people I have never met XD Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello there! 😀
      YES! Allison’s posts are wonderful. AWW, that is adorable. XD Your poems sound amazing! Ohh, I’ve never heard of that author before, but you’re making me want to check her out! Those books sound incredible. 😀
      Haha, well, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment! I enjoyed reading it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. What’s your favorite part of Allison’s blog?-I love every part!
    Have you ever written a poem?-Yes, but only for school
    Who is your favorite author?-JK Rowling
    Are you only answering these questions for giveaway entries?-Uhh…yes? XD

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What’s your favorite part of Allison’s blog?-I love every part!
    Have you ever written a poem?-Yes, but only for school
    Who is your favorite author?-JK Rowling
    Are you only answering these questions for giveaway entries?-Uhh…yes? XD


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