Today, we’re featuring a brief chat we had with Katia D. Ulysse, author of our Haiti series title, Fabiola Konn Konte (Fabiola Can Count). With her writing, Ulysse honors the experiences of the ones who “live to tell,” like the young rèstavèk girl featured in her book.
OMB: When did you realize that you wanted to write for a living?
Katia: I’ve always known. I write for the same reason that I would not hold my own breath long enough to die. I spend weeks and months (years) getting a story/book just right. It’s been a pleasure having my work published in many literary journals and anthologies in the US and the Caribbean. Art for the sake of art is wonderful, but I write to live and live to work. So, I prefer to be compensated for my work.
OMB: If you weren’t a writer, what other career would you aspire to?
Katia: If I were not a writer, I would not exist.
OMB: Describe your creative process.
Katia: When in Haiti, my creative process is simple: I need only air, ink, and paper. Elsewhere, I start at 3:30 AM. Fresh flowers–the kind that played dead for months then popped out of the ground to stun the beholder—fuel my “creative process.” I can create for days in the presence of a black iris, even one long past its bloom.
OMB: Who inspires you the most?
Katia: Rèstavèk children like Fabiola inspire me. The ones who ‘live to tell’ rescue those among us who would rather look away. My grandmother, Felicie, lived an exceedingly difficult life; the memory of her inspires me daily. My husband and daughter, both JMJ, give me the fuel I require. I write with them in mind. And heart.
Check out Fabiola Can Count and other new One Moore Book titles on January 26th on onemoorebook.com