Welcome to our first Author Highlight, a series where we feature indie authors like ourselves. You’ll find author interviews, tips, stories, poetry, and more. We aim to entertain, promote, and inspire.
Joining us in our post today are Cendrine Marrouat and David Ellis, publishers of “positive, uplifting, and inspirational written and visual art” at Auroras & Blossoms.
Cendrine Marrouat is a poet, photographer, author, and creator of literary forms. She has released more than 40 books, including Tree Reflections (2022), In Her Own Words: A Collection of Short Stories & Flashku
Cendrine and David have co-authored many books together, including Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography (2021) and Rhythm Flourishing: A Collection of Kindku and Sixku (2020). They have also created several poetry forms: the Kindku, the Pareiku, and the Hemingku.
David Ellis is a poet, multi-genre writer/author & co-creator of literary forms, with a fondness for found poetry. He has released several poetry collections including Life, Sex & Death (which won an Inspirational Poetry Award), Soul Music the Colour of Magic.
J&K – Thank you for appearing on our blog! It’s great to see other coauthor teams. Take us back to where it began – how did you meet?
Cendrine Marrouat: We met 5 or 6 years ago when I was looking for interview opportunities to promote one of my photography books. David struck me as a very professional and dedicated individual from the get-go.
The interview was wonderful and we kept in touch over Facebook after that. At the beginning of 2019, we started chatting about partnering on a publishing platform together. Within a few weeks, Auroras & Blossoms was born.
David is the most reliable and committed person I have ever worked with. I feel honored to call him a friend, too.
David Ellis: Aw shucks, I’m blushing now! 🙂 Our friendship is very integral to our business partnership and a testament to how well we work together. I have always said that you can be strong as a creative individual but with collaboration, you can achieve unique heights you would have previously never even dreamed of achieving!
J&K – As coauthors, we find we’ve learned so much from each other and draw on each other’s strengths. How would you describe your collaboration process and what have you learned from each other in your partnership?
David Ellis: I have learnt so much from Cendrine, she never fails to surprise me when it comes to her talents and creativity!
Our collaborative process is one where we are open to considering a myriad of projects, we can have so many ideas at once that it can be a monumental task trying to keep up with them all!
I would say that our ideas come from a strong foundation, we usually start off with a simple theme for a book or series of books. We will then discuss things in more detail to see how we could both contribute to the project and if we are looking to include other authors as well. Once we have a vivid structure in place, we start filling the project with our art, it could include photography from Cendrine and words from us both. I might add pictures for the theme that I have chosen that are available in the public domain. When we have the relevant content/pieces in place, we would then go about naming the project, Cendrine will design the cover (she has a brilliant flair for both cover and trailer design!) and we will then both spend time editing/proofreading until we are ready to publish the project.
Cendrine has taught me all sorts of things, from marketing strategies, to visual design styles, to how to approach creativity in different ways, I often feel like her talent continually keeps unfolding to reveal something else in the mix. I feel constantly energised with our partnership because there is always something new for me to learn! We have both realized how reliable, resourceful and dedicated/passionate we are about being writers/publishers. It is this driving force that continues to make us so prolific and keeps our business partnership as fresh as the day we first started doing it.
J&K – Auroras & Blossoms is a name that immediately creates a mental image. How did you come up with it? Which came first, the name or the concept of PoArtMo? (Positive Actions Rally Thoughts & Momentum.)
David Ellis: The name actually came first and then the concept of PoArtMo came afterwards. In 2019, after we decided to collaborate together, Cendrine and I wanted to form an art platform that radiated inspiration. I had always wanted to use the word “Auroras” in a project and Cendrine has a deep fondness of cherry blossoms. This is just a simple example of how well our interests and styles complement each other.
PoArtMo was a concept that we both founded together in 2020. We were looking to start a movement just like NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month). We chose the month of June to be our “Positive Art Month” where we celebrate it as a community event every year but we also made it a movement to allow people to contribute at any time of the year. We also created our anthology projects to further spread the influence of PoArtMo. Since we have now published our third PoArtMo volume, we have come quite a long way already but we continue to hope to keep promoting PoArtMo for many years to come!
J&K – It’s not every day you see someone doing this, but you’ve created poetic forms! Will you tell us about the Kindku and the Pareiku and how you came up with the ideas?
David Ellis: I totally have Cendrine to thank for this! She had actually come up with her own form before I met her called the “Sixku”, which incorporates visual elements and was inspired by the haiku, which is one of Cendrine’s favourite poetry forms.
The Kindku was our way of wanting to create a poetry form that focuses purely on kindness and positivity. We developed it as a means to give people an incentive to write inspirational poetry because that is one of the most important rules of Kindku poems. Once again, we drew inspiration from the haiku but we infused it with elements of found poetry/blackout poetry, which is a style that I use predominantly in my own poetry collections.
The Pareiku is a visual poetry form that we co-developed because we wanted to have more visual art to share with the world. The idea stems from pareidolia where you take two seemingly unconnected pictures or pieces of art and then connect them with your words. Human beings often try to make connections in everything and we thought this would be a fun form for people to experiment with, just like solving their own little puzzle. The form is also inspired by the haiku as well.
For more information on how to write/create the forms Cendrine has individually created and the ones I have co-created with her, you can get a free book of them at the link below, which includes the Flashku, Kindku, Pareiku, Sepigram, Sixku and Vardhaku too!
Learn more about the forms here.
J&K – Continuing the theme of poetry, and being writers of it ourselves, we see you’re launching two poetry collections this year. Tell us what excites you about these two publications:
Cendrine Marrouat: We are launching one poetry collection and the third volume of our annual PoArtMo Anthology–a multimedia project.
What excites us about these two releases? The opportunity to make the world a little more positive, one piece of art at a time. There is too much negativity in this world. It is our hope that every book we put out into the world consistently helps change the status quo.
The Auroras & Blossoms PoArtMo Anthology: Volume 3 is a collection of positive and uplifting works by four artists: Azelle Elric (drawings), Meaghan Beatty (essays), Cendrine Marrouat (poetry), and David Ellis (poetry). This volume has to be our favorite, due to the variety of content. Releasing August 30, 2022. Preorder and learn more here.
A Particle of You: Love Poetry explores how love can fundamentally shape and change you, how it can feed your innermost muses/desires and ultimately how it can define you as a person, if you fully embrace it with every fibre of your being. Releasing September 29, 2022. Preorder and learn more here.
J&K – K has her own ideas on this topic, as a photographer herself, but why do you think poetry and photography work so well together?
Cendrine Marrouat: To me, photography is just visual poetry. It allows me to speak when words fail me. Together, poetry and photography form a power couple. There is no better way to evoke feelings and experiences!
David Ellis: Cendrine has taught me how to be more visually creative and to paint a picture with words. A picture really is worth a thousand words but what is compelling to me is to try to distill its very essence into only a few carefully crafted words to create the biggest emotional impact possible. Since we can’t put moving pictures into a book, I believe that including photography and art alongside words can really bring a project sumptuously into life, giving welcome stimulating variance to the material it is paired with and letting its vividness eagerly unravel into the canyons of our minds.
J&K – Thanks again for joining us! One last question for our readers. With all of the poetry books, magazines, digital and print – what do you think is one of the most unique attributes Auroras & Blossoms brings to the realm of poetry?
Auroras & Blossoms started as a digital poetry magazine. But over time, we decided to open our doors to creatives of all ages: poets, short story writers, painters, drawing artists, photographers, etc.
Our flagship publication is the PoArtMo Anthology. Every year, we release two volumes. One features works from adult artists and the other is dedicated to young writers between the ages of 13 and 16. We hope to release the second volume of The Auroras & Blossoms PoArtMo Anthology: Youth Edition at the end of the year.
(If you know a young writer, send them our way. Here are our submission guidelines: https://abpositiveart.com/youth/).
You can connect with David and Cendrine at their website and social media links below.