Photo courtesy of Books-A-Million.
Poet and Hoover resident A.D. Lawrence has recently released her third book of poetry, When the Lioness Roars Again and Again.
There is doing what you need to do to earn a living, and then there is doing what you love, what speaks to your heart in a way no other endeavor can.
For A. D. Lawrence, the latter was a most pleasant outcome of her early retirement years, when she finally listened to the little voice that all along had told her, “You are a writer.”
After spending nearly three decades in the telecommunications industry, Lawrence, a native of Nashville and a longtime resident of Hoover, finally let go of her inner critic and penned her first book of poetry in 2009.
That title, When the Lioness Roars, reflected a marked departure in Lawrence’s other writings to date, which had been mostly journalistic in style.
Its reception, and Lawrence’s own personal enjoyment of the craft, led her to release two more poetry titles, When the Lioness Roars…Again and When the Lioness Roars…Again and Again.
“Writing is something that comes into your mind and heart then comes out,” Lawrence said. “It is the capturing of thoughts, emotions and unspoken words. This is my gift from God. It is a form of communication that expresses me and captures the world around me in print. It is my canvas, and the colors I see are the words that make sense out of it all.”
Lawrence’s most recent work, When the Lioness Roars…Again and Again was published in April 2015, and the author is staying busy with book signings and other promotional efforts.
She’s also juggling two novels, A Coloring of Hearts and Life Beyond the Shadows.
Lawrence is very candid in describing her craft as an emotional catharsis of sorts, and one that she hopes speaks to her readers.
“The books are stages of life and growth in a person’s walk from the shadows of deceit, fear and complacency to become who they (and others) think they should be, to the person God made them to be,” she said. “The lioness represents women and people who finally stand up, speak up, look up, and take control of where they are going rather than allowing others to define them and make them feel less than they are.”
As she’s produced these works over the past six years, Lawrence said it’s also helped her approach her own personal challenges with grace and gratitude.
“There was a lot of anger, along with hurt, expressed in the writings in the first book,” she said. “Life’s transition and new truths gradually mellowed and refined what is found in the others. The second book allowed the words to help me grieve, cope and heal. [And this] third one brought forgiveness, hope and happiness.”
Lawrence cherishes her interactions with readers, whose feedback has ranged from sobering to celebratory.
“I had one lady tell me the book really helped her sister, who was having a tough time with a divorce and depression, and I had another ask me for permission to use one of the poems for her wedding,” she said. “These let me know there was hurt, but also love seeping through the pages.”
To other aspiring writers, Lawrence’s advice, like her poetry, is authentically candid.
“If you have something to say, anything, don’t be afraid to say it in print,” she said. “You can’t hold back your feelings if you want people to relate to what you’re saying or living. Get up, write it down and keep it until you are moved to build on it. [And] always write from your heart and ask God to open it so the world can see His healing power, love and promise through you.”