Hello everyone, I am very excited today to welcome Candice Louisa Daquin from the amazing The Feathered Sleep.
Firstly let me tell you a about Candice.
Candice Louisa Daquin is of Sephardi French/Egyptian descent. Born in Europe, she work in publishing for The American Embassy and Chamber of Commerce. Before immigrating to the American South West to study and become a Psychotherapist, where she has continued writing and editing whilst practicing as a therapist. Daquin has worked at Jewish Community Centers and Rape Crisis Centers both in Texas and Ontario Canada. Her area of specialization is adults sexually abused as children. Prior to publishing her own poetry collections she regularly wrote for the poetry periodical Rattle and The Northern Poetry Review. Daquin is currently Senior Editor at Indie Blu(e) Publishing, a feminist micro-press.
Daquin’s poetic work takes its form from the confessional women poets of the 19th and 20th century as well as queer authors writing from the 1950’s onward. Her career(s) teaching critical thinking and practicing as a psychotherapist have heavily influenced her work, with explored key themes including, sexual-dysfunction, sexual-abuse, parental-relationships, mental illness and queer-identity. Daquin’s work is also significantly imprinted by Audre Lorde, Françoise Sagan, Angela Carter, activist Egyptian physician Nawal El Saadawi, Navdanya seed bank creator/campaigner Vandana Shiva, Pablo Neruda, Israeli PM Golda Mier, Toni Morrison and feminist philosophers bell hooks, Hélène Cixous and Luce Irigaray.
As a queer woman of mixed parentage and passionate feminist beliefs concerning equality, Daquin’s poetry is her body of evidence.
Welcome Candice I am delighted that we have this chance to chat. I want to introduce you to my friends and followers because for a while now I have been drawn in by your marvelous work.
Tell us Candice what has bought you to were you are today, eg: shaped the person you are and made so strong?
I’m not strong. I just survive. I actually think I’m probably too sensitive. I wasn’t shaped by much other than my struggles which might sound negative but I’m a very positive person despite this. I have had too many struggles and I do wish I hadn’t but I know many others who have had worse.
I think you are a very strong woman Candice and I admire how you work so hard to help others. Who and what have been your influences?
I haven’t been influenced by very much. I grew up with very talented family and that influenced me but since then not so much. I suppose being very educated has helped me although I like to learn out of school more. I’m influenced by literature probably the most and psychology and science. I’m a huge science geek and quite an academic despite hating school I love research and learning.
Can you say why you write, what moves you to take up the pen or keyboard?
Honestly I question that a lot. I prefer helping others publish than writing. I have never found writing therapeutic. I mostly do it because I keep involved with other writers. I have been told I’m a good writer but I don’t tend to think I am because I come from a very talented family who were very brilliant and I know what brilliant is and I’m not. I am always interested in how people form self confidence or believe in themselves or have egos as I have none. I tend to see people and life for what it really is and not kid myself. A lot of people seem to have over inflated egos. I like supporting those who don’t have faith in themselves and who need support because I know I’m good at that because I compensate for not having had that myself. I know it can make someone’s life so much better. I do love to read and I read as much as my work schedule allows. I cannot imagine not reading and recently getting a diagnosis of macular degeneration when I’m not even middle aged, really scared me and made me wonder if I would be blind and unable to read. People say things like: Oh well you can learn braille but I think we all fear losing our sight and it wasn’t something I was expecting at my age and along with my other physical illnesses it’s a bit of a downer, but I try to be positive and hopeful. I’m not a fan of social media which I know is a handicap but I really find social media exhausting emotionally. I would be glad to never go on it. But that said, some of the best people I have met have been via social media. I prefer face to face and old fashioned ways of doing things ideally.
I am not a huge fan of social media either I am never confident in that setting. You say you lack self confidence but come from a very talented family, were they and are they supportive to of you. I would love to discuss this more with you in our next interview. For now let’s talk about your writing and your books.
I’m most proud of the editorial positions and concepts I’ve been involved in. I loved working on ‘We Will Not Be Silenced’. In Europe I worked in publishing then I went into Psychotherapy now I do both. I work too much. I love working helping others especially with disenfranchized subjects and people like sexual assault, metoo, racism, sexism, homophobia. I loved SMITTEN as it was for the lesbian community which I am part of. The Kali Project was about indian women and their struggles, it was a huge beast of a book and very hard work but so worthy. Both SMITTEN and Kali won Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards. I was so happy for the hard work we put in and those of the writers and artists. We also work on stand-alone author books. I was the editor of Devika Mathur’s book Crimson Skins and I’m working on Zinia Mitra’s first collection now. I love helping artists and authors flourish.
Can we now discuss Indie Blu(e) and Through The Looking Glass.
This was Christine Ray’s idea and at first I wasn’t sure if it was going to work because I worried it would be too depressing. But it really has succeeded in large part because Christine rarely has a bad idea. I got really into it and began to invite people I knew to submit and it took off, we’re all so happy to be a voice for mental illness, especially as most of us have had the experience of being stigmatized. It shocks me that people are still stigmatized. Indie Blu(e) really is the best company to work for, now that I am part of the upper management I see our hard work really evidenced in the community. Our goal was never profit, but helping those disenfranchised voices have a platform. I’m so grateful to Christine and Kindra for taking me on. I have given a lot to the company because I really believe in it and what we do. We’re bringing out But You Don’t Look Sick shortly and that’s about invisible chronic illness. Ironically all three of us have chronic illnesses which makes it hard at times to juggle all that we do. In my case I work full time as well as Indie Blu(e) but have had to cut my hours because of Gastroparesis. Fortunately I am still able to work. Helping others gives me meaning. Cruel people and indifferent people take away my joy so I try to be what I want to see.
This is so interesting Candice I am going to print where people can find you and your books. I would love you to join me again and if you are willing we could discuss how you feel about your diagnosis of macular degeneration and also the Gastroparesis. You are a beautiful and multifaceted woman and you have so much to offer.
You can find Candice Louisa Daquin on Facebook.