Oyster River Pages: If you could tell your younger creative self anything, what would it be?
Stephanie Flood: I would tell my younger creative self, to be less afraid. Push myself more because the art and writing I had done earlier had been the seeds to all of my work in the future. I would tell myself, to travel more. Don’t be afraid to be different. Be yourself. Be weird. Don’t hold back what wants to come out. Don’t give up on yourself and what you believe in.
ORP: What’s the most unexpected place you have seen great art?
SF: In public libraries.
ORP: Who are your biggest influences?
SF: My biggest influences are the everyday people in this world who are doing extraordinary things for society, their families, the relations around them, and themselves. People who I see go against the grain and continue to make creations, art, writing, inventions and media that continues to redefine our living world. My biggest influences are all the writers, poets, artists and revolutionary thinkers that push my own thinking beyond what I know. I am influenced every day when I come across and learn about an individual in places like coffee shops and bookstores, during times when I’m absently browsing a journal, magazine or literary magazine.
ORP: What are you currently working on?
SF: Right now I have two unpublished manuscripts to edit and finish. The oldest work is a fantasy short story compilation titled, “Bright Confetti and Glittering Oceans,” written under my pseudonym - Desiree Maru; the second, “The Town of Blackthorn,” is a magical fantasy novella. Both need to be revised and finished. Possibly at a writer’s retreat, definitely in a place that can inspire my writing to flourish without any distractions.
I’m also working on more mixed media art, that is a regular effort. I hope to create products from my art and sell these for fundraising.
Stephanie Flood was born in the Philippines in destitute poverty. Her birth name was "Desiree Maru." She was adopted when she was two years old and her named changed to Stephanie Flood. She grew up in the Midwest, in the United States. Her difficult, transracial journey in the Stats has shaped her into the recycled mixed media artist, writer and librarian that she is now. Stephanie's first poem was published in a literary magazine in high school. Now a Pushcart Prize Nominee (2015) with an MFA in Creative Writing, her local articles have been published in the Flagstaff Live, the Noise, and the Daily Sun. Fiction stories, mixed media art and essays have been featured in literary places including Helen Presents, the Sonder Review, Third Flatiron Anthologies, the Story Shack, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Storm Cellar, the Healing Muse, and On the Rusk. Stephanie's adoptee media has been presented at conferences like AdopTree Project: Exploring Asian Adoption Narratives (2012); her autobiographical MFA multimedia thesis was published in 2014, and most recently, an autobiographical essay was featured this October (2017) at InterCountry Adoption Voices, in efforts to raise awareness of today's growing orphaned crises, international adoption challenges and the impacts of socio-economic issues. See Stephanie’s work “On Sunday” here.