Today, meet Charise Kollar, author of “Marshmallow,” whose story skillfully connects the dots of her relationship with her dad’s relationship with his own father.

1521808695783Why were you inspired to contribute to this book? My ears perked when I heard that this anthology was in the making. I have long used personal journaling to process and heal from the tumultuous memories of my childhood. Granted, most of my personal writing has been positioned from the perspective of a fictional character. I suppose the distant relationship that I formed with my characters helped to reframe the situations in which I was writing about. This anthology contains my first memoir that features my voice as the narrator. I was inspired by this project because I knew that it would be a challenge I needed to take on in order to grow as a writer and as a daughter.

What is your father-daughter relationship like now? Embracing adulthood and physical distance have been the greatest gifts ever bestowed upon my relationship with my father. The physical distance has pushed both of us to spend genuine and meaningful time with one another when we have the ability to do so, mostly because we understand how fleeting these moments are. Time and age have softened my father, while adulthood has provided me with a rational layer to my overbearing empathy. We are learning to “meet in the middle,” I suppose.

If there is one thing you could tell your father what would it be? Years ago, during a rare vulnerable moment between us, I asked my dad, “Are you happy?” He scoffed, stared down at his coffee, and responded, “Yes” without hesitation. I have known this to be a lie, or rather, I have felt that there was more to the conversation than that brief yes. If I could go back, I would tell him that it’s not too late. It’s not too late to live fully and search for his true purpose. Perhaps this will motivate me to reopen the conversation before it does become too late.

If there is one thing you could tell men with daughters what would it be?

Please, for the love of all that is good in the world, please listen. Listen to your daughter, your partner, your siblings, yourself. Listen to the world’s messages. Listen to what is being said and what is not being said. Action limits us if we are neglecting to listen.

What are you working on currently? At the moment, I am immersed with researching and writing about “the ego” and social media involvement, specifically through the lens of body image advocacy. I find that many activists with an online presence utilize their own persona to inspire conversations within their communities, but I am curious as to how beneficial the social media involvement truly is for the individual activist. While I am definitely a supporter of social media as a means of communication, I am finding interest in how much of our involvement is ego-driven verses authentically intentional for the movement.

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetCharise Kollar is an English teacher by trade with a passion for mentoring and igniting a sense of self-awareness in teens. She is the co-founder of the spiritual blog for millennials, Real Talk Universe ( While she was born in New Jersey, Charise is a self-identified Floridian who has been residing in Tallahassee since 2008.

A portion of the book’s proceeds will be contributed to an organization important to Kollar, The Oasis Center for Women & Girls. Their mission is to “improve the lives of women and girls through celebration and support.”

Paperback and eBook are available to order TODAY!

11 thoughts on “DADDY CONTRIBUTOR: Charise Kollar

  1. And what about listening to your father, being the daughter, too? One of my fathers and I are not communicating well and, obviously being the ‘kid’ – lol- I blamed him. But I realized, I didn’t always listen to him always as well.
    And my other father, jeeeeez, he is going to a mental crisis. So, so sad. Upcoming Sunday I take him for a day to the beach and make the day all about him.
    Your loss of your father and recently the loss of the father from another dear friend, really got me thinking. One father never made an effort to connect with me, but the other two…I really need to step up my ‘game’ too.
    Anyways, as always rambling on…almost June…woop woop ! Make sure you reserve a copy for me, will you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Patty, I think you’re right about something. Sometimes we stay in those parent/child roles and expect the “parent” to reach out, communicate, make time, etc., without realizing at some point, we grew up, and could probably assume some more of the responsibility of the relationship.

      Happy ALMOST Birthday my friend! Paperback link will be available on Friday.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes…Although even then dads (parents) have to be open to the switch of roles too. One of my dad feels he needs to raise me still, while I think he should start to accept I don’t need to be raised, fatherly advice I am open too, but there are areas I could advice him.
        Or is that just being a stubborn man in general? lol

        Woop Woop! Add it to my calendar right NOW 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The trouble is that sometimes we get the ‘listening’ bit right, but the person who we are hell-bent on ‘listening’ to just refuses to ‘speak’ or speak in a way that makes any sense at all. And when that happens, I think it is ok to stop ‘listening’ and to start accepting that not everything can be figured out. That takes the heat off and allows you the space to move forward knowing that life isn’t a crossword puzzle where all the bits fit together nicely eventually, but a destination in which there are many roads along which you have to travel, and it’s up to you to find the best route.

      Liked by 2 people

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