A: First I wish to thank Madness Muse Press for this opportunity to gab about my scribbling. I reckon I was nine or ten in a small Church of England Primary school in the village of Darrington, West Yorkshire. I wrote Science Fiction stories. At home I was suckled from birth by a 33 and a third lp of Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas featuring among others Richard Burton. Not a day goes by without phrases from it popping into my head. And of course I had to buy my own copy. At age sixteen for my Monk Bretton Air Scout group I wrote a ribald comedy play called “Eustacius: The Flying Monk” about a twelth century monk who owned a pet pig called Flower and who wanted to fly. It never got off the ground. At Hull University Gulbenkian Theatre “Still Children”, another four act play finally flew on stage. Working with professional actors and director was exciting and enlightening.
A: Dylan Thomas, Jonathan Carroll, Italo Calvino, Ken Smith, Samuel Beckett, Robert Louis Stevenson, Christopher Logue. Listening to Christopher Logues “War Music”, broadcast on BBC Radio 3 I was entranced.
A: It is a constant challenge and pleasure. I get wound up when I don’t write. Have to keep my mind active. Doing crosswords doesn’t quite cut it. It is wondrous to collaborate with fellow writers and artists, each goads the others imagination.
A: Perseverance in all things. Accept rejection as part of the job description. Write everyday because it trains your mind in the craft. All jobs have parts you’re not keen on doing, or that you don’t feel up to. Constantly challenge yourself to write in new ways. If a fellow writer impresses you try to write in their style so you can better grasp how they impressed you. Also, read in public as often as you can. Reading in pubs and clubs really improves your presentation and can be a sobering and humbling experience. This happens when you teach creative writing to school groups, both child and adult. So much creativity out there that just needs encouraging!
My latest book, “Port Of Souls” due to be released very soon with Alien Buddha Press is a collaboration with fantastic Dutch artist Marcel Herms. It was a challenge I set myself to write 30 poems about 30 of his paintings as part of National Poetry Month. I wish to thank Alien Buddha Press for agreeing to publish the whole series as a book before I had finished writing it.
Thankyou again to Adam and Madness Muse Press for inviting me to this interview.
Paul Brookes is a shop assistant, after employment as a security guard, postman, admin. assistant, lecturer, poetry performer, with “Rats for Love”, his work included in “Rats for Love: The Book”, Bristol Broadsides, 1990. First chapbook “The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley”, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). Recently published in Blazevox, Nixes Mate, Live Nude Poems, The Bezine, The Bees Are Dead and others. “The Headpoke and Firewedding” (Alien Buddha Press, 2017) illustrated chapbook, “A World Where” (Nixes Mate Press, 2017) “The Spermbot Blues” (OpPRESS, 2017), “She Needs That Edge” (Nixes Mate Press, 2018), Forthcoming “Stubborn Sod” (Alien Buddha Press)
*Available to teach writing to groups of all ages.