Interview with Gabriel Ricard

Q: When did you start writing?

A: I’ve been writing for most of my life. I know I’ve been trying to at least write down stories, comics, whatever since I was about five. When I was 12, I decided that I wanted to be a writer. I don’t think I’ve ever really looked back from that. It’s just this constant in everything I do, think about, and process.


Q: Who are your biggest inspirations/your favourite writers?

A: For poetry, I like people like JP Garcia, Dorothy Parker, Anne Sexton, Ryder Collins, and Damian Rucci. With short fiction and novels, definitely folks like William S. Burroughs, Shirley Jackson, Raymond Carver, Dashiell Hammett, Larry Brown, Barry Gifford, Haruki Murakami, Carson McCullers.


Q: What time of day do you do most of your writing?

A: Well, I also do freelance writing for money. So I usually start the whole damn show around 7:30, 8 AM. I work until 2:30. Then, because I’m secretly 85 years old, I take a nap after lunch. Get up, run around like a lunatic trying to get everything done around the house. I try to write for a couple more hours in that period, hoping to finish for the day around 8 PM, but that’s easier said than done these days.


Q:  Why do you write?

A: Mostly because I still genuinely enjoy it. Partially because I can’t really do anything else.


Q: Do you have any favourite quotes from writers?

A: Bear with me, it’s a little long, but this one from Kurt Vonnegut always gets my heart out of the mud: (When Vonnegut tells his wife he’s going out to buy an envelope) Oh, she says, well, you’re not a poor man. You know, why don’t you go online and buy a hundred envelopes and put them in the closet? And so I pretend not to hear her. And go out to get an envelope because I’m going to have a hell of a good time in the process of buying one envelope. I meet a lot of people. And, see some great looking babes. And a fire engine goes by. And I give them the thumbs up. And, and ask a woman what kind of dog that is. And, and I don’t know. The moral of the story is, is we’re here on Earth to fart around. And, of course, the computers will do us out of that. And, what the computer people don’t realize, or they don’t care, is we’re dancing animals. You know, we love to move around. And, we’re not supposed to dance at all anymore.”


Q: What is one piece of advice you would give new/aspiring writers?

A: Don’t stop. That doesn’t mean don’t take care of yourself, or neglect other things/people. All the same, keeping that in mind, just don’t stop. You’re doing great.


Q: Do you have any collections, chapbooks, or other books available for people to purchase?

A: I have a big bucket of links to answer that question!

http://kleftjaw.com/product/clouds-of-hungry-dogs/ https://www.moranpress.com/store/p32/Bondage_Night.html https://www.moranpress.com/store/p56/LoveandQuarters.html https://www.amazon.com/Ludicrous-Split-Kevin-Ridgeway/dp/1717428657

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Interview with Giorna Alzavola

Q: When did you start writing?

A:  At age four. It’s been a lifelong career.

 


 

Q: Who are your biggest inspirations/your favourite writers?

A:  J. R .R Tolkien, Thich Nhat Han and Ho Xuan Huong.

 


Q: What time of day do you do most of your writing?

A: At night! Everybody is asleep and the world is quiet enough to think straight


Q:  Why do you write?

A:  To raise awareness about transgender matters and autistic matters. as an autistic and transwomen I think anybody could say my writing is a form of self preservation.


 

Q: Do you have any favourite quotes from writers?

A: ‘’The road goes ever on and on’’ – J. R. R. Tolkien


Q: What is one piece of advice you would give new/aspiring writers?

A: KEEP ON WRITING. If you ever feel discouraged about your lack of fame just note that if you keep on putting work out there your chances of being discovered grow!


Q: Do you have any collections, chapbooks, or other books available for people to purchase?

A: I have three books that I am absolutely proud of now. ‘’My name is Giorna Alzavola’’ By Alien Buddha Press, Coleuscluster;  self published, and ‘’Transgirl on THC’’ Also self published. You can find all three of them on Amazon under Giorna Alzavola.

Interview with Terah Van Dusen

Q: When did you start writing?

A: I started writing stories when everybody else did…in about the 3rd grade. The difference was I really, really liked it. My family bought me a typewriter in the fifth grade, and I remember my first big story was fiction written from the perspective of a large, orange suitcase. This suitcase travelled to Hawaii, where my mother lived. Really I was trying to write memoir but writing from my perspective made me too vulnerable. Plus I thought I was “supposed” to write fiction. Luckily later I discovered memoir.


Q: Who are your biggest inspirations/your favourite writers?

A: My biggest inspirations, in no particular order, are truth-tellers: Eminem (believe it or not), Tupac, Frank McCourt, Anne Frank, Lidia Yuknavitch, Jewel, Woody Guthrie, Elizabeth Gilbert, and fiction-that-reads-like-memoir by Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander. I am sure I am forgetting some. I am blown-away daily by new gems and new reads.


 

Q: What time of day do you do most of your writing?

A: People are going to hate this but, whenever it strikes me. Yeah, I mean, I’m not a 9-5 writer. I find the best time to write actually, if you can manage, is right after a life-altering (large or small) event happens. Almost in-the-moment. After a fight. After a job interview. After a psychic reading. When you’re really feeling something. Also, if it works out, writing in the middle of the night is fantastic. So quiet. So people-less.


Q: Why do you write?

A: I believe I started writing because I needed to work through some shit. I guess I wasn’t as good at verbalizing things. You know, I feel like writing is polite. It’s like, people can choose whether or not to engage in your whining, your opinions, your fantasies. When you’re just talking to them they don’t have much a choice. As a writer, I can share my ideas with the world, and some will dig it and some will not. But I am not imposing my ideas on the world. Writing is an elegant art form. Just black letters on a white page. The impact is there, but it is silent. There’s something beautiful about that. Something powerful and timeless.


Q: Do you have any favourite quotes from writers?

A: “Write hard and clear about what hurts.” -Ernest Hemmingway


Q: What is one piece of advice you would give new/aspiring writers?

A: If the fire’s burning, fan it. Do not take that passion and interest for granted: it is a gift. The best way to become a writer is to go down to your office supply store, pick up two nice, large writing pamphlets, steal a pen from a bank, and just write whatever comes to mind. Literally, whatever comes to mind. Don’t think, just write. You are tapping into something which will guide you, which has a direction already. Also: the bigger the writing pad, the more you will write. I like drawing pads personally. So yeah, believe in yourself and write all the things.


Q: Do you have any collections, chapbooks, or other books available for people to purchase?

A: Yep. I’ve got two books of poetry available on Amazon. The first one is Love, Blues, Balance: A Collection of Poetry. The second, more recent one, is New Moon: Transformative Poetry and Quotes for Soul Searchers and Independent Folk. I’ve begun a collection of essays largely inspired by the #metoo movement. My hope is to publish that one independently within the next few months.

Interview with Olta Totoni

 

Q: When did you start writing?

A: My first poem dates back in 1994. I wrote a poem for my lovely mother. I was ten years old. I thought that this would be the biggest surprise for my mother on 8 March (which is the Mother’s Day in Albania). I did not write anything for a long time and my inspiration came back in 2002 when I began writing small excerpts of my life without the intention of publishing anything. It was in 2008 that I published my first article and since then my writings were published in the Balkans and overseas.


Q: Who are your biggest inspirations/your favourite writers?

A: I have read many books and I have been introduced to many writers, their world perspective, their styles of writings and their experience. At first, I was fascinated by French Literature. Honore de Balzac, his way of describing the characters and settings, the messages he conveyed were real and down-to-earth. With the passing of the time, I was influenced by British and American writers. This influence came from my studies-British and American Studies. We were assigned to read one novel per week. I read Emily Dickinson and she influenced my writing of poems, without titles so that the readers can put their own titles in them. British literature is very special to me. I can mention here writers like Samuel Becket and Harold Pinter both “father and son” of the Theatre of the Absurd; Doris Lessing who is the voice of the British feminism. I also have translated excerpts from British literature and it has helped me in understanding their writings. Translation is also a way of rewriting the poems, short stories, literature in general etc. Recently, I have been acquainted to a new “love” and he is the prolific writer Anthony Burgess. Literature doesn’t have borders for me.


Q: What time of day do you do most of your writing?

A: Writing is a complex process that requires a lot of inspiration and concentration. Sometimes, the inspiration plays tricks on us, writers. There are periods in which you do not get a pen to write (even though I use a pencil). Sometimes, you keep on writing and writing and writing and none can stop you from doing this. Time and place is not important for me. I may be in a bus, by the sea, in a bar, at home, in the university, in the woods, at night, during the day. It depends on what inspires me. My imagination is infinite and I break the standard rules of writing.


Q:  Why do you write?

A:  Writing for me is an internal need. It is like the release of thoughts, ideas and feelings. It makes me feel better when I express my thoughts through writing. According to me, this is a way of communicating with others. You communicate through words and messages you want to convey. I believe in the power of words and I believe in the freedom of speech. I have never limited my thoughts. I write the way I think and that makes my writing genuine. I love the originality and purity of ideas. I write because that makes the readers reflect on their experiences, their lives and their perspectives. There is a triangle created between a writer-his/her writings and the reader. I write because the readers can get informed but not persuaded by my writings. They see with my eyes and they can see clearly.            

                                                  


Q: Do you have any favourite quotes from writers?

A: Throughout my readings, I have kept notes on the quotations that seemed very meaningful to me. Sometimes, after a long time I read them and see if they give me the same sensation they gave me when I read them. My favourite quotes are from the American writer Carson McCullers. She has written them in the novel “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter”:

“I am a stranger in a strange land.” 

“All we can do is go around telling the truth.”                                                                                   

“She stood in front of the mirror a long time, and finally decided she either looked like a sap or else she looked very beautiful. One or the other.”

 


Q: What is one piece of advice you would give new/aspiring writers?

A: I would say to them to stay always motivated and never stop writing. They should not be discouraged by others. They should read a lot in order to write a lot. A good writer should have their mind focused on reading other writers. Sharing the experience with friends and family can be of great help. I was lucky to share my writings with my mother who appreciated literature a lot.

 


Q: Do you have any collections, chapbooks, or other books available for people to purchase?

A: Yes, of course. Recently, I have published the book “Diary of the Time”. It is a collection of articles published in magazines and newspapers. There are 29 articles and one interview (in English and Albanian). This book contains 14 articles dedicated to the British culture, literature and politics. There is an introduction that is dedicated to the future/aspiring writers and especially those that will be focused on British studies. It is a guide for new researchers that will go in depth of British Culture and academia.

Interview with Roxana Nastase

 

Q: When did you start writing?

A: I started writing poetry when I was around ten and prose at around fourteen.


Q: Who are your biggest inspirations/your favourite writers?

A: As I have always been reading a lot, it is a bit difficult to say who is my favourite writer, but I  can remember in detail St-Exupery’s books, as well as Victor Hugo’s.


Q: What time of day do you do most of your writing?

A: When I start, I write all day long and well into the night. For instance, the other day, I started at 7 a.m. and finished at 1.30 am. I know I have to learn to pace myself, but as long as I have inspiration, I don’t seem able to stop.


Q:  Why do you write?

A: It’s a compulsion, if you want, or the result of a very active imagination. I have a lot of projects lined up and too little time, unfortunately. My fingers won’t move as fast as I want on the keyboard and, of course, everything must be reviewed at least five times if not more.


Q: Do you have any favourite quotes from writers?

A: Of course, especially from St-Exupery and Oscar Wilde. I could mention: “I have no right, by anything I do or say, to demean a human being in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him; it is what he thinks of himself. To undermine a man’s self-respect is a sin.” (Antoine de St-Exupery).


Q: What is one piece of advice you would give new/aspiring writers?

A: Never give up. The beginning is not great but you won’t get better if you don’t persevere.


Q: Do you have any collections, chapbooks, or other books available for people to purchase?

A: Yes, a few. I wrote a few crime novels under my real name. In the McNamara series, I have already published two stand-alone novels: Mayhem on Nightingale Street and Scents and Shadows. The novel A Churchgoing Woman is not part of a series for the time being. I have already published two stand-alone novels in MacKay – Canadian Detectives: A Suitable Epitaph and An Immigrant. I also wrote a play, but only in Romanian because it is about a historic event from my country’s past. In June, the third novel in McNamara Series will be released: Relative Bonds.

Under my pen name, Rowena Dawn, I have a paranormal romance series, The Winstons, with two stand-alone novels: Becka’s Awakening and Matt’s Dilemma; a suspense romance series, Perfect Halves, with two stand-alone novels, Double-Edged and Eyes in the Dark; a clean wholesome romance, Mr (Almost) Right, a romance novel, Leap of Faith. Soon, the third novel in The Winstons Series, Jay’s Salvation and the third novel in Perfect Halves, Pulled In, will be released.  

 

Interview with Gary Glauber

 

Q: When did you start writing?

A: I have really been writing from the time I first learned to write: poetry, stories, plays, songs, journalistic accounts, and more.  It was always something I have been motivated to do. I was an avid reader, and aspired to write.


Q: Who are your biggest inspirations/your favourite writers?

A: This list would require more space than this site might afford.  I have thousands of books in my library, and yet I’m always reading more.  Here are some (but certainly not all): James Joyce, Marcel Proust, Haruki Murakami, Lorrie Moore, Raymond Carver, Raymond Chandler, Phillip K. Dick, Don DeLillo, William Trevor, Thomas Hardy, Ann Beattie, William Faulkner, Mark Twain,  Ernest Hemingway, David Foster Wallace, Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Jennifer Egan, Alice Munro, Kenneth Koch, John Koethe, James Tate, W.S. Merwin, Richard Ford, David Mamet, William Shakespeare, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Andy Partridge, John Gardner, Seamus Heaney, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Alice Adams, Amy Bloom, Amy Hempel, Jhumpa Lahiri, Anthony Burgess, Robert Frost, Thomas Mann, Anton Chekhov, Henrik Ibsen, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and countless others.


Q: What time of day do you do most of your writing?

A: By nature, I am a night writer.  I enjoy getting lost in the process and not watching the clock.  Now that I teach, that schedule proves impossible for most of the year, so I have become more of an afternoon writer. I am not a morning person – even with a good cup of coffee to help.


Q:  Why do you write?

A:  It is part of my DNA by nature, rather than a conscious choice.  If I had to ascribe reasons as to why I do it, I suppose to maintain my sanity.  Through writing, I am able to encounter my inner demons and fantastical notions, access my emotions, and exercise my literary skills, all toward the next creation. It helps one deal with the enigmas of daily life; it’s a coping strategy that might also educate or entertain.  I write because I like writing; I write because I must.  Some sharks need to keep moving; some humans need to keep writing.

 


Q: Do you have any favourite quotes from writers?

A:

“Angels fly because they take themselves lightly.” – G.K. Chesterton

“Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is

supposed to be doing at that moment.” -Robert Benchley

“It is human nature to think wisely and act foolishly.” – Anatole France

“It is the beautiful bird that gets caged.”  – Chinese Proverb

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the

intelligent full of doubt.” – Bertrand Russell

“Every act of rebelling expresses a nostalgia for innocence.”  – Albert Camus

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give new/aspiring writers?

A: Read plenty, write often, never give up on yourself, even in the face of occasional rejection.  Writing is a process, and an often-difficult one – still, try to enjoy the journey!

Q: Do you have any collections, chapbooks, or other books available for people to purchase?

A: I have two collections and a chapbook available on Amazon or through the respective presses: Small Consolations (Aldrich Press), Worth the Candle (Five Oaks Press), and Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press).  Here is a link to my Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B012BMLL3E


Gary Glauber is a poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist.  His works have received multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. He champions the underdog to the melodic rhythms of obscure power pop. His two collections, Small Consolations (Aldrich Press) and Worth the Candle (Five Oaks Press) and a chapbook Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press) are available through Amazon. This past summer he read selections from his most recent collection at the 2017 NYC Poetry Festival. 

Interview with Scott Thomas Outlar

 

Q: When did you start writing?

A: Once upon a time…

That statement is both sarcastic and true. Humor can help provide a bit of sweetness sometimes when one is busy biting into the bitter realities of this world. I’ve been oh so serious of late, but am now beginning to work (diligently) to regain the shape of my aw-shucks smirk. The ability to shrug shoulders when things turn sour will not be far behind. For sure.

But I’ve danced around this opening question for long enough. Now it is time to let my bird loose from the cage so as to sing. Thankfully, spring is the perfect season for just such an action.

I began writing as a child, inspired by Nintendo characters. Stories about Mario, Luigi, and Link battling the rotten villains that weaved their wicked spells of bad mojo on every level of the game. Trying to save the Princess is essentially a metaphor for returning divine feminine energy to its proper balance so the dualistic nature of life isn’t all out of whack. I think I knew from an early age that there was something strange about the way the scales were being weighed out. I’d have to say that certain things still seem pretty fishy. Answers dwell beneath the sea. We must evolve our fins and dive deep.

Q: Who are your biggest inspirations/your favourite writers?

A: I’ve been considering how to approach this question for a few days. Wondering what a unique answer might look like on the page. But suddenly it arrived in the air instead. A bright red cardinal flew in front of me on the walking path, landed on a low branch, and placed a kiss on the beak of his mate, then they both flew away. Presumably in search of worms; or sticks and feathers with which to build their nest so spring can serve its fruitful purpose. These sorts of surprising scenes are what keep me inspired. Present moment miracles in the making. The amazing grace of nature as events continually unfold. After the fact, all these words used to try and describe the past pale in comparison to what actually happened. But they also point toward how cool life can be when eyes are kept open and focused on the beauty all around.

Q: What time of day do you do most of your writing?

A: In a certain sense, writing is one of those habits/hobbies (compulsions/lifestyles) that is always taking place even when it’s not. Every thought, dream, conversation, and idea that rolls around in the head is helping to fashion the words that will eventually land on paper. It also makes it sound like a really cool and important occupation that one is dedicating their time toward. Always on the clock as it were. Of course, it’s quite preposterous (and a bit pretentious). But living in illusion and imagination is also a calling card of poets.

To actually answer this question, I write at random moments throughout the day whenever inspiration might happen to surface. I also have several routines that come out to play during different seasons. One that always seems to bring me the most satisfaction is sitting on a bench in the woods at my favorite park and scribbling out things such as this answer.

Q:  Why do you write?

A: To fill the hours with words between this life and the next. In the blink of an eye, these karmic cycles shift and turn. The moments are fleeting. I write to capture them in crystalized sap so they might stand the test of time. Though one hell-bent fire or heaven-sent flood can erase every letter of every language in a flash. So actions do speak louder in the end.                                        

Q: Do you have any favourite quotes from writers?

A: The quote that helped inspire me most when I first began to submit my work was from Hunter S. Thompson. I am most likely paraphrasing because I don’t remember where I read or saw it originally:

“If it isn’t published, it doesn’t exist.”

It was a necessary way of thinking for me at the time in order to spark motivation and get this journey underway. It still serves a purpose in my understanding the business side of affairs, though I trust that making a positive impact by inspiring other people is more important than the bottom line of finances.

Which brings me to this second quote. It is from the Gospel of Thomas in the Gnostic texts. I believe it encapsulates the most important message any human being can meditate on:

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give new/aspiring writers?

A: Take deep breaths. Spend ample time in nature unplugged from all electronic gadgets. Realize that even if you think your writing is what matters most in life, it isn’t. Your relationships are what define you. With yourself. With family. With friends. With lovers. With strangers you meet. With God. When your priorities are put in place, your truest voice will then be expressed much more effortlessly on the page.

Q: Do you have any collections, chapbooks, or other books available for people to purchase?

A: Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to answer these questions. It’s been a pleasure. Yes, I have four collections available at the moment, and I’m currently working on two other nearly completed manuscripts set for future release through Alien Buddha Press.

Songs of a Dissident (Transcendent Zero Press, 2015)

Chaos Songs (Weasel Press, 2016)

Happy Hour Hallelujah (CTU Publishing, 2016)

Poison in Paradise (Alien Buddha Press, 2017)

Calm (2)

Interview with Shirani Rajapakse

 

Q: When did you start writing?

A: I don’t remember exactly when I started writing, but it was a long time ago. I wrote for myself, and at most times I didn’t even bother to save my writing. Later on, after I felt more confident in my writing I began saving them in files, returning to them infrequently to edit.

I started publishing in 2011 after my debut collection of short stories “Breaking News” was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award in 2010 in manuscript. It was published by a small press in Sri Lanka and following the publication I began submitting and being published by literary journals around the world. Last year I self published my poetry collection, “Chant of a Million Women”.

 


Q: Who are your biggest inspirations/your favourite writers?

A: I think my biggest inspiration was Enid Blyton as I read a lot of her stories as a child. Growing up, her books along with the Nancy Drew series influenced my love for reading, as well as the classics like Austen and Bronte. 

I don’t have a particular favorite writer as I’ve had many favorites at different stages of my life. As a teen I liked to read detectives and books about espionage and thrillers. When I was an undergrad studying literature I liked some of the writers I was introduced to such as Forster and Hardy, even though I would not have read them if not for being ‘forced’ to read them as they were in the syllabus.

I think I tend to read and/or like a particular genre or author at a particular time in my life, but soon outgrown them after a while. It’s not to say I don’t like those writers or would never read them. I think it’s more about identifying with something at that moment in time and enjoying the writing for what it is. 

However my all time favorite poets are Keats, Dickinson and Frost and have been for quite some time.

 


Q: What time of day do you do most of your writing?

A: I write mostly at night although since recently I’ve also started to write during the mornings when it is quiet and the only sounds are from nature or the occasional vehicle. 

 


Q:  Why do you write?

A:  That’s hard to explain. Sometimes it’s because I see or hear something happening around me, maybe in my immediate vicinity or even somewhere far away that I have not even visited but feel inspired to write about what I’ve just experienced. At other times I find inspiration churning in my mind and I want to bring it out; give it life.                         

 


Q: Do you have any favourite quotes from writers?

A: Write with your heart. Edit with your head.

 


Q: What is one piece of advice you would give new/aspiring writers?

A: Write your story the way you want to tell it. Not the way other people want you to. Don’t be afraid to fail, but also don’t publish work until you are very sure of it as you can’t take it back once it has gone public. 

 


Q: Do you have any collections, chapbooks, or other books available for people to purchase?

A:  Chant of a Million Women (self published 2017) Available both in print and as an ebook.

https://www.amazon.com/Chant-Million-Women-Shirani-Rajapakse-ebook/dp/B074SHHJYY/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 

Breaking News is available in print at my Amazon author page. The ebook  will be out soon. Check it out here later in the year. 

 https://www.amazon.com/Shirani-Rajapakse/e/B00IZQRAOA  

 


 

Author Bio

Shirani Rajapakse is an internationally published, award winning poet and author. She won the Cha “Betrayal” Poetry Contest 2013 and was a finalist in the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Awards 2013. Her collection of short stories, Breaking News (Vijitha Yapa 2011) was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award. Her poetry collection, Chant of a Million Women was self published in August 2017.

Rajapakse’s work appears in many literary journals and anthologies around the world. Rajapakse read for a BA in English Literature from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka and has a MA in International Relations from JNU, India.

Interview with Mike Meraz

Q: When did you start writing?

 

A: I started writing when I was 16. I’d sit in my room and listen to bands like The Smiths or Depeche Mode and write about my inner thoughts and conflicts. But these were just ramblings of a teen, I didn’t start writing seriously until about 30 after a long dramatic relationship.

 


Q: Who are your biggest inspirations/your favorite writers?

 

A: Women and the struggles of daily existence are my biggest inspirations. As far as writers, early on I was influenced by JD Salinger, his rawness and matter-of-factness got my attention. He wrote like he was talking to you, I liked that. Later I discovered Bukowski which had the same vibe, then Brautigan, Hemingway, Kerouac and John Berryman. I’m also heavily influenced by music, the mood a song creates can produce words in me.

 


Q: What time of day do you do most of your writing?

 

A: Anytime I’m inspired. There’s no magic time. If I do sit down to write, it is usually in the morning. Sometimes at night when I am drinking and listening to music words will come to me.

 


Q:  Why do you write?

 

A; Because I am an introvert with an extroverted soul. Writing is a way to connect with people, reach out to them. I think as humans we all have a basic need to connect.


 

 

Q: Do you have any favorite quotes from writers?

 

A: There’s a Henry Miller quote that says, “A moment of inspiration is better than hours and hours of push and pull” or something to that effect. What that tells me is, as writers, we need to let it come. Don’t force it. If it doesn’t come, that does not mean you’re not a writer. It just means you need to refuel, get turned on again. Live life, travel, love. Let it come.

 


Q: What is one piece of advice you would give new/aspiring writers?

 

A: Are you experienced? In my opinion, the best writing comes from experience, not from hours in a class room or burying your head in a ton of books. Although, these things can be helpful and supplemental, they are no replacement for the actual food of experience.

 


 

Q: Do you have any collections, chapbooks, or other books available for people to purchase?

 

A: Black-Listed Poems (2007) All Beautiful Things Travel Alone (2009) Black-Listed Thoughts (2011) Watching It Burn (2012) 43 (2013) She Poems (2015) I am currently working on a new collection which should be out later this year.


Mike Meraz lives and writes in Whittier, Ca. 

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Interview with Chris Byrne

Q: When did you start writing?

A: About 7 years ago or so, it used to be just inspirational verses id post on.

Facebook, was only after a friend died that I knew from Facebook, did i write a poem and my ex girlfriends father, Michael O Flanagan who is a fine poet and historian seen the poem and told me he was publishing it in bimonthly poetry broadsheet called Riposte. Was then i got the confidence to write more.


Q: Who are your biggest inspirations/your favourite writers?

A: No real inspirations except myself, I’ve seen the rougher side of life have been homeless, ran own businesses and had everything and lost it, drink problems came and went hence a lot of my poems are about the trials and tribulations that life will bring and if my poetry helps someone to realise its not all doom and gloom well I’m happy..

As for fav writers has to be JRR Tolkien, Harper Lee (wrote kill a mocking bird can’t think her second name I will do as soon as i finish typing this and I probably will not be arsed retyping or editing} Charles Dickens favourite book of his is The Old Curiosity shop, It’s the hardest book I have ever read only took me a week to read and some more .. Deidre Keane (Irish satirical writer) Tom Sharpe ( English satire) both funny as hell. Stephen King ( no explanation needed) Dee Jones Bury My Heart at wounded knee, what a book, The Blue and the Gray (a history of the american civil war) only read a bit of it and then it got lost still remember how i got hold of it, drank in a hotel bar called the viking lodge in francis street dublin over 20 years ago, id been sitting reading bury my heart at wounded knee and this American coloured chap a friend of the Egyptian owner approached me and asked what was i reading and told me his story about his grandfather being a slave, so he took my address and I went to work elsewhere, until few months later i was in hospital after ripping my thumb on an industrial saw and a box arrived it was full of books and my love of American history grew from then. Some of my poems I gather inspiration from those tales and stories.. I’ve never had a favourite author and I doubt I will. My most read book is The Lord Of The Rings.


Q: What time of day do you do most of your writing?

A: It depends, mostly in the wee hours of the morning after a few beers, odd time I might get an idea, I rarely sit at a screen and think or see if something comes, there mostly random ideas or thoughts of a long gone past or something I hear


Q:  Why do you write?

A:         No particular reason, though it could be because something or someone has ticked me off or something in the news, or its my way of dealing with my past issues that still effect me, E.I mental health (how i’m feeling etc) or a social issue, it could be just a piece of music and ping idea and its type.. but when it comes to mental or issues that effect us all (humans) i write so that people don’t feel alone and can read go “yeah me too i feel the same” as for social human issues war etc its to get it out there that we the species are killing eachother for what..? for what money..? land? Say what you feel and eventually people will hear and listen that we are all the same cred, nationality, gender it doesn’t really matter we’re all human we all have same stuff that runs through our veins and no amount of war or money will change that, if and when we realize this the human race will understand when its too late.


Q: Do you have any favourite quotes from writers?

A:We are all in the gutter, just some of us are looking at the stars ~ Oscar Wilde


Q: What is one piece of advice you would give new/aspiring writers?

A: Keep writing. Never delete as much as you feel like thinking its crap, it doesn’t make sense, keep it come back a week, a month or a year later and reread, edit it if you must, post the original verse or poem, and then see what people think, re-edit it as you feel what works, ask advice.. from editors, fellow poets see what they think and go with what feels write (excuse the pun) I never dreamed id be a published poet, i failed english and most subjects in school so if i can put an idea into a poem anyone can


Q: Do you have any collections, chapbooks, or other books available for people to purchase?

A: no, but am planning to do a book soon, I am published in two books so far, Dandelion in a vase of roses, and Moonlight dreamers of yellow haze and I have been published on The Poet Community. I don’t go out my way to publish or post poems I probably should though.


I’m originally from Dublin, now living in Cavan town, I’m a cabinet maker who writes about the things that matter and hoping people listen. I’m just me nothing special, not normal, shy yet I’d be the first to be up on a stage singing, been told I’m weird I take that as a compliment