Poet Interview, Edward G. Brown

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Interview #56, with Edward Giles Brown, who wrote a Sonnet every day for a year in 2005!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

edward_brown

Patient Industrious Stubborn Impulsive Curious

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

365 Days of Verse
(365 Days of Verse: Volume II | Book Cover)

From Volume 1:

Good it does breathing the provincial air,
While wet bullets plunge from the well-armed line,
And spent shells run slick under foot, downhill;
Canopies of green hover on ridges
When no mist grows thick around their borders,
In every season, envious they bloom;
And when no white eclipses heaven’s edge,
Myriad ancient signals make their way
Across an infinite span to meet me,
Each flicker never to be repeated,
New and fragile and then at once dispatched
Through the glory of eyes and intellect.
Many pleasures and sweets in city lights,
But none compare to these rustic delights.

— Copyright 2005-2011 Edward G. Brown

Share an excerpt of your favorite poet’s work (10-100 words):

From W.H. Auden’s The More Loving One

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,

Though this might take me a little time.

— Copyright 1960 W. H. Auden

Did reading a poem first spark the desire to write poetry, or was it an experience?:

When I was in high school I used to sit under a tree in the back yard and read Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. There were many times when reading the poetry transformed my experience of life. It taught me to observe and truly see what was around me. Writing poetry always puts me in touch with that kind of experience and I began to crave it. So in a sense, both.

Nice :) What goal do you seek through your poetry?

I always endeavor to capture some sense of truth in my life, and to do it in a way that isn’t trite or shopworn. It’s a huge challenge, especially when working on a project that requires output every day. If I’m honest, I wouldn’t hate a bit of recognition for my efforts. I’ll keep at it regardless because writing is its own reward in many ways.

Yes, the work itself has to bring satisfaction (along with the recognition)! Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Write something every day.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

http://365daysofverse.wordpress.com/
https://twitter.com/#!/365DaysOfVerse
http://amazon.com/author/edwardgilesbrown

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Much thanks to Edward for stopping by!

POET BIO: Edward Giles Brown wrote a Sonnet every day for a year in 2005 and is publishing them in 3 volumes. Volumes 1 and 2 are currently available on Amazon. Check out his WordPress blog and Amazon author page for more info!

Author Interview, Joseph Robert Lewis

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jrl_mars

Author Interview #20, with science fiction author, Joseph Robert Lewis!

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Hi Joseph! Describe yourself in 5 words:

Obsessive, disciplined, inquisitive, busy, anosmic.

Share a blurb of your work (10-100 words):

Heirs of Mars — The dream that was Mars has become a nightmare for the children born there.

To save New Troy from falling birth rates, Asher Radescu secretly clones people in the back of his old truck. To save New Troy from despair, Claudia Cruz hosts the most popular racing show on two worlds. And to save the city from destruction, they’ll rally persecuted cloners, resurrected colonists, and racing celebrities to fight homicidal AIs. HEIRS OF MARS follows the lives of six men and women through the final days of the first war on Mars, a war between humans, machines, and the resurrected souls who aren’t truly one or the other. But even if they survive the war, there is no escape from the red planet.

Visit my site for two free short stories set before Heirs of Mars (19 years and 24 hours, respectively): http://josephrobertlewis.wordpress.com/books/heirs-of-mars/

Share a list of your favorite author’s novels that influenced your new book:

Accelerando, by Charles Stross

A Song of Ice and Fire (series), by George RR Martin

The Wreck of the River of Stars, by Michael Flynn

Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:

Writing is work. (Fun, cool, exciting work, but work nonetheless.) Heirs of Mars took a total of 250 hours of research, writing, revising, editing, and polishing. I believe a book has to be perfect — every word, every idea. If you expect someone to pay for your work, then they deserve the best work possible. Never settle for “good enough”! But with practice and experience, I’ve found a process and a rhythm for completing an entire novel in 3-4 months and while it is still work, it is work I really enjoy.

In sharp contrast, publishing is easy. It took me less than an hour to properly format and upload the book itself. And then a handful of hours to update my website and blog and to post announcements on the various ebook forums and review sites, as well as my fellow indie authors’ blogs. The best part is that I can simply reuse the same text and images and links for most of those announcements. And at that point, it’s pretty much up to the world to either take an interest or pass. As for me, I’m off to write another book!

What is your definition of “good writing”?

There’s no such thing. Good writing is whatever an audience enjoys. (Seriously, we’re all people and we all have different tastes.) It can be over-written purple prose, like Tolkien, and it can be under-written dots and dashes, like Hemingway. Any abundance or lack of description, dialog, action, and exposition can be “good.” All you have to do is find your audience.

(But if you can’t find an audience, well, then you’re writing may not be good. Or you may have forgotten to get published. Check your royalties if you’re not sure which.)

Please share your #1 tip for writers:

Have a goal. I don’t mean as an author: “I want to be rich and famous.” But as a writer trying to write a book, have a goal. Don’t just try to tell a story. Try to accomplish something, whether it’s as simple as making your readers laugh or as ambitious as inspiring them to lead a revolution.

Do you want to be funny, or scary, or erotic? Do you want to fight social injustice by creating heroes for a certain type of reader? Do you want to expose people to exciting new ideas in science or fascinating facts from history? Once you have a goal, hold on to it. As you write your book, keep asking yourself whether you’re moving closer to reaching your goal. If the answer is no, then start reaching for your Backspace key.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

Web: www.josephrobertlewis.com
Blog: josephrobertlewis.wordpress.com

Heirs of Mars is available on —

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0049H94G6/
Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0049H94G6/

Much thanks to Mr. Lewis for the chat!