Poet Interview, John Mackeigan

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Interview #47, with poet, John Mackeigan!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Honest, caring, loving, respectful and quiet.

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

john_dragon

I LOOKED UP TODAY, SAW A RAINBOW IN THE SKY
THEN THOUGHT OF YOU, I KNOW NOT WHY
SO I STOPPED TO PONDER FOR A WHILE
AND REALIZED INSIDE, WAS A SMILE
LITTLE THINGS CAN MAKE US HAPPY THERE
AND SO WITH YOU I WANT TO SHARE
SOON SUNSHINE AND RAINBOW BECOME DARK AND STAR
TWINKLING SPARKLES ETCHED UPON BLANKETS OF TAR
AN ARTISTIC CANVAS WROUGHT OF SPIRITUAL HANDS
WHILE EARTHBOUND ANGELS UNSEEN, GLIDE THE LANDS

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

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead mean naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

Dylan Thomas

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

Really it was just inspiration and/or improve.

What goal do you seek through your poetry?

To share it with others and perhaps at the same time have some financial retirement funds through it.

Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Speak from your heart.

Indeed! Your websites/blogs/etc:

Here’s the link to my poetry book on Amazon.

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Much thanks to John for stopping by! Stay tuned for a couple more poet interviews I’ll soon be posting ;)

Poet Interview, Gordon Ramel

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Interview #45, with English poet, Gordon J.L.Ramel!

gordon_ramel

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Poet, philosopher, ecologist, almost human.

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

Oh Lord, she looks so beautiful to me;

how is it that so many fail to see

the glory and the wondrous majesty

of Nature in her wild diversity

and the beauty that is Earth’s eternally?

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

I have too many favourite poems, as an Englishman I am a great fan of the romantic poets, especially Wordsworth and Tennyson, but also very fond of Blake, Thomas and Eliot. From US poets I love Frost, Dickinson and Poe, but this leaves out so many.

I love Blake/Dickinson/Poe myself! Did reading a poem first spark the desire to write poetry, or was it an experience?:

It was my mother reading Nursery Rhymes to me, and then hearing “The Man From Snowy River” by Banjo Paterson read aloud in primary school — it was magic…

What goal do you seek through your poetry?

To perform magic.

Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Be truthful, be honest.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

www.ramel.org

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Much thanks to Gordon for stopping by!

+ GORDON’S BIO +

Gordon was born in England, raised in Australia and is an Ecologist by training, from Exeter University in the UK. For most of the last 12 years he has been working as a teacher of English or Science in schools in Bulgaria, Greece, Thailand and currently in a University in China.

Gordon has published poetry in various places since the beginning of this century. His poetry collection, The Whispering of the Leaves, can be purchased at Cafepress (this book is focused on Nature and Mankind and the interaction between the two). Other poems can be found at Ecology Info, The Hypertexts, and The Hexagon at Point & Circumference (this features poetry pubished in the print magazines The NeoVictorian/Cochlea and The Deronda Review).

Gordon is also the author of The Earthlife Web, originally uploaded in May 1995 (one of the first sites for home schoolers!).

P.S. Be sure to check out his epic poem, Tears of Kharnoon, on my 13-years-strong website, Dragonsinn.net.

Author Interview, Nipaporn Baldwin

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Author Interview #42, with Nipaporn Baldwin, who writes about space dragons (AKA original and unique fantasy + science fiction)!

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Hi Nipaporn! Please describe yourself in 5 words:

Dragon, Gamer, Italophile, Simplistic and Artist

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

Society On Da Run

(Nipaporn: Since I have so many stories, I can share a blurb made specifically for all the books in the series)

Blurb: Earth has seen many visitors, from space dragons colonizing the planet in Pre Cambrian times to intelligent insectoids. Follow the adventures of a wide cast of characters as they encounter the dragons of the Draconizica empire, and Ashuton Karrucci, the god of dragons going about his daily life in Italy. From a story about a small town ravaged by an airborn dragon virus, to a story about a cruel dragon king on a terraformed Mars, to the story of a girl pregnant with a Dragon god, these stories are not bound by the norms of Fantasy and Science Fiction genres.

Excerpt:

“When the world stops spinning and the people I’ll die I will think of her and wish I had pie.”

Wish I had pie.

This was the thought that lingered in Anjou Merkrai-Kidogo’s head. His French cheetah was thinking of her home on the Sarenghetti, and his dragonling was thinking about the strange beams of light coming down from the sky. The burning car’s speed was dawning into the hundreds, but the dragon in the sky were still chasing after them. With the Dragon were several small Winter Wyverns, all of them focusing their ice breath on the speeding car.

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

* An excerpt from Ravens by George Dawes Green:

When they got back to the Tercel, Shaw said he was wide awake and could he drive? That was fine with Romeo. He got in on the passenger side, and they descended into the North Carolina piedmont. His ears popped; the air grew humid. He tilted his seat all the way back and looked up at the moon as it shredded in the pines. Somewhere after Elkin, NC, he let his eyes slip shut for just a second — and then the highway started to curve beneath him, and he felt himself spiraling slowly downward, into a bottomless slumber.

* An excerpt from The Devil’s Queen by Jeanne Kalogridis:

At first glance he was an unremarkable man, short and stout with greying hair and the drab clothes of a commoner. I could not see his face from my vantage two floors above, but I watched him recoil as he emerged from the carriage and his foot first met the cobblestone; he signaled for his cane and reached for the coachman’s arm. Even with these aids, he moved gingerly, haltingly through the sultry morning, and I thought, aghast, He is a sick, aging man – nothing more.

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

In my experience, the writing and publication is always fun. It’s the marketing that I have a problem with. Because I have so many stories, it’s hard to market them, and being an unknown author it’s increasingly hard. I try hard not to give up, and almost did several times.

Yes, “give in, give up, or give it all you’ve got” ;)! What is your definition of “good writing”?

If it does not bore the hell out of me, it’s a good story. Most novels bore me, that is why I stick to short stories.

Please share your #1 tip for writers:

Get to know your readers and what they like and don’t like in a story and strive to be completely different. Do not be bound by clichés! If you have to write a vampire story, try writing about an android vampire fighting Ninjas after the Apocalypse. Spice it up, don’t be gray!

Yes, I personally favor originality over something that’s rehashed and/or forgettable. Please let us know your websites/blogs/etc:

Short Story blog (where stories are posted): http://dragonshortstories.wordpress.com/

Smashwords (where you can read current stories from TSODR): http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/thedragongod

The 700-page omnibus edition: http://www.amazon.com/Dragons-Cicadas-Society-Omnibus-ebook/dp/B006ZDQH0I/

And here are my social media links:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Much thanks to Nipaporn for stopping by! Her short story blog has more info about her unique stories written in a non-conventional Fantasy and Science Fiction setting. While you’re there, check out her Facebook conversation story, titled “Kitty Kat Wants to Sell Moar Drugs.”

Author Interview, Kate Walker

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Author Interview #36, with multi-genre Australian writer (and animal lover), Kate Walker!

kate_walker

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Hi Kate! Please describe yourself in ~5 words:

Living Delights Me.

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

Excerpt:

“He knew why he loved her and marvelled at the mystery, that without her he was just a man who filled a corner of a store, shifting ties and handkerchiefs, but with her he filled the whole world. Keeping a shelf tidy became a sacred duty, knowing that everything he did was either right or wrong, good or bad for his soul, damning or glorifying to his spirit. There were no meaningless actions any more, everything was significant and either exalted or bestialised him.”
The Man Who Loved His Wife (a short story)

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

I remember…Akira breaking off from what we were doing, tip-toeing to the balcony and leaning right over the rail, so far I feared he might topple over. Then when he came hurrying back, I noticed the strange grin had appeared on his face. The maid, he reported in a whisper, had as expected fallen asleep.

‘Now we must go in! Are you frighten, Christopher? Are you frighten?’

Arika had suddenly become so tense that for a moment all my old fears concerning Ling Tien came flooding back. But by this point a retreat for either of us was out of the question…
Once We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro

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

WRITING is one of those occupations that oscillates between blissful ease and immeasurable toil.

You slip into the zone and the story writes itself. You’re taking down dictation and all you have to do is listen and be a faithful scribe. Words come, one after the other, in an order more exquisite than you could have conceived, and will remain in that order forever more.

Then next day the inaudible whisper is gone and you’re on your own. Words fall in clusters like rotten grapes or handfuls of flint, and you’re lucky if one in twenty will survive to serve your needs.

And then there’s the rewriting, interminable beyond belief. You rehash every sentence fifty times. And only when it reads like someone is again whispering the story into your ear do you know it’s ready and complete.

PUBLISHING, on the other hand, is like being a store keeper. Every job is clear cut. You actually know what you’re supposed to be doing, which is the opposite of writing. I’m talking about epublishing now. You know how the document needs to be formatted, and you can sit doing it late into the night and never flag. It’s just a checklist and when each job is done, it usually doesn’t need undoing…not like writing does.

Then you up-load. They ask the questions, you tick the boxes, press the right buttons, and that’s it — you’ve got a book out there. So little effort for such a grand achievement. It feels wonderful.

Of course, then you have to promote the book. That’s what takes the time out of your day and the skin off your knees. You get on-line and search the known universe for anyone at all who might conceivably give you a few pixels of space. It’s the total opposite of writing and how good is that? Just what every writer needs — a second job (still to do with writing) but nothing like it. Just more checklists and buttons to press. And for your trouble, there’s some pretty nice people out there in the known universe that you’re certain to stumble across.

WRITING vs PUBLISHING? Thumbs up to both.

What is your definition of “good writing”?

Good writing is a story that tells itself. It’s a book that turns its own pages. It’s a style the reader never notices, because it’s so at one with the story, the pain and labour that went into crafting it is totally invisible. There’s not a word that isn’t needed. And yet not a character that doesn’t move about before your very eyes, nor a setting that you don’t walk tangibly through.

For me, that makes a perfect book and I’ve read a few of them, such as: The Remains of the Day & Never Let Me Go by Ishiguro. Oscar and Lucinda & The Kelly Gang by Peter Carey.

Please share your #1 tip for writers:

Meditate first. It wakens the muse and gets her whispering.

I’ve one more question for Kate, since one of her books is a dragon novel for children ;) What do you find most captivating about Dragons?

dragon_mith

[The Dragon of Mith, by Kate Walker (also posted on Dragonsinn.net)]

Dragons are us. They’re that great mysterious beast that is ourselves, projected large. They represent everything we can be: all powerful; treacherous; avaricious for gold; thirsty for blood; gentle; eternally patient; guardians of good. They’re us on a god-like scale, where we can stand back and see ourselves and be awed.

Excellent — I couldn’t have said it better myself (I’ll add your quote to the contributors’ page on Dragonsinn!). Please let us know your websites/blogs/etc:

www.katewalkerwriter4children.wordpress.com

www.katewalkeraustralia.wordpress.com

www.katewalker.com.au

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Much thanks to Kate Walker for stopping by!

Kate writes all sorts of books (picture books, novels, deep and meaningful short stories, etc.). She hates doing the same thing twice and loves the excitement of totally new ventures.

Be sure to check out her website for more info on her award-winning books [including The Dragon Mith, first published in Australia in 1989 and awarded second prize in the Australian Children’s Book of the Year Awards (Younger Readers].