Updated: Dec 30, 2019
I was thinking today about book covers, and their importance to the reader. As a writer, we spend a considerable amount of time looking at the finer details of the cover and ensuring that it is as appealing as we can make it. Hours are spent considering the text, the picture, and the placement. Sweat is formed, new worry lines created and eventually, a glorious book is birthed from the process. But apparently it takes the reader a mere three seconds to determine if they wish to open the cover. Within seconds they either accept or reject your hours of labor enough to pull back a page and take a look. And for writers of other genres, be in short story, scripts or poetry, they often don't even have the cover to draw readers in. So this month I am talking to two very different genres, to find out what keeps them going.
This month's authors:
Short Story Scribe
Joe loves to write, and his passion is dealing with difficult things in life. So I dropped him a line to ask him about his process:
What would you define as the key elements of inspiration for your stories?
Bullying, suicide, PTSD, hopelessness, loneliness, alienation -- real-life traumatic tragedies, both physical and emotional, which cause pain and damage to people. Be it under my own name, or the more adult content under my pen name, my stories explore the damaged individual and the repeated attacks and situations that push them to the point to which they break. I also look at the often dark responses as they are being assailed, as the damage spreads, and the breaking point is reached and passed.
How do you like to prepare your work – are you a planner?
Apart from my latest novella, “The Comfort of Despair,” initially, I write the opening and the closing paragraph. I know where the story begins, and where it will end. I re-read each paragraph several times until I can visualize the entire work. I then sit at the keyboard and let the events and characters spring to life, develop and evolve giving the tale its heart and soul.
What challenges have you faced in getting your work published?
To date, I am self-published and have not explored the world of traditional publishing. I am currently writing a novel “She Is Risen,” with the intent of shopping it to a literary agent with the hopes of finding a traditional publisher.
Who are your writing role models?
Hemingway and Poe. Both understood the power of shorter stories. Studying both of their styles has helped me refine my own and has hopefully made me a better storyteller. In longer pieces, such as novels, I tend to use more lavish, grandiose language and verbiage, and in novellas and short stories, I use short, direct imagery. The influence of Hemingway’s style currently overrides, in that I tend to use powerful descriptions in all my works.
I have tried to take the good from both, make it my own, and take it to another level -- instead of merely “showing” over “telling,” I have gone a step further, and immerse the reader in the narrative, having them “experience” the emotional weight of the story.
I hope you can take a moment to support him, and I extend my thanks for being interviewed!
From artist to poet, this clever and multi-lingual author filled me in on some of her secrets:
How do you feel writing and poetry has influenced your life?
Both writing and poetry have helped me deal with my emotions. And when I read my work later, it helps to put my emotions and my choices in the greater context of my life and with the rest of the world. As I grow older and mature, I look back at old things I’ve written, and these pieces have helped me put things in perspective. They’ve helped me face future obstacles with greater clarity and stability. Writing helps me cope; writing helps me heal. The most powerful thing about it all is that writing gives us the ability to choose how we want to remember events, trauma, and suffering and how we want the world to remember us. We’re only a victim if we write that we are. We can be the hero, the overcomer, the warrior if we write that we are. Writing is the ultimate empowerment tool.
What skills does a good poet require?
I think it depends on what type of poetry you write, but I believe a good poet should be able to effectively use metaphors and analogies to describe human emotions and the human experience. I also think a good poet isn’t afraid to play with words, lines, structures, and grammar. He or she is creative, thinks outside the box, and doesn’t care if some rules are broken during the artistic process.
What inspires you to start writing or an artistic piece?
Usually, it begins with a line or two in my head about a feeling, experience or sensation I have when looking at something profound—like a sunset or a painting. I write the line or two in my notebook or phone, and if I feel the need to continue later, I’ll write more. My best inspiration comes when I’m overwhelmed by powerful emotions. They essentially spill onto the page as I imagine the metaphors, similes, and analogies they represent in written form.
Emmanuella likes to use Instagram the most to engage readers. You can check out her account at http://www.instagram.com/emmy_speaks. I want to thank Emmanuella for taking the time to be interviewed and I would encourage you to take a look at her link and view her amazing work.
I wish to thank you for taking the time to read and engage with me! Happy reading everyone! VK Tritschler