Poet Nirmal Parashar’s writing journey began with a quote he had read in the book ‘The Light of Asia’: Leave love for love of lovers. ‘This powerful quote has only remained etched on my mind since I read it,’ says the poet, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction. He tells us that because he was an introvert, he used to spend more time with books than with friends during his school and college days. ‘Nonetheless, during adolescence, the curiosity to understand the word “love” became intense,’ he states with a smile, adding, ‘And although I was hardly familiar with this, I was curious to know how it feels to love and be loved.’
Author Morwenna Blackwood avers she doesn’t recall ever starting to write. ‘It’s just something I have always done,’ she begins, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction. She goes on to state matter-of-factly that the first proper story she wrote was about a frog. ‘And that was when I was six years old,’ she tells us with a smile.
Talking about her only published book Unicorns Are Really Vampires, the thirty-seven-year-old, who holds a degree in veterinary nursing besides an MA in literature, says she decided to self-publish because she likes making all the decisions for her book on her own. She wrote Unicorns Are Really Vampires, a YA adventure/fantasy novel, so that her daughter could read and enjoy it and that it could be part of a series as well. ‘It actually started as a NANOWRIMO project in 2018 and just took off from there,’ she lets on, adding that her second novel is a YA novel too and the sequel to her first. ‘And my latest project is book three, which will be the end of the series, at least for now,’ she states with a smile.
The writer, who is also well-versed in Hindi and Punjabi, avers that she is grateful to the fans she has as followers on Twitter. ‘I’d thought Twitter was a boring app filled with rude people, but after having discovered the writing community, I have learnt very many useful things about writing and publishing. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, rude people continue to exist, but I have now learnt how to use Twitter in a way that uplifts me,’ she says with a smile.
Indie author Simran Munot is on cloud nine, for her first-ever solo book entitled ‘Cordially Yours’ is now published. Not only is the book receiving rave reviews from various quarters but is also challenging the beliefs of the twenty-two-year-young Mumbai-based writer, who had initially thought that books on letters don’t do well. Speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction, Simran, who has previously co-written two poetry books, says the plan to pen down her thoughts and come up with Cordially Yours came long ago, only she wasn’t that confident enough. ‘Cordially Yours is basically a collection of heartfelt open letters. I have seen and read various poetry books, different kinds of novels, and novella but hardly one or two books on letters. A book full of letters is rare and definitely a recent concept. So, I was very sceptical about publishing it,’ she shares.
What you must understand is that poetry is not simply expressing oneself – not for me. That would seem more suited to an essay. Rather, poetry is a way of being and of seeing as if it were another sense in the way of taste or touch. And with this sense, it becomes a way of relating to life at its smallest as well as its largest. For the poet, it is every day and everywhere. It is who and how you are. Poetry is, at its fullest, a relationship. And the words are the bi-product of that relationship, that way of being. They are the conversations that you, the reader, are allowed to overhear – but they are not in and of themselves the whole thing. Birds stroke distance through the air, spiders build webs, and in the same way, poets write. The significant fact, though, is that what they write; poems are not about, they are not faint reflections, but rather, poems are, are the thing itself – as is the distance, as is the web.
It was not until author-entrepreneur Christian Warren Freed was deployed to Afghanistan in 2002 that he wrote his debut novel Hammers in the Wind. Speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction, the fifty-year-old former soldier, who has been to war three times, says that he always wanted to do two things in life: join the army and become an author. Having written over twenty-five science fiction and military fantasy novels, combat memoirs, a pair of how-to books, a children’s book, and several short stories, Mr Freed lets us know that his latest series is a cross amongst Star Wars, Dune, and The Malazan Book of the Fallen. ‘Under Tattered Banners is book five of the Forgotten Gods Tales. It follows the heroes and villains in a universe of seven hundred worlds as they vie for control of it all,’ he tells us.
Author Ian Barker doesn’t remember a time he didn’t write. In fact, one of the school reports from when Mr Barker was about twelve years old says he has ‘an easy style and interesting ideas’. Be that as it may, the author went on to spend almost twenty years working in the IT sector, writing short stories and poems for his amusement. ‘I then discovered that it was easier to write about computers than to fix them, and so, I combined my job and hobby by going to work for a computer magazine,’ says the sixty-one-year-old UK-based author, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction.
Author Robin Gregory’s first and recently published novel The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman sprung from a desire to bridge the Eastern and Western philosophies and spirituality. Inspired by her son, who is challenged with disabilities, the book, we learn, is set in Western America of the early 1900s. ‘Writing it was part of my own awakening process,’ begins Ms Gregory, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction. She tells us that while this book of hers is the first fiction novel she has ever worked on, she has written creative non-fiction and articles for several magazines including Modern Literature, Ginosko Literary Journal, Massage Magazine, and Coast Weekly.
We could not get a better author than Antonio Ricardo Scozze to feature as a guest on the occasion of Halloween today, for the writer, who is as mysterious as his nom de plume is (if not more), is trying to create a cohesive, complete world of horror with his writing. Speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction, Mr Scozze says that unlike most pseudonyms, he uses one because the person (that is, Antonio Ricardo Scozze) happens to be a character in the overarching stories he is composing. ‘His own story will slowly unfold as these stories go on,’ he states with a spooky smile.
Indie author Graham Smith might have never stepped into a college or university as a student after leaving school with eight O levels and two highers, but not attending a college never stopped him from pursuing what he loves doing most: writing. Speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction, the author says he has no formal writing qualifications other than forty years of being an avid reader. He lets us know that he began writing about a decade ago.
When author Jack Turley was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a bowel disease similar to Crohn’s, he didn’t lose hope or curse his fate. Instead, he turned an evidently painful episode to one that is now bringing him name and fame from right across the globe. ‘Writing only started getting significant time and attention in 2018 after I was diagnosed with the disease. Incapacitated and in and out of hospital, I couldn’t go to work, exercise, or socialise. Throughout the last two years of illness-imposed isolation, writing was my escape,’ begins the twenty-four-year-young author, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction.
It was a tour that author Eric Johnson took about a decade ago that inspired him to come up with his first-ever novel. In an exclusive interaction with the Literary Express, the author said that his first novel fictionalised the time he had spent in Afghanistan, a country he happened to visit ten years ago. The forty-four-year-old Maryland-based writer, who has an Associates degree in Business Management and Arts, stated that he had published twenty-three books and that his later book is entitled ‘Operation Crescent Moon’. ‘It is the fourteenth book in the 2-4 Cavalry Series. It takes place in the future and is about a future conflict that the unit goes through in the book,’ he explained.
Writing had become a true passion for author Lanie Goodell by the time she was a teenager. As a matter of fact, she would narrate stories to her mother, who would, in turn, write them down before Ms Goodell could spell. ‘I have been writing for as long as I remember,’ begins the Denver-based author, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction. She tells us that somewhere in a box in the state she grew up, she has her first manuscript. ‘It is all handwritten, and the story follows a girl who falls in love with a ghost,’ she says with a smile, adding, ‘Even at that age, I was writing non-conventional endings, so it is a strange story, but I still enjoy it… as much as I can remember.’
Indie author Tamuna Tsertsvadze was just seven years old when she wrote her first ten-page story. And since then, there has been no looking back. The Georgian author, who primarily writes in Georgian and Englishes her works, says that although writing was a hobby of hers for a long time, she eventually decided to make it her career. ‘When I was fifteen, I self-published my first book, The Young Pirate, on Amazon. And I have been self-publishing my books since as well as pitching short stories to various websites,’ she begins, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction. ‘Besides that, I’m a game writer and a screenwriter. The main genres I write are juvenile fantasy, Sci-Fi, and historical fiction,’ she lets us know.
While Mr Martin makes it clear that he never really thought of becoming a full-fledged writer until Pretty Flamingo happened, he says now it has become next to impossible for him to stop writing. ‘When I came up with the concept for my first novel, I believed that would be the only novel I would write. But then I found I enjoyed the whole process and I started getting ideas for other novels, so I figured I might as well keep at it. Now here I am working on my fifth novel,’ he shares with a smile.
When author Vince Stevenson was just twenty-nine years old, he’d moved to London, and for the first time, began living alone. That was exactly when he felt he’d all the time in the world. Before relocating to London, the author, now sixty-two, had worked for big companies and was heavily involved in communication. ‘In the old days, we had large dictionaries on our desks. I attended meetings and was often responsible for disseminating and documenting material, and it had to be accurate. If anything left my desk with a typo, I’d be cross with myself,’ begins Mr Stevenson, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction. That was exactly when he started attending writing classes and meeting people with similar interests. ‘And I found that incredibly inspiring. I began to write short stories about the IT world, and I had many published in Computer Weekly,’ he tells us with a beatific smile.
While being grateful for having a micro-press publisher that enjoys his Kink Noir series, the author emphasises that without a contract from the big-five, becoming a full-fledged author is not about to happen. ‘That is because self-publishing has led to a deluge of books hitting the market at a daily rate. The competition is fierce, and there is a bottleneck of novels to choose from. I can only hope that writing non-traditional neo-noir thrillers with erotic elements will carve out a niche,’ he explains.