Author Barbara Avon has written with zest and fervour since she was young, beginning her writing journey with poetry riddled with teenage angst. Quite interestingly, when her first assignment in Grade IX was to write a short story, it earned her an A+, and she knew right off the bat that she was meant to write. Speaking to The Literary Juggernaut in an exclusive interaction, the author, who tends to write all the time, constantly emailing herself notes, ideas, phrases and words, says she will even awaken at three in the morning just to send herself an email! ‘Writing, to me, is the same as breathing. It’s a part of me. I don’t think I could be happy doing anything else,’ she avers.
Author T C Weber is a morning person, and he begins his day with what he loves doing most: writing. In an exclusive email interaction with The Literary Juggernaut, Mr Weber, who is a member of Poets & Writers and the Maryland Writers Association, says when working on a novel, his goal is to write one scene each day, schedule permitting. ‘I ensure that I write something every morning, even if it’s just random thoughts or a few paragraphs. Long scenes may take several days,’ explains the author, who also knows to speak Spanish besides a bit of Russian and Japanese.
The author, who can speak a bit of Spanish and Welsh besides swearing in Punjabi, thanks to his Indian friends at school, also stresses while accepting the reality might be hard, if one does accept, then it will take the sting off the inevitable rejections and negative reviews that all authors get. ‘With rejections, try to be level-headed when they land. First consider whether they are sincere, or whether they are just a form rejection with little thought or substance behind them. If they are sincere, then study them carefully, take on board the comments and try to learn,’ he explains, adding, ‘This is especially important if those rejections go into specific detail about what did and didn’t work. Try and see this as honest advice from top people within the industry, which, in any other scenario, you would probably be paying good money for.’
Speaking about her published novella entitled ‘The Unbreakable Thread’ published last year on Amazon, Google Books, and Notion Press, Nissha says it is a romantic fiction in the new adult genre. ‘It is based on a Japanese legend. It deals with two souls who are destined to meet each other,’ she shares with us, clearly not willing to divulge more details.
The morning writer, whose list of favourite authors changes all the time, has had her short stories featured in the award-winning anthologies Elmwood Stories to Die For and Mayhem in Memphis as well. ‘My stories also appear in Low Down Dirty Vote VII, Stories Through the Ages: Baby Boomers Plus 2019,’ she says. We also learn that the online literary journal Backchannels published one of her stories in the spring and another story won second place in the online Short Storyland 2019 competition.
While becoming an author was not something the author had thought of in her childhood, she stresses that because she always possessed a vivid imagination, she could not but put pen to paper. ‘As many ideas constantly swim around my head, it is only natural for me to feel the only way to eliminate the thoughts is to write them down,’ she tells us.
While Mr Mana tries to keep a schedule, writing from 10 AM to 5 PM, with a short break for lunch and several pauses, he concedes that many unexpected events tend to shatter his schedule. ‘But that’s life I guess,’ he states. ‘Also, I sometimes just sit at the keyboard and write for the fun of it – without a deadline or a target market, or a contract. Especially when the going gets rough, and it happens, writing is a good way to clear the mind and stop worrying about those things you can’t control anyway,’ he adds.
She wrote the Christian superhero series entitled ‘Science, Meet God’ while being crippled for four years after having undergone knee surgery at the age of twenty four. ‘I was on the verge of paralysis before a doctor finally figured that slipping disks had severed my spinal cord in half. I had spinal surgery in 2014. The healing process was slow and painful, and I would like to thank Cliff for being the best nurse a girl could ever hope for,’ she shares with us.
The author tells us that Nevada Noir is a dark, atmospheric trilogy of intertwined tales of greed and temptation in the Nevada badlands. ‘In these three dark and brooding short stories, set in and around the US state of Nevada, a cast of disparate characters struggle with greed and temptation and the cursed lure of easy money. An old man goes in search of his son in the aftermath of a terrible storm, a couple down on their luck make a life-changing discovery, and an ex-cop has one last impossible decision to make,’ he explains, adding, ‘It’s an action-packed meditation on death, temptation and flawed humanity.’
Author Marc Cavella might have begun writing at the tender age of ten, but he’d never taken it seriously until 2015 when he decided to leave a Clinical Psychology doctoral program to focus more on writing books. Speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction, the California-based author , who is looking for a cabin to rent in the general vicinity of Georgia and the Carolinas as one of the stories he is planning to work on is set there, says he generally writes at night right after he finishes with work. ‘I don’t really have a schedule. though. If I get inspired and I’m not near my computer, I’ll write notes in my phone so I can work on them later,’ he lets us know.
Speaking about his published novel entitled ‘King’s Signet’, the author, who lives in North Carolina, says it was initially intended to be a short story for a fantasy magazine. ‘That was in 2018. But I kept on getting ideas while writing other pieces, so what was supposed to be a short story turned into a novel which I finally published in June this year,’ he tells us.
Author Christian Towers began writing stories at the tender age of nine. That was also the age he began creating short comic books incorporating superheroes and other types of action heroes of his creation. ‘This eventually flourished into a love for films and film making. Also, I decided to become a director of films when I grew up at about the same time. Despite opposition from the family, the dream persisted several years. However, as the years passed, and when I entered high school, I felt what mattered to me was not so much making films but being a storyteller in general. That is when being a film director became less important to me, and the author life grew more appealing,’ the Florida-based author, who hails from Puerto Rico, begins, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction.
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.
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 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.