Q1: When did you start writing and whom influenced you the most now and currently?
Gary: I started writing about eight years ago when I became a member of a creative writing group which is led by a lady called Lee. The aim of the class is to create something of your own choice from a single significant word and then reveal it to the class the following week. I think she still plays an important role in influencing how and what I write poetry about.
Q2: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Gary: I believe that I didn’t find writing, rather writing found me. Therefore, I do not think that there was a pivotal moment where I suddenly wanted to become a writer.
Q3: Who has helped you most with writing and career?
Gary: Apart from the classes, my wife has occasionally helped me with my poetry. She is a teacher and a very useful proof reader and muse
Q4: Where did you grow up and how did that influence you? Have any travels influenced your work?
Gary: I grew up in a very deprived Neighbourhood in Nottingham during the eighties. Crime was rife and the schools I attended were underfunded and poorly ran. Therefore, after my bumpy upbringing I failed most of my GCSE’s apart from English. I could not have imagined becoming a writer at this turbulent stage in my life.
Q5: What do you consider your most meaningful work creatively to you?
Gary: My poem ‘Peace’ gives a strong positive message to myself and hopefully to my readers around the world.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Gary: I like to watch Notts County with my dad and let off a little steam by shouting and cheering them on.
Q7: What is a favorite line/stanza from your writing?
Let me roam
Where trees are plentiful
I want to breathe
The pure untainted air
Q8: What kind of music inspires you the most? What is a song or songs that always comes back to you as an inspiration?
Gary: My inspirational song choice is Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’ because of his lyrics about capturing the moment and giving it your all, especially when it matters most.
Q9: Do you have any recent or upcoming books, music, events, etc. that you would like to promote?
Gary: I am currently in the very early stages of my third book. I want to perform more spoken word in the near future, to help promote and drive my work forward. I also hope to attract more shops and local attractions to sell my books.
Bonus Question: Any funny memory or strange occurrence you’d like to share during your creative journey?
Gary: I am always waking at the early hours with a line or two of poetry buzzing around my head. Writing them down in the semi darkness can be a bit of a challenge.
I was born and raised in Bulwell, Nottingham. Later moving to Hucknall in my twenties and then moving to Carlton when I met my wife. We have two children.
It was around the time of meeting my wife, that my interest in poetry began. I had changed jobs from a print finisher to a support worker and there was an expectation that I wrote reports and studied a level 3. My writing skills at this point were pretty dire, because they had been left unused for many years. Therefore, I suppose this woke a sleeping passion.
Around this time, I joined a wonderful group of creative writers in Sherwood. Every week we were asked to write about one prominent word. I started by writing reems of thoughts that seemed to lack soul, as I read them out to my peers. Therefore, I looked for an alternative angle to express my thoughts and feelings. I looked up how to write poetry and never looked back!
Church performances, newspaper publications followed. Leading to a published book with Augur Press and an appearance on Radio Nottingham with Alan Clifford. I celebrated the launch of my first book The Wandering Lyricist at The Book Case in Lowdham with friends and family. I passed my Level 3 in residential support working at the same time. 2019 was a wonderful year for me!
My work has since appeared with an online journal called Rat’s Ass Review (Winter 2020) and I have recently self-published a book titled The Beauty of Words, Family Poetry with Amazon. My work appeared in a local book called Poets of Robin Hood County. Both of my books became available from the Nottingham Castle shop, after offering some of my books for free with profits going to charity.
I feel my writing changes with every passing year. Somehow it feels ever more natural to write poetry and to draw inspiration from my surroundings. I love to write about nature and the beautiful places we have visited together, in England and abroad with my family who feature heavily too; I write poems for my children to enjoy. I try to uplift the reader with humour, sincerity and positivity with written visuals that take you on a journey through the written pieces.
I hope to attract new readers with my Twitter account @poetnottingham due to difficulty of advertising. I realise that, I am a small fish in a very big pond, and that my achievements only bring me kudos and not a wage. But I am grateful for every single purchase, every single person that spends their hard earnt cash on one of my books.
I still continue to write poetry and at some point, I hope to publish a third.