A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Elisabeth Kelly

with Elisabeth Kelly:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Elisabeth: I started writing when I was about 12 years old. Stories about riding ponies and going on adventures, and then poems full of angst in my teenage years. I had an anthology of women’s poems called Loves Witness, compiled by Jill Hollis that I adored. Poems by Wendy Cope and Louise Gluck stand out from this time, also some D H Lawrence, Jim Morrison from the Doors, probably lots of music generally really, and also finally the wonderful Margaret Atwood.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Elisabeth: I don’t think they have changed much really! I like honest, simple poetry that speaks to me but doesn’t need me to work hard, and doesn’t feel to academic and frighting. Liz Lochhead, Jackie Kay and Wendall Berry are new favourites so probably influence me in some way, and my life, my children and lovely husband.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing?

Elisabeth: I grew up on a number of farms mainly, in Lancashire, Cumbria and the Scottish Borders. I think this had probably influenced me greatly, I use a lot of more-than-human-world metaphors in my work and I also visualise my emotions through this world I think. It taught me about details as well, paying attention, and this feeds into my work.

Q4: Have any travels away from home influenced work/describe?

Elisabeth: I don’t think they have, apart from helping me understand home is where I want to be. I lived in London, Melbourne and lastly Prague. Prague was an amazing experience but I haven’t really written about it. The others just made me want to find the hills of home!

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Elisabeth: As long as I remember I always wanted to write. Poetry is new, I never really thought I could! But it fits is wonderfully into my busy life. I don’t have time currently for long pieces, I need to snatch moments here and there and poetry allows me to do that.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Elisabeth: Walking with my family and my dog on the hills of our home. And sitting in my beautiful garden watching the weather coming in.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?

Elisabeth: I find promoting my work tricky. I am not a fan really of too many zooms, I also can’t seem to function later in in the day! I am just exhausted so miss all the Open Mics etc. I must try harder.
You can find most of my stuff on my website www.elisabethkelly.com and my recent Slim at https://hybriddreich.co.uk/product/mind-mathematics-elisabeth-kelly/ and I try and tweet @eekelly22 but have to watch out a bit not to get to sucked down the rabbit hole of social media.

Q8: What is a favorite line or lines from one of your writings/poems?

Elisabeth: “We used to picnic in the rain” as it is in one of the first poems I wrote entitled Sister and it was Shortlisted for the Anthony Cronin International Poetry Award 2020 which gave me the confidence to carry on. And because it is about my sister who I rather adore. https://elisabethkelly.com/2020/06/29/anthony-cronin-award/

Q9: Who has helped you most with your writing?

Elisabeth: My husband giving me head space. I have also done a number of great courses and workshops with Nell from Happenstance, Susan Ireland, and Wendy Pratt. They have all helped in some way. Also, the editing skills of Haley Jenkins from Selcouth Station. Lastly, and as importantly I think many of the wonderful, supportive poets I have met on these online courses have helped. It is such a lovely community.

Hedgehog Poetry on Twitter: "I'm really pleased to be able to announce that Elisabeth  Kelly, Kate Young and Mick Yates will be 'sharing' a quite brilliant wee  anthology ' Liberté, égalité, fraternité?'

https://deuxiemepeaupoetry.com/tag/the-hedgehog-poetry-press/

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Robert J.W.

with Robert J.W.

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Robert: I started writing poetry around 2004 when I was 16. It was a great release for the copious amounts of angst I felt at the time. My biggest influences back then were Charles Bukowski, Albert Camus, and Devin Townsend.

Q2: Who are some of your biggest influences today?

Robert: Probably Henry Rollins or Keith Buckley.

Henryrollins.com

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Robert: I grew up in Morgantown, WV and still live here. I haven’t traveled much. It’s honestly influenced me more than I used to let on. I write about my experiences a lot.

Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

Robert: My poetry collection, Dusty Video Game Cartridges. I put my heart and soul into everything I do but moreso for that one.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a poet/writer?

Robert: Honestly, a video game called Max Payne got me into writing. His poetic and tortured inner monologue really resonated with me back then and I wanted to write similar things.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Robert: Listen to music, play video games, exercise, hang with friends.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?

Robert: I’m working on a collection I think is going to be amazing but I don’t want to give away too much details just yet.

Q8: One of your favorite lines from a poem of yours?

Robert: From the previous mentioned collection. “We See God in the Progress we make.”

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Robert: So many people. I’ve gotten sage advice from most of my friends in the writing community. But the one who will help you the most is yourself. Never give up.

Links:

Find Robert on Twitter @RobertJW4688

www.robertjw4688.wordpress.com

Coffee and Antipsychotics eBook by Robert J. W. - 9781370978496 | Rakuten  Kobo United States

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Jane Rosenberg LaForge

with Jane Rosenberg LaForge:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Jane: I suppose I started writing in fourth grade, when my class did a magazine project and the teacher noticed that I had something to say. My first influences were probably the poetry my father read to me–Poe, Edward Arlington Robinson, very general American literature. He also read A.E. Houseman to me, “Terence, This Is Stupid Stuff.”

Q2: Who are some of your biggest influences today?

Jane: That’s hard to say. I studied with Kate Braverman many years ago and she’s still in my head. My favorite writer is usually the one I’m reading right now, and I’ve been reading a lot of Robert Fisk; he’s a journalist who covered the Middle East for many years. He passed away last year.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing?

Jane: I grew up in Los Angeles. (My new novel takes place in Los Angeles; that’s a little obvious.) I haven’t lived there for 26 years but I still pine for the place. That homesickness is a huge influence on my work. I am always remembering, trying to recreate, or perhaps capture anew the way the air feels there, the heat, the wind. I miss the sounds of the neighborhood I grew up in, the voices of my grandparents and parents. I miss the dryness, or I should say, the crispness, because the dry thing–drought–isn’t working out too well for everyone. I miss being small and everything looking big to me for a reason–because I was young. Now I’m just small because of my genes.

Q4: Have any travels away from home influenced your work/describe?

Jane: I traveled to Ireland with my family a few years back and then wrote a novel about an Irish soldier in World War I–does that count? That’s probably the most direct influence travel has had in my work. The absence–or my absence–from home also is huge.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Jane: I’ve wanted to be a writer for so long, I don’t think there was any pivotal moment. It’s just always been there

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Jane: Spending time with my husband and daughter; and friends; doting on my cats; reading.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?

Jane:

My newest book of poems is Medusa’s Daughter, a collection about my mother. You can buy it here: https://animalheartpress.net/medusas-daughter/
My new novel is Sisterhood of the Infamous, a story of sibling rivalry, punk rock, and murder. You can buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Sisterhood-Infamous-Jane-Rosenberg-LaForge/dp/1734383534

Medusa's Daughter by Jane Rosenberg LaForge, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

Q8: One of your favorite lines from a poem of yours?

Jane:

“…and when I speak/my voice leaves me silent.” This is from a poem I’m working on entitled “Girl in a Green Dress.”

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Jane: I’d have to say my husband, because if he wasn’t around to support me emotionally and financially, I wouldn’t be able to write at all.

Links:

https://www.janerosenberglaforge.com/

https://thepoetryquestion.com/2019/12/04/tpq5-jane-rosenberg-laforge/

https://thebrokenspine.co.uk/spotlight-tbsac2-2/

https://longridgereview.com/jane-rosenberg-laforge/

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Elliot Harper

with Elliot Harper:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Elliot: I’ve only recently found writing. I’ve been a reader all my life, but never found the time or confidence to start writing, something which has always been a dream of mine. In 2016, I moved to Houston, Texas with my wife, and this afforded me the opportunity to explore that dream. Although I don’t like to stick to any particular genre, my early influences are the Science Fiction of Ursula Le Guin and Iain M Banks, and the weird fiction of China Mieville, Jeff Vandermeer, and Steph Swainston, as well as the dream-like works of Haruki Murakami.

Gifts (Annals of the Western Shore, #1) by Ursula K. Le Guin

Q2: Who are some of your biggest influences today?

Elliot: Currently, my biggest influence is still China Mieville. His use of vocabulary and language in the Bas-lag series of books still blows me away no matter how many times I read them. I’ve recently written a dark fantasy book which is heavily influenced by his work.

Perdido Street Station: Mieville, China: 9780330534239: Amazon.com: Books

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing?

Elliot: I grew up in a little seaside town called Scarborough, Yorkshire, in the northeast of England. My hometown is the basis for the fictional seaside town I’ve created that features in some of my writing and four of my unpublished books called Eastborough-on-Sea.

Q4: Have any travels away from home influenced your work/describe?

Elliot: Me and my wife love to travel. For our honeymoon, we went backpacking around the world in 2011-12. Seeing all those cultures first-hand changed my life and I’m always thinking about what I saw and did in that year. When I write I remember back to the bustling markets and cities and it gives me my inspiration.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Elliot: I think the pivotal moment for me was when a friend of mine was published. It was at that moment that I realised that it can happen to real people that I actually know in my life. It gave me the confidence to believe that I could possibly do it as well.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Elliot: My favorite activities when not writing are reading (currently dark fantasy), playing games (currently The Witcher 3), and watching movies and series (mostly horror, Carpenter, Cronenberg, Aster, etc, but also anything by Denis Villeneuve, and eagerly awaiting the Dune movie in November)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9xhJrPXop4 to preview Dune

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming work you’d like to promote?

Elliot: I recently won a flash fiction competition, the Flash Vision contest by The Molotov Cocktail. This was the first time I’ve ever won anything for my writing. The story will be available to read on their website, https://themolotovcocktail.com/ within the next few weeks.

Q8: What is a favorite line of yours or others?

Elliot: Favorite quote is from Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking”

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Elliot: The people who have helped me most in my writing by their constant support and willingness to read my work (and listen to me talk about it endlessly) are my wife, Naomi, and my friends, Rob, John and Will.

Bio:
Elliot Harper is the author of two self-published books, the dark science-fiction novella, The City around the World, and the speculative short story collection, On Time Travel and Tardiness.

On Time Travel and Tardiness: A Collection of Speculative Stories: Harper,  Elliot: 9798644039630: Amazon.com: Books

His story, In the Garden, was the winner of the Flash Vision 2021 story contest by The Molotov Cocktail.

He has short stories in print as follows: Into the Forest appears in Air and Nothingness Press’s, The Wild Hunt: Stories of the Chase anthology, There’s a Dead Bear in the Pool features in Clash Book’s Black Telephone Issue 1, and Blackout features in Popshot Quarterly Magazine, The Protest Issue.

His fiction has appeared online in Issue 3 of Clash Book’s Black Telephone Magazine, Maudlin House, Neon Magazine’s Battery Pack Volume 4, Horrified Magazine, Coffin Bell Journal, FIVE:2:ONE Magazine’s #thesideshow, Storgy, Queen Mobs Teahouse, the Ghost City Review, Akashic Book’s #FriSciFi, Back Patio Press, Litro Magazine’s #StorySunday, Selcouth Station’s #2 Food Edition, Dream Noir Lit Magazine, Vagabonds: Anthology of the Mad Ones Volume 8 and Riggwelter Press.

He currently lives in Houston, Texas with my wife, Naomi, but he’s originally from Scarborough, England, although he considers Leeds to be his home. He likes to write fiction that isn’t confined by any particular genre, but leans towards the dark, the transgressive and the surreal. Find him at his website, https://www.elliotharper.com/, and on Twitter, @E_Harper_Author.

Some links:

https://coffinbell.com/a-tale-from-the-terraced-ocean/

https://www.clashbooks.com/black-telephone-magazine/2020/9/29/elliot-harper

https://maudlinhouse.net/author/elliot-harper/

https://ghostcitypress.com/prose-58/2019/9/15/elliot-harper

https://dreamnoir.art/category/fiction/

https://www.yumpu.com/news/en/issue/10048-popshot-issue-30-winter-2020

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Roger Hare

with Roger Hare:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Roger: Creative writing has always been important to me since schooldays, mainly in the form of keeping an irregular journal of thoughts/observations. I became more intent about six years ago through contact with a community arts group near Norwich; their Facilitator/Founder Wendy Shaw was instrumental in giving me confidence to express myself. Significant writerly influences included Billy Collins, Alyson Hallett, Imtiaz Dharker, William Stafford, Natalie Goldberg and Jo Bell.

Q2: Who are some of your biggest influences today?

Roger: Rather than give a single name I’d say that it’s important for me to be exposed to the behind-the-scenes working practices of a range of creative people – poets, other writers, artists, sculptors, photographers, designers…….. I find real inspiration and craft-guidance from anyone attempting a physical manifestation of how the world makes them feel.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing/art?

Roger: I grew up in Wallasey on Merseyside, opposite the river from Liverpool. I saw a lot of poverty, aspiration, good humour and kindness all of which must surely find their way into my writing somewhere, along with a sense that there’s life away from fashionable centres. Most consciously growing up alongside the Sea created a hole in my mind and heart that can only be filled by regular visits to the coast and writing in response to that.

Q4: Have any travels away from home influence your work/describe?

Roger: Travels away from home that have influenced my work – the most significant would be a week’s stay on the Isle of Harris a few years ago. Exposure to the amazing, elemental nature of the place blew my mind and I hope creeps into my writing to give it a sense of glimpses now-and-then of grandeur without limits.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Roger: Five years ago I read a small four-line poem to a group of people some of whom really got the feeling I was trying to convey – the excitement to me of that moment fueled a desire to try some more!

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Roger: Walking – anywhere (town, country, wild or managed); watching cricket or American football; reading crime fiction or ‘interesting’ novels; listen to jazz or classical musical; photography; enjoying a nice meal/wine; spend time with friends; documentary tv/radio; the physical bits of gardening.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?

Roger: ? I’ve been trying to put together a pamphlet/chapbook and would like to get that nailed and accepted somewhere. I’ve had some encouragement in that direction with longlisting in a recent competition (Frosted Fire Firsts) which has given me the ‘umph’ to put a bit of effort into it! I’d like to find an affordable mentoring opportunity in the next year or so as I’ve more than a suspicion that I need a bit of steering.

Q8: A Favorite line from one of your poems/writings?

Roger:

incisions in the sky, blown
into diminishing swathes
whispering / whisper / wisp”

(From the poem ‘Contrails’)

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Roger: Alyson Hallett was an enormous help in getting me kick-started six years ago and Jo Bell has had a continuing beneficial influence. Workshop/interviews with Caroline Bird have been marvelous. Most directly over the last 12 months I’ve found the #TopTweetTuesday twitter community established by Matthew Smith (Black Bough Poetry) to have been a great help in trying out different approaches to writing………, continuing to be grateful to them all. In both practical and emotional terms I’d have to say my wife, Jo, has been and continues to be instrumental in me continuing to explore this way to express myself – thanks Jo xx

Poetry & Interview with Matthew M C Smith & Black Bough Poetry

Bio from 2020:

After a midlife rediscovery of creative pursuits I’ve been making up for lost time, giving rein to an interest in photographing things that draw my attention and putting pen to paper poetically. My inspiration is largely drawn from the historical, geological, biological & sociological layers in the world around us. Twitter @RogerHare6

Links to other writing:

https://richiemccafferypoetry.wordpress.com/2020/04/15/a-poem-by-roger-hare/

https://icefloepress.net/2020/10/26/holy-week-2017-a-poem-by-roger-hare-with-two-drawings-by-m-s-evans/