Richard, honoured to have you here! Let’s not waste time on small talk and start the interview!
Do you believe in the power of the e-book?
The format has potential certainly; however I’m still a fan first and foremost of a book being published in print. I appreciate the touch and feel of the physical object. At the moment it is difficult to predict how quickly the e-book will develop, a lot depends on the e-reader and how well that product is marketed. If manufacturers can follow the marketing plan of the iPod then we might see a widespread acceptance of the e-book, but this all relies on the e-reader becoming both affordable and desirable to the consumer.
Why did you decide to include the option of an e-book?
BeWrite Books release all of their books in both Paperback and e-book formats so I didn’t have a say in the matter.
Did this decision prove to be fruitful?
Who knows? I just hope people read ‘Dead End Road’ and enjoy the poems.
Where did you get so much inspiration to write about the theme of Life as a Dead End Road?
I wouldn’t say that the theme of the book is literally in the title. I was keen to capture Realism in its mundane residential form. The characters in the book are in a sense all trapped; many are going through the motions, however each poem is only a snapshot. In a weird way hope and change could be just around the corner, so there is an underlying optimism buried deep under the surface.
And what motivated you to write about it?
The initial idea about writing about a specific road came from a chapbook I published through Trainwreck Press a couple of years back titled ‘Apple Road’, though the poems in that book were more minimal, the seeds were sown for the full length collection.
I was influenced by a wide variety of things. The Australian Soap Opera Neighbours, The trashy American show Desperate Housewives, Blur’s Modern Life is Rubbish and Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road, plus various personal observations. I’m a great believer in wandering about and absorbing your surroundings, so if I saw an elderly person struggling about in their garden then I added a back story to what I witnessed and turned it into a poem. The process is quite simple.
Many people wonder what you are doing now … care to enlighten them on your current projects?
I’m about to start a new job as a Security Guard. But real life is boring so I’m not going to elaborate on that. In my guise as a writer I’m currently writing the first draft of my debut novel ‘Tears and Spittle’ which is going to be a road trip / misadventure. I’ve been attending a writer’s workshop which has really given my confidence a jolt in the arm, I honestly have high hopes that this time around I might be able to put together a manuscript fit for publication after a couple of failed efforts
You mentioned a follow-up on Dead End Road, you have more inspiration?
After a brief break I’ve begun to scribble down a few poems. Inspiration is never a problem since there is a strange unknown guiding force that keeps me writing, even when I get low on confidence there is a little voice in the back of my mind that dares me to keep going.
As far as the follow-up I always imagined it would be nice to have other poets write extra pieces about the characters, expand upon their lives. Maybe short films could also be made, or songs written inspired by the poems. I’d like to open up ‘Dead End Road’ to other artistic platforms. If anyone is interested in collaborating on such a project then I’d love to hear from them.
Do you really view life as a dead end road or only the situations and people you describe as such?
I’m a strange guy. A hypocrite, an indecisive person, an all or nothing person, today I might be optimistic about the world, and hopeful about my future, tomorrow I could be thinking melodramatically about suicide. I’ve never managed to get to the bottom of this, but I guess it’s just life; some people can get on and grind straight through, whilst others fight the battles in their own heads, a lot of these battles they start themselves.
Dead End Road represents a wide range of people, what they have in common is that they live in close proximity to each other, however nowadays there isn’t really a strong sense of community, I wanted the book to reflect this. We live in the age of the individual, and unfortunately people get lost in the shuffle, they find themselves isolated, out of step and off the pace.
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