Author Interviews

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Thursday, 9 May 2013

Author interview with poet G.P.A. (revisited)

Back in March 2013, I interviewed poet G.P.A. for my interview-only WordPress blog. I hope you enjoy it...
Welcome to my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, scriptwriters, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with poet G.P.A. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, G.P.A. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
subdomain_logoG.P.A.: I love Poetry like she is a beautiful and curvaceous woman. So I want to be the best for her. All of that means that I eat, drink, and sleep (when I do) Poetry. I am from the beautiful city of Chicago, specifically its Southside. When I sat in a prison cell, I believe God told me to do what I had been just toying around with.
Morgen: Do you write poetry to form or as it comes? If to form, what are your favourites? Are some easier than others?
G.P.A.: I write poems, which means that if I am feeling three or four lines, that’s what I write. If it is an epic poem that sprouts from my pen, then that’s what comes as well. I thoroughly enjoy writing haiku and Tanka because of the brevity and parameters you have to place your thoughts in. Free verse is the easiest, but I believe people take it for granted by not varying and trying other styles. Once you’ve written a villanelle or sestina, that gives you a better appreciation of writing without boundaries.
Morgen: Do you generally write rhyming or free verse?
G.P.A.: I write both rhyming and free verse poems.
Morgen: What have you had published to-date? Do you write under a pseudonym?
G.P.A.: I have written and published The Confessional Heart of a Man, The Book of 24 Orgasms, and The Mind of a Poetic Unsub. Revenge of the Orgasm will be released April 29, 2013. I write under the name G.P.A., which stands for Greatest Poet alive and also the Poetic Unsub.
unsubcoverMorgen: Which author would you compare your writing to?
G.P.A.: My writing is similar to Langston Hughes’ style, simple and right to it.
Morgen: Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?

G.P.A.: When I sent out query letters for The Confessional Heart of a Man, all I did was receive rejections. I still have those letters; forgive the cliché. But rejections in writing make me more determined.
Morgen: I keep mine for the very same reason. Do you enter competitions?
G.P.A.: The only competitions I have entered (and won) have been the Poetry Pentathlon and the Moth Storytelling Slam. I entered those because they were live as opposed to the subjectivity of people’s reading perspectives.
Morgen: Do you deal with publishers directly or do you have an editor / agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
G.P.A.: Well, I publish my own books, but it is a good thing to have someone who speaks for you in certain situations. It gives a different respect factor.
Morgen: Are your books available as eBooks? How involved were you in that process?
G.P.A.: My eBooks are on Amazon and Smashwords. The only book I actually created as an ebook was The Book of 24 Orgasms. Heck of an experience doing that because the font was different than what was required, but I got it done.
Morgen: Do you think eBooks will change poetry? If so, how?
G.P.A.: eBooks are changing literature, period. Poetry has to be concerned with the mainstream step cousin of spoken word more so than eBooks. Poetry by definition is writing, so any instrument that facilitates that is good overall.
Morgen: What / who do you read? And is it via eBooks or is it paper all the way?
G.P.A.: I like the feel of actual books in my hand. I was an English major in college, so all I have known are books. I read fiction mostly. Carl Weber, James Patterson, John Grisham, and the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz are some that come to mind.
Morgen: Do you do much marketing for your published works or indeed for yourself as a ‘brand’?
G.P.A.: I have never like that term “brand” because every yahoo who writes or records something spouts, “It isn’t helping my brand. I have to consider my brand.” However, I have pushed all of my products and my insignia of #teamGPA to the fullest.
Morgen: Do you have a favourite of your poems or topic to write about?
G.P.A.: I enjoy writing about love, beautiful women, and life experiences.
Morgen: Presumably you choose the titles of your poems – do you get to keep them or are you ever overridden?
G.P.A.: All of my poems are written down and embedded in my head.
Morgen: You’re very fortunate. I have a terrible memory (and have been told off by a writing tutor for saying so, but it’s true – I’d never be a good actress). Do you show / read your poems to anyone before you submit?
G.P.A.: I sometimes place on social media for people to examine and give feedback.
Morgen: The joy of the internet. It’s why I set up my http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/online-writing-groups and http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/feedback pages. What are you working on at the moment / next?
G.P.A.: I am currently finishing Revenge of the Orgasm, the third book in “The Lust Series”.
Morgen: Do you manage to write every day, or ever suffer from writer’s block?
G.P.A.: Writer’s block is a myth, something for people to cling to. I write everyday.
Morgen: Why do you think poetry is such a difficult market to break into?
G.P.A.: Poetry calls for interpretation, inference, and reading actively. These are things that people do not readily wish to indulge in. Also, Poetry lends itself to romance in a society that focuses more on the quick fix.
Morgen: Are there any tips you could give to someone wishing to write poetry?
G.P.A.: Just write. However you need to, however you want to, whatever form, and no matter when or where, just write. Go back and read from the Romantic Era, read Poe, and especially Langston Hughes to get a foundation of Poetry, the written art.
Morgen: Do you write any prose fiction?
G.P.A.: I am actually working on my first novel about being bullied and becoming the bully.
Morgen: Do you do a lot of editing of your poems or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
G.P.A.: I write to get it on paper so I can visualize it, then I read it aloud, and after that, I make word changes, check for grammar, spelling, and everything else that might throw off the flow.
Morgen: Reading aloud is so useful; it makes errors jump out easier. How do we find out more about you and your writing?
G.P.A.: My website http://www.iblowyourmind.net.
Morgen: Is there anything you’d like to ask me?
G.P.A.: Who are some of your favourite Poets? Poems?
Morgen: I’m afraid I’m a heathen and don’t read (and rarely write) poetry. That said, I do love two of Shel Silverstein’s humorous poems, ‘It’s Dark in Here’ and ‘Snowball’. Thank you, G.P.A.
I than invited G.P.A. to include one of his poems…
No Love
He don’t wanna love, he just wanna lay.
No matter how begging, pleading, cooking, affection,
he don’t wanna stay.
Phone calls, text, inboxes go unreturned.
Lothario fire starter the way your fires burned.
No Simple Simon woman are you,
so believe better treatment you earned.
Not knowing this isn’t a trendy trend, but for you should
be a lesson and him it’s a behavior learned.
Making and breaking the rules in this game he play.
Because he don’t wanna love, he just wanna lay.
she don’t want to love
she just loves the lie
coming to events with a body of testosterone at her side
she wouldn’t be so mean, otherwise
as she is queen and lottery pick, treat him like king and franchise
give with the same countenance and grace when she receives
baggage left at baggage claim, so until otherwise shown,
word is believed.
poignant question is...where is she?
she don’t want to love, just lovin’ the lie
believe the concept of love is lost
infatuated with the material, sexual we label the everything as love
and truth be told, none of it fits the true description
so what is left is everything else, but certainly there is
no love…
*
and a synopsis…
The Mind of a Poetic Unsub is a multi-layered journey into Poetry.  In this book, G.P.A. speaks on many different topics using various styles of poems. From serious to funny, romance to rejection, and then placing some sensual in the mix, the Poet does not miss anything. The Mind of a Poetic Unsub is a great read for lovers of Poetry and otherwise.
**
G.P.A., the most electrifying man in Poetry, hails from Chicago Il. He is the author of three books of Poetry with a fourth on the way. G.P.A. has contributed to various anthologies that speak on domestic violence and erotica. He has recorded a cd titled The G.P.A. Experience, an collection of poems blended with serene music. Currently, G.P.A. is the Moth Storytelling Champion for his poem “Bully’ (My Chocolate Milk).
***
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