Tony Concannon–Interview

Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?

I write both at home and at a favorite Starbucks. I like having people around me even if I don’t know them very well.

What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?

I have been using the same size mechanical pencil for many years. I usually write in pencil first, then type it up later.

What is your routine for writing?

I write early in the morning on Saturdays and Sundays and other days off and on one afternoon a week.

How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?

I started writing when I was 25, and I’ve been writing on and off for nearly 40 years.

Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?

I don’t think I have an intended audience. I try to write the type of stories I like to read. 

What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?

Enjoyment is what inspires me. Also, I think there are things we feel, or see, or understand, that we cannot articulate in speech, and writing can be a way to express them.

I keep plugging away at whatever I’m writing. I’m usually working on 5 or 6 stories at a time and I try to spend some time on each one. I constantly rewrite.

What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?

I exercise a lot, including running, playing basketball, lifting weights and walking.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

Stories sometimes seem to take off and write themselves or go in a direction or dimension you didn’t foresee. Then the writing is easy.

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

Keep working at it. Writing takes a long time.

 

Check out Tony’s work in Volume 4, Issue 1.

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Anthony J. Mohr–Interview

Creative Space:  I work at home, rarely in public spaces.

 

Material I use:   I type into a computer and edit by computer.  The keyboard is my favorite utensil. But somewhere before a draft becomes final, I print it out and do an edit by hand.

 

Routine for writing:  Saturday or Sunday morning into the early afternoon.  Week nights whenever I can fit in fifteen to thirty minutes.

 

How long I’ve been writing:  Since high school, but that was journalism. I’ve been writing personal essays for about 15 years. I first tried my hand in fiction about 12 years ago.

 

Who do I write for:  I haven’t totally figured that out yet.  Essays have been for a

baby boomer audience. Fiction is for anyone who’ll read it.

 

What Inspires me to write; What about writer’s block:  I had writers block for years, and then around 2007, the dam broke. Now almost anything inspires me, including fires. Sometimes a good novel will inspire me to write something.

 

Other hobbies:  hiking, horseback riding, the gym

 

Favorite part of creative process:  revising and editing

 

Advice to aspiring writers:  Just start writing, even if it’s nonsense.  Let your characters run around on the page. Something good will emerge. Don’t be discouraged if the first twenty pages are miserable. And don’t be afraid to kill your darlings.

 

Check out Anthony’s work in Volume 4, Issue 1.

Roberta Gould–Interview

Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?

THIS HAS VARIED OVER TIME. I USED TO GET UP EARLY EACH MORNING AND SIT THERE AND WRITE.  With experience now I live and listen to the inside and out, and catch something when something is there.  It is always a great surprise.  I do have a space to type, submit, revise…a room for this only…but most of the poems come when I am walking or swimming, living, and then I quickly jot down what I have after which the hard work begins.

What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?

I write on whatever paper I can find…sometimes I do a journal and select phrases that grab me…the journal is a journal of what has been going on in my life.  Many of us have written good poems on napkins.  Me too.

What is your routine for writing?   Sometimes I work in the morning…but these days I am working in the late afternoon.  With years of experience and 11 books behind me I do not fret or force anything.  And poems do keep coming but usually not in the writing office

How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?

Began writing age 25…Many years…

Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?

I write for the ideal world called by some “truth.”

I do write political poems but they are poems not slogans etc.  They are challenging but my responsibility as a person who believes in democracy.

What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?

I do not fret about being blocked…I always come out of lapses. I wait.  I sweep the floor,  I go swimming , I wash the dishes,  I walk in the woods, I pet my dog..etc., (I live.)

What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?

I swim, I play piano, talk with a few friends.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

When something comes up and then I have a pencil to write it down and then work on it expand it, hone it or leave it alone. When done I feel happy, I only recently realized that doing this makes me happy and that I have to do it, with no worry of course.

Getting a flash, a phrase and then keeping focused to continue it.

Check out Roberta’s work in Volume 3, Issue 2.

Laura Dennis–Interview

Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?

My creative space would be my head.  I have notebooks in all my bags.  If something strikes me, I’m ready.

What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?

I like coil bound notebooks.  But I have used paper napkins, envelopes, post its.  I always write out the poem.  When I’m ready, I type it up.  I prefer a pen over a pencil.  But when needed, will use whatever.

What is your routine for writing?

I wish I had a routine.  But I don’t.  I write when something sparks me.

How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?

I have been writing poems since I was 14.  So almost 40 years.  I didn’t realize I was a poet until I was an adult.

Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?

I write for myself.  I hope people will like my poems.

What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?

I am inspired by little moments.  A teaser of a memory.  A bolt of lightning.  I try not to think about it too much if it’s been a while since I`ve written.  I always have things rolling around in my head.  I have a notebook full of sentences that intrigued me.  Things I heard in a movie or in conversation.  Sometimes I will pull it out and see what strikes me.

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

My advice would be to own it.  By that I mean, say “I am a poet.”  or “I am a writer.”  Whatever it is that you are.  To me the importance is not if I am published or not (although I always love when I am), it is more about the satisfaction of a good poem.  One that I know is good.

Check out Laura’s work in Volume 3, Issue 2.