Continuing my want to write more and not just here at the site, I’ve been invited to contribute at Go Indie Now. Some may be familiar with this website because I’ve appeared there before. This time I’m sharing my own personal struggle with self-care and how the road to writing can be hard, but you’re not alone. If you’d like to read my article follow the link below.
Bachman: Being a publisher is a very important part of the industry, whether traditional or independent, when did you know that this was what you wanted to do?
Bonson: A tough question to start with – I hope these get easier! It’s a long story – but I looked in the past at a music publishing business and record company, etc. So there had always been a side to me that was interested in promoting unknown works.
It wasn’t until I tried to get my first book, ‘One Hit Wonders,’ published that I realised how difficult the process can be. I then looked at it with my engineering/continuous improvement background and thought that there must be a better way forward. I don’t want to give away too many of our secrets, but we operate a nice middle ground between self-publishing and a full publisher – yet utilise a lot of forward thing printing and publishing technologies.
Bachman: What has been your most favoured moment as being a publisher?
Bonson: Reading reviews from people with no connection to the company or the authors – and seeing how they enjoy our work.
Bachman: What have been some lessons you’ve learned along the way?
Bonson: Large chain bookshops aren’t interested in small, independent publishers or unknown authors – so it’s always about trying to do something innovative to draw the readers in, and there are some plans we have for the 12 months that will be quite different to what is out there currently.
Bachman: Is there anything that you’d do different if you were given the chance?
Set aside some additional funds for advertising. It’s one area I really underestimated, but so far we’re doing very well on social media and word of mouth – but it’s a part of the business I know we could do better.
Bachman: As a publisher, it must be difficult to juggle things, how do you keep so motivated and organized?
Bonson: It’s very difficult, especially as I still roles within the motor industry to juggle around and family, hobbies, etc. The motivation is seeing the look on an new authors face when they see their book in print for the first time – it’s a fantastic sight and an amazing feeling to know that you’ve been part of that moment.
Bachman: I read your biography on www.stanhopebooks.com; your publishing company’s website that you’re a fan of not only the arts but cars as well is there a specific type of car that’s your favourite more than any other?
Bonson: Too many nice cars that’s the issue. From a racing car perspective, I’d have to say the 1967 Lotus-Ford 49 Formula One car. Elegant design, amazing engineering and with an evocative green and yellow colour scheme.
Bonson: Road cars – too many to list, but let’s include the DeLorean DMC-12, Ford Mustang BOSS, any Jaguar
Bachman: I also discovered you’re not only a publisher, but also a writer, is there any works of yours you’d like to tell us about as a writer?
Bonson: My writing so far has been non-fictional – focused on my love of motor racing history and pulling together facts, figures, stories that weren’t available in one source anywhere else.
I’ve written plays in the past and am now working on a short story, to be included in a book we’re publishing later this year for a charity, so it will be interesting to see what people think of my fiction work. There are other fictional books I have planned, but there’s a lot of work that needs to go into them from a research perspective first.
Bachman: Where do you find inspiration for your stories?
Bonson: For the short story coming up, the inspiration was very simple, as I put myself into the role of the main character (I used to be an actor, before becoming involved in engineering). For the other stories I’m working on, it’s difficult to give the inspiration as it would say too much about what they are, but when they come out it will self-explanatory where the inspiration has come from.
Bachman: Is there anything you’d like readers to know about you and your company?
Bonson: We are very small, very independent and always looking to find new outlets, new readers and new authors. We cover hardback, paperback, e-book and audio book formats, alongside a diverse range of subjects.
Bachman: Finally, is there anything you’d like to take the time to promote?
Bachman: Tell us a bit about yourself, your work, what genre(s) you write in, and something you’d like to share about yourself that maybe isn’t well know.
Tann: My name is Bryan Tann. I’m a young kid in a near old fart’s body. I am the author of the Dark Lands universe and the John Baker Chronicles series. I am an author in the CHBB Publishing family. I don’t really have a “genre” that I write in. I enjoy a little bit of everything so I try to incorporate a little bit of everything in my writing. I am huge into collecting movies and tend to yell at the TV at characters that annoy me. Like Dudley Dursley. Selfish, spoiled little prick!
Bachman: Is being a writer a gift or a curse? It is a little bit of both, to be honest. I love being able to find the words to express myself.
Tann: I love the story ideas that I can come up with, but when the muse isn’t there and I NEED to write and can’t it is emotionally painful.
Bachman: What’s your writing process look like? What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Tann: My writing process isn’t really all that special. I tend to research as I go along because my writing process is very chaotic. I get an idea and I start writing. When I come up to something that I do not know about, then I look it up. I find a few different sources and if they come together, there you go. My muse comes and goes so sporadically that I never want to lose it when it comes.
Bachman: If you were deserted on an island, which three people would you want to have with you? Why? Criteria: One fictional character from your book.
Tann: I’m honestly not sure. Most of my characters are aspects of me, so they live in my brain anyway. If I was forced to pick one, it would probably be Enya Blake. Who wouldn’t want to be stranded on an island with a beautiful woman?
Bachman: One fictional character from any other book.
Tann: From any book? Hmmm that is a tough one. Maybe Hermione Granger. If I can’t have Enya there, why not have a crafty, genius level witch on my side?
Bachman: One famous person that is not a family member or friend.
Tann: Hmm famous person that isn’t a family member or friend…wow. That’s hard. I would say Ronda Rousey. If someone tried to beat me up, she would have my back.
Bachman: What about the genre(s) you write in attracted you to them?
Tann: I love vampires. Period. Vampires, Werewolves, Witches, Wizards, any of that. I love them. The power, the frightening world, I love it all.
Bachman: What’s your latest release about?
Tann: So the first book in the Dark Lands universe, The Enforcer is a story of a bad ass vampire Enforcer named Bryce Kreed. He has had his job as the judge, jury, and executioner of the vampire world, but the power went to his head and he began to enjoy killing too much. After having a…an epiphany…he realizes that he needs to change. So he wants forgiveness, but forgiveness for a vampire isn’t easy. Fast forward a century and he’s stuck in a rut, until Enya Blake, a Mistress Vampire three thousand miles away, needs his help. He first decides to help her just to piss off his “boss” in his hometown until he falls in love with her and decides her safety is his top priority.
Bachman: Do consider yourself to be a successful writer? If so, why? If not, what would make you successful?
Tann: I don’t know really. I mean, how does one define success? Am I doing better than I was when I first started writing ten years ago? Absolutely. I had to learn A LOT of the ups and downs of this business. I needed to meet good people in this business. I have done more in the last year than I did in the nine years previous. So in that regard I’m doing a lot better. Let’s see if it translates into my sales in March HAHAHAHAHA
Bachman: A brilliant idea hits you, what do you do first?
Tann: I try to find a piece of scrap paper and I start writing the idea out.
What one thing would you give up to become a better writer? Hahahaha working a day job! But seriously, I would probably get rid of gaming systems. Get me a Blu-Ray player and I don’t really need anything else.
Bachman: Do you believe in writer’s block?
Tann: Oh God yes. It hits me all the time.
Bachman: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Tann: I have only had a few since my first release of The Enforcer and its sequel, The Hunted, didn’t really do that well. I didn’t really get any negative critiques because it was people that knew me that reviewed.
Bachman: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing? How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Tann: Which time? HAHAHA. Honestly I just needed to become a stronger writer. I needed to write in a way that was easier for the reader. I needed to grow and I think I am a much better writer than I was even a year ago.
Bachman: Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
Tann: I think it hurts. When you’re a blatant jerk, you rub people the wrong way. Although you need to have a good balance of being a good person but setting boundaries and expressing confidence. When I think ‘big ego’ I think massive asshole.
What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry? I hate the people that ‘troll’ writers and negatively review them. Or steal their work and try to pass it off as their own. If you can’t create your own shit then don’t. If you steal someone else’s, you should have some serious consequences come your way. Like launched into the sun.
Bachman: Does your family support your career as a writer?
Tann: I am a firm believer that blood makes you related, loyalty makes you family. Those that I am related to that are family are supportive as best they can be. Those that are just related, I could care less what they think. Those that are straight family, they do what they can. Honestly, though, I’ve never had anyone make a fuss over things that I do. You know? In some instances, I think that, as a kid, so long as I stayed out of trouble with the law they were satisfied.
Bachman: How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?
Tann: I don’t know yet. I haven’t really been in that situation. I just want to give the reader something great to read and get into. I want their emotions to be hit in all directions. If they hate me for what I did, I hope that they were so into it that I took it into a direction they weren’t emotionally ready for, so they’re like “DAMN YOU!” sort of how people were toward JK Rowling when she killed Dobby and Fred Weasley. It’s because we fell in love with those characters and then BAM! GONE! I want to have that same kind of reaction.
I was lucky to get a few of Richard Pruitt’s time. He’s the mastermind behind the website The Buzzkill Magazine. If you’ve dug deep into the website you will see, for some time, I wrote for this magazine and it spawned the series here on the website called The Veil, formerly known as WTF Cryptos when it lived on Richard’s website.
So, what does a former writer of a magazine ask their former boss who doubles as a comedian? I had several questions and he actually answered them! Below is just that interaction.
For those that don’t know you or what you do in the publishing industry, please take a few moments to explain.
A loaded question right out of the gate. My name is Richard Pruitt and I am the president of Random Evolved Media LLC. Under our umbrella, we publish books, create podcasts, and create content for our online publication TBK Magazine.
How do you do all that you do?
Coffee with a side of more coffee. I always feel the days are not long enough.
From an informational and interesting website to most recently the publishing side of the business, how has the transition been for you?
Adding book publishing to our list of things just seemed perfect. Almost like Peanut Butter and Chocolate. Yes, there are days I want to rip out every hair on my head. At the same time, having the honor of getting to help authors go after their dreams is worth it. Getting to walk through each step of the process with each author is something I never knew I wanted to do with life until I did it.
One glance at your work and one could easily think you’re overworked, what would you have to say to someone wondering how you do it all?
I have always heard the old adage,“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Somedays are bad and frustration rears its three heads. If anyone did not know, frustration looks a lot like King Ghidorah from the Godzilla franchise. By the end of the day, if we made one person smile or think or cry or scared, it’s worth everything.
What’s the first thing you plan on doing when the pandemic is over?
I have thought about this extensively. And when the time comes, I will be taking a trip to my favorite place on the planet, Medieval Times. I wish I was kidding but I walk through the castle doors and I automatically just have a smile on my face. Plus, you can drink beer out of a horn.
With your fingers in so many pots, what’s one thing you haven’t done yet that you’re planning on doing?
Sketch Comedy or creating our own independent movie.
How did you start your career? When did you get the idea and how did you begin your website that has now branched out so greatly?
In high school, I joined the International Thespian Society. During one of our state conventions, I discovered improv. And I jumped on stage when they asked for volunteers, I think I was on that stage for a solid 15 minutes. That is the moment that I decided I wanted to do something to entertain people. I did improv for a little bit, I transitioned to stand up comedy and radio DJ.
The start of TBK Magazine is bittersweet. In 2009, my mom had a stroke. She had to be rushed to the ER and her doctor sat down with me. Someone needed to take care of her. I gave up everything because that is my mother. During that time, I wanted to do something creatively but nothing crossed my mind. YouTube is still in its infancy stages at the time. So, I decided to just write silly stuff. Numbers started out small. I remember being so excited the first time I hit 100 reader for a month. In 2015, we covered a comic convention. And my mind was blown. I remember getting that email and just busting out in tears. I never thought anything like that would happen. It’s still surreal and humbling to me to this day.
Do you ever Google yourself?
Occasionally. I like to do so in private….browsers.
Is there anything you are always on the lookout for? New staffers? New submissions for the publishing company?
We are always looking for new staff members for TBK Magazine. If you have an idea, we would love to hear it. And the same with books. At first, we considered just publishing certain genres, but it just does not fit our company. There is a reason I love the motto “We are Random Evolved.” You can look towards any direction and hopefully find something. Over the next few years, we have books that fall under romance, humor, horror, science fiction, religion being released. As far as submissions, we are open to all genres. Of course, we have to read those submissions.
Also, we are working on our first anthology. The anthology will be coming out stories from members of the LGBTQ+ community. All proceeds from this book will be donated to The Glo Center in Springfield Mo. The center gives LGBTQ+ youth of SW Missouri and the Ozarks a place to be themselves.
Our magazine staff addition page can be found https://tbkmagazine.com/join-staff/ which apparently also has the Uncle Sam I Want You Poster except Uncle Sam is replaced by Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony.
What are your plans for the next five years? Expansion?
I love this question. As a company the main thing is growth. Comic Books and Graphic Novels is something that is being talked about for later down the road. Hard Back Covers for each release. The Podcast Network is growing, next logical progression is adding video with the episodes. One of the reasons I am losing weight. No one wants to see Great Value Josh Gad.
My name is Katie, and I’ve been an author
my entire adult life. I published my first novel in 2006 with a large
mainstream publisher. In 2009 my second came out with another. Five more
followed, and everything seemed set.
But by 2015, everything had changed. eBooks had been a thing for some time, and book sales were down across the board – even for bestsellers. The big publishing companies had chosen to invest heavily in the eBook market, a move which did not pay off as well as they likely hoped it would, as many readers decided the format did not suit them and for some “electronic books” appeared to have been nothing but a passing fad. On top of that Amazon had cornered the eBook market and few other platforms survived for long. By now hemorrhaging money, the “Big Five” stopped renewing contracts with many of their mid-level authors and many editors and other publishing professionals lost their jobs.
I was one of the many people to lose out.
In 2015 both of my publishers told me they weren’t going to publish the next
installment in the series I had begun in 2009. I was effectively out on the
street with a half-published series, fans asking when the next book would be
out and an agent shrugging helplessly as every other mainstream possibility
turned us down on the grounds that they did not want to pick up a series
halfway through (or in one case, went into receivership before they’d even read
I had no idea what to do, so I turned to my
friends. Their advice – go indie.
There has long been something of a class
system in the publishing world, which to my regret I must confess I once
ascribed to myself. “Real” authors got their books out through big shiny
corporate publishing companies and that’s it. Self-publishing was for
untalented losers who couldn’t take no for an answer. Indie publishing was for
cults and conspiracy theorists. Certainly, when I became an indie author
several people I had thought were friends suddenly began acting as if I didn’t
exist, or began making passive-aggressive remarks about my “failed” career.
But the landscape has changed and is still changing. If those stereotypes were ever so they no longer are. I entered the independent publishing world hopelessly naïve and unsure of what I was getting into, and as it is in any business I learned a few painful lessons along the way. What I found was a world where many others are still finding their feet, but were, for the most part, everything was less impersonal, and there was far more creative freedom. The companies I’ve begun working with are not owned by faceless bean counters, but by other artists, for artists. There’s less money invested, of course, but in some ways, that’s a good thing. Too much money on the line makes any company overly conservative and averse to taking risks, which is why so much mainstream fiction tends to be rather samey – blockbuster movies even more so. Diversity is encouraged and there is far less preferential treatment shown toward white male authors, which was an issue I had to deal with many times as a mainstream author. The experience is more collaborative, and as the author, you feel less like a supplicant and more like a partner.
Some people are now declaring that
independent publishing is the way of the future, and perhaps it is. Time, as
always, will tell. I for one am
Fantasy. The word used to make me cringe. For most of my life I avoided the genre as much as I could. I had these preconceived notions that fantasy was boring, long, and intimidating with a complex magic and society system that would go so far over my head that it may as well have been the moon. It wasn’t until my ex-boyfriend pushed me into joining a Dungeons and Dragons session that I started to change my mind.
Now that session was awful. I hated almost every minute of it. The rules were insane to try and follow. The character limitations sucked. The story was just as boring as I had thought it would be from the start. But my aunt pushed me to give the game another try. To create my own world free of everything that aggravated me the first time and make it something worth looking forward to. I became the dungeon master and I broke most of the rules, obliterated most of the limitations, and went purely by what was the most entertaining to watch unfold.
My players were encouraged to do crazy, outlandish things that should be impossible to do. This campaign went on for two years, and it was most fun I had playing a table top game. We didn’t take the books seriously, we made everything up as we went, and it was beautiful.So, when the opportunity arose to write within the fantasy genre, I decided to give it a shot.
I was going to craft my story with different elements from my D&D campaigns and make it more comical then intense. It was a blast, and within three weeks the bones for Becoming A Hero were laid out. The story follows a man who sells pots and pans for a living with his pet donkey. He falls into a lost kingdom which is cursed by an evil king to hold everyone within the land hostage to his will. My hero has the chance to run away but decides to fight for what was right- not what was easy instead.
I hope, through my work, others find out what I did. Fantasy can be everything, or nothing short, long, easy, complicated, stereotypes and their counterpart. Break free from any preconceived notions and let this amazing genre take you to a beautiful new world.
Fantasy is what you want it to be, so make it fun.
Bachman: What’s your favorite book you’ve written so far and why?
Bond: Honestly, it would be my Harvest Saga series. I love the world in that book. It’s dystopian and so much fun to write because it’s one of my favorite genres to read. And it’s more complex than it seems.
Bachman: What keeps you inspired?
Bond: I seem to have caught the writing bug and it won’t let me rest! I’m always thinking of new plots and characters. But I’d have to say that my family, friends and fans keep me going. It would be pretty disheartening not to have support. But when someone drops a note on my timeline or in a message that says they read and loved my book and they ask when the next is coming out….that’s the best feeling. It keeps me going.
Bachman: What inspired your latest story?
Bond: Crazy Love is set in a time where a second US Civil War has broken out. It’s not a story about the war itself, but rather of one widow’s attempt at survival and of her grief. But more than that, it’s a story about second chances. We all need those.
It was inspired by my home state of WV and the fact that we all feel depression and grief at times. But we can’t let it overwhelm us or take us down. We fight.
Bachman: Anything you can share about this story?
Bond: Excerpt: “Some days I wonder if I’m not better off dead,” I vowed, clenching my teeth tight. The muscles in my arms burned like wildfire and sweat beaded and dripped off my face. I gave the enormous iron monster another shove for good measure. It wouldn’t budge. Stubborn thing.
Backing away, I gave it the stink eye as I caught my breath and let my body rest for a minute. My loud and overly dramatic groan filled the moth-ball scented air around me. Damn it. I’d have to ask Joey for help. And, if there was one thing I hated, it was bothering Joey. He already did so much to help me out since…
I turned and looked at Andrew. He wore a tight white t-shirt and a shit-eating grin, reclining in the plush upholstered fire-engine red chair that had been Mrs. Maddox’s favorite. It was God-awful—gaudy and matched absolutely nothing in the house, but hey, when you live to be ninety-something, you earn the right to a ridiculous chair, and just about anything else you want to wear, have or do.
Pushing my fingers into my curly brown hair, sweat coated my skin. I growled at him. It was all his fault. “This is all your fault.”
That arrogant smirk fell off his face quick. “None of this is my fault,” he protested, sitting forward with elbows on his knees. The full lips of his mouth dropped open.
Bullshit. “It totally is and you know it.”
He huffed and then ran the fingers of both hands through his now-hanging head. “Are we going to go through this again?”
“No. Not this morning. We have to hurry. Now, disappear while I go run and get Joey.”
I looked back at the cast iron beast and sighed. When I looked back toward Andrew, he was gone. He followed direction better as a ghost than he ever did when he was alive.
I would have to suck it up, put my big-girl panties on as Andrew had always said and ask for help. Trudging to Joey’s house in the dark was gonna suck. The winter had been harsh and hadn’t quite let go of the land or the weather yet. Technically, it was spring. I guess the seasons aren’t dependent on those little calendar squares after all. Effing calendar.
I guided myself to Joey’s with the flashlight’s tiny sphere of light. Thank God for the battery stockpile. The path beneath my feet was still worn but in the summer would be covered with briars and weeds. Though we would use it, it wouldn’t be as often. We would both have more than enough work to do on our own plots of land.
Joey lived over the hill from me. His farm was situated behind Andrew’s
…er, mine, and was nearly the same size and shape.
Andrew’s folks passed last year. Andrew and I were married and since he was their only child, the farm was technically and legally mine now. Although there were no courts to validate my claim on the land and property. I’d just have to treat it like mine and defend it the same.
Twelve-hundred acres of rolling hills, hay and timber. If it wasn’t for Joey, I wouldn’t have survived this long. He was a country boy—a cocky one, but he was efficient and a hell of a lot more knowledgeable than me. And that was what made me cringe as I walked up the wooden steps and onto his front porch. He was a boy, at least in my eyes he was. I considered him a little brother at this point. Unfortunately, sometimes Joey didn’t feel the same way. He was always talking about repopulating the U.S. with me. Cringe. Guys were always horny and it wasn’t like there was a surplus of anything now, let alone women.
I knocked on the door. After a few minutes with no signs of life, I knocked again, louder and for longer.
Finally, I heard him. He opened the door with one green eye opened, the other clenched tight. “Did you finally come to your senses, Shelby? Decide you want some of this?”
I rolled my eyes at him. I knew it was coming.
“Don’t flatter yourself, Romeo. I need your muscles.”
“My man muscle?” he said in a sleep-thickened voice. Joey smirked, finally opening his protesting eye and wagging his sleep-mussed eyebrows. The blonde hair on the left side of his head was matted down against his skull and the rest was sticking straight up like he’d stuck his finger in a light socket.
“Joey, get dressed and get your hind end out here. Old Lady Maddox died.”
That was all it took. Word that someone had kicked the bucket and people began circling like vultures to take what they needed from the belongings left behind. I was the first vulture who had found her. So far, no one else knew she’d died in her sleep and I planned to get that stove out of her house come hell or high water.
The Cases had prepared for every apocalyptic scenario known to man except for one: that they would pass on leaving everything to me. I was an apocalypse unto myself. They would have known how to fix the things I didn’t have a clue about.
Survival skills: one.
Bachman: I’ve seen you participate in several events; anymore we can look forward to seeing you participate in?
Bond: I have an online event planned in March with some of my author friends. It’s called March Into Reading and here is the link: Facebook Event
Here are author events I plan to attend in 2015:
Roanoke Author Invasion, April
UtopYA Con, June
Books & Bourbon, August
Pumpkin Festival, October
Great Lakes Book Bash, October
Rebels & Readers, November
Bachman: What’s your favorite part? Writing or marketing?
Bond: Writing, I’m not the best at marketing and it takes so much time.
Bachman: For fans, is there anything you’d like to announce or surprise them with?
Bond: Well, sure!
*Dark Bishop (serial series I’m writing with my bestie, Rachael Brownell) will release in April. One book per day from April 29-May 3, 2015)
*Reclaim should be available in May. I don’t have a set release date yet, but it’s coming!
*I’m getting ready to write a contemporary serial that is related to SIN…. J
*Planning to write a new paranormal and dystopian later in the year.
Bachman: Is there a book you just can’t put down right now?
Bond: I just finished Mia Sheridan’s Kyland. It is amazing. I might re-read that one. Her books are fantastic and Kyland did not disappoint. That’s a paperback I plan to buy now.
Bachman: What are some of your favorite writers and books?
Bond: Mia Sheridan (Kyland, Archer’s Voice) Elle Casey (Rebel Series) Amy Bartol (Premonition Series) Jo Michaels (I, Zombie) Diana Gabaldon (Outlander) Lila Felix (Anything she writes)
And last but never least, my bestie, Rachael Brownell. I love her Holding On series, Secrets & Lies and Monroe from Take a Gamble is my book boyfriend. Hands off, Ladies!
Some time ago I interviews many individuals in the publishing business; from authors to publishers. Originally titled 15 for 15, they’re finding a new home under The Word, here on the site. These interviews and guest bloggers will be found under Brief Words. Why Brief Words? Most in the business are very busy and for a brief moment of their day they give or gave me some of their time, sharing themselves with the world right here on my website (often giving exclusives).
Right now some of these posts are listed under The Word, but these selected guest appearances will be migrating to their new location. These wonderful contributors have giving over their time to share their stories and thoughts.
With that, allow me to introduce Brief Words. I hope you enjoy the content to come. If you are apart of the industry and would like to take part, please contact me via email: email@example.com
The month of April isn’t just about writing poems and taking part in Napowrimo. It is also about appreciating poetry from others and poets. I wanted to do a huge series on each poet that I knew of, including some of my favorites, but decided to break it down into smaller digestible portions.
Maya Angelou – Born April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri she is an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. Her work spanning several books of poetry, plays, television and movies, several books of essays, and several autobiographies.
Angelou’s life is best told in her own words, through her autobiographies, but it is noted she struggled greatly. Her younger years were difficult and she came out of them highly educated due to her love of the written word and love of books.
I grew-up watching her on television and learning about her contributions through my school years. I always considered her a very intelligent woman with a beautiful spirit. I began reading the work of German philosopher and cultural critic Friedrich Nietzsche after hearing her quote him. Though I do not know much about her life nor have I read much of her work, it is clear to me she is a legend and a rare gift to the world.
As mentioned above, the best way to learn of her life is through her autobiographies. I also recommend looking her up on Youtube. She is a remarkable woman.
Sadly, the world lost this gem May 28, 2014 in Winston-Salem North Carolina.
Robert Frost – Is a playwright and poet born in San Francisco, California on March 26, 1874. Frost became published in England before he became a published poet in America. Frost’s work has created him the reputation of admiration by readers for his depictions of rural life in New England. These depictions are the stamp of uniqueness. His sway of the words and the depictions of everyday life is what he’s become known for.
Frost was educated at Dartmouth and Harvard. He left Dartmouth after educational frustrations and after a year of enrollment. Frost then attended Harvard.
His family life was plagued with much suffering and grief. Both of his parents suffered from depression. His father died of tuberculosis and his mother died of cancer. After the passing of his father, the family was left broke leaving the financial weight on his shoulders. He was forced to commit his sister to a mental hospital due to her health and mental issues.
After he married, the suffering continued. He and his wife dealt with the death of many of their children due to illness or suicide. In total, he had six children. Only two of his children outlived him. He outlived his wife who lived with a heart condition and battled cancer, she died of heart failure ultimately.
Frost, before becoming well established graduated high school as ‘class poet’. Two years after graduating high school he was published in the New York Independent. It was the imagism movement that helped build his reputation. (The imagism movement was a 20th century Anglo-American poetry that favored precision of imagery and clear, sharp language. It has been described as the most influential movement in English poetry since the Pre-Raphaelites.)
He is most famous for his poem The Road Not Taken. It is also considered one of his most quoted works.
After a long, successful, and hard life, Frost passed January 29, 1963 in Boston, Massachusetts.
E.E. Cummings – Born October 14, 1894 in Cambridge, Massachusetts he is also referred to as his e e cummings, as this is how he signed most of his work. He is known for his development of a style of using syntax to convey emotions. Cummings is considered an experimental poet due to this.
His body of work is vast. Leaving the world with almost three thousand poems, several essays, and two autobiographies. It’s his unique style has left his work and himself to be considered eccentric. This eccentricity transforms his writing into a truly artistic form, a visual artist, crossing the boundaries of literature. The portrayal of word and grammar to ‘paint’ the poem has set him apart from any other poets, he is in a league of his own.
During World War I he volunteered for the ambulance service, like many others that considered them a pacifist, but still wished to aid his country. Cummings was stationed on the French-German border. Writing letters he often, along with a friend, inserted veiled comments to break the boredom he and his friend would find themselves in time to time. Eventually, this led to him being considered for treason. He was sent to a camp in another country for questioning. It was family protesting that led to his release. A year after his release from this camp, in 1918 he served for the United States Army being drafted.
He continued his work after his time had been served. Cummings is considered one of the best love poets. He passed September 3, 1962 in New Hampshire.
I have written about him before. In an older article I blogged for my website entitled What Did E.E. Cummings Do To Me?. You can also learn more about him there and how he influenced me as a writer.
W.B. Yeats – Born June 13, 1865 in Sandymount, Ireland. Yeats was and still is considered a pillar of the Irish community. During his time not only was he a prolific Irish poet and at the forefront of the 20th century literature he served as a senator for the Irish Free State. His poetic work has him considered one of the greatest poets of the 20th century.
His work featured many Irish heroes and legends. This is a one of the ways he was able to reflect his cultural roots and his proud Irish heritage. For example, his work entitled The Wanderings of Oisin and Other Poems is inspired by an mythic Irish hero. This type of ‘inspired poetry’ led to him being selected for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
He continued writing until his death on January 28, 1939 in Cannes, France. Yeats is considered one of the most famous Irish figures in history and one of the most important and best 20th century writers.
Following this ‘Learn Your Poets’ series, you’ll read about poets from ancient times to now. From Sappho to Atwood. This series will be of the poets I have read in my time, I am aware of, and because of this may miss some so please don’t have hurt feelings. They were not left off on purpose only if I didn’t know of them.
Acrostic – The simplest poem one can attempt. It uses the ups and downs of piece to spell out a world of phrase. Often found useful in codes and code-breaking.
Examples of this poetry type: William Blake’s poem London. Edgar Allan Poe’s poem Elizabeth.
Blank Verse – This type of poetry is confused with freestyle/free verse, but differs as it follows a iambic pentameter and rhymes.
Examples of this poetry type: John Milton’s pieceParadise Lost. William Wordsworth poem Tintern Abbey.
Cinquain – Considered a difficult type of poetry to write. Tanka poems falls into this type of poetry as well. This poetry is made of a build of 5 lines. Generally made of a rhyme of sequence of ababb, abaab, or abccb (the a’s rhyming or b’s rhyming or the c’s rhyming).
Examples of this poetry type: Adelaide Crapsey’s poem November Night.
Free Verse/Freestyle – Confused with blank verse, but differs because it doesn’t follow any type or technique. It’s a unconventional style.
Examples of this poetry type: E.E. Cummings poem L(A. Walt Whitman’s poem When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.
Haiku/Tanka – Haiku is a 3 line poem where the first and last line are five syllables. Tanka, a type of Haiku, builds with the form of 5,7,5,7,7 syllable lines. It’s Haiku with two additional 7 syllable lines.
Examples of this poetry type: For Haiku example – Matsuo Basho’s poem A Bee. For Tanka example – Mokichi Saito’s work Red Lights.
Limerick – Is a form of verse, usually humorous and frequently rude, in five-line, predominantly anapestic meter with a strict rhyme scheme of AABBA (meaning the a’s rhyme and the b’s rhyme), in which the first, second and fifth line rhyme, while the third and fourth lines are shorter and share a different rhyme.
Examples of this poetry type: Lewis Carroll’s work To Miss Vera Beringer. William Shakespeare’s piece Othello.
Sestina – Is a fixed verse form consisting of six stanzas of six lines each, normally followed by a three-line envoi (a short stanza concluding a ballade). The words that end each line of the first stanza are used as line endings in each of the following stanzas, rotated in a set pattern
Examples of this poetry type: Ezra Pound’s poem Altaforte. Elizabeth Bishop’s poem A Miracle for Breakfast.
Sonnet/Narrative – Poetry built of fourteen lines that follows a strict rhyme scheme and specific structure. Each line contains ten syllables.
Example of this poetry type: William Shakespeare’s Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Edgar Allen Poe’s poem The Raven. The poem Epic of Gilgamesh by an Anonymous poet.
Villanelle – Like Cinquain, it’s another difficult type of poetry to write. Also known as villanesque, is a nineteen-line poetic form consisting of five tercets (a set or group of three lines of verse rhyming together or connected by rhyme with an adjacent tercet) followed by a quatrain
Example of this poetry type: Dylan Thomas poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.
Was this helpful? Did you learn something new? Want me to post more about poetry styles or sub-categories of poetry? Thinking of trying poetry or a new style? Want me to go in more depth about each type of poem? Let’s have a conversation about it.